What To Include In a Horse First Aid Kit

What To Include In a Horse First Aid Kit

Every horse owner should have a horse first aid kit on hand at their barn and in their trailer. This way, you can quickly treat minor cuts, scrapes, and other ailments, and reduces the need to call a vet. In the case where veterinary care is needed, your first aid kit will hopefully provide relief until the doctor arrives. 

 

Your equine emergency kit will grow over time. You’ll start with the necessities and add things in as you pick them up at the feed store or have leftover (non-expired) medicine, ointments, and tools prescribed by your vet. We are going to provide you with an exhaustive list but try not to stress out about getting everything at once. Just keep in mind that all of these things are helpful to have on hand as you run across them. 

 

What to Buy

 

  1. A Watertight Container - Many people use a small tote. You want to keep your medical kit in a waterproof container so you can drag it out in bad weather (our horses’ favorite time to need care) and access what you need while keeping your supplies dry. 

  2. Vet Wrap and Ace Wraps of Different Sizes - If you are worried that your horse injured a leg, you can use these things to stabilize and immobilize as much as possible until the vet arrives. They can also help reduce swelling from a kick or other trauma. 

  3. Tape - Duct tape, athletic tape, and medical tape are all recommended. Duct tape helps keep hoof wraps (for abscesses and similar issues) in place. Athletic tape can provide support to a limb, and medical tape keeps bandages where they belong. 

  4. Basic Tools - A thermometer will help when your vet asks if your horse is running a fever. Scissors are a must for bandages, and tweezers are necessary for pulling out splinters and removing ticks. Gloves will make sure you aren’t adding mud and grime to any cuts that you are treating. A headlamp will reduce shadows and help you see what you are doing. 

  5. Gauze - You want varying gauze sizes, so you have what you need without having to cut everything to size (remember, horses with cuts don’t always stand perfectly still). Different sizes of squares and also a roll, so you can wrap something if needed, makes bandaging a squirmy horse easier. 

  6. Would Washes and Disinfectant - Peroxide, Epsom salts, betadine surgical scrub, rubbing alcohol, and a saline wound wash are all good things to have in your kit. You can use them to treat small cuts, soak abscesses, and keep larger wounds clean while waiting for veterinary attention. 

  7. Pain Relief - Bute (phenylbutazone) and Banamine (Flunixin meglumine) are the standards for pain relief. Both drugs are NSAIDs meaning they reduce inflammation and pain. Bute is commonly used for lameness, while Banamine is used to reduce fever and relieve stomach pain. These drugs will need to be prescribed by your veterinarian. They can educate you about when and how you should use them. The advantage of having them on hand is that you can offer some relief to your horse before the vet arrives. 

  8. Specialty Horse Products - Swat or something similar keeps bugs out of wounds and prevents infection. Wonder Dust is a fantastic product that helps prevent scar tissue from growing. Fly spray and fly masks are also helpful to have on hand, and diapers are popular for wrapping abscesses. 

 

Your horse first aid kit will grow over time, so make sure whatever container you use has a little extra space. Don’t forget to throw it in the trailer when you travel with your horse and keep your veterinarian’s number on a card in the kit, so you don't have to waste time looking it up in an emergency.  

 

Always call your vet when treating your horse yourself to be sure they agree with your treatment plan. If you need supplies to get your medical kit started, use our search bar to find the feed store closest to you.