Summary From the Equine First Aid Workshop

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Unfortunately, if you own horses long enough, sooner or later you are likely to confront a medical emergency. Knowing how to recognize serious problems
and respond promptly, with the appropriate action, while waiting for the assistance of your veterinarian is essential to a successful outcome. If you were not able to join us, here are some takeaways that may help you tackle future emergencies:

1. Keep your veterinarian’s number (including an after-hours number) in your phone
and posted in the barn. Make sure everyone caring for your horses knows where
it is.

2. Consult with your regular veterinarian regarding a back-up or referring
veterinarian’s number in case you cannot reach yours quickly enough.

3. Post names and phone numbers of nearby friends and neighbors who can assist
you in an emergency while you wait for a veterinarian.

4. Prepare a first aid kit and store in a clean, dry, readily accessible place. Make
sure everyone knows where it is. Also keep one in your horse trailer or towing
vehicle, and possibly a smaller version for the trail.

First Aid Kit Necessities:
1. Duct Tape
2. Baby diapers
3. Epsom salt
4. Animalintex,ichthammol or
Epsom salt poultice
5. Betadine or chlorhexidine
solution and/or scrub
6. Neosporin or similar antibiotic
7. Gauze Squares
8. Brown Gauze or other type of roll
9. Vet wrap
10. Leg wraps: roll cotton or
disposable leg wrap
11. Banamine and/or Bute
12. Rubbing alcohol
13. Scissors and/or bandage scissors
14. Rectal thermometer
15. Stethoscope
16. Nippers/nail removers for pulling
a shoe
17. Latex gloves

18. Syringes and needles
19.. Saline

It’s very important to be able to check vitals on your horse, so that they can be reported to your veterinarian over the phone in the event of an emergency. Normal equine vitals are:

Rectal Temperature
Adult horse: 99.5 – 101.5
Foal: 99.5 – 102

Heart Rate/Pulse
Adult horse: 30- 42 beats/min
Foal: 80-100 beats/min

Adult horse: 12-20 breaths/min
Foal: 20-40 breaths/min

Capillary Refill Time
Lift horse’s upper lip and press firmly on
gum. The color should return to normal
within 2 seconds.

Many accidents can be prevented by taking the time to evaluate your horse’s
environment and removing potential hazards. Mentally rehearse your emergency action plan. By acting quickly, you can minimize the consequences of an injury or illness.