Basic first aid kit for horses

Horses October 30, 2014 Print Friendly and PDF

Craig Wood, University of Kentucky

First aid kits can be purchased from horse stores, but they can be pricey. A first aid kit can be easily compiled at minimal cost. It is a good idea to keep two first aid kits. One should be kept in the barn or tack room as the primary kit and should be easily accessible in case of emergency. The second kit should contain the bare essentials and be portable so it can be taken on rides. 

A few items commonly found in equine first aid kits.

The primary equine first aid kit should consist of:

  • 1 roll of cotton wool (30 cm wide, 375 g in weight)
  • 1 roll of cotton gauze or crepe bandage; (7.5 cm wide)
  • 1 or 2 rolls of self-adhesive bandaging tape (10 cm wide)
  • 1 or 2 multipurpose dressings
  • 1 adhesive stretch bandage (7.5 cm wide)
  • antiseptic spray
  • antiseptic wash (Betadine or other antiseptic preparation may be used)
  • some type of antiseptic soothing preparation
  • jar of petroleum jelly (100 g)
  • 1 pair of 15 cm curved, blunt-edged dressing scissors
  • fly repellent
  • pack of salt (can be mixed in water to form a saline cleaning solution for wounds)
  • epsom salts
  • a bottle of sterile water (in case there is no water supply available)
  • extra-thick leg bandages
  • newborn infant diapers (to use as bandages)
  • human thermometer (with a string attached to prevent loss in the rectum)
  • 1 small plastic bowl
  • 1 used, clean worming syringe (for pressure-irrigating wounds)
  • instant cool pack or some ice or cold gel packs kept in the freezer
  • a halter and lead rope
  • a twitch (in case restraint is needed)
  • phone numbers for veterinarians
  • a waterproof box for storage of all the items.

Remember to always replace materials you have used.

 

The second, smaller first aid kit should consist of:

  • a hoof pick and pocket knife (or a handypick-- a hoof pick and knife combination)
  • 1 or 2 bandages
  • antiseptic spray
  • baling twine for tying your horse safely
  • phone numbers for your veterinarians
  • money (for emergencies)
  • notes on essential first aid
  • a listing of your name/age/phone number/and any other medical specifications in case you are found unconscious
  • human first-aid items (e.g., Band-Aids, etc.); and
  • a small, durable bag to be put in a saddle bag or backpack while riding.

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This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, New Technologies for Ag Extension project.