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First Aid

A guide to first aid for horses

A guide to first aid for horses  

Abrasions, bruises, cuts and lacerations - learn the basics of first aid care for your horse in this guide.

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Recognising the horse wound and its severity

Recognising the horse wound and its severity  

One way of assessing a wound’s potential to cause problems is to classify them. Treatment can then be instigated in a logical manner.

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Joint and Limb Swelling

Joint and Limb Swelling  

Soft, puffy joints or “filling” around the joints or lower limbs are very common in horses. The soft tissue swelling or “oedema” is usually due to a hard workout or a knock to the leg.

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Strained Or “Bowed” Tendons

Strained and bowed tendon  

Injury to the flexor tendons that run down the back of the cannon area between the knee and the fetlock is common in racing and competition horses.

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Checklist to applying first aid

Checklist to Applying First Aid  

A sound knowledge of basic first aid is important for anyone who regularly handles horses. As all horse owners know, horses are very susceptible to injuries which can occur in the paddock, stable or when being ridden.

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Wound management

Wound management  

It is important that when your horse suffers a cut or knock, the assessment and intervention you employ is timely and correct to try and avoid unnecessary complications further down the line.

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Bleeding

Bleeding  

Wounds can bleed quite dramatically when horses are injured. It is easy to overestimate the amount of bleeding, as even a small amount of blood on the ground can appear excessive.

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Saddle Sores & Girth Galls

Saddle Sores & Girth Galls  

Girth galls and saddle sores usually result from the use of poorly fitting equipment or insufficient padding under the saddle and around the girth.

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Splints

Splints  

The splint bones are small tapering bones than run along each side of the cannon bones in both the front and back legs. In horses up to 5-7 years of age the splint bones are attached to the cannon bone by a fibrous ligament.

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First aid kit

First aid kit  

Having a basic first aid kit close at hand when an injury occurs is the first step to providing assistance to your horse.

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