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Wounds in horses

You may suddenly find yourself in a situation where your horse has a minor cut, scrape, bruise, or even a more serious and deeper wound. It's important to assess the wound to determine whether you can handle it yourself, such as with superficial scrapes, or if a veterinarian needs to be called. If you're unsure, it's always recommended to call the vet.

Assessment of wounds

When assessing your horse’s wound, pay attention to four main things – the size of the wound, its location, the condition of the wound, and the age of the wound.

The size and depth of the wound determine how long it will take to heal and whether it needs suturing.

Consider the location of the wound; if it’s on the horse’s leg, there’s a greater risk of damaging tendons or joints. A wound in an area with good blood circulation is generally less serious.

Evaluate the contamination status of the wound. If it’s contaminated with foreign objects like soil bacteria or debris, it should be flushed before treatment to remove bacteria that could delay healing. Use a disinfectant solution, preferably with the option for high-pressure flushing if the wound is deeply contaminated, as only a clean wound heals optimally.

Determine when the injury occurred. If the wound needs suturing, it typically should be done within a few hours. If in doubt or if there are other complications, it’s advisable to contact a veterinarian. Minor scrapes can often be managed at home.


Common types of wounds that affect horses include puncture wounds, abrasions, lacerations, and crush injuries.

A superficial abrasion in a low-risk location on the horse’s body or limbs may not necessarily require a visit to the vet unless the horse is clearly in pain.

If you decide to manage the wound care yourself, it’s crucial to first stop any bleeding, preferably using a clean towel as a compress. Then, remove foreign objects such as dirt with water or a disinfectant solution specifically designed for wound cleansing to thoroughly clean the wound. This is particularly important if the wound is deep and contaminated. Avoid using chlorhexidine or soap, as they can leave residues in the wound that may delay healing.

Once the bleeding has stopped, it is recommended to flush the wound with water or a disinfectant solution to remove any foreign objects. This reduces the bacterial load and supports the natural healing process.

After cleansing, it is advisable to protect the wound from re-contamination by using a dressing, preferably one with a disinfectant effect, where possible.

In cases where a traditional adhesive dressing cannot be applied, a disinfecting product can be beneficial to continuously support wound healing.

It is important to regularly inspect the wound to ensure proper healing progress. If you notice any discharge, odor, swelling, fever, or any other concerning signs, it is recommended to contact a veterinarian.


For wound care, Bacxitium has developed a product portfolio in collaboration with horse owners and veterinarians.

Bacxitium effectively combats harmful bacteria, viruses, and spores in wounds, all without the use of chemicals. The portfolio includes a high-pressure irrigation bag for thorough cleansing with disinfectant properties, foam dressings with disinfectant properties to protect wounds and support the healing process, and a disinfecting cream for minor bruises and wounds.

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Horse care