First Aid Kit for Your Horse
by Mary Haley, Editor
Horse first aid kits are essential to have if you go for lots of rides in the woods or on trails. By keeping some basic supplies on hand and some basic knowledge, you can give your horse the care they need when they need it. But remember, your veterinarian should always be consulted if your horse needs medical care.
There are many types of first aid kits on the market, but it is unlikely you’ll find one specifically for horses so you will likely have to modify one that you buy or build your own from scratch. Either way, make sure it contains the basics and put it in a place that is easily seen.
First of all it is important to have some antibiotic cream. Usually any triple antibiotic cream will work. Some horses tend to get scratched, especially on trail rides or walking next to fences. Obviously this antibiotic cream should only be applied to small scratches and not into the eyes. For larger scratches a veterinarian will likely need to suture them closed and put the horse on injectable antibiotics.
You will also need bandaging equipment. Vetwrap, tefla pads, and medical porous tape are a good start. Make sure you buy the largest tefla pads you can find. These might be hard to find, but an army supply store usually has large field bandages that are a good size for a horse. Also, you’ll need a scissors to cut these bandages.
Antiseptic ointments or creams are also another must for a basic kit. It is always best to clean and apply antiseptic to wounds prior to applying antibiotic cream and bandaging them. Your veterinarian can advise you about what would be best.
For long trail rides it is usually good to prepare for occasional bee stings. Usually your veterinarian will give you some anti-histamine if your horse is allergic to bee stings.
To round out your emergency kit, it is also a good idea to keep towels, hoof trimmers, and a knife. A wire cutter is also a must in case your horse has an accident with a fence.
By keeping some basic emergency supplies in a first aid kit you can rapidly attend to your horses needs. Contact your veterinarian and they even might be able to give you specific medication for your horse. For example if your horse is prone to allergies they can give you the medication to keep with you on trail rides.
Put all of your supplies in a plastic box or rucksack and remember to keep them in a highly visible place. You don’t want to be in an emergency and not know where your emergency kit is, the one you put all your hard work into trying to put together…
This article may be reprinted with permission so long as no changes are made to the text and the following credit appears: 2006-2008 Horse Resource Organization Information, products and resources related exclusively to horses. Author: Mary Haley.
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