First Aid
Here is some quick information to help apply some first aid to a wound your horse may acquire:

Wound Care: Superficial
  • Clip hair, protecting wound with sterile lubricating gel
  • Wash with sterile saline
  • Apply triple antibiotic ointment
Wound Care: With Skin Separation
Clean Wounds:
  • Direct pressure with clean towel. Confine horse.
  • Protect wound with sterile lubricating gel,
  • Clip hair around the area
  • Clean skin with diluted antiseptic solution
  • Flush wound with sterile saline in spray bottle
  • Cover wound with gauze soaked in saline, then dry gauze, and wrap.
  • Do not apply ointment to wound
  • Be careful. Deeper wounds are painful. Feed to distract.
  • Veterinary attention to suture within 6 hours.

Large wounds heavily contaminated with dirt, manure:
  • Hose wound until cleaner
  • See above
Acute Sudden Lameness: Leg looks OK
  • Possible foreign body in hoof or abscess.
  • Carefully pick up foot and clean out, looking for nails, rocks
  • Note location and depth of penetration of any nails
  • Palpate around coronary band for swelling, sensitivity.
  • Call your Veterinarian
Acute Sudden Lameness: Leg looks bent, or horse shaking
  • Do not attempt to move. Call Veterinarian ASAP.
Eye Care: Sudden Squinting, swelling eyelids, tearing
  • Call Veterinarian. Possible ulcer or foreign body.
Eye Care: Sudden red third eyelids, thicker discharge, eye visible + cornea clear
  • Rinse with artificial tears or saline
  • If not resolved call DVM
  • Possible infection or inflammation from irritant, insects, allergy.
  1. Withhold all food but continue to offer water
  2. We recommend that you call us right away. Colic can be life threatening and we want to deal with any concerns you may have as soon as possible. If you call with a question or progress report we will want to know several things about your horse's vital statistics to the best of your knowledge:
    • Temperature (normal 99-100.5)
    • Heart Rate (36-48)
    • Respiration rate (14-24 normal)
    • Gum color (normally light pink)
    We will also want to know some details of the situation, such as:
    • Has the horse passed manure and if so what did it look like?
    • Has the horse urinated?
    • Is he comfortable or not?
    • Is he acting hungry?
    • Can you hear any gut sounds?
    • Any precipitating factors you know of: feed change, water source problem, stresses, medication, pregnancy?
  3. Hand walking or light longeing can be beneficial in speeding manure movement and increasing gut motility.
Also, read our Colic Handout.

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