|Wounds are sometimes a sign of a skin disorder such as "mud fever" or SSRD, which are well-known in horses. Mostly, however, wounds appear following an injury. Wounds may result from knocks (accidents, falls, kicks etc.). They may also be caused by prolonged and repeated friction on certain areas of the skin, as is the case with harness wounds and tourniquet wounds.|
It is often difficult to estimate the severity of a wound based on its appearance. Several types of wound need to be looked at by a vet, including:
a. Main treatment guidelines
Unless the wound is clean and recent (less than 12 hours), it is unlikely that the vet will sew it up. He or she will recommend the following three steps:
|A wound must be clean in order to heal properly. Always clean using soap first; a disinfectant can then be applied locally. The wound should be cleaned using water and appropriate antiseptic products, to minimise the risk of infection due to germs multiplying at the site. NEVER use alcohol on a wound. Depending on the type of wound, povidone-iodine soaps or solutions can be used to disinfect without disturbing the skin's natural balance.|
Antibiotics are not usually required initially, and only your vet can decide whether to prescribe and/or administer them. If the wound shows large damaged areas, the vet will suggest surgical wound care to remove them and promote more effective healing.
|Contrary to popular belief, it is best to leave a dressing on a wound until it is fully healed, where possible. This maintains a certain level of humidity around the wound, thus accelerating healing and minimising infection. The dressing must, however, remain clean and it should therefore be changed regularly to prevent infection and encourage drainage. Laboratoires Audevard offers ANIMALINTEX and GAMGEE dressings, specially designed to protect your horse's wounds. We also make TIFENE POMMADE and TIFENE GEL, skin care products with a special texture designed to protect the skin. Ask your vet for advice.|
While it is impossible to prevent a horse from injuring itself, risks can be reduced through common sense and simple measures such as: