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3 Common Horse Injuries And How To Treat Them

a woman with red hair nuzzling a brown horse

For anyone who actually knows horses, there’s no secret that they get injured. A lot. As much as we can try and prevent them from getting injured, the world is filled with hazards that will always pose a risk. Loose nails, a stray branch, even a misplaced step, all of these can injure your equine friend in ways that can cause serious health problems if left unattended. In the case of an injury, it’s crucial to know just how to approach it so that you can provide the care your horse needs to stay healthy and fit. Read on to find out about the most common injuries horses are likely to have, and the best way to respond.

The Injuries

  • Contusions
  • Puncture wounds
  • Scrapes

Bothersome Bruises

These subtle injuries can really do some damage without a proper response

bruised horse hoof

Contusions, more commonly known as bruises, arise when blood vessels have ruptured underneath the skin, but the surface of the skin hasn’t been broken. They can be extremely painful, and can create inflammation in the area of the wound. Contusions can be hard to spot in their early stages due to their lack of visibility, especially on horses with their hair covering their bodies, but over time the swelling, tenderness and heat of the area will make the injury clear. Since the skin hasn’t been broken, luckily there’s no need to worry about any risk of infection from outside bacteria. Despite this bonus, since they’re so hard to spot it can be difficult to find one until it’s significantly inflamed, so make sure to regularly check your horse for bruises. It’s still an injury, and depending on the location of the bruise and its severity can be a serious matter. The best thing to do when you notice a bruise on your  horse is to call your vet so they can determine the seriousness of the wound and how best to treat it. Additionally, immobilizing your horse and applying cold presses will make the process of assessing and treating the wound significantly easier.

Painful Punctures

These wounds are particularly threatening because of the risk of infection

puncture wound on horse
Image courtesy of

Just like a contusion, puncture wounds can be extremely subtle, with many if not most wounds measuring only millimeters in diameter. Unlike the contusion, however, a puncture wound involves a deep penetration of the skin, so the flesh is exposed to the outside world while still being hard to find. This is a particularly dangerous kind of wound, as depending on how deep the wound penetrates it can lead to an infection within the deep tissue of your horse without a prompt response. When you notice a puncture wound, it is most advisable to call your vet as soon as possible, since they’ll most likely need to irrigate the wound to rinse out any bacteria that found its way inside. Your vet will then prescribe the best way to respond, whether it’s through medication to keep infection away or simply bandaging the wound until it heals on its own. We don’t recommend applying any topical wound care products to a puncture wound: the medications for scratches, cuts, and abrasions are meant to treat the upper layers of the skin, not the flesh that lies deeper within the body, and applying a topical product could lead to complications later on in the recovery.

Arbitrary Abrasions

As one of the most common injuries of all time, you’ll need to know how to deal with this one

abrasion on horse leg
Image courtesy of

We’ve all had to deal with scrapes over the courses of our lives, and horses are no different in that regard. They can occur in even the most secure locations, like the stall, so there’s no way of completely eliminating the risk of a scrape from your horse’s life. Depending on the severity of the injury, they can be fairly easy to manage. If you have any concerns about the severity of the abrasion, we recommend calling your vet for further information, but if the wound seems small and/or inconsequential enough to deal with on your own, you can follow some simple steps to promote healing. First, rinse the wound with ionized water and a little amount of soap mixed in to clean out bacteria. Next, apply a skin-wound treatment product like the Fauna Care Silver Spray to keep the area free from infection and debris. The Silver Spray creates a moisture barrier around the wound to allow your horse to stay active throughout the day, but if you desire you could also keep a bandage over the wound to promote the healing process.

We hope that this has helped you be more prepared for the next time you have to deal with an injury. For all injuries that worry you, we recommend consulting your vet before proceeding with any kind of treatment, just to ensure the safety of your horse. Do you have any success stories using Fauna Care Silver Spray? Are there any other injuries you’d like us to talk about? Let us know in the comments!

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