Essential First Aid Tips for Your Horse

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If you are one of the 2 million horse owners across America, there will probably come a time when you have to care for your horse when they become sick or injured. Even simple everyday cuts and grazes will need proper treatment as soon as possible to stop them from getting any worse. Horse owners must always be well prepared. This means that thoroughly checking all horses regularly for any signs of injury should form part of any horse's daily care routine to make sure that any injuries are spotted early and receive appropriate treatment.

Basic equestrian first aid kit

Every horse owner should have a well stocked, basic first aid kit in the stable yard. Just a few basic but essential items kept in a clean and dry box can make a big difference if there is a sudden emergency. Not only will it help you give immediate treatment to your horse, but also reduce any panic should an injury occur. Make sure that the first aid box is clearly labeled clearly and carry the contact numbers for your veterinarian. The kit should be regularly checked and any used items from the box should be immediately replaced. 

First aid treatment for your horse

Giving your horse immediate first aid treatment as soon as you discover an injury is crucial in preventing the condition from worsening while awaiting veterinarian treatment. Treating wounds immediately is crucial to stop bleeding, keep the area clean, avoid infection and help to encourage healing as quickly and effectively as possible. You can help to reduce inflammation by identifying the cause and applying cooling treatments to the inflamed area. Any treatment you give to your horse should be done in accordance with veterinary advice.

Assessing the horse's wounds

Grazes and cuts are the most common injuries that will likely need your immediate attention in order to stop any bleeding and to prevent infection. The type of wound, where it is on the horse and how it was caused can impact on the severity of the injury and the treatment required. You must quickly and thoroughly assess the wound and if it isn’t just a simple cut and scrape then contact a veterinarian immediately.

Know when to call a veterinarian

It is always advisable and may even be essential to seek veterinarian assistance for your horse if you are in any doubt or lack experience in assessing and treating minor wounds. Furthermore, if the wound is longer than a few centimeters, more than skin deep, there is a lot of bleeding, or the wound is particularly dirty or difficult to assess then seeking veterinarian help is essential. This is also true if the injury to the horse involves the joints or eyes or the horse is lame or you are worried that they have an internal injury.

Nursing an injured or sick horse

When you are nursing a sick or injured horse, it's vital to follow the advice given to you by the veterinarian who you should also contact immediately if the horse's condition worsens. A sick or injured horse which you are keeping confined to their stable needs extra care and attention to ensure their well-being and help with their recovery. If your horse is sick, then it is more important than ever to keep them under regular observation and to ensure that they are comfortable and that the environment is clean. 

When you own a horse, it's likely that there will come a time that you will be responsible for nursing them through an illness or injury. Being able to properly care for your horse can make all the difference to their successful recovery, so ensure you know basic equestrian first aid and have a well-stocked first aid kit at the ready. You never when you might need it.

Photo by Filipe Dos Santos Mendes on Unsplash


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