Thursday, January 23, 2014

First Aid Kit Items for Horses

 When owning horses, it is important to have a first aid kit nearby in an easy to find place, both in your barn and in your trailer(for when traveling/showing). It should be in a waterproof container so nothing gets damaged due to moisture or rain. Write down your veterinarian's phone number and tape it to the inside of the container's lid, so it is easy to find in the case of an emergency, and add the numbers of several backup veterinarians as well. 

 The kit should contain items you can use to treat minor wounds and to take care of an injury while waiting for the vet to arrive. It should also contain several useful tools(I'll talk about that later). Most of these items can be found at a drugstore or tackstore, or your vet may give some to you if you ask him for it. 
Different materials used in dressing

Absorbent cotton, gauze dressing pads, roll of gauze, self-adherent elastic bandage: These items are useful when treating wounds, which should be bandaged to enhance the healing and prevent dirt from getting in the wound. When dressing a wound, you should use multiple layers. It should be covered in gauze and a layer of absorbent cotton first, and then a layer of self-adherent, elastic bandage should be wrapped around the outside of it, holding it in place. 

 To take it off, soak the bandaged area with cold water, which numbs the wound and makes taking the bandage off easier. Then, use a knife or scissors to cut a vertical line down the bandage so you can take it off.

Pocket knife, scissors, pliers: Pocket knives are useful in the event that your horse becomes tangled in rope or if you need to cut something. Scissors can be used to cut bandages or to trim the hair on your horse's fetlock, making it easier to treat a wound in that area, and pliers are handy when you need to remove a shoe.

Thermometer and stethoscope: A thermometer is useful to have in your first aid kit because you can use it to see if your horse is feverish. Looping a string through it and then clipping it to your horse's tail hairs with an alligator clip will ensure that it doesn't get stuck. Just as useful is a stethoscope, which can be used to check you horse's pulse.

Rubbing alchohol, antiseptic scrub, ointment/spray, nonsteroidal eye ointment: In your first aid kit, you should have something you can treat and disinfect wounds with. Unless the wound is bleeding profusely and must be stopped immediately, you should clean it first by running a gentle stream of water(preferably distilled) just above the wound, not directly on it. Then you should use an antiseptic scrub, though put on gloves or thoroughly clean your hands first. Afterward, you may put a wound ointment of spray on it. With my dog, I usually use Animal Scents Ointment or a spray of distilled water and several drops of Purification, though you can use something your vet recommends instead. Follow the directions on the eye ointment for eye injuries.
A good first aid kit should look like this. Tool
boxes are work well for storing the items because
they are both waterproof and easily carried. credit

First aid manual: Last, but certainly not least, you should have a first aid manual, which can act as a guide in any situation. Do as the manual directs, then call the vet if the injury is serious. Better yet, if someone else is nearby, have him or her call the vet while you treat the injury the best you can.

 Your first aid kit should be uncluttered and in an easily reached place so if you horse does get injured, even if it is a small scratch, you can work both quickly and efficiently.


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