If you’re a horse owner, you already know how important it is to keep your horses healthy; in fact, it is your responsibility to do so. Whether you enter your horses in regular competitions or have them around for riding purposes only, keeping them healthy is a lot easier if you know just what to do. One of the most important things you can do is keep a good, well-stocked first-aid kit on hand at all times, because whether they’re galloping, riding, or training, an injury can happen at the spur of the moment.
A personalized first-aid kit always works best because this is the best way to make sure you don’t forget anything important, and if you’re curious about the most essential items you should include in the kit, below are seven products your first-aid kit should never be without.
A basic thermometer is definitely an essential, and the good news is, you don’t have to buy a special thermometer made just for large animals. You should, however, do two things: first, make sure it is a digital thermometer so it is easier to read, and second, go ahead and get two of them in case the battery dies in the first one or you misplace it altogether.
Often, horses will stop feeding because they are experiencing a fever, so any time your horse isn’t acting like itself, taking its temperature is the first thing you should do. Some of the most dependable horse thermometers include the following:
- HEEPDD digital horse thermometer: with a large LED display that is easy to read and the ability to show readings in both Celsius and Fahrenheit, this ergonomically designed thermometer includes an easy on/off function, memory function, and voice reminder function. It comes with a convenient lanyard and is easy to clean and disinfect as well.
- Hurinan electronic rectal thermometer for pets: this thermometer is only three inches long and the perfect size for animals of all types. Fast and accurate, you can use it with a touch of a button, and its large LED display makes it super easy to see the numbers on the screen whether it’s day or night.
- JXFS electronic pet thermometer: you can use this thermometer both orally and rectally, and its ability to read a temperature in half-a-second means even with fidgety animals, taking an accurate temperature is super-easy and quick.
- Genuine Pavia Rectal Temp vet thermometer: ergonomically designed and made to accommodate a variety of animals, this thermometer provides you with an accurate temperature in six seconds and is made by a company trusted by shelters and vet clinicals all over the country.
A good stethoscope can be used to listen to a horse’s gut and for getting an accurate reading of both its heart and respiratory rate. Just like a thermometer, you don’t have to go overboard when selecting a stethoscope because even a basic one will do. Just make sure it is sturdy and made by a reputable company, because when it comes to essential items for your first-aid kit, this is one of the most important.
Below are a few of the stethoscopes with some very high customer ratings.
- BV Medical green stethoscope: perfect for vets and horse owners, this stethoscope is lightweight, made with high-quality parts throughout, and it is inexpensive at just $22. New to the stethoscope market, it even comes with a picture of a horse on the diaphragm area.
- Prestige Medical veterinary stethoscope: available in black, navy, and purple, this stethoscope has extra-long tubing for those times when you’re examining a horse that’s quite large, along with PVC tubing that is free of latex and a chestpiece and binaurals that are made out of stainless steel for longevity.
- 3M Littmann lightweight stethoscope: available in six different colors, this 28-inch-long stethoscope has a headset designed to be comfortable for both the owner and the horse. The tunable diaphragm allows you to hear different frequency sounds by simply adjusting the pressure on the chestpiece, and the price of around $42 makes it affordable for everyone.
- FriCARE stethoscope for home and clinic: lightweight and measuring 28 inches in length, the FriCARE stethoscope offers flexible tubing and a turntable chestpiece to make its use super-easy every time. The latex-free tubing is simple to keep clean and does a great job of resisting sweat, oils, and stains, and it even comes with a replacement diaphragm and ear tips for convenience.
3.Chlorhexidine Scrub and Gauze Pads
Of all the scrubs made to clean horse’s wounds, this is by far the safest, and since you never know when your horse may injure itself, it is a good idea to keep some of this scrub around at all times. Not only is this a very efficient cleanser for wounds of all types, it is also one of the least expensive first-aid products you’ll end up buying. Because you never know when you might need it, this is definitely one of the many essential items you should include in your first-aid kit.
