10 Essential Items for your Equine First Aid Kit

Presented by:  Larissa Cox, M.Sc. Applied Equine Science

Your first aid kit doesn't need to be fancy.  You don't need to keep a stock of injectable medications and have a special kit.  However,  there are items that you should have to help you with the most common problems that you can deal with yourself and help you cope with any injury until the vet arrives.  I keep my first aid supplies in a basic tool box which I labelled, similar to the picture below.  For the trailer, I have a travelling red Igloo Cooler.

first aid

  1. Digital Thermometer:  My mother prefers the digital thermometer as she doesn't need her reading glasses to get an accurate reading.  Some thermometers actually save the last temperature taken just in case you forget writing it down.  Remember...a string and clip to prevent the thermometer getting lost!
  2. Antiseptic Wound Cleaner:  Hibitane, Betadine or Novalsan scrubs are very useful.
  3. Scissors:  Essential in a horse first aid kit.  Also keep a pair of wire cutters handy.  These can also be used to remove a loose shoe.
  4. Clean Stable Wraps:  Very handy for emergencies.  Keep an extra pair of clean wraps in your kit.
  5. Gauze, Cottons Absorbent Padding:  Disposable diapers work well, although not breathable.  Use for padding under the leg wraps or cut up for wound dressing.
  6. Bandages - Self-sticking:  VetWrap, Co-Flex seem to have so many uses around the stable.  What did we do before this invention?
  7. Zinc Oxide Cream:  I keep a big tub to sooth and protect sunburned noses (Phantom).  You can find this in the baby section of your drugstore.
  8. Salts:  Epsom salts are great for drawing out infections.
  9. Antiseptic Cream:  Encourage the healing process with these creams.  There's a wide variety of products available from all natural to those containing some antibiotic ingredients.
  10. First Aid Book!  A must in your kit.  Read it before an emergency happens.  Another book you'll need is a notebook to keep track of temperatures and write things down for the vet.

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