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First Aid Kit

The one essential piece of kit that every horse owner should have in their cupboard is a first aid kit, simply because you never know when an injury may occur so it’s always best to be prepared.
Horses, being large and powerful animals, can be prone to accidents and injuries. So, a first aid kit allows for prompt and appropriate care in case of an emergency.
However, while a first aid kit is essential, it is not a substitute for veterinary care.
In cases of severe injury or illnesses, always seek professional veterinary assistance as soon as possible. Also, you ought to regularly check your first aid kit for any expired items, and restock as needed to maintain effectiveness.
While you can make your first aid kit as extensive as you want, as a basic starting point we would suggest stocking the following:​

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Clean utensils/bucket

If you need to clean a wound you are likely to need to mix up a scrub/cleaner of some kind. This needs to be done in a clean utensil so that no further dirt or germs can be introduced to the wound.

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Cotton wool

This is a great medium for cleaning wounds. Always keep plenty in your kit as it is best practice to use a clean piece of cotton wool with every swipe/scrub of a wound. Never use dry cotton wool on a wound.

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Clean towel/cloth

These are useful for patting dry any wounds.

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Disposable gloves

Keeping a box of these is really handy. When dealing with wounds it’s sensible to wear them to prevent you from introducing any germs from your own dirty hands, but remember to change them frequently. They are also really useful if you need to apply any medicines to your horse so the product does not go on your skin.

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An essential for a first aid kit for cutting bandages, dressings etc. The best sort would have blunt tips to avoid injury.

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Antibacterial scrub

This is the best thing for cleaning any wounds. There are many different types available so it is always a good idea to chat through the options with your vet and then they can recommend the best one/s to have in your kit.

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Foot abscesses and injures are reasonably common so having some ready-made poultices, such as Animalintex, to hand is a good idea.

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Wound cream/gel

These can be helpful after a wound has been cleaned, depending on the type of wound. Again, there are many types available, all of which will do a slightly different job, so make sure you chat through the options with your vet.

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Non-stick dressings

These are handy for keeping wounds or injuries clean. There are many types, but something like Melolin is ideal.

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Bandages and padding

In order to hold a dressing in place you will need a bandage, usually with some kind of padding under it. So, having a set of four stable bandages and some gamgee (a surgical dressing consisting of absorbent cotton wool between two layers of absorbent gauze) in the kit is always useful.

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Cohesive bandage

This is an amazing bandage that can stick to itself, meaning that holding it in place is so much easier. An example of this is Vetrap ( Cohesive bandages are ideal for wounds in awkward places. They also do an amazing job of holding a poultice on a hoof. Cohesive bandages are now available in many different colours and designs. Always be careful not to over tighten the bandage.

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A very useful tool to check whether your horse has a temperature. While normal temperatures can fall between 37.5C and 38.5C, temperatures can still vary so the best thing to do is to regularly check your horse’s temperature to understand what their ‘normal’ is. Saying that, anything over 38.5C is classed as ‘fever’ and you should speak to your vet. Oh, and the temperature is taken at the back end of your horse, not the front.

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Protective barrier cream

This is useful for minor problems such as sunburn. A favourite of the MH team is FiltaBac. Check out our News & Reviews section for more details.

MumsHaynet offers equine-related content to promote general understanding, education and accessibility within the horse community. None of the content, published articles or forum discussions should be considered a substitute for professional advice from a veterinarian or other professional. If you have, or suspect that your horse has, a medical problem or condition, contact a qualified veterinary health care professional immediately.

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