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Assembling an Equine Emergency Kit for the Unexpected Horse Injury

Breeders of horses swear by preparedness. They have special milk formulas on hand just in case that there may be a problem with a broodmare.

Horse owners in general are prepared for a variety of issues, yet sometimes they forget to think about the little medical emergencies that crop up without warning. To this end, it is imperative that your stable gear includes a well stocked and often updated equine emergency kit; experts also suggest that you have a smaller kit for when you transport your animals or ride them.

Here are some of the items that should be included:.

  • Store your emergency items in a sturdy box with a good fitting clasp and a handle. A fishing tackle box will work. In alphabetical order, you need write down the items contained in your emergency kit. If you spend a bit of extra time on the set-up, inventory control will be a cinch. Include the expiration date of any ointments or drugs and throw them out as they expire.
  • Pack cotton gauze wraps, gauze squares, and also cotton sheet leg wraps.
  • Flannel wraps for wrapping a knee, unscented sanitary pads for wound dressings, and vet wrap will permit for proper bandaging. Add splint material, such as a PVC pipe.
  • Include towels. They are useful not only for wound control of the animal but will also permit you to clean up yourself and the horse.
  • Cold packs for the application to an injured are essential; duct tape will hold them in place and also work as a foot wrap in a pinch. A horse blanket/cooler will also help an animal in shock.
  • Add a thermometer that already has a fishing line threaded through one end, and is attached to a clothespin. A stethoscope is a good idea as well, but make sure you ask a veterinarian about what you should be listening to.
  • Scissors are a staple of an emergency kit. One pair should have a wide, blunt end, while the other is small and pointed.
  • Forceps and tweezers as well as a flashlight will help you to remove objects from a cut or puncture wound. Wire cutters are also a good idea, especially since many times a horse may become entangled in a bit of fencing. Also add wound wash and ointment.
  • Other odds and ends to include are insect repellants, ointments to dress hoof wounds, rubbing alcohol for disinfecting, poultices, electrolytes for treatment of shock or colic, Epsom salts for hoof pain, a hoof pick, a shoe puller, and syringes. Different sizes are indicated for the various uses, so it is best to have a few on hand.

Of course, if you are not comfortable with the use of some of the items in your kit - perhaps you do not know how to give your horse a shot, or how to properly wrap a leg - consult with your veterinarian who can show you. Practice your skills often so that in an emergency you will be able to respond with ease.

Read the next horse care article on Giving Vaccinations and Injections.
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