Fortunately, there are also many different companies that make chlorhexidine scrub, and below are a few of them.
- Durvet chlorhexidine scrub for horses and dogs: this one-gallon container of 2% chlorhexidine gluconate solution is a great antibacterial aqueous cleaning solution that is perfect for all types of cuts and abrasions. It provides a residual effect of up to two days and is effective against both gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria, making it a perfect multipurpose cleaner for your horse.
- Pet MD antifungal and antiseptic medicated spray: perfect for horses and other animals, this medicated spray contains not only chlorhexidine but also ketoconazole, aloe, and vitamin E, making it perfect for cleansing and protecting wounds from getting infected. It is good for both cuts and abrasions and skin infections, insect bites, and even ringworm.
- Vetasan 4% chlorhexidine ointment: made by Kinetic, this topical ointment is non-irritating and antibacterial, making it great to keep a variety of wounds clean and free of bacteria. It also comes lightly scented for a pleasant aroma, but of course, its main attribute is its ability to keep your horse’s wounds clean and germ-free.
- Qfauto gauze rolls for pets of all types: made for horses as well as other animals, this lightweight gauze is self-adherent and, therefore, needs no clips or pins to keep it in place. It is made out of breathable and soft material that is never uncomfortable for your pets, and it is perfect for most types of equine injuries and wounds.
Although a triple antibiotic ointment is considered a great item to place on your horse’s wound after it is thoroughly cleansed, you should still consult with your vet before using anything that works like a sealant because it can inhibit the healing process. Nevertheless, once you get the okay from your vet, a good antibiotic ointment can be just what you need to make sure the wound stays protected from germs and is allowed to heal properly.
Antibiotic ointments are good for both initial wound care and subsequent care until the wound heals, and some of the highest-rated ointments for horses include the following.
- Farnam triple action wound treatment: perfect for scrapes, cuts, and rope burns, this ointment does three things: relieves pain, helps the wound heal quicker, and provides a barrier so that no other germs or bacteria can get inside of the wound. It is perfect for relieving the horse’s discomfort and pain while the wound is healing, regardless of how long it takes.
- ResQ skin treatment for pets: made with all-natural ingredients and available in three different sizes, this ointment is perfect for relieving hot spots, itchy skin, allergy problems, and for all types of wound care. It is greaseless, easily absorbed, and heals from the inside out, providing your horse with fast and efficient healing every time.
- Horseman’s Dream vet cream: made by Manna Pro, this cream is available in two different sizes and provides you with a great liniment or ointment for all types of wounds and skin problems. It contains aloe and is, therefore, good for the skin, and it is easily absorbed for immediate relief. It is a perfect multipurpose vet cream to keep on hand.
- Mad About Organics herbal skin salve: with a pleasant lavender/mint aroma, this all-natural skin salve is good for a variety of wound and skin problems. From cuts and abrasions to rashes and general itch problems, the product works quickly so that your horse will feel better sooner rather than later. It is also designed so that a little goes a long way, which means one jar should last you for a very long time.
5.Enough Bandages for All Four Legs
When it comes to wrapping your horse’s legs, you can certainly find a huge variety of bandages and wraps to accommodate the horse’s needs. Since you never know when you might need to cover a wound or provide the horse with a little extra support and protection, it’s never a bad idea to keep enough wraps on hand to secure all four legs if you need to, because they can definitely be considered essential items for all horse owners.
You can use track wraps or quilts, or even disposable cottons with a self-adhesive bandage on top – whatever works in a pinch. If you find yourself in need of a different type of bandage later on, that’s all right because any type of wrap will suffice until you can get a hold of what you need. If you’re curious about some basic leg wraps, below are a few to consider.
- Prairie Horse Supply flexible bandages: these are stretchable, flexible leg wraps that don’t need pins or clips to adhere them, and they won’t hurt the horse’s hair or skin, either. They are available in 2-, 3-, and 4-inch widths and a variety of colors, including red, blue, pink, purple, and orange, among others. They are also available in packs of 6, 12, 18, or 24, so it is easy to keep a number of them around for emergencies.
