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Emergency

Equine First Aid Kit Essentials

Posted: 4/24/2019

Every barn should have a comprehensive Equine First Aid Kit and Health Management Kit.

What’s the difference between an Equine First Aid Kit and an Equine Health Management Kit?

First Aid Kit

These are the items that don’t use day to day, the things that tend to walk away when you aren’t looking, such as your thermometer, bandage scissors, latex gloves, gauze pads. When you discover a sick or injured horse, these are the items you’ll want to get ahold of quickly, so keep them in a clean, dry, designated, easy to access spot.

Health Management

These are items that you keep within reach because they are used regularly in your horse care - Vaseline, Thrush Buster, zinc ointment, duct tape…

Where you keep your items isn’t nearly as important as knowing where they are.

Equine Health Management Items

Health Records

Up to-date list of vaccinations, recent medications, health issues

Reading Glasses

Have you seen how small the font is for the “Directions” on most packaging?

Emergency phone numbers

Vet, farrier, horse owner, people you know who will help out in an emergency

Notebook

For treatment instructions and the like

Pens, Markers

 

Plastic Digital Thermometer

 

A pair of round nose scissors

For cutting wound dressings/gauze bandage

A pair of sharp scissors

 

Tweezers or forceps

For removing splinters, ticks etc.

Latex gloves

Keep you hands clean and free from germs when treating wounds

Reusable gel ice packs

Gel packs mold to the leg - useful for when cold hosing the injury isn’t possible

Single use Instant Cold Packs

For those times that you don’t have access to refrigeration

Stethoscope

Available through medical supply stores or pharmacies

Weight tape

To calculate the weight of the horse for medication and worming dosages

Hoof Pick(s)

Check for foreign objects in the hoof

Aluminum bowl (large)

For cleaning wounds - easier to sterilize than a bucket

Flashlight/headlamp + extra batteries

You’ll be surprised how often this comes in handy when you need to inspect a wound.

Brown paper

For poulticing

Plastic kitchen wrap

For use with clay poultice

Clean towels

Bath towels, hand towels, face cloths will all come in handy at one time or another

Wire cutters

 

Duct Tape

 

Pill crusher

 

Syringes

60cc with catheter tip

20cc

5cc

for administering oral medications

for injections (antibiotics etc.)

for injections or applying liquid medications to external areas - such as the cleft of the frog

Needles

18 gauge x 1.5”

20 gauge x 1.5”

 

The lower the gauge, the thicker the needle

 

Use 18 gauge needles when you need to inject a large volume or viscous fluid such as an antibiotic

Razor and/or clippers

To trim the hair around a wound, remove hair to treat skin conditions

Spray bottle(s)

 

Clean fly mask

To protect an injured eye

Twitch

For use when you need a little extra control in keeping the horse quiet while being treated

Safety pins

 

For Treating Wounds and Injuries

Chlorhexidine scrub brush

Antiseptic & disinfectant with broad spectrum antimicrobial activity for cleaning wounds. Individually packaged, each scrub brush has a foam pad pre-loaded with chlorhexidine scrub – just add water.

Chlorhexidine scrub cleaning solution

Use with a gauze or cotton pad

Saline Solution

For flushing wounds - contact lens saline solution is inexpensive and effective

Silver sulfadiazine cream

Reduces over granulated tissue

Triple Antibiotic Ointment

Effective agent for bacterial reduction

Rubbing alcohol

 

Alcohol swabs

 

Zinc ointment

 

Vaseline

 

Epsom salts

Add a high concentration to warm water to treat an abscessed foot

Glycerin

Treating dry, itchy skin

Animalintex poultice

For drawing out infection - can be used hot or cold

Clay poultice

For reducing inflammation in soft tissue injuries such as a tendon strain

Fly repellent ointment for wounds such as SWAT®

To keep flies and bugs away from wounds

DMSO

For treating soft tissue and swelling

For Wound and Injury Protection

Vet Wrap™

Self-adhesive bandage to secure dressings, hold bandages in place, secure hoof poultices.

Sterile gauze pads - minimum size 3”x3”

Apply over wound dressing

Absorbent rolled gauze

Absorbent bandage layer to keep Telfa™ pads in place

Telfa™ pads

Non-adherent pads specially constructed so they won’t stick or adhere to the dried secretions of a wound.

Roll of sterile cotton

 

Cotton swabs

 

Disposable diapers

An alternative bandage layer

Thick sanitary pads

Super absorbent, good for applying direct pressure to a wound

Spider bandage

For difficult to bandage areas like knees and hocks. Large rectangle of cotton material, torn along two edges to form 20 or more little “tails.” The tails are knotted or braided together to provide a bandage with some flexibility over the joint.

Clean stable bandages and No-Bow cottons

 

Polo bandages

Great for securing ice packs on legs

Miscellaneous but Important

Thrush Buster or similar product

For treating thrush

Iodine Shampoo

For treating skin conditions

Unscented bar of soap

 

Electrolytes

To replenish salts lost through excessive sweating

Medications

Phenalbutazone (aka Bute)

• Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory pain reliever

• For the short term treatment of pain and fever

• Paste, powder, or IV injectable

• Dosage determined by body weight

• NEVER INJECT IM (intramuscular)

Flunixin Meglumine (Banamine)

• Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug

• For treatment of acute pain and reduce fever or inflammation

• Pain relief in the treatment of colic

• Oral paste or intravenous injection

• NEVER ADMINISTER via INTRAMUSCULAR INJECTION

TIP: When in doubt call your vet.

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