how and why to clip wounds


How and why to clip your horse’s wound.


When it comes to wound care, no other creature on the planet will give you as much practice as your horse. Because they can. It’s not uncommon for mystery wounds and cuts to appear seemingly out of nowhere. Our job? Take care of them! To do that, bust out your clippers and get to cleaning.


A cleaned and clipped wound has several benefits –


  • You can see things much better. This helps you determine if it might be a puncture or what really is going on in there. Punctures can be super serious, so call the vet if you have any questions at all about a wound!


  • You can also flush and clean the wound safely without hair all over the place.


saline from IV bag to clean a horse leg wound

The cleaning begins.


  • You can apply the appropriate medicine much better after you have clipped a wound.


  • You can monitor for proud flesh more easily.


clippers cleaning a hock sore

This previously clipped ouchie is getting a touch-up before more meds are applied. I prefer to use ointments to keep things moist and flexible. But I still leave it up to the vet to give me the best course of action.


A few tips about clipping a wound.


  • Use razor-sharp and clean blades! A #40 blade is best, this leaves the least amount of hair. Some of the fancy 5 in 1 blades go from a #9 to a #40 so you are covered there.


  • Cover the wound with some ointment or KY and gauze. This helps to keep clipped hairs from sticking in the wound. All ointments and stuck hairs can then easily be flushed away.


new wound on horse lower leg

This (yet) unclipped wound has hairs poking around the edges of the wound.


  • Start a few centimeters or so away from the wound edges. Work inward towards the wound. It doesn’t matter if you are going with the hair or against it. Going with the hair at first will get most of the hair shortened, then you can do some final clean-up by going against the hair growth if needed.


When it’s all tidy, you have more info to determine what to do next. Super easy!



go shopping button for horse products


If you are at all interested in those snazzy horse supplies, you can pick them up here! As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases, which are zero extra charge to you. I can’t thank you enough for your support!



Wahl Professional Animal Bravura Lithium Clipper – this includes the 5 in 1 blade that goes from a #9 to a #40. Perfect for designs!


Wahl Professional Animal ARCO with 5 in 1 blade


Durvet Chlorhexidine 2% Solution, 16 fl. oz.


Betadine 16 oz Solution Povidone Iodine 5% Antiseptic


Thank you!