First Aid Kit – the essentials

An essential first aid kit should be part of all horse owners equipment and with the start of the show season its a good time to check yours to make sure you have all the essentials, be it for home or for travelling and shows.

A basic essential first aid kit should have the following:

  • Cotton Wool, Poulitce, Gamgee and non stick dressings
  • Antibacterial scrub
  • Sterile saline
  • Wound gel and cream, such as Derma Gel, Dermoline cream and purple spray.
  • Vaseline/Petroleum jelly
  • Selection of bandages such as vetwrap, elastoplast, stable bandages and bandage pads.
  • Scissors and thermometer

Other items that would benefit the kit would include items such as Head collar and rope, hoof pick, a Torch, towels and a clean bowl or bucket.

These items should be kept in a clean dry box where everyone can find them an used or expired items replaced immediately.  The box should be labelled clearly and should include contact numbers for your veterinary surgeons.

The aim of first aid is to take immediate action when an injury is discovered, to prevent the condition getting worse while awaiting veterinary assistance.

Cuts and grazes are the most common injuries that are likely to need attention and actions must be taken to stop bleeding and prevent infection.

Knowing your horse will help you spot any thing out of the ordinary and regular checks will also help spot early signs if something is wrong.

Knowing your horse’s vital signs will help to determine if something is wrong.

Normal respiration rate is 8-12 breaths per minute at rest, temperature should be 37 – 38.5 degrees C,  nose and eye membranes should be salmon pink in colour.

Always call the vet if you are in any doubt over your horse’s health.