Preparing for an emergency:
1. If you own a horse long enough, you will have an emergency so it is important to develop a relationship with a good horse doctor who will be familiar with your horse and situation and be able to give sound advice until she/he can arrive when disaster strikes.
2. Post your veterinarian’s contact numbers where your horse is kept so that you or whoever may be taking care of him can find it in an emergency.
3. Remember, your safety must come first! If your horse is down in the stall and flailing around, you won’t do him any good if you go into the stall and get hurt. Only approach your horse when it is safe to do so. If you cannot safely approach your horse, contact the vet, remove all other horses, and try to stay calm until the vet arrives.
4. Questions the vet may ask:
- What is your horse’s temperature? (Normal Horse Temperature 99 to 100.5 degrees)
- What is your horse’s heart rate? (Normal Horse heart rate 36-42 BPM)
- What is your horse’s respiratory rate? (Normal respiratory rate 12-18 BPM)
- What color are his gums? (Should be Pink and Moist)
- Is he/she showing signs of pain?
If you don’t know how to determine the answers to these types of questions, ask your vet to show you how to on her/his next visit.
5. A stocked emergency kit is a must have. The following would be helpful:
- Duct tape
- Vet wrap
- Gauze Bandages
- Antiseptic scrub
- Antiseptic spray
- Easy boot
- Soaker boot
6. If your horse is bleeding from a wound, fold up a towel and hold direct pressure over the wound without letting up or looking under for 4-5 minutes providing the horse is calm and it is a safe area for you to be. If blood seeps through the towel you are holding, quickly apply a second towel over the top of the first towel then continue to hold steady downward pressure on the wound for an additional 5 minutes.
7. In the event that your horse cuts or scrapes him/herself, he or she will need to have a Tetanus booster if one hasn’t been administered in the preceding 4-6 months. Clostridium Tetani is in soil and on most farm surfaces for many years. An open wound of any sort could allow this organism entry into your horse and cause Tetanus which is a fatal illness. This Tetanus booster is just as important as cleaning and bandaging the wound.