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Ouch – That Hurts!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 normal function.

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.