Sore backs may be considered under the head of wounds, and occur even in the best managed stable; but careful attention to the fitting and stuffing of saddles will - at least, for civilian purposes - almost always prevent them. Sometimes, however, they occur from the roller or surcingle pad having become too flat, thus letting it press down on the spinous processes of the vertebrae. In such cases, a large and troublesome sore is formed. Whenever, therefore, a sore is seen on the spine where the roller pad crosses it, the latter should receive attention. As to the treatment of sore back, if there be a swelling without abrasion of the skin, it should be fomented or poulticed. If the skin is abraded, it should be fomented, and then dressed with a little oil to keep it soft. Sometimes what is called a "sitfast" forms, this being a portion of dead leathery skin firmly fixed by the roots to the subjacent supports. It is hard and painful to the touch, and the quickest remedy is to cut it out with a knife and forceps, when it becomes a simple wound; it will heal rapidly when kept soft with vaseline or oil. Sometimes the pummel of the saddle presses on the withers, causing a fluctuating tumour, often the size of a walnut or small orange. These enlargements frequently contain serous fluid, which remains a long time, unless exit be given to it by puncturing with a knife or lancet. If the horse is ridden with one of these enlargements still pressed upon by the saddle, it increases in size, and becomes very painful; and at last an abscess forms and bursts, and we may have that very stubborn and obstinate disease, "fistulous withers," to deal with, one which taxes the greatest skill of the experienced veterinary surgeon. This shows how necessary it is not to neglect saddle galls of the withers, but to remove the cause at once, and attend to the injury.
Girth galls usually only require to be fomented and kept clean, and get rapidly well. But before the saddle is again used it should be attended to by the saddler.
Injuries by harness should be treated in the same manner, alum and water, or salt and water, being sponged over the skin, to make it hard if it is tender. For tender skin from saddle or harness, ordinary writing ink has been used with good effect.