Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Horse Vet Supplies

When I was visiting with my veterinarian the other day I questioned him about supplies to keep around the barn - and to take along on trail rides - as good items to have in case of an emergency. He gave me a list of things that he would like to see all horse owners have on hand. He also suggested a smaller kit of these basics would be good to have in the trailer, with an even smaller kit as a good idea to take on rides in saddlebags.

  • Anti-inflammatory – both Bute and Banamine
  • Oral antibiotic
  • Betadine
    - Betadine is a diluted iodine solution used to flush out wounds.
  • Bandages – gauze pads, non-stick pads, absorbent pad
    - Gauze pads, when applied to a wound, will help to create a clot to stop bleeding, which is why this is applied first. When removing the gauze, make sure to moisten it well so that the clot isn’t ripped off. The non-stick pads, which will also help to clot the wound, would be easier to remove. Absorbent pads shouldn’t be placed directly on a wound as they would not help to stop the flow of blood, because they are absorbent, they actually might keep blood flowing; gauze should be placed first, then the absorbent pad second.
  • Vet wrap, or Coflex
    - These self-adhesive bandages are used to hold the gauze pads in place. Both vet wrap and Coflex are basically the same, yet the ends on the Coflex seem to be easier to find and unwrap.
  • AluShield, a spray-on aluminum bandage
    - This is a spray-on aluminum bandage that covers a wound completely to keep out dirt and insects. It works very well on any area that is hard to keep covered with a gauze pad and vet wrap.
  • Thermometer – with string and clip attached
    - Always use a thermometer with the string attached! It would be a good idea to clip it to the horse’s tail hairs before inserting the thermometer to keep it from getting accidently “sucked” into the rectum. Normal temperature for a horse is a range from 99.5 to 101.5.
  • Nitrofurazone cream
    - A topical anti-bacterial and anti-fungal cream used as a dressing for minor cuts and burns.
  • Saline solution
  • Triple antibiotic opthalmic ointment WITHOUT cortisone
    - This would be used when the eye is partially closed or has a discharge. When using this, you would also need to talk to your veterinarian. DO NOT use an opthalmic ointment containing cortisone without your veterinarian’s advice as it could exacerbate certain conditions.

The anti-inflammatories and the oral antibiotics are items that you would have to obtain through your veterinarian as they are prescription drugs, and anytime that you feel they are called for, your veterinarian should be at least notified. By having these items on hand, most small cuts and scrapes can be handled by yourself, but cuts that go further than just the skin and puncture wounds should be seen by a veterinarian.

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