There are many wounds in the horse which do not admit of being bandaged, and difficulty is experienced in maintaining antiseptic dressings in position. In some of these cases strong plasters may be found to answer the purpose. Thin strips of leather smeared on one side with shoemakers' wax, strong glue, or some other adhesive composition may be made to secure them.
Where plasters are employed the patient should be tied up in such a way as to prevent them being rubbed off.
Needles of various forms and sizes are employed for the insertion of sutures. Of these some are straight, others curved, either throughout their length or towards the point (fig. 419). The point of the needle is in some cases round, in others flat, and in others again triangular. An eye for the reception of the thread exists at one extremity, and for some purposes also at the other. When an eye occurs at the point, the needle should be grooved to let in the thread and facilitate its passage through the flesh. A special form of needle is provided for metallic sutures; on either side of the end of the needle proceeding backward from the eye is a groove into which the wire is pressed after it has been threaded (fig. 421), or the end of the wire is in other examples passed into a hole at the end of the needle (fig. 422).
Fig. 419. - Various Patterns of Suture Needles.
Fig. 420. - Suture Needle, French Pattern.
Fig. 421. - Suture Needle, grooved, for Wire.
Fig. 422. - Suture Needle with Screw Spring Eye for Wire.
Fig. 423. - Wire-cutting Forceps and Needle-Holder.
Difficulty is sometimes experienced in forcing needles through the skin or other hard tissues. This is overcome by the employment of suture forceps (fig. 423), which allows of additional pressure being exercised upon the needle, and guards against that tendency to slip which occurs when the fingers alone are employed.