Emergencies happen. Being prepared can help you get through them with less stress. Having an emergency kit in your barn and trailer is a good place to start. The kit should contain all of the basic items to get you through the most common emergencies until your veterinarian arrives, if he/she is needed.
Your kit can be kept in a clean plastic storage box. Here is a list of basic essentials to get your kit started!
Some Things to Remember
- Disinfectant: Betadine or Chlorhexidine.
- Topical Anesthetic: To numb local areas.
- Antiseptic Swabs and Scrubs
Wound Powder/Ointment: Prevents infection, after wound is thoroughly cleaned.
- Antibiotic Aerosol: For hard to reach places.
- Fly Repellent
- Wound Dressings: you will need a variety of gauze, wraps, absorbent pads (such as Gamgee), and several large rolls of cotton wool.
Bandages: They should be 3 to 4 inches wide and stretchy.
Vet wraps, tape, or bandage pins: For fastening bandages.
- Epsom salts: For soaking abscessed feet. (anti-fungals are helpful too)
- Scissors or bandage cutters: Must have rounded ends and should be kept sharp.
- Tweezers/forceps: To remove splinters etc.
Thermometer: Attach a string with a clip and make sure you don't lose the thermometer by attaching it to the horse's tail.
- Vaseline/petroleum jelly: To help insert the thermometer.
- Diapers and Duct Tape: Easiest ways to wrap a hoof.
- Emergency Info Card: Containing normal vital signs/emergency contact for each horse.
- Prescription Medicines: Banamine, Acepromazine, and Phenylbutazone. Be sure they aren’t expired.
First aid kits are only useful in an emergency, if it is right where you need it. It would be wise to prepare more than one kit. One for the barn, one for the trailer, and a one containing non-stick gauze and a crepe bandage, to take with you on the trails. Write your veterinarian's phone number on all of the kits. First aid kits are intended only for immediate, emergency action or for dealing with small cuts and scrapes, not for dealing with major injuries or illnesses. When in doubt, call your veterinarian.
Be sure to keep an emergency kit, for humans, on hand too. (make sure to keep emergency info
on your person, when riding!)