what to do in an emergency situaiton
 
 

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what to do in an emergency situaiton

This is a discussion on what to do in an emergency situaiton within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category
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    06-01-2011, 04:28 PM
  #1
Weanling
Question what to do in an emergency situaiton

Hey guys! I'm bringing my horse home in a month, and I've been busy getting everything ready! One of the things I am worried about is not knowing what to do in an emergency. Of coase I want my horse to be safe and healthy, but accidents do happen. Here are my main worries-

1. Colic - are there different levels of severity? What should you do when you see a horse colic? How do you know when it has passed? Should a vet be called in all cases?

2. Cast / stuck in fence - how do you un-cast a horse? Are there any health issues that should be watched for after the incident?

3. Cuts - what would classify as a vet-required cut? How should you care for a cut until the vet arrives? How do you stop a heavily bleeding wound? Should you take it upon yourself to wash / disinfect a wound before the vet arrives?

If there are any more common emergencies, please let me know!

Also, sort of a side question: is it a better deal to buy a pre-made first-aid kit or to make one yourself?

Thanks!
     
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    06-01-2011, 05:00 PM
  #2
Super Moderator
Shouldn't you get a book on those sorts of emergencie care situations? Sounds like a lot to answer on the forum. For sure, have the contact info for vet posted and IN your cell phone.

Subscribe to Equus, the magazine. They have tons of great info on horse care.

Look for a good all around horse care book , too.

Sorry I cannot answer in detail all you asked.; Even if I wanted to take the time ans space, I don't know all that .
     
    06-01-2011, 05:32 PM
  #3
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by tinyliny    
shouldn't you get a book on those sorts of emergencie care situations? Sounds like a lot to answer on the forum. For sure, have the contact info for vet posted and IN your cell phone.

Subscribe to Equus, the magazine. They have tons of great info on horse care.

Look for a good all around horse care book , too.

Sorry I cannot answer in detail all you asked.; Even if I wanted to take the time ans space, I don't know all that .
do they have books specifically for emergency situations? I have quite a few books, most tell me WHAT something is, as opposed to HOW to deal with it.
If anyone has any book suggestions, please let me know!
     
    06-01-2011, 06:03 PM
  #4
Showing
I second the subscription to Equus. It's phenomenal and gives great all-around insight. This month alone I learned about Gastric ulcers, Shipping fever/pnemonia, Omeprazole being tested for gastric ulcers, biofilm problems being discovered in equine wounds, swollen lower eyelid problems, skin disease treatments, dehydration, hind limb conformation insight, and a ton more. Definitely worth ordering.

A great book is called How to Be Your Own Veterinarian (Sometimes) by Ruth B. James.

Cast horses require tying ropes around the legs and gently trying to right the horse.

Buy a vet kit, learn how to use everything in it, and put at least two different vets on speed dial and taped to your tack room door.
     
    06-01-2011, 06:14 PM
  #5
Showing
1. Colic - are there different levels of severity? What should you do when you see a horse colic? How do you know when it has passed? Should a vet be called in all cases?

Yes, there are varying levels of severity where colic is concerned. If you suspect your horse might be colicky, then you should always call the vet. Some more experienced people can tell how bad it is and whether a vet is really needed, but if you don't know, call the vet. 3 really important things to remember when you are suspecting colic (after you call the vet)
1) Don't give the horse anything else to eat...at all.
2) Put your head to their side and listen for gut sounds (rumbling and gurgling). If you can't hear any, that is a bad sign.
3) Don't let the horse get down and roll. That heightens the risk for them ending up with a twisted gut.

I'm sure that other folks can tell you what else to watch out for and give more advice on that, though. I've not had a bout of colic around here since I was a child.

2. Cast / stuck in fence - how do you un-cast a horse? Are there any health issues that should be watched for after the incident?

How you get them out depends on what kind of fencing you have and the temperament of your horse. If the horse is calm about stuff, sometimes you can get in there and untangle their feet yourself and roll them over, though that can pose some serious risk to you. That is one of the reasons why I keep all my young or green horses housed in portable panels. If they get cast, they can normally either kick the fence away themselves and get out or you can take the fence apart and get them loose that way. As for after they are up, the biggest thing I watch for is lameness.

3. Cuts - what would classify as a vet-required cut? How should you care for a cut until the vet arrives? How do you stop a heavily bleeding wound? Should you take it upon yourself to wash / disinfect a wound before the vet arrives?

What I classify as a vet-necessary cut will likely vary from what other people do. Most cuts where there is no obvious lameness and I don't believe that stitches are necessary are normally cared for at home. Cuts on the legs are watched more closely since there are vital tendons and things around there.

