Care to know what I found in my vet kit that is stored in the barn? Let’s just say that after dragging the kit from the barn…it looked as if something had slept in it, possibly died there, or left behind the remains of a dinner!
I always start the year with good intentions…like New Year Resolutions…. and then life happens! So, before I get sidetracked with good weather, I wanted to prepare a well-stocked kit! WARNING: this is NOT a 15 minute task, at least it wasn’t for me…
Our barn kit started years ago as a Pony Club essential and has grown from there, perhaps I should define grown as “the kit has become the dumping grounds for anything I might need ever…!” this mentality must change! My mantra is now “Do I know how to use this thing?”
I’ve included some tips from the Pony Club manual on Horsemanship and added more….but here is what is now in my “kit”.
* VET’S EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBERS LAMINATED ON A CARD!
* CARD WITH NORMAL VITAL SIGNS FOR ALL OUR HORSES! This took some time to prepare, I also included a picture of the horse for identification.
* Petroleum jelly
* Digital Thermometer (or Veterinary Thermometer with thong and clip). Tip: You may wish to tape a tongue depressor to the end of the thermometer for ease of handling while taking the horse’s temp.
* Rubbing alcohol, is used to clean and disinfect items like
*Bandage scissors and thermometers. Shelf Life ALERT! Tip: Should be BLUNT tipped and capable of cutting through thick bandages.
* Betadine solution and Betadine scrub Shelf Life ALERT! Tips: A scrub can be made from a antibacterial/antimicrobial/antibiotic“solution” by adding a quarter to a third of the volume in liquid soap, then after mixing it gently pour a little out and see if it makes suds or at least feels slimy between your fingers. Antibacterial liquid soap is an inexpensive option for this item.
* Neosporin: Expiration date ALERT! Tip: Human treatments of any triple antibiotic ointment are an acceptable topical agent. You would need at least 2 ounces to treat a horse. This makes it more expensive then many equine specific treatments.
* Telfa pads (or other non-stick pad): I have several sizes available for those gashes!
* 1 Roll Gauze (at least 2″ wide) Tip: Roll gauze can be the brown type that veterinarians use, or stretchy cling gauze available in grocery stores.
* Flexible Stretch Adhesive/Cohesive Bandages.
* Stethoscope. Tip: remember to listen to your horse’s gut sounds often so you know what is normal!
* Diapers (~size 5)- I’ve used for packing feet…
* A notebook and pen/pencil / or Permanent marker: for taking notes. Nothing worse than not remembering what the vitals were 15 minutes ago.
* Flashlight and spare batteries.
* Electrolytes (and/or loose salt).
* Applesauce for oral dosing crushed pills (little lunchbox size is great) I’ve used more that I ever thought I might!
* Duct tape– a million uses!
* Sharp knife.
* Banamine, Bute, Ace, Dexamethasone.
* Feminine pads are great 1st layer bandages on bleeding wounds – clean, good size, absorbent, handy.
* Needles and syringes.
Now cleaned with a tight fitting lid, this is ready to return to the barn.
Wait, perhaps I need another kit for the trailer?
What is in you Equine First Aid Kit?
Do you know why each item is included and how to use it?
– Ginni Erion