What to do in an emergency:
1. STAY CALM
2. Try to get as much information as possible, such as temperature, pulse and heart rate, respiratory rate, capillary refill time, type of injury, and how and when the injury occurred. Take your own safety into consideration if the horse is violent or thrashing.
3. Call your regular veterinarian. If this is an emergency, STATE SO CLEARLY. If you are unsure, give all the information you can ask that the doctor be notified immediately and for him/her to return your call ASAP.
When you speak to your veterinarian, be ready to answer these pertinent questions:
1. What are your horse's temperature, pulse and respiration?
2. Approximately when did the injury or condition begin?
3. Where on the horse's body is the injury? How deep is it? How much bleeding is there?
4. Has the horse been treated already? If so, with what and by whom?
5. What type of behavior is the horse displaying? (Rolling, pawing, unsteady, anorexia, etc.)
If the horse is bleeding:apply direct pressure to the area. If possible, and you are comfortable doing so, apply a pressure bandage. A normal sized adult horse can lose 1.5 gallons of blood before it gets into trouble.
The "golden period" for suturing wounds is less than six hours. Two hours is preferable. Do not put anything on the wound unless instructed by your veterinarian. Your veterinarian may instruct you to apply an antibiotic ointment to the wound. This will keep the wound moist in the event that your vet can not suture the wound within the "golden period"
If you can not contact your veterinarian:
1. Clean the wound as soon as possible with iodine surgical scrub and gently clean in and around the wound with wet gauze. Rinse it well. Apply K-Y jelly around and in the wound and clip the hair. The K-Y jelly makes a gooy substrate for the hair to accumulate in , which is easily washed away.
2. After clipping, if severe bleeding is not a problem, use a garden hose and gently hose the wound thoroughly. The flushing action will help to rinse debris and bacteria out of the wound. Tissue that is kept moist will heal much better.
3. Pack the wound with water soluble antibiotic salve and if possible apply a pressure bandage. If you can not bandage the wound and your veterinarian is coming out to suture the wound, keep it moist until the vet arrives.