You come home after a long, hard day at work and go to the barn to feed. Your gelding, named “Disaster,” has a deep cut on his forearm and the cut is bleeding in spurts. What do you do?
An emergency is a medical condition that requires immediate care. Sensible emergency care can prevent the problem from worsening, reduce discomfort and promote more rapid correction of the problem. The cut described above could result in a dangerous blood loss and quickly become infected if first aid is not given.
The most common veterinary complaints seen in horses are colic, lacerations and lameness, all of which can be prevented to a degree. Colic is associated with rapid changes in feed, irregular feeding and an inadequate deworming program. Lacerations are often associated with poor fence and barn maintenance, barbed wire fencing, overcrowding, and frequent mixing of groups of horses that have not been kept together in the past. Lameness can be associated with poor conditioning, injuries that could have been prevented and inadequate foot care. If you have a lot of horse emergencies, you should evaluate your management and make changes to reduce problems.
"TNH1006- Emergency First Aid for Horses," The University of Tennessee Agricultural Extension Service, 4/05-2M E12-4415-00-014-05 05-340, http://trace.tennessee.edu/utk_agexani/25