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How do you keep liquid/paste meds from freezing in the barn (besides keeping in the house!)?

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  • How do you keep liquid/paste meds from freezing in the barn (besides keeping in the house!)?

    The BO at the place where I board would like us all to have a small medical kit for our horses, including banamine paste and saline solution. Obviously, those things would freeze during our frigid winters. Short of keeping 20 tubes of banamine in the house, has anyone devised a way to keep your liquids/pastes from freezing in the barn? I've already suggested she just keep a few tubes on hand in her house and just charge us if we need to use it.

  • #2
    I used to keep some drugs wrapped in a cloth in an empty thermos tucked into my tack trunk and they didn't freeze. I guess it depends on where in the barn you're storing them and just how cold it gets.

    Seems sort of ridiculous to expect everyone to store meds where you know they're likely to freeze.


    • #3
      A refrigerator will keep things above freezing.


      • #4
        Cheap small foam cooler should keep pastes unfrozen.
        *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
        Steppin' Out 1988-2004
        Hey Vern! 1982-2009, Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009
        Sam(Jaybee Altair) 1994-2015


        • #5
          You only need maximum one tube of Banamine for the first 48 hours of a horse's problem ( three doses per tube). Your barn does not need 20 tubes of Banamine unless the horses each colic monthly in which case you should move.

          I would go minimal on dated prescription medicines. If your horse doesn't recover on one dose of Banamine you will be calling the vet ASAP and you can get more.

          As far a first aid kits, alot depends on how close you are to a tack store or pharmacy. I keep a pretty complete first aid kit and often lend components to people. But we are in the suburbs and if I need more Epsom salts for an abscess I can stop at Walmart on the way to the barn. Or saline or Polysporin or nonstick gauze etc.

          I'm in the PNW. It can go to minus 10 Celsius overnight in the winter. I'm not sure any of my kit items have frozen in the tub in my loft but I also don't think I've looked in that temperature. Of course that's not terribly cold.


          • Original Poster

            Scribbler, no one there has colicked, but there are about 20 horses (maybe 15 boarders?) and the BO wants us to have banamine on hand (so, maybe 15 tubes?). I thought that was not necessary, so maybe just keep a few tubes on hand in the barn where they are easily accessible - but they still need to be kept from freezing.


            • #7
              I might be spuh-hoiled, but even in Northern Ohio, I haven't had issues with things freezing inside the barn. We did splurge for spray insulation and this year is weird, but even in cold snaps, my buckets only get a little ice around the rim. I've never had bottles of grooming lotions and potions freeze or anything - I doubt my banamine has. Is inside the barn/ tack room consistently under freezing? The refrigerator idea is good.


              • #8
                Originally posted by MorganGal13 View Post
                Scribbler, no one there has colicked, but there are about 20 horses (maybe 15 boarders?) and the BO wants us to have banamine on hand (so, maybe 15 tubes?). I thought that was not necessary, so maybe just keep a few tubes on hand in the barn where they are easily accessible - but they still need to be kept from freezing.
                You only need one or two tubes for the whole barn. 15 tubes is excessive. Typically Banamine is given as an emergency muscle relaxant at the first sign of colic. You give maximum 1/3 tube every 12 hours. You also call the vet, and he will either make an emergency visit or advise to watch and wait. If the colic resolves all good. If it doesn't he is out ASAP with his entire pharmacopoeia.

                If the horse has a chronic condition that needs Banamine daily that would be diagnosed and prescribed.

                I agree to having multiple wound sprays, vet wraps, etc on hand so everyone can be their own nurse practitioner for the small cuts and scrapes.

                But in no scenario will a barn need 15 tubes of Banamine because in colic cases you give one dose (1/3 tube) and call the vet who will arrive with more if it's needed.


                • Original Poster

                  Scribbler - I totally agree. That's why I advised her to just keep a couple of tubes.


                  • Original Poster

                    EVneo - yes, no insulation in the barn and it gets quite cold here. It's gotten as low as --20 F, but that's extreme. However, water buckets usually have to have ice broken regularly.


                    • #11
                      I would think a cooler would do the trick. Can wrap tubes inside cooler as well.
                      Life doesn't have perfect footing.

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                      • #12
                        I set stuff I don't want to freeze on the heated pig mats I have in the barn. The cats are happy to share. I usually do this only when I think I will have a need for the stuff; otherwise, it lives in the house. But I am keeping only 2 at home, so your mileage may vary.

                        "Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit."
                        - Desiderata, (c) Max Ehrman, 1926


                        • #13
                          I got tired of lugging things back and forth from the house during winter so this year hubby and i solved the problem...

                          I located a free full size refrigerator and my husband drilled a hole at the bottom for the light fixture (incandescent bulb which generates heat) which plugs into a thermostat to keep the inside at a constant 70 degrees. He also drilled holes in the divider so warm air circulates on both sides (side by side frig) he also removed the icemaker.

                          We originally did this with an apartment size frig but quickly discovered it wasnt enough space so found a full size frig. I wanted to keep the bridles in there so bits were warm and be able to put my coat in there so it was warm to put on after my ride.

                          Temps are pretty cold here now and its working perfectly!

                          As a bonus.....we use the shrinky hoses which we can keep in there so they dont freeze either!


                          • #14
                            A cooler or thermos will only work so long if the temps stay low for any amount of time. It is not a long term solution for keeping something above freezing.

                            If you are not lucky enough to have a barn that manages to stay above freezing (in my case it is the exact same temperature inside the barn as it is outside the barn, too many open stall doors), then you will clearly need to heat some place. That can be done simply with a light bulb (the old fashioned kind, not the fancy LED or fluorescent kind) if it is small enough with enough insulation.

                            It sounds like this barn owner does not want to have to depend on people sharing medications if there is an emergency. Good in theory, probably not logical though.


                            • #15
                              a mini refrigerator
                              Zu Zu Bailey " IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE ! "


                              • #16
                                A fridge will eventually crap out in freezing temps. They're really not designed to be used outside. And if it gets cold enough, for long enough, stuff will still freeze.

                                An insulated box with a lightbulb (incandescent, led won't work!) or heated mat in it would cover it. The barn owner could even build it with individual cubbies for each horse? A thermometer inside would be a good idea. Maybe plug it into one of those themocubes so it only comes on when the temp drops.

                                Although agree it's a tough ask. What is she planning on using the saline for?

                                If the barn owner is making this a requirement, it's on her for providing a place that'll keep the meds within their recommended temps. For banamine paste, that's below 77 and above freezing. Maybe let her know you'll be happy to supply once she works out how to store it? The request might die out or get a lot more reasonable...