The horse's natural behavioral traits; the flight-or-fight response, the herd instinct and its natural curiosity, makes the horse accident-prone.
No matter what emergency you may face in the future, being prepared is the best step you can take to avoid letting panic take control. Here are some guidelines to help you prepare :
- Keep your veterinarian's number by each phone, including after-hour numbers.
- Consult with your veterinarian regarding a back-up veterinarian's number in case you cannot reach your regular vet quickly enough.
- Know in advance the most direct route to your veterinarianís office. Have a trailer available.
- Post the names and phone numbers of nearby friends and neighbors who can assist you in an emergency while you wait for the veterinarian.
- Prepare a first aid kit and store it in a clean, dry, readily accessible place. Make sure that family members and other barn users know where the kit is located.
- It is a good idea to have at least two emergency kits and a small pack for the trail: A first aid kit for your barn and a one for your trailer.
First Aid Kit and Utilization
- A plastic container with a tight-fitting lid and a handle is all that is required. A large fishing tackle box works well.
- Tape a list of the box's contents to the inside lid. This provides an easy-to-find checklist when updating and maintaining your kit. Remember that drugs and ointments have an expiration date. This is sometimes noted on the list as well, so the items can be replaced as needed.
- Many people make a diagram of the itemsí locations within the box as well. When you are trying to calm your horse and hold pressure on a bad cut, you may not be able to tell a helper exactly where the needed supply is in the kit.
- A good rule of thumb: Keep only items youíre comfortable using. Ask your veterinarian for recommended medications you might need in your first aid kit.
- Remember to add specialty items that fit your horseís medical needs.
- Store your first aid kit in moderate temperatures and away from direct sun. Drugs make become ineffective if stored in very hot or cold temperatures.
- Include an updated first aid book for horses. Ask your veterinarian or see the horse first aid books listed in Amazon.com.