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Bitten by horse, swollen area, no skin break, white and numb. Full mobility. What do you suggest I do?

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Orthopaedic Surgeon
Practicing since : 1994
Answered : 10265 Questions
I got bitten by a horse Sunday, on arm. Didnt break skin but large swollen area.
Today area in middle of bite area is white and numb but sore underneath and area all around is bruised and swollen
I have full mobility in arm
what do you suggest I do?
Posted Mon, 21 May 2012 in Skin Hair and Nails
Answered by Dr. Praveen Tayal 17 minutes later
Thanks for posting your query.
From your description it seems that you are having a hematoma on your arm. The central white portion with pain and swelling is suggestive of an infection in the area. You need oral antibiotics to control the infection. A direct examination by a physician is needed to decide if there is any pus collected inside.
Right now you can start taking a mild pain killer like ibuprofen round the clock, take a tetanus shot, do a cold sponging in the area. If the pain and swelling subsides then you can continue with the conservative treatment.
In case the swelling worsens then you need to consult your primary physician for proper management.
I hope this answers your query.
In case you have additional questions or doubts, you can forward them to me, and I shall be glad to help you out.
Please accept my answer in case you do not have further queries.
Wishing you good health.
Dr. Praveen Tayal.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Bitten by horse, swollen area, no skin break, white and numb. Full mobility. What do you suggest I do? 11 minutes later
That was fast Thank you

I am a little worried about it having no feeling on skin in middle. It was strangely numb after the bite and now it is white..and numb and swelling is growing which I assume is fluids looking for somewhere to go
would an infection be caused that fast by a bite?
Follow-up: Bitten by horse, swollen area, no skin break, white and numb. Full mobility. What do you suggest I do? 1 hour later
and can I ask will feeling come back if and when infection subsides
Answered by Dr. Praveen Tayal 1 hour later

Thanks for writing again.

The numbness in the center is not worrisome. This sometimes happens in the swollen areas. The sensations will return once the swelling subsides.
Infection is a possibility. The pus may not form so fast but signs of infection can appear. You can take a broad spectrum antibiotic prophylactically after consulting your physician. Do not massage the area. A cold compress will help in reducing the swelling.
Hope this answer is helpful.

Do accept the answer in case there are no further queries.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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