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  • Horse is found with a bleeding wound, and/or gaping skin
  • Swelling may be present
  • May be lame, weight bearing or non-weight bearing on an injured leg


  • If area is still bleeding at a steady stream, apply pressure to the area or bandage
  • If there is not much bleeding, cold hose for 15 to 20 minutes as outside temperature allows
  • Assess where the wound is, how big it is and possibly how deep the wound is (bone exposed, muscle torn), whether the laceration needs to be sutured, etc.  If you see clear yellow fluid coming from the wound, a joint or tendon sheath could possibly be injured.
  • Call your veterinarian.
  • If it will take a while for your veterinarian to arrive, bandage the area but do not put anything in the wound unless directed.
  • To tell if a wound needs to be sutured:  If the would does not stop bleeding; if the skin is obviously gaping apart; if you move one side of the laceration and the other side of the skin does not move with it—then the laceration is probably through all of the skin layers and needs to be sutured.  (If you move one side of the laceration and the adjacent side moves with it, you may see the layer of skin still attaching both sides—it is usually light pink to white).


  • Your veterinarian may have you give some Banamine or Bute.
  • Be able to tell your veterinarian when and possibly how the injury happened, if there is any drainage and/or bleeding, and if the horse is walking okay.  Be able to tell the vet if your horse is current on his tetanus vaccine.
  • Puncture wounds can be tricky—if the wound is draining fluid or near a joint, a veterinarian should evaluate the injury.