Horses often get injured during their activities of daily life. They can step on pieces of glass or sharp metal. Horses often step through barbed wire fences, lacerating their pectoral (chest) muscles, as well as their legs. Treatment for equine lacerations always includes first aid and very often an examination by an equine veterinarian. Horses cannot stand on three legs; therefore a leg wound needs to be taken care of immediately. They can hurt themselves just by scratching one foot with another. Without proper treatment for equine lacerations, a horse could get very sick and possibly die. The wounds could be minor or severe, depending on what mishap has befallen the horse. For the health of the animal, all lacerations need to be seen by a veterinarian. If your vet does not make house calls, or if the injury is quite severe, you will need to trailer the horse and take it to the veterinarian to be examined.
To begin proper treatment for equine lacerations, be sure that your first aid kit is stocked with everything you might need; replace what has been used each time. Your first aid kit should include scissors, bandages, sterile saline, leg wrap, surgical tape, duct tape, spray bottle, and a syringe for irrigating deep lacerations. All equine lacerations are potentially dangerous, even if they are not very deep they can get infected, which is why owners need to know how to provide first aid. All injuries to the legs need to be taken seriously, because what appears to be a simple laceration could make the horse lame. A lame horse may have to be euthanized, because it cannot stand on three legs. A horse owner should always take the treatment of equine lacerations seriously, and act quickly to prevent infection and unnecessary pain and discomfort.
With first aid treatment for equine lacerations, you will want to use a sterile saline solution unless otherwise advised by your vet. Wherever the laceration, if it is bleeding you will need to stop the flow of blood before you attempt to clean the wound. To stop the wound from bleeding pressure must be applied with either a bath towel or a hand towel. Once the bleeding has stopped you may begin to cleanse the wound.
Concerning the treatment of equine lacerations, always stop the bleeding before any other treatment is given. Assuming there is no active bleeding, you will want to clean the surrounding area with a spray bottle, and then clip with scissors any hairs that are sticking into the wound. You will also need to flush the open wound with a large syringe to cleanse the area. Flush the wounds until they are clean, to wash away dirt and bacteria. After cleaning you will need to disinfect the wound. Many veterinarians advise using dilute Betadine solution, which will kill any bacteria remaining in and around the wound.
Part of the first aid treatment for equine lacerations is to know how deep a wound may be. Your horse may not always cooperate, but if you can, measure the depth by the length of a sterile q-tip, only if the wound is not bleeding. If your horse wants no part of that, just leave it for the veterinarian to determine.