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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul. 4, 2007

    Default Staples for a face wound, how much of a scar?

    My gelding ripped his cheek open today and needed staples to close it. Vet did not think sutures were sufficient. It looks absolutely awful, mostly because of the massive swelling, but also from the puckers and bunches. It's probably vain, but I'm wondering how much of a scar will be left? It's very visible from the front and also from the side (obviously.) Has anyone had their horse's face stapled?

    I am glad he didn't do any major damage, and avoided his eyeball. I guess he wasn't done racking up the vet bills this quarter.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep. 13, 2002
    Pacific Northwest


    I have had my horse's face stapled (gosh, that sounds awful). It wasn't a huge wound -- he gashed just below the forelock and had something like 6 staples put in, so not a lot. Vet said it would scar and I thought, fine, he'll have a star now (he's a dark brown plain bay with no white). It healed up and you could hardly find where he had the wound, just kind of a raised place with normal hair on it. Of course, he just whacked his head here recently and skidded off the whole chunk of hair where this was, so we'll see how that grows in this time...

    You'll be surprised at how well it heals, I bet. My one horse put a huge gash down the front of his face (perfect slice, probably 4 inches long) and I could not get a vet out. I remembered my vet telling me I could do this, so I cleaned it up and super glued him back together. It looked hideous the next day, swollen and ugly, but it healed beautifully. I can barely find a thin line where the gash was, and no one else would ever know anything happened to him.

    Good luck with your guy -- give it time, I bet he heals up better than you think!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb. 4, 2009


    Faces, being very vascular tend to heal rapidly, and well. I have seen some nasty wounds heal without a scar. Wait and see!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun. 22, 2008
    Outside Ocala FL - Horse Capital of the World


    My gelding had his head stapled (it was small but near his eye), I think maybe only 3-4 staples, and I really can't find where it was unless I look very hard for it.

    We jokingly called him Mr. Staple-head until they were removed.
    There are friends and faces that may be forgotten, but there are horses that never will be. - Andy Adams

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul. 30, 2008
    Sioux Falls, SD


    I'm having trouble finding a good, non-hairy "after" picture, but I had an older gelding who literally walked into the edge of his stall after a show (sleep walking?) and cut himself above the eye - I believe he ended up with 29 staples? The silly horse just stopped, shook his head, and continued on to his grain while the rest of us freaked out and ran for the vet LOL ...

    His staples/injury (July 2007):


    I worried too, about scars, but he didn't scar at all. He was 21-22 in these pictures I believe.

    Edit: man, I miss this guy. We lost him March 15, 2009, after a long battle with his melanomas that included docking his tail and months of aggressive treatment. He wasn't even "mine" per se - I owned him, but he was leased by the girl in the photos, and while I cared for him, he was HER heart horse, and she was his heart human. But man ... he was an amazing boy. *sigh*
    If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude.
    ~ Maya Angelou

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb. 26, 2007
    Bronx, NY/Atlanta, GA/Fort Dodge, IA


    Once upon a time, when she was about 2, my mare cut her forehead so that there was literally a flap of skin hanging. I'm not sure if she got any stitches - I want to say she didn't (this was well before I owned her) - and it healed up perfectly, with almost no scarring at all and absolutely no white hairs. You have to know where it is to even see it.
    Founder, Higher Standards Leather Care Addicts Anonymous
    Capitalization is the difference between helping your Uncle Jack off a horse and helping your uncle jack off a horse.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun. 14, 2005
    New Jersey


    years and years ago (like mid 80's) we had a mare that needed staples to close up a bad injury to the center of her forehead. About 25 staples, a big T-shaped cut with flaps. Underneather the staples were dissolving stitches holding the thin muscle and subcutaneous tissue together. (after all the bone chips were removed). Only a little scar that was not noticiable unless you really knew what you were looking for and soon after she was clipped. It did change the shape of her star a bit but other than that no extra white hairs.

    I would imagine that methods as well as the better aftercare products that are availiable today would result in almost no scaring at all.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan. 4, 2007


    Quote Originally Posted by mjmvet View Post
    Faces, being very vascular tend to heal rapidly, and well. I have seen some nasty wounds heal without a scar. Wait and see!
    That is what our vets said when one of our horses tried to scalp himself and it took a bunch of staples to close the gap up.
    There was not even a thin line left once it healed.

    I hope yours will heal as well as ours did.

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