Have you ever wondered why caregivers encourage a down horse to get back up quickly? When a horse goes down, regardless of the reason, the secondary complications may overtake the situation. The horse’s sheer weight and lack of mobility result in restricted blood flow damaging muscles and kidneys, they may be unable to urinate, and gas may become trapped in the intestine. Attempts to right themselves may also create head or eye trauma. These complications, among others, make getting up a priority.
Should you have a down horse and are unable to help them rise, contact your veterinarian. We are further fortunate to have Missouri Emergency Response Service (MERS)- Large Animal Rescue at the ready. The non-profit group trains volunteers in large animal rescue, and provide their services free of charge to the community.
We recommend having your veterinarian’s and MERS’s contact information information posted in the barn. Their emergency phone number is 314.660.3510. We hope you never have an equine emergency, but we plan for the worst and hope for the best.