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Miniature Ventures
Breeders of beautiful Miniature Horses with Action!
Quality Breeding  ~  Quality Transport

Larry, Maryann & Brianna Cerullo
5643 SW Minson Rd.
Powell Butte, OR 97753
Phone: 541-410-6222 

E-mail: miniv@coinet.com


HORSE FIRST AID KIT


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Over the years, we've been asked often what is necessary to have in a "medical first aid kit" for the horses.  Again, as we've been doing this a long while, our kit is going to be far more complex that I will list here but these are basically what I carry when I'm on the road with horses.
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The top six items for an emergency, as far as we're concerned are:

  • Thermometer (digital or mercury)
  • Stethoscope (doesn't have to be "hospital quality")
  • Watch  with second hand or some sort of timer
  • Banamine (or its generic substitute) paste or liquid (Bute isn't recommended for minis--available only from the your vet)
  • Notebook or white board
  • Cell phone or phone extension which works in the barn/stall/shed

When you call a vet, one of the things he/she is going to want to know are the horse's vital signs.  This will help the vet judge just how quickly he/she needs to come out or how quickly you need to get the horse to the clinic.  Under another heading I'll tell you how to check for the horse's heart rate.  There are several places to put the stethoscope, or your hand or ear) where you can count the heart beats per minute.  The vet needs to know the Temperature, Heart Rate, Respiration, and Capillary return;  in case of colic, the vet should know whether there are any gut sounds and where they are or are not.

With a stethoscope and a timer, you can time the heart rate and count the respirations.  The thermometer is pretty straight forward...I prefer the digital because I have trouble reading a mercury one.  You put the thermometer in the horse's anus and wait for the beep or a minute or so to get the proper temperature.  To check the capillary return, pull down a lip and press the gum under the teeth. If the gums are pink, pressing will cause them to turn white.  Count how long it takes to go from white back to pink.  This will only take a few seconds.  If the color isn't pink, be sure to let your vet know.

Record all your results and have them in hand when you call your vet.  The banamine is reserved until your vet tells you to give it...it will help bring down a high fever or ease the pain of an injury or a colic but shouldn't be given beforehand, it can mask a lot of symptoms.

  • Squirt Bottle with iodine or betadine
  • Mineral oil and 60cc syringe or gravy baster (in case of minor colic)
  • Saline (used to flush eye in case of eye injury -- stuff used for contact lens users works fine)
  • Antibiotic ointment (without steroids) for eye injuries or trauma
  • Antibiotic/antiseptic dressing for cuts and bruises (any human first aid cream works here)
  • Self-sticking bandaging material such as VetWrap
  • Telfa or other pads for cuts and wounds
  • Bandaging tape to hold bandages on
  • Small sharp scissors or knife
  • Some sort of Betadine or other semi-sterile scrub
  • Acepromazine, to tranqulize horse in grave emergency (can only be obtained through a vet)
  • Disposable syringes and needles (fairly small gauge for mini like 20mm x 3/4" or 1")
  • Twitch
  • Rubbing Alcohol
  • Epsom Salt
  • Clean Towels and Rags
  • Sponge
  • Leg Bandages
  • Flashlight

All of the above will fit into a Rubbermaid container or a "toolbox" (except the cell phone).  Keeping everything together will allow you to grab your kit without having to think where things are in an emergency.  Be sure to label your storage container!