Caring for the cut: If the vet was coming, I would just rinse it out if it was dirty and try to stop the bleeding. A heavily bleeding wound on a horse is no different from one on a human. Clean towel or cloth and apply steady, firm pressure to the wound (if you can). I would be leery of trying a tourniquet as it doesn't take very long with no circulation for there to be damage done. For me, if I was waiting on the vet and I had some betadine or iodine, there wouldn't be much reason not to clean the wound, providing it wouldn't make the bleeding worse or further agitate the horse.

Is it a better deal to buy a pre-made first-aid kit or to make one yourself?

Depends on how much things cost in your area. Usually, though, it is much cheaper to assemble one yourself instead of buying the pre-made kit. Just make sure that you have everything you need in there. Also, remember the rule of thumb if you are wondering whether you need a certain item in there... "It's better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it."
     
    06-01-2011, 06:55 PM
  #6
Started
Smrobs covered a good amount of info.

I'm glad I've never had to deal with any real emergenicies so far ~knock on wood~ but I did have a friends horse go down at the trailer for no apparent reason.

The main thing if an emergency happens is to stay calm. If you are panicked you are not going to be able to think straight. It sounds easy but believe me it's not haha. Phantom and another horse got into a kicking fight in the trailer and Phantom got the bad end of it. His back legs were all cut up. It took all my strength not to scream and freak out. It looked like something you would see in a horror movie but remember this....."Everything on a horse looks 10x worse than if it was on a person, and everything on a WHITE horse looks about 100x worse than it actually is." Found that last part out while looking at Phantom's legs. They were cut up and I though for sure it was going to be bad. Hosed him off and he was fine. They stung and there was one kinda deep one but none required anything other than a washing and some topicals. Heh it's funny even when Phantom gets coggins pulled and there is a little blodd from where the needle is, it looks as though someone took a knife to him since he's white the blood shows up A LOT more. Haha

Just keep your cool and try to remember everything.

I have a few veterinarian books that I would highly reccomend:

The First is "The Complete Equine Veterinary Manual"(new edition) by Tony and Marcey Pavord . It has charts in each section that list the disease, the symptoms, what it is doing to the horse, and treatment. It also has TONS of good pictures. I absolutely love this book.

Example of what the chart can say(obvisouly I can't make a chart on here but I can show you what is said based on the disease, injury, problem, etc)
Section: Diseases affecting the foal
Disease: Septicaemia (aka sleepy foal disease)
Symptoms: loss of appetite, fever, depression, then coma and death.
Course: Infection via placenta which rapidly spreads through the bloodstream; development depends on the foal's level of immunity derived from colostrum.
Treatment: Immediate commencement of course of antibiotics, intraveinous fluid probably required, good nursing essential.
~~is this the type of thing you're looking to know~

Another book would be "The Comprehensive Guide to Equine Veterinary Medicine" by Barb Crabbe, DVM.

This is really good too it goes really in detail about pretty much everything. For each disease/injury, ect it says; What it is, treatment, diagnosis, how serious is it?, and it even mentions potential complications.

IMO both books are really good to have.

Hope I helped =) even alittle
     
    06-01-2011, 10:37 PM
  #7
Trained
Cuts - I agree with smrobs that you can't go wrong with using soap/water and betadine to clean out cuts, but do not use any of the commercial sprays or powders unless you ask the vet. Many of them will actually make it harder to work on if stitches are necessary or the vet needs to clean it out more.

And what many folks forget....establish a good relationship with your vet before you ever have an emergency, how to get a hold of him, what to expect from him, and a backup vet/plan. In the middle of the night or on a holiday, not all vets are as responsive as you may expect. We're lucky that our vet answers his cell phone 24x7 without having to go through his office and will always come out day or night as soon as possible if you need him.
     
    06-01-2011, 10:43 PM
  #8
Foal
Quote:
And what many folks forget....establish a good relationship with your vet before you ever have an emergency, how to get a hold of him, what to expect from him, and a backup vet/plan. In the middle of the night or on a holiday, not all vets are as responsive as you may expect. We're lucky that our vet answers his cell phone 24x7 without having to go through his office and will always come out day or night as soon as possible if you need him.

Read more: what to do in an emergency situaiton
This is the most important thing you need to know. It is wise to have a scheduled appointment with your vet at your place so that you have a check up done on your horses and you and your vet can address any concerns. If this is your first time meeting your vet this gives him or her the opportunity to know where you live and what facilities you have so he/she knows more what to expect if he/she is called for an emergency.

Kristine
     

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