The Best Topical Wound Ointments for Horses

The Best Topical Wound Ointments For Horses

by | Jun 1, 2023 | Equine Health, Equine Treatment

The other day, I was coming back from a nice hack (also known as a trail ride) with my big Holsteiner mare. My friend had taken her five-year-old mare in training, and I had my highly reactive 10-year-old, and we had joked for much of the ride about whose horse acted younger. My mare’s rear horseshoes had slipped on the pavement once, but she had recovered quickly and not lost her calm at any point, miraculously. Once we got back to the stables, we slid off and I wrapped my arms around my mare’s neck, saying thank you for the nice ride, as I do. As I turned, I noticed a trail of blood leading from her fetlock down to her coronet band. It turned out to be a small puncture wound in the middle of her fetlock, not painful, with no foreign bodies in it. All in all, things could be far worse. I cleaned it with the hose and went to the medicine cabinet, where there were laying all possible potions, creams, and lotions for all possible sorts of boo-boos and owies. They say that all horses are born with a specific place they are going to die, and they spend their entire lives looking for that place. Given that, their loving owners/slaves have the sacred responsibility to protect them and take care of those various injuries to the best of our abilities as they arise.

What a First Aid Kit Should Have

For small, superficial wounds, rinsing the area with clean water is often enough. It is important to be able to see how large and deep the wound is, and if there is any debris or any foreign object in the wound. Larger wounds should be flushed with a saline solution (either flushed with a liquid or spray) while you wait for the vet to come. Betadine is another thing that can be applied to the wound if dirt got into the wound, or if you suspect that any pathogens might have been present. While betadine can break down healthy tissue if used repeatedly, as an initial cleaner immediately following an injury, it is important to use in order to destroy pathogens.
If possible, the wound should be kept clean and exposed to the air if it is small and superficial. This will allow the body’s normal healing and reparative processes to function as they should. If the wound does not require stitches or some other intervention of a veterinarian, it can be treated with one of the following topical wound treatments.

Best Wound Creams for Horses

My personal young horse worked hard to earn his nickname “The Walking Vet Bill.” He single-hoofedly taught me more about veterinary first aid and care in three months of his life than I learned in an entire lifetime of reading horse books. When looking into stocking a first aid kit for him, the first wound cream I settled on was Farnam Tri-Care. This antibacterial cream contains trace amounts of anesthetic which aids in pain control, and forms a barrier over the wound to keep out insects and dirt. Rich in vitamin E to promote skin and tissue healing, this cream is probably one of the best on the market for small to medium wounds. I have also used it on myself whenever I get a cut or scrape, since I am exposed to all sorts of pathogens working with horses, dogs, and sheep. It is my favorite!
Some horse owners want to rely on chemical means, and some prefer to rely on more natural means. Equiderma has a line of products for wound care that are based on natural ingredients. Their wound cream is made up of calendula and neem, bound together with lanolin. These all-natural products promote healing while discouraging the production of proud flesh. The company also offers a special package featuring arnica, aloe and neem shampoo in combination with the wound cream.

Another option for horse owners wanting a more natural product is Corona ointment. A lanolin-based ointment rich in vitamin E, this product promotes healing and does not allow moisture, dirt, insects, or anything else to penetrate the layer of ointment. This ointment can also be used on sunburns, scrapes, chapped skin, and is safe on other animals and livestock (including humans!). It is available in tub form or in tube form, up to 36 ounces.
Another important aspect of wound care that many owners rely on is wound spray. For horses that live outside, many creams and ointments may attract dirt or get rubbed off. Sprays can form a protective, lightweight barrier to keep the wound clean while it heals. Sprays have the additional benefit that if the wound is very painful and the horse resists it being touched, wound treatments can be applied without applying pressure, poking, or prodding at a sore area. However, horse owners and caretakers should take care: many horses can spook at the sound of the spray and the sudden feeling of cold that the spray causes.
One of the best wound sprays on the market is Vetricyn All-Animal wound spray. A disinfectant spray that works immediately on contact, However, it does not form a long-lasting barrier against environmental irritants. BANIXX Wound and Hoof Care spray is an antibacterial and antifungal spray to address a variety of health issues for a variety of animals. This makes it very popular for horse owners who have a veritable petting zoo. Farnam also makes a wound spray and wound kote which ought not to be used long term (they can cause tissue damage), but in the initial time following an injury, they can offer temporary protection.


Today, thanks to my walking vet bills, I have creams and ointments for every possible kind of owie and scrape they could find themselves in. There is little more satisfying now than watching the edges of a wound pull together, or pulling a scab off from an old blister or injury. Everyone always jokes that they can come to me whenever there is blood on themselves, their pet, or one of their livestock, and I will have the ointment and equipment to take care of it.
Except bandaids. After all, bandaids don’t stick to fur. Why would I stock those?

What wound cream sounds best to you from this list?

About The Author

<a href="" target="_self">Ani Petrak</a>

Ani Petrak

Ani Petrak is a freelance linguist and writer based in the Czech Republic. A lifelong English rider and groom, she has experience showing in dressage, hunter-jumpers, trail, and young horse in-hand competitions. She is currently working with a Grand Prix showjumping and dressage trainer while raising and training her young warmblood gelding for a career in dressage, working equitation, and cross-country hacking.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This