Bandaging is used for several reasons and knowing how to do it well is important for protection, support, comfort and injury purposes.
Choosing the right bandage is also important, to ensure that it is fit for purpose, will last and do the job correctly. Equiwrap offers the ideal solution for equine bandaging.
You can apply a bandage to help support and provide protection for tendons and ligaments during exercise and also to reduce swelling, secure dressings and assist in the healing process of injuries.
By following a few important guidelines you can improve your bandaging technique and ensure when ever you need to apply a bandage your horse will receive the full benefit.
Points to remember
When applying a bandage to an injury or wound you should apply three main layers.
The primary layer should consist of a low-adherent dressing which is place directly on to the wound or on top of would hydrogel which has direct contact with the wound surface.
Robinson Animal Healthcare offer Vetalintex, a sterile wound hydrogel that promotes moist healing conditions to regenerate healthy tissue.
The dressing will prevent padded material sticking to the wound and should absorb any exudates produced from the wound. Dressings in direct contact with an open wound should be sterile.
The secondary layer is the padding that should be placed on top of the dressing to insulate, protect and control swelling. Gamgee, which is highly absorbent and has a uniform thickness, is ideal.
The final layer is your bandage which should hold the other two layers in place. The application of this bandage is very important and Equiwrap cohesive bandage is ideal.
Equiwrap has a number of important features:
The knee is not an easy joint to bandage, it is freely moveable and bandaging needs to allow for movement. The most sensitive part of the knee is the bone at the back of the knee. If a bandage it too tight at this point, it will restrict the circulation and can cause severe problems.
A useful tip it to avoid bandaging over these areas and to cut a relief hole in your Gamgee to avoid pressure sores.
Plenty of padding around the knee is essential and the figure-of-eight method of bandaging leaves the back of the knee free from pressure and allows adequate movement.
Always apply a standard stable bandage below the knee for support and then bandage the injured knee.
Start by bandaging around the top of the knee joint and then cross the front down and bandage below the knee and cross back up to the top and bandage again around the top of the joint. This is your basic figure-of-eight method and can be repeated as necessary.
Again start by bandaging both hind legs with a standard stable bandage to offer support the hock. The prominent bone on the inside of the hock is most vulnerable to pressure and must be avoided when bandaging. Use plenty of padding that covers above and below the joint, again Gamgee is ideal.
As with the knee use a figure-of-eight method starting above the hock and bandaging a couple of turns then cross down over the front of the hock to just below the joint where you then do a couple more turns and cross back up over the front of the hock to the top.
Always check that the dressing and padding are in place and secure and that the sensitive points are well covered but not tightly bandaged.
With movement, hock dressings have a tendency to slip and move, do not worry too much about this, just regularly check the bandage and if it needs reapplying you can bandage it again.
Safe bandaging is an art that improves with practice. It is more often than not the lower limbs which will require protection and support so knowing the anatomy of the limb will assist in effective and efficient bandaging.
If you are in any doubt about bandaging technique you should contact your veterinary surgery for advice. Remember firm but not restrictive application and practice makes perfect.