First aid essentials

  • Keeping a well-stocked first aid kit available at all times, whether at home or at a show, is vital if you are to administer emergency first aid successfully.

    The contents of your kit can be simple or elaborate, but the following are worth having:

    • List of key phone numbers, eg vet, doctor, insurers
    • Pen and paper
    • Torch, ideally a small pen torch and a larger torch (plus spare batteries)
    • Thermometer
    • Curved, stainless steel scissors
    • Small pair of tweezers or forceps
    • Clean bucket or big bowl
    • Antiseptic wound cleaner eg povidone-iodine (pevidine) or chlorhexidine (Hibiscrub)
    • Surgical spirit
    • Petroleum jelly (Vaseline)
    • Wound gel (Dermagel, Intrasite gel, Nugel, Vetalintex)
    • A range of dressings including cotton wool and Gamgee
    • Ready-to-use poultice (Animalintex)
    • Non-stick sterile dressing squares to go over wounds (Melonin)
    • Cotton stretch bandages (K band)
    • Adhesive bandages (Elastoplast)
    • Self-adhesive bandages (Vetrap)
    • Zinc oxide tape or electric insulating tape
    • Exercise bandages
    • Stable bandages

    Useful extras

    • shoe-removing kit
    • Pliers and wire cutters
    • Spare hoofpick
    • Salt
    • Sterile bag of saline to flush wounds
    • Moist baby wipes to clean wounds
    • Sterile antiseptic-impregnated nail brushes to clean wounds (E-Zscrub)
    • Proprietary ice wrap or cooling bandage
    • Clean, old towels
    • Bailer twine and some rope
    • Medications: to be discussed with your vet and prescribed as necessary
    • Bandages: there are many modern bandaging materials available, ask your vet to advise on the best options for your individual situation.

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