We can get a little worried about what is the best approach to treat a minor wound. You are allowed to treat many minor wounds yourself, without veterinary assistance, provided that you have a first-aid kit, including some of the following:
- hose and cold water supply
- scissors and cotton wool
- warm water
- clean bowl
- intrasite gel
- wound power
- purple spray
- aloe vera spray
- veterinary and stable bandages.
Bruising is accompanied by heat and swelling. This can be effectively reduced by cold hosing, especially if the bruising is on the leg. To make sure you do not frighten the horse, start with a trickle of water and gradually move the trickle from the foot up the horse’s leg to the damaged area. The water pressure can then be gradually increased. If there is an open wound with the bruising, hosing will help to remove the mud, etc., and clean the wound. Hose above an open wound, to allow the water to trickle over it. Do not hose directly on to an open wound as this can not help the dirt get out.
Bleeding may be stopped by applying direct, firm pressure to the wound with a clean pad. Once bleeding has ceased, any hair overlapping the wound should be carefully trimmed away. This will help you to see the extent of the wound. If you have excessive bleeding you will need to call the vet and get their help with your horse’s wound.
Warm, salty water works as a safe and mild antiseptic with which you can clean the wound. You can prepare it by using 1 teaspoon of salt to half a litre / 1 pint of boiled, then cooled water.
You can dip the cotton wool into the salty water and clean the wound, working from the middle outwards. Making sure you use a new piece of cotton wool so that you can keep any grit or other pieces of dirt out of the wound and not returning a dirty piece of cotton wool to the clean salt water, nor to the wound.
Gently dry the wound and then apply the intrasite gel. This procedure can be followed for all minor wound, whether they be a saddle sore, scratch, kick etc. Hosing can only really be used on the lower part of the body as high up would involve soaking a large part of the horse, which would certainly be inappropriate in cold weather.
If you need to cover the wound you can use a piece of Melolin and cover with gamgee and bandage with a stable bandage. The Melolin will stop the intrasite gel from sticking to the Gamgee. Always remember if bandaging a leg you need to also bandage the opposite one to help with support of having possibly a lame horse or a horse using the other leg to support its self.
If your wound is within the mouth, clean by irrigation with salt water, and do not use a bit if it is likely to interfere until the wound has healed. If the horse has a split in the corner of its lip, clean with salt water and then apply Vaseline.
Any rubs can be helped with hot and cold fomentations. You can have a cloth that you save for this use and immerse the cloth in warm salty water, ring out and hold over the area until the heat goes out. Then just repeat the process for 20 mins, followed by 20 mins of cold. This will help take away any stinging and improve any swelling.
These are just a couple of different methods you can use, we will be covering some more over the next couple of blog posts, so stay in touch by leaving your email on our site or go to our page Sam Goss Coaching on FaceBook and like our page or use the button to live your email for more news.