A GIANT hematoma/seroma presented by Grace Owen, DVM. (What to do when your horse has a huge swelling.)

Wednesday, August 7th, 2019 | Filed under Medical

I follow this vet, Grace Owen, DVM (Edna, Oklahoma),  because she posts interesting and relevant cases.  This one is about a hematoma – a giant serum filled lump – that often appear on horses’ chests and hips… places that get kicked.

Missy Miss had a huge hematoma when she first got here.  Someone kicked her.  I remember sending a pic to my old-tymey vet.  He told me to just wait and it would drain on its own, which it did.

However, I’m not saying you should just sit one out.  If I saw anything this big, I’d be calling the vet instantly.  Holy moly!  The below hematoma is HUGE.  Scary.  So, this is why I’m posting about hematoma/seroma in horses.

This is Grace Owen, DVM. Click image to go to her FB page.


Grace Owen, DVM

This is an example of a very large hematoma/seroma. This patient likely got kicked which caused a soft, blood filled swelling. The weight of the swelling continued to stretch the tissue and create a larger swelling. After the bleeding had stopped this seroma was drained and patient was started on antibiotics. This is a fairly dramatic before and after but I’m sure the patient is feeling much better!

A very large hematoma from a suspected kick injury.

The area is left open to drain. Patient will be kept on antibiotics to help reduce the chance of infection.

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Only one comment so far...

  1. Shelley S

    My BFFs horse was kicked in the meaty part of his shoulder, above and in front of his elbow, behind the point of his shoulder. It was about the size of 1/2 a large grapefriuit when discovered at morning feeding, but he’d not had it the evening before.

    About 6 months prior, in the dead of winter in Michigan, I’d had a young horse turned out at a facility he was at temporarily while being weaned. I’d paid for an XL stall with attached paddock with the specific explicit instructions that he NOT be turned out with the herd because he was an obnoxious yearling gelding who would only be there a month, not long enough to become part of the herd. He had horses on either side of his stall and run-in and a big paddock.

    The barn owner decided to turn him out, and he got kicked in the back of the leg similar to the horse in this article. Luckily his hematoma was only about the size of half a cantaloupe. I’d never dealt with this, and when the vet said it had to be drained surgically, I followed his advice and had it done. The aftercare, opening the incision 2X a day so drainage would continue – oh, and this barn was an hour drive each way – was difficult in the frigid weather. The serum burned the hair off his leg below the incision. and working with even the hot water I had to bring from home and work was difficult in the cold. The young horse HATED me by about the 3rd day, despite loving me prior and despite the warm mashes and other treats he got while I worked with him.

    So after that experience and before my BFFs horse being kicked, I’d had the opportunity to attend a 3-day homeopathic medicine course. This time I knew what to do. No incision. I used my references, looked up hematomas and determined the appropriate remedies to give the horse. On the second day of giving 4 tiny pillules dropped into the horse’s lower lip, the swelling went from 1/2 a large grapefruit size to the size of 1/2 an orange. by the 4th day it wasn’t much larger than a horsefly bite. No incision which might introduce infection. No serum burning off the hair below the incsion. No damage to the person’s relationship and trust.

    Now of course, the hematomas I dealt with were not NEARLY as large or dramatic as the one Dr. Owens dealt with. And given that this was 20-some years ago I don’t remember the two remedies we used. But if it ever happened to me again, I’d sure be researching in my Materia Medica and consulting with a Dr of Homeopathy!

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