How to Heal Open Wounds on a Horse


Horse wounds vary from mild to severe and require careful procedures to promote healing that prevents infection and permanent lameness. Depending on the location of the wound, the time it can take for the wound to heal will range from weeks to months.

Things You'll Need

  • Water
  • Spray bottle
  • Towel
  • Saline solution
  • Standing wrap
  • Vet wrap
  • Call a veterinarian. This is the first thing that you should do if you discover that your horse has an open wound. Open wounds are dangerous as they invite infection and can be much deeper than they look on the surface. Your veterinarian will provide a full inspection of the injury and will recommend the proper next steps to take depending on the severity and location of the wound.

  • Hose off the wound lightly. Be gentle with the water flow so that you remove surface debris to prevent contamination but do not disturb the tissue. Christine Keate of Horse & Hound magazine suggests that using a light mist from a spray bottle may be a better solution than a hose or water sprayer. You will want to cleanse the wound regularly to prevent infection. Your veterinarian may recommend using a light saline solution.

  • Apply pressure with a towel if heavy bleeding is occurring. According to veterinarian Spencer Barber of the American Association for Equine Practitioners, this can stop the bleeding while you are waiting for the veterinarian.

  • Wrap the leg. If the wound is on a horse's leg and if your veterinarian has advised to do so, you will want to wrap the wound in an attempt to prevent outside contamination. Spencer Barber has indicated that this can help provide a safe environment for fast healing of horse wounds.

Tips & Warnings

  • Always contact a veterinarian before initiating any new treatments. If proud flesh (extra skin from overactive healing) appears, use topical treatments such as petroleum jelly. Minimize scarring by keeping the area moist and free from debris.
  • Avoid touching the wound directly, as that introduces risk for contamination.

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