Horse Side Vet Guide ®

Equine Health Resource

Remove a Standing Bandage

Removing a bandage is a simple skill but it should be done correctly in order to avoid injuring the horse. The goal should be to remove the bandage in a way that is as painless as possible.


Loosen any bandage tape at the top of the bandage that might be adhered to the hair or skin by pulling downward on the tape and separating it from the skin with your fingertips.

Starting at the top of the bandage, insert the guarded blade of the bandage scissors between the outer wrap and the cotton padding, and cut it all the way down to the bottom of the bandage. Unroll the padding off the limb.

Follow the same procedure to cut away any dressing in direct contact with the skin.

Use particular care to avoid contacting a wound or surgery site with the bandage scissors.

Tips for safety & Success

Consider the nature of the injury. Think about where a wound is before contacting it with bandage scissors, which might be painful. Consider whether the bandage might be adhered to an open wound.

Peel adhered bandage downward rather than to the side, as this tends to be less painful to the horse.

Heavy cotton padding is difficult to cut and quickly dulls bandage scissor blades. Cut only the covering bandage, then unroll the cotton.

Author: Doug Thal DVM Dipl. ABVP


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