Ask the Equine Vet: Building an Equine First Aid Kit

Author:  Sallie S. Hyman,  VMD, DACVIM, CVA

Emergencies happen. Being prepared can help you get through them with less stress. Having an emergency kit in your barn and trailer is a good place to start. The kit should contain all of the basic items to get you through the most common emergencies until your veterinarian arrives, if he/she is needed.

Keep your vet’s phone number on a laminated card in you emergency kit so that it is handy. Also keep some human emergency supplies on hand in case you don’t keep a separate human first aid kit. Your kit can be kept in a clean plastic storage box. If you don’t have a lot of room, you can even use a clean water/food bucket. Just use plastic wrap and duct tape to seal the top.

Emergency Kit Supplies:

General:
Halter
Lead rope
Twitch
Wire Cutters
Hoof Pick
Flashlight & Extra Batteries

Hoof:
Epsom Salts
Diapers (to wrap feet)
Poultice Pads
Easy Boot

Wound:
Povidone-iodine scrub and solution
4 x 4 gauze squares
Non-adherent wound pads
Roll Gauze
Roll Cotton/gamgee
Non-stick wrap
Flexible sticking wrap
Saline wound flush
Duct tape
Triple antibiotic ointment
Water resistant aerosol bandage

Extra Supplies:
Baby Wipes
Bandage Scissors
Large Animal Digital Thermometer
Petroleum jelly
Tweezers/Forceps
Stethoscope
Exam Gloves
Instant Cold packs
Tourniquet
Clean Towels

Ask your veterinarian if she would like you to keep the following supplies. These must be obtained through your veterinarian.

Silver Sulfadiazene ointment
Banamine®
Equioxx®
Phenylbutazone
Triple antibiotic
ophthalmic ointment

Information in this article is for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for evaluation by an equine professional.  In particular, all horse owners should seek advice  and treatment from a licensed veterinarian for their horses’ medical care. 

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