Your Best First-Aid Kit

When an emergency happens, you must be prepared. This list of items essential to an equine first-aid kit is adapted from The Comprehensive Guide to Equine Veterinary Medicine, by Horse&Rider’s consulting veterinarian, Dr. Barb Crabbe.

Credit: H&R file photo

Stethoscope. To take your horse’s heart rate and listen to his gut sounds (colic signs).

Watch with second hand. To measure heart and respiratory rates. (Your smart phone can also serve this purpose.)

Thermometer. To take your horse’s rectal temperature; a digital model is handiest.

Penlight or flashlight. Helps in dim light to check the capillary refill time of your horse’s gums, or examine his eyes or
a wound. (A smart phone’s flashlight app is also terrific for this purpose.)

Betadine scrub. To cleanse wounds.

Betadine solution.
To flush out wounds, when diluted with water to a weak-tea color (no stronger than one part betadine to 10 parts water).

Saline solution. To flush an injured or irritated eye. May also be used to flush or clean a wound.

Dosing syringe. To administer oral medications or to flush a wound.

Antibiotic wound ointment. To dress a wound or treat superficial abrasions.

Bandage material. To apply a wrap to a wound or swollen leg. Include three to four sheet cottons, 6-inch brown gauze, self-adhering elastic wrap, self-adhesive tape, and several nonstick wound dressings.

Bandage scissors. For bandaging and other cutting needs.

Disposable gloves. To make messy applications and other jobs easier and more sanitary.

Nail puller. To remove a shoe.

Duct tape. For MacGyvering just about anything.