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Be Prepared For A Horse Emergency

Horses are like kids; if you're around them long enough, you’re going to have an emergency. You must learn to recognize serious problems and respond to them promptly; taking appropriate action will ensure the best outcome. From lacerations, colic, foaling difficulties and many more, preparation is vital when confronted with a medical emergency. Being mentally prepared and having the proper supplies on hand will help ensure panic does not take control when you're faced with a medical emergency.

  1. Know where your veterinarian's phone number is located.
  2. Know the numbers and directions to the local emergency room in case a human is injured alone or in conjunction with an equine medical emergency
  3. Consult with your regular veterinarian regarding a referral veterinarian in case he or she cannot be reached.
  4. Make arrangements with friends or neighbors who can assist you in case of an emergency.
  5. Have a backup trailer available in case your trailer is not usable
  6. Have the phone numbers of nearby friends, neighbors, and relatives along with your veterinarian's phone number posted in case you're not around when an emergency happens
  7. Know where the first aid kit is and have it adequately supplied should the need arise. First aid kits can be simple or elaborate, but some essentials that they should contain are:
Be Prepared for a Horse Emergency

cotton rolls
cling wrap
gauze pads
• scissors
thermometer
stethoscope
surgical gloves
surgical scrub and disinfectant solution
alcohol
• wound flush: either saline or the commercially available wound flushing agents
electrolytes
• cold packs
blood clotting agent
topical wound dressing
clippers

Though accidents happen, taking the time to evaluate the environment and removing potential hazards is a crucial part in being prepared. Planning for an emergency and removing potential hazards in the environment will help you stay prepared if and when one should arise. By acting quickly and promptly serious consequences can be avoided. Contact your veterinarian as soon as you have assessed the emergency even if you are not sure his assistance will be required. It is better to inform him or her and not need them than to not allow them the time to prepare in order to serve you and your horse to the best of their ability.

Dr. Preston Hickman

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