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Common culprits of cuts on horses

Horse owners should locate the cause of injury so they can prevent it from occurring again.

Horse owners should locate the cause of injury so they can prevent it from occurring again.

 

As a horse owner, keeping your animals in good health is your main goal. So what happens when you notice your favorite palomino is bleeding? Cuts happen, and with the right treatment your horse will heal and be back to its old self in no time.

What causes cuts in horses?
Because horses live outside, there are a plethora of potential causes for lacerations. Anything from grazing a sharp stick on a run to biting into a thorny plant can lead to bleeding. Barbed wire fences, farm equipment and construction materials like wood or nails are also often the culprit of cuts on a horse.

“Calm the horse and then find the cause of the cut.”

What should I do if I spot a cut?
The first step is to restrain and calm the horse, then clean out the wound with fresh water. Stop the bleeding by applying pressure. Then, take a close look at the wound. Is there a clear cause? Where has the horse been and what has it done today? Did it go out to pasture? Has it been in a stall? When the horse is stable, find the cause of the cut like a nail sticking out of the wall and address the issue so it won’t happen again.

Smaller cuts will heal on their own, but large gashes or uneven skin may require veterinary care. Call your vet if you are at all concerned about a potential wound, or if a cut is not healing properly. Look for signs of infection such as tenderness and pus and make note if there is a terrible smell coming from the injured area.

How can I encourage healing?
Make sure the cut and area around it are always clean and dry. You may need to bandage the wound to prevent it from getting debris or bugs like sneaky flies inside it. Small lacerations should heal within a few days as they clot, scab and then drop the scab to reveal new skin. Take a look at the area every day to note the healing progress. If the horse is not properly recovering, contact your vet. He or she can take a look to ensure everything is in order and possibly provide an ointment or other medication to help. You can also use products like Finish Line’s Fura Free which is a safe sweat and salve that helps promote healthy skin, and it’s Nitrofurazone free.  Fura-Free protects and soothes minor cuts, scrapes, burns and cracked heels. The polyglycol base makes it a great sweat for horses’ legs, while the natural essential oils of Tea Tree, Myrrh, Thyme, Lemon Balm and Calendula help soothe minor cuts, scrapes, and burns.

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