top of page



Any horse owner will have to deal with a wound at some point. Though they are very common, they can range in severity for a number of reasons, such as where the wound is, how it was caused etc.

The first thing to do if you discover a wound on your horse is not to panic. Move your horse into a light area, preferably on a hard surface, and assess the damage.

Then consider the following:

  • Where it is

  • How big it is

  • How deep it is

  • How dirty it is

  • What caused it

Where the wound is on your horse is a major factor to consider. If a wound is over a joint it can be dangerous as an infection can track into the joint. If you think this is the case you need to phone your vet immediately.

Horses can get wounds in the most bizarre places so if it’s in a hard-to-reach place it also might be worth ringing your vet. This also applies if your horse is in pain. Do not put yourself in any kind of danger. Remember, a vet can sedate your horse to examine a wound more closely and safely. Sometimes this is the best course of action for everyone.

If the wound is very large and/or deep you need to call your vet immediately. Your vet will then be able to assess the wound in more detail and treat it appropriately.

If the wound is dirty, but does not seem big or deep then clean the wound using a surgical scrub from your first aid kit. You can also apply a wound cream, but only once it is clean and dry. Wound creams help to keep the wound clean as they act as a barrier to dirt, flies etc.

It’s also important to discover what caused the wound. For example, if it was a dirty nail, that could be a cause of infection, so again you need to speak to your vet. Also, don’t immediately pull out a nail, especially if it is at the back of the hoof, as it may have punctured nearby bones so call your vet to find out whether an X-ray is needed first.

As a special note, pay particular care to puncture wounds. They can appear small and relatively harmless, but a deep puncture is an ideal breeding ground for bacteria to grow within the tissue. This is one of the many reasons why it’s important to keep your horses’ vaccinations up to date, in this case a Tetanus jab. (See our vaccination section for more info.)

bottom of page