First-Aid Treatment Notes

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Control bleeding. Offer small amounts of water. Slowly cool if overheated. Warm if rectal temp is less than 99. (Use blankets, generous bedding, hot water bottles, warm water to drink, etc.) Keep calm, avoid noise, bright lights. Put in familiar stall or surroundings.

Wounds: (Non-Bleeding Or Very Slowly Bleeding Wounds)

Clip, clean (avoid shedding fibers), cold water hosing. Apply water-soluble antibacterial dressing. Avoid strong antiseptics in wound and medications that can't be easily rinsed out. Apply bandage. A veterinarian should see any wound that is over or near a joint or tendon.

Severe Bleeding:

Apply direct pressure by hand with clean towel. If bleeding can be controlled, apply bandage. If bandage becomes blood soaked, do not remove it. If bleeding cannot be controlled with direct pressure, apply clothing packs, hemostat and/or tourniquet and then bandage.

Keep calm. Treat for shock.

If bleeding from nose, elevate the horse's head above the heart.

Puncture Wounds:

Scrub with antiseptic soap, flush with mild antiseptic solution such as diluted betadine solution. If removing a nail from the foot, mark entry point with permanent marker on foot, mark the imbedded part of nail and on the nail and note direction of tract. It may be best to wait for vet to remove it. If horse is impaled on a foreign body, do not pull it out! Cover if possible.

Sprains / Swellings:

COLD applications- 15 minutes, several times daily for 48 hours. Support wrap. If limb is non-weight bearing, suspect a fracture- keep quiet, treat for shock, clean and bandage any wounds, support wrap opposite limb. Do not trailer until splinted.


Make physical assessment and call vet BEFORE giving any medications!

Report duration, severity and progress of colic, recent diet, management changes, pregnancy status, manure production, etc.

If colic signs are mild, walk horse 15-20 minutes, turn loose and observe. If horse is more comfortable, offer water, salt, and a small amount of hay. Remove excess hay, grain and edible bedding. If no diarrhea, feed a bran mash after about an hour. Call vet if colic signs recur. Monitor for at least 4 hours, and then check horse every 3-4 hours (2 to 4 times).

If colic signs are moderate to severe, call for vet and extra help immediately. Remove all feed and edible bedding. Provide free choice of salt and water. Walk horse 20 minutes. Repeat 20 minute interval walking if horse tries to lie down and roll. Keep horse in safe area to prevent further injury should he go down.

Laminitis, Acute:

This is a true emergency, call the vet. Withhold all grain. Cool the feet in ice water. Stand horse in cool mud or sand. Don't force exercise. Allow to lie down.


Keep horse quiet. Remove all feed. Offer water. Call vet and medicate if directed. Try a limited amount of gentle, downward massage over the esophagus.


Treat for shock. Cover burns with clean cloths soaked in cool saline solution (1tsp. Salt per quart of water).


Northeast Pennsylvania Equine Clinic, LLC.

4326 State Route 1001, Thompson, PA 18465
Office: 570.727.2868 Fax: 570.727.2935
Office Hours: M-Th 7:30am-4:30pm, F 8am-4:30pm, Sat by appointment

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