Our veterinarians are on-call 24/7
If you own a horse long enough, sooner or later you are likely to confront a medical emergency. From lacerations to colic to foaling difficulties, there are many emergencies that a horse owner may encounter. You must know how to recognize serious problems and respond promptly, taking appropriate action while awaiting the arrival of your veterinarian.
Many accidents can be prevented by taking the time to evaluate your horse's environment and removing potential hazards. Mentally rehearse your emergency action plan. In an emergency, time is critical. Don’t be concerned with overreacting or annoying your veterinarian. By acting quickly and promptly, you can minimize the consequences of an injury or illness.
Preparation is vital when confronted with a medical emergency. NO matter the situation you may face mentally rehearse the steps you will take to avoid letting panic take control. Follow these guidelines from the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) to help you prepare for a equine emergency:
- Keep your veterinarian's number in your phone, including how practitioners can be reached after hours.
- Consult with your regular veterinarian regarding back-up or referring veterinarians number in case you can't reach your regular veterinarian quickly enough.
- Know in advance the most direct route to an equine emergency surgery center in case you need to transport a horse.
- Store the names and phone numbers of nearby friends and neighbors who can assist you in an emergency while you wait for your veterinarian.
- Prepare a first aid kit and store in a clean, dry and readily accessible please. Make sure that family members and other users know where the kit is. Also keep a first aid kit in your horse trailer or towing vehicle and a pared down version to carry on trail.
First Aid Kit
First aid kits can be simple and elaborate. Here is a short list of essential items to have on hand:
- Cotton roll
- Cling wrap
- Vet wrap
- Gauze pads, in assorted sizes
- Sharps scissors
- Cup or container
- Rectal thermometer with string and clip attached
- Surgical scrub and antiseptic solution
- Latex gloves
- Saline solution
- Duct tape
- Zip ties
- Multipurpose pliers / handy man tool
- Fishing line
- Epson salt
- 6-8” Garden Hose
- Fly repellant & ointment
- Prescription medication
- Bute & Banamine, BNP, TMZ, Azium
**Regarding prescriptions you will need a Veterinary/Client/Patient Relationship, however medications can often be dispensed to clients under the condition that they call the clinic first to discuss the situation prior to medicating the horse. These medications are only of value if you understand their benefits and limitations, and you are able to competently give them to your horse without masking the problem and giving the correct dosage.
More information can also be obtained by visiting AAEP’s website, www.aaep.org/horseowner.
Reprinted with permissions from the American Association of Equine Practitioners.