Stocking up on Horse First Aid Supplies
How to Create the Perfect Equine First Aid Kit
Horses can injure themselves at any time even when they are in a secure environment. Like people, they can have the odd mishap leading to minor cuts and bruises but they can also be involved in a more serious incident quite unexpectedly. It is, therefore, essential to keep a horse first aid supplies at the stables so that you have the means to treat injuries as soon as they occur.
Your equine first aid kit should be kept in a clean box with a secure lid which should then be stored in a clean, dust free, dry and preferably cool place. So what items should be included in your equine first aid kit?
Scrubs, Lotions and Gels
Your collection of horse first aid supplies should definitely include an anti-bacterial scrub together with wound gel, antibiotic spray and Vaseline or petroleum jelly. You will then be in position to cleanse any wounds and prevent infections from developing. The petroleum jelly provides an efficient way to protect minor cuts and burns, to prevent the affected area from drying out and has a soothing effect. Wound powder containing fly repellent is also a useful inclusion as some insects and parasites will be attracted to open wounds.
Wraps and Bandages
Try to include stretch cotton bandages, crepe bandages, tubular bandages, a synthetic orthopedic bandage, elastic self-adhesive bandages and plasters. You will find that a roll of duct tape and a roll of electrical insulating tape will also come in handy.
Invest in a ready to use poultice and some non-stick dressings which are appropriate for any type of wound. You should also include Gamgee tissue. This is a wound dressing with two layers of absorbent gauze that have a thick layer of cotton wool between them. This is a tried and trusted form of dressing which keeps infections at bay. Always ensure that any dressings are in sealed packets which have not been compromised.
You will also require a few tools to cut and handle the dressings and bandages. Round-ended curved scissors are useful for trimming hair around wounds. You will need a large pair of scissors for cutting dressings and bandages. A pair of tweezers are always helpful and you should also include a thermometer, paper and pen and a torch in case you have to work in poor light.
You will require a clean towel, a large roll of cotton wool and a pack of sterile saline. Keep a clean bucket or bowl to hand too. This is best kept in the cupboard with the rest of the horse first aid supplies so it is only ever used for first aid. A length of twine, a rope halter, a hoof pick, a shoe removal kit and wire cutters should also feature if at all possible.
If you travel with your horse then it is advisable to carry as much of your first aid kit with you as you can. Check your kit regularly to ensure that all relevant items are within their use by dates. It can help to keep a list of contents attached to the first aid box with their use by dates recorded. Replace any items as soon as they have been used - . Keep the telephone number of your vet and insurance company with the horse first aid supplies.
It is also not a bad idea to keep a few first aid supplies for yourself too! You never know when you might need a plaster or antiseptic cream for your own cuts and scratches.
By Brian Snelson (Flickr) ,