When To Call the Vet: Wounds


We are very pleased to bring to our readers a blog series from Dr. Corey Paradine, a local veterinarian here in northeast Ohio. Over the next few months, she will touch upon some important equine health issues. She is here to provide you with some general advice on how to keep your horse(s) healthy.

No matter how careful we are with ensuring our horses have a safe environment, it seems they will always find that ONE thing we missed. Inevitably they end up with a cut, scrape, or wound. There are days that I wish I could just “bubble wrap” my horse and I know I am not the only horse owner that feels this way! This weeks blog provides expert advise on wound care. Here is Dr. Paradine’s blog on “When To Call the Vet: Wounds.”

When to call the vet: Wounds

Wounds are another common emergency and can certainly vary in severity.


Wounds are generally pretty obvious and involve skin disruption and possibly disruption of deeper tissues.  The amount of bleeding may vary depending on location of the wound.  Small wounds can sometimes have deep tracts (as often the case with puncture wounds), so full evaluation of any wound is always warranted.

When to call:

Minor wounds and abrasions do not always necessitate an emergency visit, but a call to the veterinarian may be helpful for guidance in appropriate at-home treatment.   Factors to consider when deciding if your horses’ wound needs seen by a vet are both wound size and depth. Amount of bleeding is essential. Check if there is lameness associated with the wound, and importantly, the wound’s proximity to any important structures such as a joint or eye.

What you can do:

Gently clean the wound with soap (Betadine or Nolvasan if available, but even a mild dish soap such as Dawn or Ivory will work) and water.  Do not put any ointment or spray on the wound if there is any chance it will be sutured.  If there is bleeding, pressure may be applied to the wound.  Keeping the horse quiet and in a clean dry area will help to minimize contamination.

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