Every horse owner at some time in their life will be in a situation where they will need (or wish they had) an equine first aid kit.
Having an equine first aid kit is a necessity when you own a horse. If you don't have one, here are some ideas to put in yours so that you will be prepared in an emergency. Having one for the barn and another for our horse trailer is a great idea so that you always have one on hand.
Here is a list of must-have basics that should be in every first aid kit:
1. Thermometer – preferably a mercury one. The thermometer should have a piece of string tied tightly to the end of it so it does not get sucked in rectally.
2. Scissors – Try to get special blunt end bandage cutting scissors so there are no sharp ends to harm a jumpy horse
3. Tweezers – you will need these for pulling out ticks or small splinters
4. A Twitch – there are some things your horse is going to object to so a twitch will help keep them calm
5. Lubrication – for using a thermometer
6. A metal bucket – metal buckets are easily sterilized and extremely useful
7. A rubber ground bucket – for soaking abscesses
8. Epsom salts – for soaking abscesses or pulling out infection when applied on a wet hot gauze pad and wrapped
9. Ice leg wraps – or ordinary gel ice packs
10. Bandages of all kinds: Lots of vet wrap, polo bandages, standing bandages, gauze bandages
11. Roll Cotton
12. Non-stick gauze – in varying sizes
13. Leg wraps – these are often used to wrap over initial gauze bandages for a larger wound and then secured by a polo or standing bandage
14. Diapers – great to cover an already bandaged foot and then put a duct tape boot over it. They can also be used as extra padding for a large wound to help stop the bleeding until a vet arrives.
15. Duct Tape – to secure bandages, or to make a protective boot
16. Animal Lintex – an amazing product that is applied slightly damp, left on under a bandage to draw out infection, can be used for abscess, and all kinds of other soreness.
17. Surgical Gloves
18. Rubbing alcohol – for cleaning utensils
19. Saline – for flushing wounds
20. Gentle Iodine
21. Hibitane – a gentle disinfectant that can be used straight out of a bottle or you can buy it in individual small scrubby packs.
22. Bute – A non-steroidal anti-inflammatory, Phenylbutazone is like aspirin for horses. It can be bought in an oral paste, a powder, or a solution that can be injected. It is used to provide pain relief and reduce fevers.
23. Flunixin – A non-steroidal anti-inflammatory, Flunixin is more aggressive at targeting inflamed tissue and is usually used in the treatment of colic pain, join disease, and to alleviate fevers. A side effect of administering flunixin is usually diarrhea, and as a result, can be used to help in cases of a suspected GI blockage.
24. Polysporin eye drops – this can be used for mild eye irritation. However, there are some serious eye conditions that must be seen by a vet as soon as possible, such as eye ulcers, uveitis, or corneal eye disease.
25. Zinc cream – can have many uses, one is treating horses for sunburn.
26. 60 SPF Sunscreen – for horses with pink skin that is exposed to the sun. Horses can get serious sunburns where they have pink skin (usually around the muzzle and eye area) make sure these areas are protected with sunscreen when they go outside.
27. Wound Powder – some wounds need to be left open to heal, blue wound powder is good to keep the flies out and helps dry up the wound.
28. Blue Kote Wound Spray – a bacterial spray that helps to heal
29. Hoof-it Hoofstar boots – These are an excellent temporary shoe if your horse loses a shoe.
It can be used without glue if you have a snug fit and some duck-tape.
Whether you are going out on the trail for a long ride or going into the show ring, you will want to make sure you have these essentials with you so that if anything does happen to your horse you are prepared to care for them.