All equine owners know that horse wounds can be scary stuff. Even the smallest cuts and bruises can cause us to lose sleep at night with worry. While they likely won’t eliminate your worries completely, these horse wound dressing supplies should help you keep your horse in good health and keep your worries at a minimum.
We should note, the supplies listed below are not substitutes for the care of a veterinarian. Whenever your horse is injured it is always a good idea to contact your vet and get professional advice on how to best care for the injury. These supplies are simply here to help you treat your horse in emergencies while waiting for the vet or for providing relief to your horse in the case of minor injuries.
Before purchasing any of these items make sure to get a large sturdy first aid bag to hold these supplies in. You’ll also want to make sure you have a location picked out for where you're going to store these supplies. It is recommended that you store these supplies in a safe and secure location that isn’t too far from your horses. The attic or basement aren’t very good storage locations.
These are going to be items used to do things like wrap or clean wounds.
Make Sure You’ve Got Some Vet Wrap
What is vet wrap and why should you always have some in stock? Vet wrap is a self-adhering bandage that is perfect for wrapping up wounds. The bandage is designed to stick easily to itself and not to other surfaces. This makes it ideal for securely wrapping wounds after they have been treated.
These kinds of wraps are also made from material that won't irritate the horse's skin, allowing their wound to heal without causing them too much discomfort. This wrap doesn’t stick to hair either which makes it perfect for use on most pets. It is elastic and durable which makes it great for applying enough pressure to wounds to stop bleeding and cover the wound to prevent dirt and debris from getting in and causing infections. Vet wrap is often used in combination with gauze pads and medication to treat wounds. The vet wrap and the medication pad will need to be changed regularly.
This should give you an idea of how vet wrap is typically used. Image courtesy of Paulickreport.
You’ll want to get a rectal thermometer so you can monitor your horse’s temperature and make sure they aren't getting a fever. Even the smallest wounds can get infected and one of the easiest ways to identify this is by taking your horse's temperature on a regular basis. Not necessarily used to treat wounds but used more for monitoring your horse’s recovery from a wound. Important note. Horses cant have their temperature taken by mouth as easily as humans, this is why a rectal thermometer is recommended. Be sure to attach the thermometer to a string so that the device doesn’t get stuck in the horse.
This will be used for flushing wounds with streams of water. Tap water is safe to use for this process. This water will clean the wound of dirt and debris and reduce swelling in the wound. Don’t run the water directly on the wound, doing so will force the dirt further into the wound and cause infection. Run the water around the area of the wound but not directly into it. When cleaning a wound only use soaps that are safe for cleaning horse wounds. Regular human soaps are filled with chemicals that will irritate the wound. Do not scrub the wound directly when cleaning the wound.
A staple of many first-aid kits. Tweezers should be used to remove large pieces of dirt and debris from the horse’s wounds. Be careful with this process as you don’t want to cause any more pain or discomfort to the horse.
Diapers? Yes, Diapers. Image courtesy of Freepik
We know this sounds odd but trust us on this one. You’ll be using these diapers as large ice packs or even as soft medical pads to hold medicine. Making ice packs is pretty simple, run some water on the diaper, freeze it, and presto, a large horse-sized ice pack.
These are the supplies you will apply directly to the wound by using something like a swab, a pad, or a spray.
Wound Treatment Ointment
This is an ointment that you can apply to your horse's wound in the case of an injury. It is best to consult your vet about their recommendations for ointments for your particular horse. If your horse’s wound is deep or severe, it is best to wait until your vet has arrived and assessed the wound before putting the ointment on the wound.
Chlorhexidine and Saline or Isopropyl Alcohol
These are items you can use to help clean your horse’s wounds. These chemicals can be applied to wounds found on both the legs and the body but you should avoid using them on the head and face. Rinse the wound with water first and make sure there is no debris still in the wound, then rise the wound with either isopropyl alcohol or Chlorhexidine and Saline. These chemicals clean the wound of bacteria and help prevent infection.
Our goal is to get our horses healthy, happy, and running again. Image courtesy of Unsplash.
These are but a few of the items every equine owner should have for treating horse wounds. Feel free to consult your horse’s vet for additional advice on supplies you should keep on hand. If you’re a dog owner you might be interested in our picks for the supplies you should include in your canine first aid kit. Are you a cat owner? Don’t worry we have you covered as well with how to properly dress a cat wound.