Ouch – That Hurts!
It is a fact of life that horses get wounds. Fortunately,
many wounds are minor and easily treated. Proper immediate care and
follow up can help prevent life and career threatening
complications. If you are doubtful about the treatment, consult your
veterinarian as soon as possible. Delays of even a few hours can
have serious consequences in some cases. The main goals in wound
management are to control bleeding, minimize swelling and further
tissue damage, prevent infection, promote healing, and restore
It may be necessary to clean a wound in
order to evaluate it properly. This may require sedating the horse,
cleaning the wound with water and antibacterial scrub, and clipping
the hair around the wound (while covering the wound to prevent
further contamination). Applying an antibacterial ointment may keep
the wound moist and help prevent infection. Do not use hydrogen
peroxide unless instructed to do so by your veterinarian as it can
kill healthy tissue. If there is a lot of bleeding, apply firm
pressure directly to the area. If available, an ice pack may also be
placed on the wound for a few minutes to help stop bleeding and
decrease swelling if the bleeding is on a leg and direct pressure
doesn’t stop it, a tourniquet may be applied above the wound. Make
sure to release the tourniquet every 15 minutes for a couple of
minutes to allow blood flow to the tissues. A sterile, or at least
clean, bandage will help keep the swelling down while preventing
further wound contamination.
Your veterinarian may give or prescribe
antibiotics (oral and/or injectable) and anti-inflammatory
medications (orally, injectable, and/or topically). Essential oils,
Traumeel, FRE Liquid, and TF may be used to improve wound healing.
Exercise may be recommended to promote circulation and reduce
swelling in the legs.
This tip was brought to you by KAM Animal Services.