What you see. The starting point for addressing any equine health related issue is your observation.


Bleeding from Lower Limb or Leg


Very large and important vessels run down the lower limbs right under the skin. The arteries, which carry blood away from the heart, are under high pressure. When one is cut, it bleeds severely and it can be hard to stop.

  • Code Red

    Call Your Vet Immediately, Even Outside Business Hours
    • Wounds involving the lower limb are usually considered emergencies.

your role


What To Do

Do not panic. You can stop this bleeding using focused pressure and a pressure bandage. Keep your horse confined and calm.

Until your vet arrives, apply controlled pressure and a pressure bandage to stop or slow the bleeding. See the related skill "Control Bleeding on Lower Limb with Pressure Bandage."

Generally, blood loss from a wound to the lower limb is not life-threatening in the short-term.

What Not To Do

Do not attempt to tourniquet the limb (tie off the blood flow) to stop or slow bleeding.

your vet's role

Your vet will stop bleeding and will evaluate the wound to determine whether important anatomical structures like joints or tendon sheaths are involved.
Questions Your Vet Might Ask:
  • When did this happen?
  • Have you been able to stop or control the bleeding?
  • Can I have your location and directions to get to you as soon as possible?
  • How lame is the horse?
  • Where exactly is the wound and tell me more about it?

further reading & resources

Author: Doug Thal DVM Dipl. ABVP