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Opinions on hematoma above stifle...

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  • Opinions on hematoma above stifle...

    My yearling was playing too hard with buddies. Has a grapefruit size hematoma above his stifle. No cuts or scrapes near it.

    Vet is coming out tomorrow. It has shrunk a tiny bit and its been 8 days.

    He has his hunter breeding debut end of August, so will it heal by then?

    Do I have vet lance it? Is it too late to lance it?

    What options do I have?

  • #2
    Argh. Have you determined the source of the hematoma (ie, what is actually bleeding)? My sister dealt with this with her horse and it was a long, repetitive saga of multiple reinjuries. Messy. Lancing does NOT help and just causes more damage in the long run- the hematoma just fills back up with more blood. Having the hematoma there keeps pressure on the bleed and helps it heal itself more effectively.


    • #3
      first thing I suspect your vet will do is stick a needle in it and aspirate some fluid....find out if it really is a hematoma. Then go from there.
      Read about my time at the Hannoveraner Verband Breeders Courses:


      • Original Poster

        It certainly feels like liquid in there to me. It has got smaller and seems tighter so it is harder now to jiggle it.

        He moves sound but doesnt love when I touch it. But thats not a surprise as any bump he gets he doesnt like me messing with it.

        How long will it take to absorb? Assuming dmso would help it absorb?


        • #5
          DMSO would be the way I would go for now if it is getting smaller.
          McDowell Racing Stables

          Home Away From Home


          • #6
            Could be a seroma or even a brewing abscess...especially if it was a hematoma. Blood in a pocket is a perfect culture plate for bacteria. That would be my biggest concern and the reason to aspirate. If any white cells antibiotics for sure.

            I have been using arnica gel on aural hematomas in my small animal hospital with huge success. May possibly be less irritating than DMSO (certainly smells better)
            Read about my time at the Hannoveraner Verband Breeders Courses:


            • Original Poster

              I did put the yellow furazone goop mixed with dmso on it 4 days ago. That stays on pretty well. I just rubbed it off yesterday amd was going to wait to see what vet says.

              Can i get arnica gel at health food store?

              Doesnt seem to be infected. Wouldnt it be hot or he would
              Be uncomfortable if it was infected?

              I need to invent yearling bubble wrap. I would be a billionare!

              I refuse to keep him in a stall, especially
              Because he is so big.


              • #8
                Generally when I treat a hematoma, I will give it a week or so before draining it. I find if I drain it too soon they just ooze a lot. The pressure of the hematoma will help stop the bleeding within the hematoma. I then make an incision in the ventral most point to let the fluid escape. You usually have to go in and pull out the clots and fibrin as well. They will heal without intervention as well but take quite a bit of time and you may not have as good a cosmetic result.
                Entropy Farm
                Home of Roc USA
                I used to have a handle on life, but it broke.


                • #9
                  Yes, if an abscess is forming it will begin to get warm to the touch. However, at the early stages that might not be appreciable.

                  Draining them, as recommended above, might lead to a more cosmetic outcome. When left to heal on their own there might be some bumpy like fibrous tissue left underneath. Depending on the size though this might be negligible.

                  I think topical treatment (either arnica or DMSO) and massage if he will let you might work as well. My clients buy the arnica get at the local heath food store or GNC. It is used for arthritic inflammation in people.

                  Oh! And tell me when you get that bubble wrap invented! I could use that on my youngsters as well!!
                  Read about my time at the Hannoveraner Verband Breeders Courses: