Owning a horse can be a nerve wracking experience. From stable fees, to regular visits to the vet, and the exorbitant price of feeding and cleaning, there’s much to consider when it comes to owning and caring for horses, and there are many unique ways horses manage to get hurt over the course of their lives. To help you know exactly what to do when your equine friend is injured, we’ve created a list of best practices for applying wound care spray, a useful product that can mitigate the chances of infection and encourage healing in the injured area. Check below for an easy-to-follow guide for all of your wound care spray questions.
- Investigate The Wound
- Stop Any Bleeding
- Cleanse Wound
- Apply Wound Spray
- Visit the Vet If Necessary
Step 1: Scrutinize The Injury
Even though your horse may be injured, it’s always best to identify what kind of injury it is before deciding how to proceed. There are vastly different ways to respond to a shallow cut versus a deep cut, or a cut that’s on a joint versus a cut on the length of a limb or the body. You can often use your best judgement in these situations to know when to call your vet, but some things to look out for are:
- A cut that damages a joint, bone, or muscle
- Profuse bleeding
- A wound that looks infected or seems very dirty
- Development of proud flesh, when excessive granulation tissue extends beyond the layer of the surrounding skin
- A deep cut that might need stitches
- Signs of extreme pain or shock from your horse
If any of these seem like the case for your horse, call a vet to make sure a medical professional assesses and treats your horse in the most effective way possible. On the other hand, if the injury is minor and seems relatively shallow, then follow on to the rest of this list.
Step 2: Staunch Bleeding
This one is a no-brainer, but it’s still crucial to ensure the safety of your horse. A substantial amount of blood loss could lead to shock, a very serious medical condition which involves organ failure, the circulatory system shutting down, and death. If the wound is actually spurting bright red blood, then the cut has hit an artery, and your horse needs serious medical attentions immediately. If the bleeding is less serious, with no rhythm to the bleeding and the blood is a darker color, you can attempt to stop the bleeding yourself. Applying pressure is the most successful way to stop bleeding in a cut. It’s best to use a piece of thick cloth, like gauze or any padding that comes with a first-aid kit, but if that isn’t within your reach most fabrics will do the trick. Try to stay away from cotton-based products, as their absorbency will actually allow blood to still flow from the wound instead of stopping it. If the bleeding doesn’t stop after 10 minutes, contact your vet.
Once the bleeding has stopped, apply a dressing without removing your padding to keep pressure on the wound. If your horse was bleeding from their wound, then this is where we leave you, as you should do nothing more to the injury and instead contact your vet to see what should be done next. They may ask you to apply a wound care product as the healing process continues, but at this moment the immediacy of the bleeding takes precedent.
If you horse isn’t bleeding at all, then you can treat their injury with the next steps on this list.
Step 3: Clean The Injury
If the wound isn’t bleeding and doesn’t look dire, your next step is to clean the wound of any debris. This can dramatically reduce the risk of infection for the wound, as well as clear the site of any irritants and hopefully ease the pain a tad. It’s important to consider what you will use to wash out the wound, as some medicines will actually damage your horse’s skin cells and hinder the wound’s ability to heal. Even medications you thought were ideal, like hydrogen peroxide, are actually problematic since they kill the good bacteria on your horse’s skin as well as the infectious kind. Your best bet is to use a saline solution of pure water and salt. You can make your own by adding table salt to water. It’s one of the most effective solutions out there for giving a good all-around scrub to injuries. Use the saline with a squirt bottle to flush away any dirt and debris from the wound, and once it’s clear of any foreign material, you can finally get to the spray!
Step 4: Spray Away!
Once you’ve discovered that the wound is minor enough to treat at home, and it’s clean of any debris, you can add a topical ointment or medication to give healing benefits to the wound that aid the body’s natural response to cuts and scrapes.
Fauna Care has a line of products designed to help with this initial stage of recovery, when the wound is fresh and the body is simultaneously working to defend against infection and build new, healthy tissue. As time goes on, you can also use creams that deal specifically with moisturizing scar tissue to keep it fresh and resist bacteria becoming trapped against the wound with flaky, dry skin. At all points though, keep in mind that despite this being a minor injury, you still might want to call your vet.
Step 5: Always Call Your Vet For Unusual Activity
Bodies are complex systems, and there are a thousand steps where things can go wrong. Vets are trained to take care of these processes, so if at any point you see the wound not healing as it should, your horse is in pain, or you see some other sign that piques your interest, don’t be afraid to ring up your vet and make sure everything’s ok. Better safe than sorry.
We hope this guide to applying wound creams and sprays assists you in your travels. Horses are tough, if injury-prone, animals, and with the right approach and correct knowledge, you’ll be ready for any sticky situation you find yourself in. Stay safe out there!