Prepare for Equine Emergency First Aid

Whether you’re at home or at a horse show, be armed with the right supplies and knowledge in the event of a horse-health emergency.

From AQHA Corporate Partner Zoetis

Despite their beauty and grace, horses can be prone to accidents. Mishaps can include cuts, bruises or something more severe. In the event of an emergency, every horse owner should have a working knowledge of first aid and an established plan of action as well as a well-stocked first-aid kit.

Emergency Reaction

Knowing how to react in an emergency situation is key. First-aid basics include:

    • Understanding wound care and proper bandage application
    • Considering all eye injuries to be emergencies
    • Ability to control bleeding from a wound

Plan of Action

When an emergency strikes, a call to your veterinarian should be your first step. Easy access to your veterinarian's contact information will help make treating your horse a seamless process. In addition, a complete record of all your horse’s medications and vaccinations is essential, especially in an emergency. The EQStable app by Zoetis offers a great way to track all of this information on your iPhone.

First aid is important everywhere, including out on the trail. Because there's no way of knowing what awaits you on the trails, download AQHA's FREE Trail Ride Safety Tips report for advice on how to be as prepared for all kinds of situations.

Accidents and injuries can cause even the calmest horse owner to panic. What your horse needs most when he suffers an injury or wound is for you to remain calm and focused on getting the necessary help. Likewise, you may need to quiet your horse in order to examine any injuries he has sustained. Consider including DORMOSEDAN GEL® (detomidine hydrochloride) and NOLVASAN® Skin and Wound Cleanser in your horse’s first aid kit to help make wound care and bandaging tasks safer, easier and more effective. DORMOSEDAN GEL is the only oral sedative approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration that is proven safe and effective for horse owners to administer at home with a veterinary prescription.

If your horse is injured, it’s vital to act quickly and effectively. Know where to locate your first-aid kit at all times. Brush up on taking vital signs, learn basic first-aid procedures and bandaging techniques, and use the EQStable app to periodically update your horse’s health information and key contact information, such as your veterinarian.

First-Aid Kit

Be prepared with a well-stocked, easily accessible first-aid kit. You should include supplies for wound dressing and cleaning, and sedatives for an anxious horse. Since injury can occur at any time or in any location, consider keeping one first-aid kit in your barn and another in your truck or trailer. Below are recommended items for your first-aid kit:

Trail riding can be very fun, but it can also come with unexpected dangers. To be prepared for what may come while out on the trails, download AQHA's FREE Trail Ride Safety Tips report.

    • Thermometer
    • Roll of cotton
    • Gauze pads
    • Brown gauze
    • Telfa® nonstick pad
    • Adhesive wrap
    • Diaper
    • Leg wraps
    • Latex gloves
    • Eye wash
    • White tape
    • Duct tape
    • Scissors
    • Triple antibiotic ointment
    • Small flashlight and spare batteries
    • Hoof pick

Check out other effective Zoetis products at

Additional Recourses

Help prepare for emergencies with an on-demand webinar on practical first aid. The webinar teaches you what to do while you wait for your veterinarian’s arrival, including how to take vital signs, the basics of bandaging and much more. Access the webinar here.

IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION: Do not use DORMOSEDAN GEL in horses with pre-existing atrioventricular (AV) or sinoatrial (SA) block, with severe coronary insufficiency, cerebrovascular disease, respiratory disease, or chronic renal failure. Do not use in anesthetized or sedated horses, or in conditions of shock, severe debilitation or stress due to extreme heat, cold, fatigue or high altitude. Do not use in horses intended for human consumption. Handle gel-dosing syringes with caution to avoid direct exposure to skin, eyes or mouth. See full prescribing information.

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