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A recent survey by Vita Animal Health found horse owners feel reasonably confident when it comes to managing minor wounds. All owners surveyed had a horse first aid kit. However, the results show there’s room to increase owner confidence when considering what to stock it with, and knowing when to seek veterinary advice.

The survey revealed an overall confidence of 81% when managing minor wounds, with only 7% of horse owners seeking advice from a vet for wounds they consider to be minor, and 44% would wait for a couple of days to call a vet if the wound wasn’t healing.

The majority of first aid kits contained topical treatments and the most common treatment option for minor wounds was a cream or ointment, with 71% applying these. Most also contained antiseptic, bandage and poultice materials, but there was a wide variety in the products owners preferred.

Registered vet nurse and head of sales at Vita, Tara Evans, says: “It’s great to see that owners are equipped with a first aid kit and really engaged with horse health. However, our survey highlighted that owners are less confident with the best type of first aid treatments to use. Some topical treatments are much better at actively supporting natural skin healing, and all options should be antiseptic. A cream that can be used at all stages of wound healing is important, too. We’d encourage owners to seek veterinary advice about which types of cream to stock.”

96% of respondents were most likely to call out a vet if their horse had a deep wound. A third of horse owners will seek veterinary advice for a wound that’s bleeding, and over a quarter of owners won’t contact their vet if their horse is sore or lame due to the injury.

Tara says: “Horse wound healing’s prone to complications. Their skin is tight, especially on their limbs, and movement can delay healing. The fact they’re ridden makes quick healing even more important. We’d advise owners to speak with their vet if they’re in any doubt, or if a wound isn’t healing rapidly. If the horse is lame or sore, seeking veterinary advice is strongly recommended.”

Vita produce Omnimatrix, a skin regeneration cream available exclusively through veterinary practices. The cream is useful throughout the stages of healing and provides an antiseptic environment to support the skin’s natural healing.

Vita Animal Health have put together a guide for wound management, which can be downloaded here

For more information, visit vitaanimalhealth.com

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