Wednesday, March 19, 2008

First Aid Kit For Horses

You know what they say about horses:
"They can find a needle in a haystack and then get injured by it."

It’s a great idea to have a First Aid Kit ready.

By having a First Aid Kit ready, if your horse gets into trouble, you don’t have to go rummaging around for some basic supplies. I am not a vet, but I always liked speaking with my vet and figuring out some basic treatments I can do myself at home. My vet had always been aware that I would often rescue horses and to try and keep the costs down. He would help me figure out what I could do on my own without the extra cost of him making a trip to the farm.

It would be a good idea to check with your vet about a First Aid Kit for your needs at your horse’s next vet appointment. Have him or her look over your inventory and make suggestions as necessary.

I keep my first aid kit stocked with:
  • VetWrap – used to wrap any injuries, but it has many uses!
  • A cotton roll – for cleaning and protecting
  • Gauze
  • Boric Acid – To be used as eyewash
  • Band Aids – For humans!
  • Banamine – I like the paste. This works great for mild colic.
  • Scissors – To cut bandages etc.
  • Q- Tips – I’ve actually used Q-Tips to clean out some nasty thrush on a neglected horse. Now I keep them in my First Aid Kit as a precaution.
  • Peroxide – I prefer to use this diluted 2:1
  • Epsom Salts - great for soaking hooves if there is an abscess
  • Antibacterial Soap – This works great to clean superficial wounds and cleaning your hands before touching a wound
  • An Iodine Wash
  • Horseman’s Dream Cream – A very gentle first aid cream for minor cuts and scrapes. This is my most used product.
  • Bute also known as Phenylbutazone – a painkiller by prescription only.
  • Linament – For soreness, stiffness, and sprains
  • Dandruff Shampoo – works great for flaky skin in body, mane and tails.
  • Disposable Syringes- these work great without needles to inject peroxide into a wound.
  • Ice Packs - for swelling
  • Wound Powder - or some similar product containing a coagulant to stop bleeding.
  • Thrush Buster – Creates a physical barrier on your horse’s hoof. It is purple so you can actually see when it needs to be reapplied.
  • Thermometer – I have always been able to tell if a horse has a fever without one, but I cannot always predict the exact temperature, so I like to have a thermometer on hand so I can check on a horse’s progress. A horse’s normal temperature should range between 99 and 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Clorox –Years ago, I had rescued a horse with severe rain rot. My vet suggested I use a mixture of Clorox and water. Ten parts water to one part Clorox (10:1), and it worked great! It very quickly cleared up the rain rot without harming the horse.
You know the old saying, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”.
The best thing you can do for your horse is to periodically check his stall and pasture for anything that could potentially harm your horse. Keep every area that your horse is exposed to free from obstructions. Even with the best of intentions, a horse will eventually have a scratch, scrape, or some other minor injury so be prepared!

I am sure my readers have many other helpful tips on what to keep in a First Aid Kit For Horses.

What’s in your First Aid Kit?



misha said...

That's a good list of stuff to keep in your first aid kit. I would carry the same stuff, but I don't have a horse :( Someday I will... I was just wondering, what is rain rot?

Deanna said...

Hi Misha,

Rain rot is basically dandruff in horses. When a horse has rain rot he will lose clumps of hair, and it will have a lot of white dandruff close to the skin. It is a fungus that thrives in warm wet conditions, and it is also contagious through brushes, blankets, etc. It's not life threatening, but it's not pretty either.

Thanks for the question!


Leanne said...

Good info, I'm a new horse owner and I am finding out the hard way about first aid kits. There always seems to be something with them 2 years ago, it was a nasty wound on my mares side 50 some stitches, and she seems to always have booboos. Now I have added colic medicine and needles (from the vet) because My gelding over the winter coliced 4 times. hmmm always something.

Deanna said...

Hi Leanne,

50 stitches must have been rough. It is always something, I don't know how they do it but they do manage to get those boo boos :(

That colic medicine is such a big help. Some horses are more sensitive to others.


Rising Rainbow said...

This is a great list. I have a first aid kit put together but sure could a couple of these.

Deanna said...

Thanks Rising Rainbow!


Anonymous said...

For rain rot, something else to try is apple cider vinegar. Just put it in a spray bottle and soak the spots--you can't overdo it like w/ the clorox solution (which can burn) and it worked. Also spray Lysol on all your grooming tools after you use them.

Deanna said...

Thanks for the tips for rain rot! I really like to try something natural as opposed to something synthetic when possible.