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Would you know how to help a wounded horse? Let Redwings' latest advice leaflet, Wound Wisdom, guide you through our first aid dos and don’ts.
Download your free copy here
No two wounds are the same, and a wound may be minor or extremely serious. But having some basic principles to work with can mean it is easier to make good decisions quickly and give a wounded horse the best start to a full recovery.
Wound Wisdom offers practical advice on issues such as assessing a wound, when to call a vet and what first aid options to consider. As Redwings vet Dawn Trayhorn explains: “It’s important not to just take a wound at face value. The type of wound and where it is on the horse’s body are key questions. A small hole near a joint is generally more of a concern than a long cut over a fleshy part of the body.”
Dawn also point outs that sometimes less is more when it comes to first aid. She said: “There are a lot of wound products available, but the best first aid kits are not necessarily the ones with the most items! Sometimes it takes confidence not to start putting creams and powders on a wound. Some products may even interfere with healing or cause irritation.”
In addition, Wound Wisdom offers helpful reminders of what we can do to reduce the hazards that may make a horse more likely to sustain a wound. Owners can also get ahead by practising their bandaging and temperature-taking skills, training their horse to stand quietly (valuable in so many ways!) and ensuring their horse’s tetanus vaccination is kept up to date.
Dawn is keen to emphasise that anyone who is unsure how to treat a wound on their horse should always speak to their vet. “Many wounds need to be seen by a vet to be fully investigated, and for infection to be prevented or treated. Good, on the spot, first aid can make a huge difference, but never shy away from contacting your vet, even if you just want to talk the situation through with them.”
There is more research being carried out into factors that assist or delay wound healing in horses. The British Horse Society is currently working with University of Nottingham to help improve understanding of common wounds and factors which promote or hinder healing. The project is looking for case studies of real wounds so if your horse does sustain a wound over the coming months, please support the project by sharing your experience at www.bhs.org.uk/our-work/welfare/wounds-project