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Old 02-08-2012, 03:12 PM  
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Equine Emergency Supplies

Hello! As I am new at this, I am soliciting advice from all of the experts here. What should I have on hand for my two, soon to be three, little donks in case of emergencies? (Not that we are EVER going to have any of those!) Suggestions? What do you keep in your arsenal? Thanks!
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"Ellison likes that donkeys demand he be soft and tender with them, which he said goes against his male tendencies. He said working with donkeys reminds him how he should treat his family." - Long Ear Donkey Rescue
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Old 02-09-2012, 05:33 PM  
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the most important thing we have is a stomch tube and pump along with several gallons of mineral oil. Also acepromazine, dipyrone,bute ,electrolytes,and . . dexamethasone. we keep suture material for stitching wounds. the colic treatment is the most important thing you can learn to do. At the first sign of distress or even if they`re just off thier feed we tube them with 1 gallon mineral oil,1 galon warm soapy water with a hand full of electrolytes added.They also get 3 or 4 cc ace I V and 20cc dipyrone 10 IV and 10 IM. Themost important thing with colic is timing. By the time most people recognise the symptoms and finally decide to get them to the vetmany are to far gone to save. If the animal is not having tru colic or a blockage the treatment will do no harm .
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Old 02-09-2012, 05:52 PM  
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thanks Jerry!
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"Ellison likes that donkeys demand he be soft and tender with them, which he said goes against his male tendencies. He said working with donkeys reminds him how he should treat his family." - Long Ear Donkey Rescue
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Old 02-14-2012, 11:18 PM  
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I think the 3 most important things you can have are:
1) thermometer
2) cheap stethoscope
3) knowing how to take vital signs

If you can take a temp, count the pulse and respirations, check gum color and capillary refill (how many seconds it takes for the color to come back into the gums after you press with a finger), and listen to gut sounds, your vet will love you when you call. You will be able to give very important, objective information and your vet can assess if your situation is a true emergency or if you can maybe give a dose of Banamine and wait an hour.

If you just call your vet , all worried because your donkey is not eating and just doesn't look well, the vet is obligated to come out and check. If, however, you can give good information, you can save a lot of house calls. The same story with a normal vitals vs a temp of 104 can make all the difference in the world when it is Saturday night and you might have to pay $150 emergency weekend call.

Besides the above, the most "essential" meds to keep on hand are Banamine, Bute, Epsom salts or Ichthamol, and maybe a topical antiseptic like Betadine or Novalsan, and a new tube of Neosporin or bacitracin ointment. Vetericin is pretty good stuff for wounds. I would never keep oral or injectable antibiotics on hand. You don't know which ones to use, and inappropriate use is what leads to resistant organisms. An animal that is sick enough for antibiotics needs to have the vet come. Antibiotics should never be a "just in case" type of medication. There should be a good reason for giving them, and if you start on your own (possibly with expired ones), you can really mess up lab results if the vet needs them. You can also cause problems like diarrhea which can dehydrate an animal very quickly.

I visited a barn once and the the owner proudly opened up a large pantry, showing off her "pharmacy." I would bet most of the stuff was expired or contaminated. Nothing to be proud of. It's one thing to doctor your own animal, but quite another to think you know how to prescribe and dose prescription medications.

Basic first aid stuff like gauze, vet wrap, Ace wraps, duct tape, scissors, etc, are standard. Sanitary pads or baby diapers make good dressings for larger wounds. I also keep a couple sizes of Equine Slippers on hand. These are the best ever for holding together a hoof wrap (like if there is an abcess) that needs to stay clean and intact. "Equine Slipper" is the actual name, and they are really, really the greatest.

A very experienced horseman like Jerry can diagnose and treat colic by tubing and pumping down water and oil. However, an inexperienced person runs the risk of pumping oil/water down the trachea instead of the esophagus - that's called drowning! (We actually used to deworm with stomach tubes before the handy paste wormers!) If you have colic, take all the vitals, keep the animal from rolling, take away food, and call the vet.

Same thing with stitches and IV/IM meds. Unless you are comfortable doing stitches and giving those meds, and can safely restrain an injured animal, it's a better choice to call the vet.

