Basic First Aid Instructions for Horse Owners
Learn basic first aid instructions and be better prepared in emergencies
It is a very odd feeling if your horse has been injured or has got colic and you don’t know what to do until the vet comes. You might feel helpless and panicky… this can be avoided very easily: learn a bit more about how to deal with certain emergency situations, so that you will know what to do when.
First of all it is vey important to get to know your horse well. You need to observe what is “normal” behaviour, how your horse acts in normal every day life. This task needs a bit of time and dedication from you, because there is no general rule how a horse behaves. Every animal is individually responding to situations in its life. So, spend time to be with the horse and observe.
Being prepared for the worst means you should go through a made-up case scenario, e.g. what to do if your horse injured itself on the leg and is bleeding from the wound.
How severe is the bleeding?
- If the horse runs free, put a halter and lead rope on, calm it down
- Is a pressure bandage necessary? If yes, apply one.
- Is the horse in a field? Bring it into a clean stable or paddock
If you are in doubt, call your vet!
- Wounds need to be cleaned out, so have a clean bucket with clear water ready
- A wound might need stitches : prepare a clean place where the vet can put her OP- utensils on, if needed
- Your horse will need the right medication
Important things you will need:
- – First aid kit
- – Vet’s contact phone number
- – Ideal would be a person who can assist you
- – Try to stay cool headed and calm yourself. This helps to calm the horse as well and will help to overcome the whole situation without panic and tears
Try to go through other common health threats for horses, like colic, laminitis (founder), nail in hoof, etc.
Once you know how to apply basic first aid instructions, you will see how well you will be prepared for the unexpected and with this knowledge you will be able to work very effectively hand in hand with your vet. It will make a big difference for the vet on call, if she can concentrate immediately onto the most important: your horse!