Q. I have just bought my first horse and would like to build up a first aid kit to keep on the yard for emergencies. Can you recommend what products I should include?
A. It can be overwhelming as a new horse owner to choose essential first aid items when you are faced with so many different products. In order to treat minor injuries promptly and efficiently we would recommend a few key products as a good start to a basic first aid kit.
Animalintex® is arguably the most important item in your first aid kit. This well-known and trusted product is the only veterinary licensed poultice dressing on the market for equine treatment. It can be used to treat a wide variety of ailments, from infected wounds, abscesses and embedded thorns to bruises, strains and sprains. It can be applied as a hot, wet poultice, a cold, wet poultice or even as a dry wound dressing, depending on the condition requiring treatment.
Wound dressings are an essential item for any first aid kit; they encourage a wound to heal more rapidly and help prevent the risk of infection and scarring. A low adherent dressing such as Skintact® is ideal for minor cuts and grazes.
A tube of Vetalintex® wound hydrogel should be included in your kit, as research has revealed that moist wound healing provides a more controlled wound environment and encourages healing to start from within. After a wound has been cleaned, the sterile hydrogel should be applied to a depth of 5mm.
Veterinary Gamgee® is also a good staple first aid product as it is used to promote wound healing by insulating, cushioning and protecting a wound from external trauma. The absorbent, high quality cotton wool enclosed in a non-woven or gauze cover should be applied over a wound dressing and finished with a cohesive bandage such as Equiwrap®.
Equiwrap® cohesive bandages quickly and easily secure a dressing or bandage in place without restricting movement and come in a range of colours to brighten up your first aid kit!
For tendon injuries, inflammation, knocks, strains, bruises and swelling Koolpak® provides immediate, dry cold therapy and is fast, effective and mess free. As it doesn’t require refrigeration it is perfect for use in an emergency situation.
It is also a good idea to ensure that you include a pair of blunt ended scissors for safe removal of bandages and cutting wound dressings to size, some good quality cotton wool for cleaning wounds and a basic human first aid kit including plasters and bandages for any injuries that may incur.
When you have your new kit all together, it is worth thinking about where and how you store it. It is essential that your first aid kit is stored in a suitable container that is rodent proof and kept in a prominent position on the yard that is accessible to everyone. During winter, the kit may need to be stored in a heated room to prevent certain products from freezing.
Products which contain an active ingredient such as Animalintex®, or are sterile such as Vetalintex® and Skintact® will need their sell-by-date checking regularly as they have a limited lifespan and will need replacing regardless of whether they have been used or not.
If you are ever in any doubt about first aid treatment, consult a veterinary surgeon straight away.
Robinson Animal Healthcare has a wide range of products for all your first aid requirements.
For more information on the Robinson Animal Health Care range contact them on 01909 735000 or visit www.robinsonhealthcare.com