Here is my #1, all time tip for a new owner. Sock away a $1000 emergency fund just for the horse/mule/donkey. Put it in a place where you can't get at it easily, but have it if and when the unexpected occurs. And it will occur. Having a financial buffer takes so much stress out of those kinds of events. I had a mule get extremely sick very quickly a few months ago. Apparently it was a very toxic bacterial infection from who knows where. I was in communication with the vet and giving updates and treatment, but she was getting worse very quickly until she was almost down with 104.2 temp. Blood work showed an overwhelming infection. She was dehydrated and also became acutely laminitic from the toxins. In one weekend, she had 2 vet visits, blood work, 20 liters of IV fluids, and antibiotics (both IV and IM for 5 days, followed by oral for another week.) I was able to give all her meds, and worked with the farrier to get her feet comfortable. $1000 in one weekend! But she would have died in another day. I had the money saved up, so yes, it was not pleasant, but I didn't have to go into debt for it, and I knew I had the resources to cover the charges.

BTW, she pulled through fine, no residual lameness because we caught it early. Believe me (TRULY!!!) catching something early is a whole lot cheaper than waiting. It is always expensive, but a lot cheaper on the front end than on the back end of a problem. Be alert, watch for behavioral changes every time you are out with them. Never just throw in hay and walk away. You have to see them walk up, start eating, no lameness, no problems. All is well. Ha! The other night I threw out the bedtime hay and stood around to watch them come up. The mare looked funny. She wanted to eat, but threw her head up every time she bent over to get the hay. She went from pile to pile the same way. Too dark to see very well, but sure enough, I finally saw that she had a chunk of cactus stuck right in the front of her nose! Poor thing would have gone all night like that if I had not stayed to watch for a minute.
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Last edited by DixieMom : 02-14-2012 at 11:54 PM.
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Old 02-15-2012, 05:42 AM  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jerry View Post
the most important thing we have is a stomch tube and pump along with several gallons of mineral oil.
... in six and a half years of owning my horse at four different boarding barns, some of them pretty large, I have never heard of anyone doing this. (Calling the vet and having the vet show up with the tube, sure, not doing it themselves!) (and absolutely not "at the first sign of distress!")

I agree completely with Dixiemom's recommendations!

My day-to-day tack box has these things which are medical in nature:
scissors
wound care cream
hoof thrush treatment (Life Data Labs hoof disinfectant)
MTG (primarily for hair care, but also for skin irritation)

My "medical bag" has:
scissors
various gauze configurations from squares to rolls
vet wrap
rubber gloves
antifungal cream and antibacterial cream (for thrush)
thermometer
stethoscope
weight tape
cheapo digital camera picked up at yard sale


And then I have a tack trunk that has more stuff ... bottles and things I've collected over the years ... don't necessarily remember everything in it.
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Old 02-15-2012, 04:45 PM  
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dear lady mcse more horses die of colic because the owner either was afraid to incour a vet bill or wanted to wait to se if it`s really serious.Guess what , its a relativly simple procedure and easy to learn. all vets had to learn how to do it on live horses because you can`t do it on a cadaver. most people never pay any attention to what the vet is doing when he or she comes out so they never learn anything. when the tube is inserted in the nasal passage far enough to reach the junction of the wind pipe and the passage to the stomach you can see the horse swallow it . from that point if its in the right place you can see ti going down the neck. If you can`t see it going down don`t pump anything in. Next time you have the opertunity to be there when the vet is doing the prosedure ask him to eaplain what he`s doing and how he knows it`s done correctly. any vet worth his salt will be willing to explain it as he goes. There`s always going to be the time when the vet can`t be reached or he has a whole list of emergencys ahead of you and the ability to do this may mean the difference between life or death for youre horse and by the way there is no down side to pumping some oil, water and electrolites into a horses stomach.
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Old 02-15-2012, 05:51 PM  
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Plus you can aspirate stomach contents with a big syringe and feel for air. There are ways to check placement. And you have to be able to keep the horse/donkey quiet enough for the procedure. Some are really calm with it, and others have to have a little sedation. You are absolutely right, Jerry, that tubing a horse can be a life saving skill, however a new owner is not going to be able to do this. Imagine a brand new owner who is upset to start with and has never really seen an actual colic before, trying to do this while non-horsey hubby is trying to hold the horse.
If they can keep the horse safe, take vitals, give some Banamine, and call the vet at the first sign of colic, they are doing the right thing as well. A lot of it is catching a colic early and that's where observation and knowing the normal behavior of your animals is important.
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Old 02-16-2012, 03:00 PM  
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From a Vet who also owns horses & donkeys:

