Every equine first aid kit should contain well-organized essentials that can be grabbed immediately in an emergency and carried to wherever it is needed.
Horses being horses, these large, active, energetic animals are prone to mishaps, injuries, illnesses, poisonings, and much, much more. Having first aid essentials readily available will save not only time, but possibly your horse's life.
You can buy a pre-assembled first aid kit at a tack shop or you can put your own together using items you already have and adding others that you purchase at drug stores or wherever you shop.
Inexpensive plastic bins make great first-aid kit carriers. These can be purchased from most home wares or home improvement stores.
Be sure to include an information sheet with your veterinarian's name and phone number, address of the nearest equine hospital and phone number, and insurance information if your horse is insured.
Here is a list of the items needed in a first aid kit to meet most exigencies you will face as a horse owner:
- Rectal thermometer and water-based lubricant jelly for ease in inserting it
- Scissors or knife
- Anti-bacterial soap
- Antiseptic wound cleaner such as Betadine or Novalsan
- Bandaging material including sterile gauze, cotton, gamgee or other absorbent padding, disposable diapers and Tefla pads, Ace bandages and self-adherent tape
- Leg wraps
- Antiseptic ointment or cream
- Furacin dressing
- Antibiotic ointment such as Silvadine
- Surgical scrub preparations such as Povidone iodine
- Bute for relieving inflammation (prescription medication)
- Topical eye ointment
- Fly lotion
- Electrolyte solution
- Hoof pick
- Ice bags or chemical ice pack
- Epsom salts
- Zinc oxide cream
- Clean trash bags
- Spray bottle
- Flashlight with extra batteries
- Nose or lip twitch for use as restraint
- Any additional medications such as a syringe with tetanus antitoxin and one with tetanus toxoid, oral and injectable antibiotics, tranquilizers, and injectable sedatives and pain killers as recommended by your veterinarian.
Also, you should have a small first aid emergency kit for use on the trail, and, if you travel with your horse often, you will most likely want to have a travel first aid kit to be kept in your trailer or truck.
Written by a veterinarian, Dr. Fellon's Guide to First Aid for Horses should be part of every horse owner's library. In addition to step-by-step instructions of what to do in an emergency, Dr. Kellon gives an excellent rating system that helps determine the urgency of the situation.
You can buy a ready-made first aid kit or select First Aid Supplies and put together your own kit. Small plastic bins with lids and handles work well for many people.
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