Minimizing Wound Complications

Wound care is one of those many horse issues where there are as many opinions as there are horse owners.

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Wound care is one of those many horse issues where there are as many opinions as there are horse owners. There are hundreds of agents (both commercial and homemade) available to paint, spray, smear, gob on, and cover wounds. You can use yellow ones, black ones, red ones, purple ones, and some people have tried very strange ones (used motor oil, for example). On wound care I am a minimalist; many available wound concoctions have actually been shown to delay wound healing or damage the tissue.

I often answer the question, "Is this OK to put such and such on a wound?" with "Would you put it on an open cut on your own arm?" The answer usually is a resounding "No!" Then why would you put it on your horse? More on these later.


Most wounds involve some degree of blood loss (a fact that can be extremely alarming to some people). Because of that, I think it would be useful to review some facts about blood and the horse

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Written by:

Michael A. Ball, DVM, completed an internship in medicine and surgery and an internship in anesthesia at the University of Georgia in 1994, a residency in internal medicine, and graduate work in pharmacology at Cornell University in 1997, and was on staff at Cornell before starting Early Winter Equine Medicine & Surgery located in Ithaca, New York. He was an FEI veterinarian and worked internationally with the United States Equestrian Team. He died in 2014.

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