Equestrian care: the essentials for treating minor horse wounds
Horses can be rather hardy animals, but they’re susceptible to a few cuts and scrapes now and then. Rebecca Storey, from specialist country and equestrian store Houghton Country, told us what essentials you need for treating minor horse wounds…
Horses can collect a range of cuts, scrapes, and puncture wounds while out in the field. Luckily, these injuries can usually be treated at home and I’ll be giving you my expert advice on how to do this.
Clean the wound
Your first port of call is to remove any bacteria, dirt, grass, or fibres that might have entered the wound, to help prevent infection. I’d suggest using a simple saline solution or a specialist antibacterial cleanser on some soft cotton wool and gently apply it to the wound to sterilize it. Water from your garden hose will do at a pinch but you should go back to it with an antibacterial cleanser as soon as possible.
Apply ointments and wound creams
When it comes to ointments and wound creams, you want something moisturising that’ll promote healing and provide a protective barrier. Before you choose your product, you should check that it can be used on horses, and that it’s water resistant.
Most wound creams have antibacterial properties, which means they’ll kill any bacteria where they're applied. Make sure that you apply them liberally over the affected area (once it's clean and dry) to make sure that the whole wound is protected. Reapply once or twice daily as needed.
Bandaging your horse’s wound provides an extra layer of protection, but doing this incorrectly can make the injury worse. The first sheet should be a dressing cut to the correct size, which will protect the injury and absorb any fluids, such as blood. Then apply a bandage wrap to keep the dressing in place. It’s very important that you don’t wrap this too tightly, as it can stop circulation and cause more harm.
Alternatively, you can buy a poultice, which is an absorbent bandage that cleans and protects the horse’s wound from dirt and bacteria. This can be applied anywhere on the body and can even come specially shaped for injured hooves. Always reapply dressings, bandages, and poultices every day.
By following my advice, you can easily treat a minor horse wound at home. But, if your horse’s injury seems serious, or it’s not healing correctly, call your vet immediately.
For more information on Houghton Country's equestrian range, see the website here.