Saturday, January 29, 2011

The simple first aid kit.

First aid kits have always been one of those things we argue over.  What exactly should go in a first aid kit? Over the years various books from the Pony Club manual to the BHS have tried to define the perfect kit.  Now I won’t pretend to be a vet so please don’t have me struck down by lightening if I get things a bit wrong.  I’ll only try to highlight some of the things that really do come in helpful rather than perhaps the “medical essentials”.

For starters if you’re in a lorry it vital you keep several ice packs in the freezer.  If a limbs swollen no one not even a vet can make a decent diagnosis so ice is the first step.  If you’re in a trailer you can get instant ice packs that you submerge in water to make go cold.

Following that having lots of Gamgee, dressings and poultices are a must.  These must be kept clean and replaced if they aren’t used within a couple of months as they begin to go off.  Wound creams are also a good plan as they can help keep things at bay and stop problems developing before the vet can asses things.

A hoof boot is also very helpful if shoes are lost or for holding poultices on.  Certain hoof boots also allow horses to be worked if they’ve lost shoes but I’m not aware of the feasibility of using these across country but it has been done in desperate circumstances.

Sharp scissors are also vital.  The biggest cause of accidents are blunt scissors and knives so sharp is definitely safer.  Sharp scissors also mean you’ll be able to cut things rather than hack at them in an exasperated manner.

A little known fact is that poultices can also be used for cooling legs like ice packs if they are wetted and put in a freezer.  They also have the advantage of containing various salts so have pulling properties for thorns etc.

Vet wrap is a life saver as it allows even the most incompetent bandager to put on a bandage that could potentially save a horses life.  On a more day to day basis its the quickest way to do medical bandages for things like tendons if bandages are being put on and off constantly.

A box of disposable gloves will also save you a lot of hassle and mess, plus they’ll help keep any dirt on your hands out of wounds.  Antiseptic wipes also go hand in hand with gloves especially if there’s deep wounds about.  The last thing you want is infections getting in etc.

A roll of cotton wool is a great idea.  A more expensive make is probably better as it’s denser and holds together better so won’t leave strands of wool in any grazes.  Cotton wool is really good for things like Hibi Scrub as you can use it plentifully and use clean pieces each time.

Hibi Scrub is a good general purpose product to treat all manner of ills.  The info on it is on the bottle with clear instructions so you feel confident using it as well.

Tweezers are really useful as well.  From taking out thorns to taking stones out of stud holes I’m sure you’ll find a use for them. 

Although, that covers quite a lot if in doubt ask your vet who is far more qualified than anyone here at Equishopping.   However, whatever they suggest, Equishopping’s wide range of first aid supplies should be able to supply it.

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