Frequently Asked Questions
What are the essentials in a first aid kit?
Just after christmas i will be shopping at horseland (my favourite store in the world!) with my christmas money!
I really need to stock up on my first aid kit, so what are the essentials in one?
I want to make a list to take.
Thanks for any help =)
aaaaaaaaa i meant my horses first aid kit, i wouldn't shop at a tack store for my first aid kit, but thanks charlie
Sunscreen (human and horse, or zinc cream)
Vaseline (Chapped lips, chafing on you and your horse)
Insect sting cream (sting-goes or something like that)
Emergency Phone Numbers (written on your paper)
Bandages (both sticky ones, and non sticky ones)
A drink bottle with water (change the water regularly. Mix with salt or dettol to wash wounds)
Salt (table salt will do)
Band-aids (come in handy)
Lighter and Needle in a little case (use the lighter to sterilize the needle, then can be used to get out grass seeds etc)
I'll add anything else I think of
If you get an abscess will your body eventually naturally get rid of it. Or do you have to get rid of it?
Some abscesses resolve on their own and are absorbed by the body. If an abscess is absorbed by the body incompletely, a calification can form in the unabsorbed portion. But many will develop fistulated tracts through the tissues to carry the pus to the body surface or to other organs or deeper locations. I've seen fistulae that interconnect to multiple organs in humans, and never reach the body surface. These are difficult to treat, requiring surgery and antibiotics. The fistulous tracts usually follow the path of least resistance, so in a hoof abscess, the tract will head to the heel or coronary band, where the tissue is softest. But some abscesses may have just resolved spontaneously and been absorbed, and we never knew they were there.
A poultice or soak to draw a hoof abscess should soften the hoof tissues to allow the abscess to penetrate through the sole or wall as it draws the infectious products to the surface, in an attempt to prevent a tract from developing through the hoof, which damages the sensitive inner tissue. Warm Epsom salts soaks and poultices are proven effective and are not damaging to healthy tissue.
Chronic Swelling 4 month post laceration on Pastern in gelding?
Hi I have a 24 years old gelding...4 months ago he ended up with a very nasty laceration...approx 2" wide, 5" long & right to the bone on the outside of his back pastern. He healed well with that...massive antibiotics, stall rest wound cleanse & debridement...then he ended up getting constant hoof abscesses...has been poulticed for the past couple months with bran /epsom salts & now medicated poultice....also he ended up with osteomyelitis in his leg (above where the laceration was) so another round of massive antibiotics..he had to be propped up with a three degree shim to bring him up off of his heel..now he keeps swelling in the ankle & has 2 weird spots on inside & outside of ankle...looks like something from the inside protruding out.(one approx the size of a dime & the other size of toothpick)..he is now going out by himself in a pasture & we walk him everyday to try to build up his muscle mass again...just wondering if anyone has any advice to try to help him out...I hose him everyday for the swelling & it comes & goes...some days looks like there might be something to blow out (like a foreign body) from his coronary band & then other days the swelling goes & nothing seems to come out...there was nothing that ever showed up on the 3 sets of xrays he's had over the past 4 months...would like any advice whatsoever & was wondering if anyone had any experience with this...any help would be greatly appreciated.Thanks, Chris
Both the bone and its marrow are infected in osteomyelitis, and while some oral antibiotics can penetrate bone, sometimes the only way to clear the infection is via surgical debridement and direct antibiotic perfusion. Even IV antibiotics are often not sufficient to treat osteomyelitis, and osteomyelitis often recurs or becomes chronic. Even in human cases which are more easily managed, it is hard to completely eradicate these infections.
Given his medical history, I would want to get him to a good equine clinic asap to evaluate what is going on and to get correct treatment started asap. If there is an orthopedic specialist on staff, that would be ideal.
Equine First Aid Kit? Just a few questions?
I'm gradually building up an equine first aid kit.
So far i've got
Antiseptic cream (Human)
Non-Adherant Dressing Pads
Aloe Vera Gel
All purpose cloths
Usefull Numbers (Vet etc)
Notebook + Pen
Is there anything else that would prove usefull?
i'm going to add a Thermometer, Stable Bandages, Gamgee, Salt and a weight tape. Would one roll of Robinsons gamgee (500g)be enough for one horse? Also would felt bandage pads do the same job?
Just wondered...what uses are there for epsom salts other than using in a poultice?
Any help would be greatly appreciated.
