A good emergency equine first aid kit should have the vast majority of the following items:
-Stethoscope -Normal respiratory rate is 16-20 breathes per minute. A normal heart rate is 30-40 beats per minute
-Thermometer – Normal temperature is 99 – 101.5 F
-Needles and syringes
-Phenylbutazone i.e. bute tabs or paste for injuries, sprains and strains
-Trimethoprim Sulfa tablets or oral antibiotic
-Neosporin or topical antibiotic
-Triple antibiotic ophthalmic ointment
-Nolvasan scrub or similar wound cleanser
-2 Elastikon Bandages
-Brown roll gauze (6 inch)
-Vet-Wrap or similar wraps
-Role of cotton or Gamgee
-Telfa or similar non-stick wound pads
-Duct tape for a waterproof hoof wrap
The list for a kit such as this can go on and on and we list these in an effort to assist you in developing your own kit. Many times the goal is to provide immediate treatment to buy you and your horse time to seek professional help. At times you may be on the road and a very long distance from help, and in these instances with these items and an available phone, we can generally help guide and assist you through most problems.
Supplies for an emergency equine first aid kit can be obtained from several sources. General bandaging materials are available at local tack stores as well as online catalogs. General medications and wound cleaning supplies are available at any pharmacy and prescription medications can be obtained from or through your veterinarian.
A couple of skills you may want to develop would be the art of giving an intra-muscular injection, or shot, and the ability to take a horse’s temperature and determine how to obtain a pulse or heart rate with a stethoscope. A stethoscope can also be helpful in listening for intestinal, i.e. gut sounds, if you suspect your horse is suffering from a bout of colic. Talk with your veterinarian about these issues.
Remember that preparation can provide tremendous rewards.