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What you shouldn't do

Every wound is different, so you should always consult your vet if you are concerned about your horse's injury. Here are some of the things that are generally NOT recommended.

Don't apply strong disinfectants: Things like alcohol or iodine applied directly to wound can further damage tissues.  Use sterile saline solution, clean water or mild antiseptics instead. 

Don't further contaminate the wound: If you touch the wound with unclean hands or other non-sterile objects, you may further contaminate it. Wash your hands before you touch the wound.

Don't apply wound medications: Applying wound medications (e.g. ointments, creams etc.) while waiting for your vet can make assessment more difficult. Also, some wound powders may actually make the situation worse by acting as foreign bodies in the wound. Wound medications should only be used if your vet thinks they are necessary.

Don't swab the wound: Swabbing may further damage tissues in the injured area.  Any cleaning should be done by gently flushing with sterile saline solution or clean water. 

Don't remove penetrating objects: Large embedded objects may actually be preventing bleeding by pressing against damaged blood vessels. Removing them may lead to dangerous blood loss. Always seek veterinary advice before removing any penetrating object.

Don't delay: Contact your vet immediately so that the wound can be assessed and treated promptly to give the best chance of a full recovery.