Learn About Horse First Aid
If you love horses, own one or are thinking of owning one, have a ranch, stable or are a competitive rider, then you should learn a little about what you need for horse first aid. Granted, a small post like this can't go into serious detail about major issues your horse might have, but for many types of minor injuries or maladies, a horse first aid kit can literally supply first aid for horses that will become the first line of defense to ward off future complications. Here are the basics.
- Wraps -- The most common horse problems are generally, strains, sprains, lacerations and contusions, and every one of them should be wrapped. Gauze wraps are great for holding topical medicines in place while self-sticking or cohesive wraps can be used for a variety of bumps and bruises. Stable wraps are great for stabilizing ankles and knees, and there are so many uses for the various types of wraps that we can't list them all here.
- Scissors -- If you have wraps you must have scissors, just make sure they are the blunt nosed types so you won't accidently stick your horse.
- Antiseptic Wound Cleaner -- Before you treat and wrap a wound, clean it with an antiseptic wound cleaner.
- Antiseptic Topicals -- Whether you have a cream, salve, lotion or spray, an antiseptic topical is the first thing to apply to a scratch or a puncture before you wrap it up. Get which type works best for you, and always make sure you have some on hand.
- Hoof Pick -- Remove foreign objects like stones, bark or other objects that might get lodged in a horses hoof.
- Hemostat -- Great for pulling slivers from the skin of your horse.
- Zinc Oxide Sunburn Cream -- It may make your horse look funny, but zinc oxide cream can be spread on sensitive areas like noses to both heal and protect against sunburn, and it is also a great topical coating to help heal any nick or scratch.
- Natural Fly Repellent -- Flies love horses, especially bot flies, so even though you may use some fly repellent every time you ride, keep some in your first aid kit as a reserve supply, just in case you run out.
- Thermometer -- A mercury thermometer will work, but a digital thermometer is easier to use and will give you a hint about health problems if you find an elevated temperature.
These would be considered basic supplies that should be found in virtually every horse first aid kit, but other horse first aid supplies might be a wire cutter for cutting barbed wire, Epsom salts and 5 gallon buckets for soaking legs, ice packs, surgical gloves, lubricant, fly mask, tail wraps, a twitch and others that may all come in handy in an emergency first aid situation.
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