The antibacterial cream and plasters are for human use not for the horse
The most essential item I don't see on your list is 0.9% isotonic saline solution. It is a sterile salt water solution you can buy at any drug store. You should have some in a squeeze bottle ready to go, and have extra on hand at all times. It is currently the recommended first response treatment for all open wounds. You use it as a flush, about 15 lbs of pressure squirted on the wound to debride it well. It is balanced with body fluids so it won't swell tissue cells the way plain water does, and doesn't damage healthy cells needed for healing the way iodine and other harsh solutions do. The salt dehydrates bacteria and kills them, and flushing also drowns bacteria. It is the most effective treatment to prevent infection and heal wounds, and the only thing you should do before the horse is seen by a vet if there is any chance suturing will be required. The same treatment should be used for human wounds. Other treatments used in the past are typically cytotoxic, meaning that they kill delicate healthy cells needed to begin the healing process, and that results in delayed healing which can lead to complications like proud flesh.
Sterile 0.9% saline can also safely be used to flush the eyes, and to loosen dressings that stick to a wound.
I caution against trying to make your own saline solution. Too much salt is hypertonic and too little is hypotonic, and are harmful if applied to open wounds or used to flush eyes. Only 0.9% saline solution is isotonic and recommended for you to apply to wounds.
I would also have Kling bandage wrap on hand, which is more elastic than vetwrap and more suitable for wrapping areas like hocks where constricting circulation or pressure on tendons and ligaments from less elastic wraps is an issue. I would also have Elastikon tape, which is also elastic and is used to secure your bandage wraps.
You should have both non-stick gauze and fiber gauze on hand. If a wound is dirty and will need debriding, fiber gauze is best since it debrides the wound when it is removed. For all other wounds, non-stick is best as it doesn't disturb the healing surface as much.
Using sanitary napkins as wound dressings is no longer recommended since studies have shown that they are over-absorbent and actually cause increased bleeding of wounds, interfering with clotting needed to stop bleeding.
Non stick gauze covered with cotton sheeting and then wrapped is a better choice, especially when there is significant bleeding. Additional dressings are added over this if bleeding soaks through, so that the wound surface is not disturbed.
Nothing should ever be inserted into a puncture wound, as these wounds will harbor anaerobic bacteria. Inserting anything will serve to intoduce bacteria into the wound. These should be well flushed with saline, repeatedly if necessary until veterinary advice is obtained. A dressing over the puncture to keep debris out is all that should be done.
Most horses with puncture wounds may require a tetanus shot.
Only water based oinments are recommended for open wounds, since all others inhibit healing by bringing about an immune rejection response. Caustic wound powders and harsh chemicals like iodine are cytotoxic and also not recommended. By killing healthy cells, the dead tissue becomes food for bacteria and encourages infection. By delaying healing, formation of proud flesh is encouraged.
I use EMT ointment which is a hydrolyzed collagen gel that promotes healing better than any other product I've seen. It inhibits infection, blocks pain and itching, and adheres very well to protect the wound. There is also a hydrogel product that can be used, but I haven't tried it. EMT can be purchased at tractor and farm supply stores, or online.
Epsom salts is typically used mixed in warm water as a soak or made into a paste as a poultice. It is used for hoof abscesses and bruises to encourage them to surface or absorb. I also keep infant disposable diapers on hand which can be used for making hoof poultices, among other things.
You should also have a pair of bandage scissors, which are designed to be easily placed under bandages to cut them off without cutting the horse's skin.
My cat just got stung by a bee.?
what can i do i cant find the stinger and he wont step on his paw ?
The cat is now fine
If your cat doesn't demonstrate symptoms of bee sting allergy almost immediately, he's not going to. Chances are good that the stinger is out already, but if not there's a couple things you could do for him, if he'll let you. If he won't, then let him go about recuperating on his own, because cats get stung all the time on their paws, their noses, their mouths... and they go on with life. Here's my list of things you might try:
1) Get a Lipton's tea bag wet with warm water, squeeze it mostly dry, and keep it held on his paw. The tea and the damp heat act as drawing agents, for the stinger and for the poison.
2) Do the same thing with a wad of tobacco. I like tea better, but we use what we have, and it works the same.
3) Soak his paw in a pan of warm water with dissolved salt, or if you have it, Epsom Salts. Works great for us, too, when we step on a nail and get that red line going up our leg.
4) Make a paste of baking soda and water, and apply it as a poultice, use gauze wrap to keep it on. Change it 3 times a day.
All those work for dogs and humans, too. There was a time when there wasn't a doctor on every street corner, and people just did the things that worked.