- ECR – Equine Colic Relief (online)
- Banamine (vet)
- Penicillin (vet)
- Bute (vet)
- Triple antibiotic ointment - 1oz. (28.4 gm) tube. Neomycin and Polymyxin B Sulfates and Bacitracin Zinc.
- Sterile Saline - 12 oz. (12.4 oz. UK) ‘squeezer bottle’ for wound or eye irrigation.
- Duck tape roll for making hoof bandage or pressure wrap in severe bleeding.
- Epsom salt - 1 lb. (.45 kg) sealed container for soaking/drawing-out hoof abscess/infections, etc.
- Povidone Iodine Solution - 4 ounce 'squeezer' bottle with 'flip-top' for cleaning wounds, skin infections, etc.
- Artificial Tears (sterile) - 15ml. dropper bottle for eye application.
- 2 Absorbine Jr. Liniment Patches - 5 1/2” x 4” (14 x 10 cm.) self-adhesive patches for tendon strains, pain relief after cold hose. Lasts 8 hours, bends and flexes as horse moves, and is not greasy or smelly. Contains Menthol, Camphor, and Eucalyptus.
- 'Wet Ones' travel pack – 15 large, thick & strong antibacterial, moist towelettes with soothing Aloe.
- Shapley’s MTG multipurpose skin treatment 6oz - rain rot, scratches, bug bites, girth itch, promote hair growth, chewed tails, etc. (online @ Jeffers)
- Silver, horse-sized, Emergency Blanket - 52” x 84” (1.32 meter x 2.1 meter); Same quality and design as the blankets recommended by the American Red Cross for Home Emergency Kits but in a horse size.
- 2 clean, white, 100% cotton, hand towels.
- 2 Polo Wraps; 'one size fits all', cloth (280 gm. fleece) with Velcro, closure track bandages. Easy to use and adjust.
- 2 washable, full-size fluffy leg quilts for use with track bandages.
- 2 - 4” (10.2 cm.) rolls "Syr-Vet" (or Coflex) cohesive flexible bandages; 4" x 5 yds. (10.2 cm x 4.6 meter). Self-adhesive, lightweight compression and breathable with 8 lb. (3.6 kg.) tensile strength. To keep stable wraps/dressings, in place, etc.
- 10 absorbent, hospital-grade gauze pads.
- 5 large, non-stick, sterile, highly absorbent and hospital-grade, Telfa-type pads.
- 3 pair vinyl gloves ('fits all').
- 12 foot (3.7 meter), strong utility boat-type rope for quick halter, tie, etc. Will not unravel.
- Quick link-type snap-hook for use with the utility rope.
- Scissors (stainless blades, cushion handle for right or left-handed person).
- Tweezers (stainless).
- Jointed pliers/heavy wire cutter all in one (or one of each).
- Flashlight
- Stethoscope - good quality; seamless brass tubes/nickel-chromium plated with very good sound amplification for heart rate, lung/gut sounds, etc.
- Thermometer - 5 inch (12.7 cm.), accurate, heavy duty Veterinarian-quality & case w/ clip, ring top, Celsius & Fahrenheit.
- String to be used with the Thermometer.
- 'Instant' Ice Pak.
- Tourniquet for Emergency Bleeding Control ONLY.
- Notepad.
- Pen and pencil.

*The only things I do not have yet are the first four items, MTG & the polo wraps & leg quilts.* Building!
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"Ellison likes that donkeys demand he be soft and tender with them, which he said goes against his male tendencies. He said working with donkeys reminds him how he should treat his family." - Long Ear Donkey Rescue
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Old 02-16-2012, 03:05 PM  
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Thanks to all who replied! I have a separate goat/llama kit and am building this one for the donkeys. That ECR has come highly recommended by some friends who run rescues. It is wicked expensive but supposed to be a life-saver for colic and zaps it quick. I want to always have two doses on hand for emergencies after hearing about how wonderfully it works, though. It has a forever shelf life which is awesome!
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Old 02-17-2012, 06:36 PM  
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Dixie Mom! Adding Equine Slippers to my list after reading more about them. Boxer has some issues with his two left hooves and the farrier is coming back to look at them. She thought that the problems were probably from a bad diet/neglect before he was rescued. (Some hoof wall separation and also a chipped hoof.) Benjamin also has an old abscess that is mostly healed now. As for my emergency fund for critters ... those darn elderly dogs keep draining it!!!

Jerry, I would be TERRIFIED to try that by myself!!! Maybe after a vet shows me how? Maybe? Glad you are able to do that for your babies, tho.

Lady_MCSE, Yea! I have all of those things except antifungal cream. My friend gave me some thrush med that comes in a small squeeze bottle from Jeffers but the ingredients scared me! LOL
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