- WildCow vet wraps: you can purchase a set of 12 bandages in various widths for roughly $22, so it’s easy to add these to your first-aid kit without breaking the bank. Lightweight, waterproof, and super-easy to tear, the wraps provide a variety of uses and can be applied without the use of pins or clips, making them very efficient and useful.
- TuffRider mesh wraps for horses: these are basic white wraps made out of nylon mesh and are both comfortable and easy to apply. You get a set of four for roughly $14, and they do a great job of shielding your horse’s legs from flies and biting insects. They are also the perfect go-to product whenever you need a little extra support for the horse’s leg area.
- BB Star cotton leg wraps: a good all-purpose leg wrap, they are 30” x 36” in size and are not too bulky and, therefore, easy to apply. You can even trim them up if you need to so they are the perfect size, and at roughly $23 for a package of 12, it is easy to keep as many of them around as you need.
6.A Small LED Flashlight
Horses don’t always get sick during daylight hours, and a good LED flashlight can help you assess wound damages or look into a horse’s eyes to check his pupils, among other things. Like other essential items for your first-aid kit, flashlights don’t have to be the most expensive ones on the market to be effective. They just have to be sturdy and reliable. If you do decide to keep a flashlight in your first-aid kit, make sure you check the batteries at least twice a year.
Below are some excellent small flashlights that are perfect for this type of use.
- Wsiiroon portable, waterproof flashlight: made for both indoor and outdoor use, this set of two flashlights will definitely come in handy when you need them, and they even have five different light modes so that you get just what you need every time. At $15 for the set, they are certainly affordable as well.
- Streamlight stylus LED flashlight: if you’re looking for a compact flashlight that still provides you with the power you need, this is it. Shaped like a pen, the flashlight comes in colors such as red, blue, and black, and comes with a pocket clip in case you’d like to carry it around with you as you work. It is also water- and impact-resistant and, therefore, should last you a very long time.
- Lighting Ever LED flashlight: small but super-bright, this flashlight has adjustable brightness levels and costs under $17 for a pack of two, making it a great addition to your first-aid kit. It is also water-resistant and non-slip, making it perfect for those late-night horse inspections. It provides you with a 490-foot zoom range, and it is perfect for the large-area illumination you often need on the farm.
This one may surprise you, but when it comes to essential items, it can be a real life-saver. Duct tape has literally hundreds of uses, and one of the most important ones for a horse owner is to keep wraps and bandages nice and secure on your horse’s legs. Let’s face it, when it comes to fixing things, duct tape is irreplaceable, and whether you’re on the farm or on the road, you never know when it might come in handy.
Duct tape also comes in a variety of sizes and even colors, so if you want to get a little creative with any task that requires this type of tape, it is easy to do. Keeping a roll or two of duct tape in your first-aid kit is never something you’ll regret, and below are a few brands to keep in mind when you’re shopping for this product.
- IPG heavy-duty duct tape: this single roll of 1.88” x 35’ duct tape is likely to last you a very long time, and it is easy to unwind, adheres easily and reliably, and can stand up to the challenge regardless of the weather. Whether you’re sealing something, repairing something, or patching something up, this extra-strong duct tape is certain never to disappoint.
- Craftzilla colored duct tape: available in a six-roll set, each roll is 2” x 10’ and comes in a fun color, including purple, yellow, orange, green, blue, and pink. Although made for crafts, this tape is functional for other purposes as well, and their easy-tear feature means you can work quickly even if it’s dark or you don’t have much time, making them a very useful product indeed.
- 3M black duct tape: when it comes to items such as duct tape, you can’t beat the 3M name, and this roll of 1.88” x 60’ duct tape can certainly make life on a horse farm a lot simpler. You can tear the tape either horizontally or vertically, and it is perfectly suited for both temporary and long-term repairs. It is also one of the strongest duct tape products on the market.