Wednesday, December 15, 2010

What's In Your Equine First Aid Kit?


Not much riding has been going on in cold and frozen Kentucky.  Everything is on ice so to speak...

Yesterday I went out to check on my guys and I noticed that Toby was a little off on his right hind.  It was slightly swollen and he walked fine on it but slowly.  Trotting is where it really showed he was off.  So I was thinking he had slipped and perhaps pulled a muscle?  I left him out in the field because I felt the cold and some movement was better than boredom, cold and not moving in his stall.  Plus he'd get a little nutted if he wasn't out with the gang.   I did mean to give him some bute but forgot.  So I figured he was going to be careful because he was sore.  The bute might mask the pain and he could hurt himself even more.   Damned if you do, damned if you don't type of situation...

So this morning I went back out to check on him.  His leg was swollen, he was much more lame than yesterday and I saw that he had some cuts or puncture wounds just above his hoof.  I'm guessing he stepped in a place he shouldn't have and yanked his leg out, cutting it up in the process.  Now it's becoming infected.  Sigh.

Lucky for me I had all the right tools to help him out.  I was able to clean out the wound, dress it, start him on SMZ (antibiotic) and give him some bute for the swelling and pain.  I had one problem.   A lot of my stuff was frozen because I kept it at the barn which was a balmy 4 degrees this morning.

So he got the bute and I had to come back later after things thawed out to do the rest.  But this got me to thinking about my equine first aid kit.  This is what I have on hand all the time:

Clean cotton
Clean empty syringe
Antiseptic cream
Vet wrap
Epsom Salts
Wonder Dust
Betadine wash
Allushield - spray on wound dressing
Wound Wash (bought at my local drug store)

Things I got from my vet that I always have on hand:
Surpass (topical cream pain reliever for Ollie because his stomach can't handle bute)

So I used the Wound Wash to clean the cuts.  That stuff is GREAT!  It sprays out, doesn't sting and cleans out wounds really well.  Love love love it!  Then I let the area air dry while I gave Toby his SMZ in some grain and cocosoya oil.  Cocosoya Oil will cover the smell and flavor of any powder medicine!  Toby is the pickiest guy and he ate up his SMZ with the Cocosoya Oil.  Finally, I sprayed Allushield over the injured area to cover it and give some protection.  Allushield stings and Toby let me know he didn't appreciate it.  Oh well.  He'll get over it.

The SMZ will help with the infection.  He's getting 13 tablets (crushed) twice a day.  If I don't see some results in a few days then I'm calling the vet.    One thing I want to mention about the SMZ, my vet in Michigan helped me out one time and put the prescription through a store called Meijer's.  They have a program that will give families antibiotics at no charge.  Ask your vet about it!

One thing I wish I had is a nice tackle box for all my equine first aid products.  I have a bucket and another covered plastic container but it really could be better organized.  I think a fishing tackle box would do the trick...

So what do you guys have in your Equine First Aid Kit?  Surely you have one!


  1. I have disposable diapers in my horse first aid kit, either the plain kind (no elastic on the sides).

    Diapers are indispensable, especially if you're dealing with an open wound (the diaper is absorbent but not apt to get "involved" in the wound itself)--and vet wrap is marvelous for keeping everything "on" and "up." I also have electrician's tape, which is less expensive than adhesive tape.

    Duct tape is another "must"--my vet uses it when packing a hoof wound. He uses vet wrap and then duct-tapes the whole thing. A gal I knew had a "kicker" and she'd go to shows with him flailing in the trailer and end up with shoes tweaked. Wrapped his back hooves with duct tape and the shoes were fine.

    I like Neosporin as my "antibiotic cream." I also have tweezers, those blunt funny scissors for cutting bandages, and a flashlight, one that I can put in my mouth so both hands are free.

  2. Sounds good..I LOVE my DermaGel and Novelson products too.
    I recently saw xmas ornament organizer bins that I may snag on sale for my 'first aid kit'

  3. This reminds me that I need to re-stock mine. I'm lucky enough to have a barn mate and riding buddy with the best first aid kit of all time and a pretty well stocked barn, but I need to stop taking that for granted. I did get signal flares today for my saddle pack... in case we sink in the mud again.

  4. furazone, furazone, furazone. Love it. Also generic asprin tablets, and baby oragel

  5. I know those how read my blog will find this shocking... I do not really have a first aide kit. Yes, yes, I know. My barn manager has one, so I have access to one. I have my own bute, ACE, and banamine. I do have vet wrap. That is on my new years goal. Make a first aide kit!

    Denali now lives at the Vet's barn, so it's the next best thing!

  6. Hhhmmm, let's see. I have:

    Sterile saline solution
    Eye wash
    Triple Anitbiotic ointment
    Elstikon tape
    Bandage scissors
    Sterile cotton roll
    Latex gloves
    Wonder Dust

    That's all I can think of at the moment. I don't have any medications right now because I don't have a horse. Honestly, the things that I use the most are the saline solution, triple antibiotic ointment, and Dermagel -- those three work well for just about anything. But there are a lot of things that I would like to add to my first aid kit, like Vet Agwraps (silver-infused wound dressings that are supposed to be awesome)and one of those collagen wound gels.

    Hope Toby's alright!

  7. Ha. I'm Dom's riding buddy and I have a definite Girl Scout complex. Always [over]prepared! I just commented on Denali's Mom's post (or tried to!) and will try an abridged version here...

    I have a gymbag-sized prestocked horsey first aid kit and a smaller human one that live in my trailer, with an illustrated "how to" guide geared towards horse & rider, because sometimes you just panic and forget! But in the barn I also keep a small rubbermaid with an "abscess kit" with foot-soaking and -packing supplies, and another rubbermaid with a stethoscope, thermometer, vaseline, gloves, and bandages and ointments for dressing wounds, plus banamine, bute, electrolytes, and syringes. We also keep needles and TQ in the barn just in case.

    Other things I find handy: flashlight & batteries, duct tape, and some "feminine" supplies... They double as wound dressing in a pinch! I also stash extra pairs of scissors where I can, and try to keep a pocketknife on me at all times.

  8. Hope Toby's leg is ok...

    I have to admit all I have on hand is some bute and some antibiotic cream (that I need to check the expiry date on!!).

    I came from a vet's barn where I was quite lax about first aid supplies, since she had a whole cupboard of stuff. Now that I'm on my own at another boarding barn, I should really get some more supplies together!

  9. I've recently tried a product called Veterycin.

    It's a spray wound / skin treatment that works by promoting healing through oxygenation. Not sticky, doesn't attract dirt, no stinging, stays where you put it. Doesn't promote resistance in bacteria and other critters.

    I have heard at the track it's called "holy water" lol. An awesome product.

  10. I have one of those pre-made first aid kits then added Bute, banamine, electrolyte paste, diapers, duct tape, and extra vinyl gloves and vetwrap.

  11. Being currently horse-free I don't have an equine first aid kit, but back in the day I used to have a halter and lead rope that stayed in my kit, along with phone numbers for vets and farriers in my area apart from my regulars. I would also add local numbers to my list whenever I was competing. I found it invaluable to have a knowledge of my horses resting, healthy temperature. Thermometers are great, but if you don't know the base line, you can have no idea of when they have a higher than normal temp. I also had a pair of wirecutters that had a dedicated spot in my tack room instead of the tool shed. Just a few things that I found useful.

  12. In my first-aid kit I always include Plasters / Band Aids, cotton, Paracetamol/Painkillers, Boroplus Antiseptic cream, Hand sanitizer, Boroplus Antibacterial soap, Boroplus Instant Hand Sanitiser etc.