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A37 Wound Management Emergency Treatments and First Aid Kit. Wound Management. Every horse owner that has had horses for any length of time has seen and probably treated a horse with a laceration or wound.

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A37 Wound Management Emergency Treatments and First Aid Kit

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wound management
Wound Management
  • Every horse owner that has had horses for any length of time has seen and probably treated a horse with a laceration or wound.
  • Some of the injuries may be minor, requiring only a little cleaning and maybe a bandage, while others require immediate first aid, sutures (stitches) and even surgery to repair.
  • The suggestions given in the following information will help an owner identify what type of injuries require veterinary attention and what injuries can be handled at home.
  • Information on how to apply various wraps and bandages will also be included.
step 1 stop the bleeding
Step #1 - Stop the Bleeding
  • The first step in treating a horse with a laceration is to stop excessive bleeding. If it is only a minor wound with a small amount of blood, apply pressure to the injury by hand using a clean gauze pad or piece of roll cotton.
  • Apply direct pressure for about 3-5 minutes and then gently remove bandage. If the bleeding continues, reapply the bandage, or if it is blood soaked, use a new one.
bandaging a wound
Bandaging a Wound:
  • Quick, appropriate treatment for any wound is essential. Any severe bleeding should be stopped and the wound should be cleaned. If the injury is a minor one that doesn’t require stitches, the following steps should be taken.
clip the hair around the wound
Clip the Hair Around the Wound
  • The hair surrounding the injury should be clipped.
clean the wound
Clean the Wound
  • The wound and surrounding area should be thoroughly cleaned with alcohol and betadine scrubs until all contamination is removed.
flushing the wound
Flushing the Wound
  • The wound should also be flushed using dilute betadine or chlorhexidine. The flushing can be done using a spray bottle or a syringe with an 18 gauge needle on it. These methods will provide sufficient pressure to remove the debris.
adding antibiotic
Adding Antibiotic
  • Place a topical antibiotic ointment on a sterile Telfa pad.
  • Cover the wound area with the Telfa pad and antibiotic.
covering the wound
Covering the Wound
  • Hold the Telfa pad in place by wrapping it loosely with some gauze.
  • Cover the wound completely with cotton or padding.
wrapping the wound
Wrapping the Wound
  • Vet wrap or Polo wraps can be used to cover the cotton or padding.
  • Keep the vet wrap over the cotton only. If it is over the skin it may become too tight.
  • Placing vet wrap directly on the skin can cause tissue damage if it constricts the blood flow.
  • After the vet wrap is applied, at least one or two fingers should be able to be placed under the bandage.
securing the vet wrap
Securing the Vet Wrap
  • Elastakon can be used to keep the bandage in place.
  • Apply the Elastakon very loosely, top and bottom.
post treatment
Post Treatment
  • The bandage should be kept dry and clean. It should be changed every other day or more often, if needed.
bandaging a hock
Bandaging a Hock:
  • The procedure is similar to bandaging a wound lower on the limb.
  • The bandage is wrapped above and below the hock.
bandaging a hock1
Bandaging a Hock
  • Bandages on the hock have the tendency to slip down the leg.
  • To help prevent this, it is often helpful to place another wrap below the bandage on the hock.
  • The lower bandage can stop just above the fetlock or continue down to include the hoof.
  • These bandages are often called stovepipe or stacked bandages.
puncture wounds of the foot
Puncture Wounds of the Foot:
  • Puncture wounds or abscesses on the bottom of the foot should usually be covered to prevent additional contamination.
  • The first step is to prepare the foot to be covered.
  • This means thoroughly scrubbing and disinfecting the bottom of the foot.
  • A scrub brush and hoof pick and knife are essential tools.
puncture wounds of the foot1
Puncture Wounds of the Foot
  • Once the bottom of the foot has been completely cleaned, a small amount of betadine ointment can be used to cover the wound.
puncture wounds of the foot2
Puncture Wounds of the Foot
  • Gauze that has been soaked in betadine is then placed over the bottom of the foot and wound. This should be held in place with duct tape or an Easyboot.
puncture wounds of the foot3
Puncture Wounds of the Foot
  • If duct tape will be used, a covering for the foot should be prepared before the foot has been cleaned. This picture shows how to make a covering out of overlapping strips of duct tape. The strips should be long enough to fully cover and then over-lap the bottom of the foot.
puncture wounds of the foot4
Puncture Wounds of the Foot
  • The duct tape covering should be placed over the bottom of the foot.
puncture wounds of the foot5
Puncture Wounds of the Foot
  • Another strip of duct tape should be placed around the entire hoof wall to help hold the covering in place.
  • Try not to wrap pieces of tape above the coronary band. Doing so may place unnecessary pressure and restrict blood flow.
puncture wounds of the foot6
Puncture Wounds of the Foot
  • Any long edges should be trimmed at the level of the coronary band.
puncture wounds of the foot7
Puncture Wounds of the Foot
  • This is a picture of the final duct tape covering. This will help protect the bottom of the foot from additional contamination and will help to water proof the foot. When necessary, this type of bandage should be changed every day.
puncture wounds of the foot8
Puncture Wounds of the Foot
  • Because horses are so susceptible to tetanus, all horses with a puncture wound should receive a tetanus booster even if they have been vaccinated in the previous year.
  • Puncture injuries require veterinary examination in almost all cases.
first aid kits
First Aid Kits
  • The following is list of items that every horse owner should have on hand in case of an emergency.
  • All of these items are sold over the counter and therefore should be readily available to every horse owner.
  • There are additional items that can be added to this list that can only be obtained from a local veterinarian.
  • These items may include a single dose of Banamine, antibiotic eye ointment, and some type of oral or injectable antibiotic.
first aid kits1
First Aid Kits
  • The most important item that goes along with any first aid kit is knowledge. It is critical that every horse owner know when and how to use each of the following items. More harm can be done if something is used improperly or under the wrong circumstances. Utilize the information found in section B of the Infovets Equine Manual and the discussion found on the following pages for additional help.
equine first aid kit
Equine First Aid Kit
  • Bandage material (sterile pads, cotton rolls, gauze, vet wrap, ace bandage)
  • Phenylbutazone (bute)
  • Antiseptic solution (betadine and alcohol on gauze pads in sealed container)
  • Antiseptic ointment (Nolvasan ointment)
  • Vitamin K
  • Scissors or knife
  • Hemostat
  • Stethoscope
  • Thermometer
equine first aid kit1
Equine First Aid Kit
  • Easy boot
  • Duct tape
  • Hoof pick
  • Syringes
  • Tongue depressor
  • Latex gloves
  • Veterinarian’s phone number and a cell phone