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First aid basics every one should know?

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  • First aid basics every one should know?

    I have someone half leasing my horse and just realized today after I got a text from her that she has no knowledge of basic first aid for a horse.

    I now realize I need to give her a tutorial, but want to make sure I cover all the basics with her. I'm curious to know what other COTHERS feel are first aid basics everyone should know.

    My initial thoughts:

    Signs of colic
    Signs of choke
    Bite/puncture wounds
    Swelling on the legs
    Check pulse
    Check temperature
    Check gums
    Sore back

    I would love to know what others feel horse owners or riders should know how to handle.

    Proud owner of a Slaughter-Bound TB from a feedlot, and her surprise baby...!

  • #2
    When they are faced with a grain overload!! Amazing how many people have absolutely no idea how serious it is. And how many stupid people will say, "Well he looks as though he's OK now!"
    Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.

    Remember the horse does all the work, we just sit there and look pretty.


    • #3
      Eye injuries, how to deal with those. Abcesses, what to
      do and what suggests a hoof abcess. How to count respiration as well as pulse and temperature. How to
      safely wrap a leg. Signs of laminitis. How to put pressure
      on the frog if a horse is foundering.
      Robin from Dancing Horse Hill
      Elmwood, Wisconsin


      • #4
        How to wrap a hoof, both for injuries and if a shoe is loose.
        Which first aid products to use for cleaning superficial wounds if needed
        How to identify if a cut/wound needs vet attention/stitches vs just kinda ugly looking
        I like mares. They remind me of myself: stubborn know-it-alls who only acknowledge you if you have food.
        Titania: 50% horse, 50% hippo
        Unforgetable: torn between jumping and nap time, bad speller


        • Original Poster

          Great additions, thank you!
          Proud owner of a Slaughter-Bound TB from a feedlot, and her surprise baby...!


          • #6
            Also, how to give intramuscular and intravenous injections. Can be life saving to know how to do those.


            • #7
              Originally posted by SCMSL View Post
              Also, how to give intramuscular and intravenous injections. Can be life saving to know how to do those.
              I would say teach her IM shots but not IV. If she doesnt even have basic first aid stuff down, I would wait and have a vet teach her IV. Not to mention that there are very real risks in doing IV shots.
              Charlie Brown (1994 bay TB X gelding)
              White Star (2004 grey TB gelding)

              Mystical Moment, 1977-2010.


              • #8
                Not to mention that there are very real risks in doing IV shots.
                Yeah, sure there are. But if you know how to give them, what makes the vet more qualified to teach someone?

                There is no grey area here, either you know how to give an IV shot or you don't...


                • #9
                  In teaching someone to do something like IV shots, I would want to make sure nothing was left out. All of the possible risks, things that could happen and what to do about them, reactions, etc etc etc. Not to mention, the person learning might have questions, in which I would feel more comfortable with my vet answering.

                  In my 21 years of riding, and over 15 years of horseownership, there has never been an instance where ive needed to give an IV shot. I just dont see it as something that should be included in basic horse care.
                  Charlie Brown (1994 bay TB X gelding)
                  White Star (2004 grey TB gelding)

                  Mystical Moment, 1977-2010.


                  • #10
                    Agree with Ali - IV shots can go horribly wrong and with a difficult horse, etc..best left to pros.

                    IM require proper procedures, too, but probably a person reasonably used to horses can learn that.
                    Proud member of People Who Hate to Kill Wildlife clique


                    • #11
                      if she has no knowledge

                      1st lesson if in doubt call a vet - i would rather someone call a vet than guess

                      don't guess, never muck about with eyes and colic 1st instance call a vet

                      a novice doing iv can cause harm so just remember that one

                      bandaging a must = show her on the horse, show her on her body as in a leg or arm so she can feel the pressure then get her to practice on you before she practices on a horse

                      theres an art to a good bandage

                      from there you can explain how to bandaged a leg or foot.
                      when to use the hose, and how to keep the wound both dry clean and or poultice

                      dont do lessons all in one go do it over a period of time then go back and do the whole thing again -

                      explain the difference of rolling - as you dont want her to think the horse is sick if hes rolling becuase hes hot/cold

                      explain why ahorse only lays down for a period of time - and if hes not up after certain lenght of time then investigate

                      most horses will lay flat out if another is on guard duty and normally for 30mins before they change sides or sit up a bit


                      • #12
                        Sounds like you got more than the basics. Over the years, I've found it's kind of hard to teach first aid. Some people have a good sense for it, but many don't.

                        I'm always amazed how many horse owners, including very experienced ones, don't even know how to take temperature, pulse, and respiration on their horses (let alone half the other stuff addressed in this thread). Sooooooo many issues can be nipped in the butt early if you pull out the thermometer and wristwatch as soon as you suspect that Pony is not-quite-right...
                        Don't fall for a girl who fell for a horse just to be number two in her world... ~EFO


                        • #13
                          Things I've learned later on that I wish I knew decades earlier:

                          Pressure wrap on a hock, stack wrap beneath
                          Wrapping/ packing a foot (avoiding coronet)
                          Different types of cold hosing & benefits of each.
                          Benefits of icing (and duration)
                          Benefits of squishing fecal balls
                          Necrotic smell from the mouth
                          What constitutes a BAD nosebleed

                          And last but not least: Pulling a shoe but leaving the foot in tact.


                          • #14
                            How to check ALL vitals - respiration rate, pulse rate, pulses in legs and what abnormalities can mean (a.e. increased pulse in pain). Advise rider to have basic knowledge of that horse's "normal". My horse's normal body temp is low. If he's over 100...something is definitely brewing.

                            How to properly cool down a horse. How to treat/draw out an abcess (a.e. wrap/diaper, epsom salts, etc)

                            Signs of dehydration (skin snap test)

                            Signs of stocking up.

                            How to put in eye ointment.