A well-stocked horse medicine cabinet is essential for any stable. It should include a variety of dressings, antiseptic solutions, emollient creams, ointments, poultices, and medicines. Keep it clean, tidy, and well stocked at all times, and mark all items as “medicinal”.
A well-stocked horse medicine cabinet is essential for any stable. A cool, protected area should be designated for medical supplies. A wide range of items will provide speed and efficiency in times of emergency. You should also have your vet’s phone number posted prominently near the phone and make sure everyone involved in your stable knows where it is. It’s also a good idea to write down your area code and postcode, as most emergency services have area code maps, and having your code makes it easy to find you.
Your horse medicine cabinet should include a variety of dressings, including non-stick dressings in various sizes. You will also need bandages, Vetrap®, Gamgee®, cotton wool, surgical tape and a good pair of scissors. Antiseptic solutions, such as alcohol, mild iodine, and hydrogen peroxide, will also be needed, as will wound powder and antibacterial spray. Emollient creams such as zinc, castor oil, or petroleum jelly are helpful. Items that need protection, such as medicines, thermometers, stethoscopes, syringes and tweezers can be stored in plastic drawers.
Also included in your equine medicine cabinet should be ointments for bruises and strains, surgical spirits to harden the skin around the sore back or girth bile areas. Kaolin poultices are good for swelling and strains, and a good supply of Animalintex® should be on hand. Because of their versatility, vets recommend these pre-treated poultice pads for wounds. They can be used for hot or cold applications, especially for abscesses and sprains. The water resistant dressings are perfect in combination with Vetrap®, for your horse’s inevitable cuts and scrapes.
Epsom salts and Stockholm tar (pine tar used extensively in hoof dressings) are two items your horse medicine cabinet should include. If you don’t have an antiseptic solution, you can add non-iodized common salt to the water to create a safe alternative for cleaning wounds. The saline solution is also extremely helpful as it will attract bacteria from any wound, but has a pH balance to prevent over-stinging.
Medicines such as phenylbutazone (bute), banomine, acepromozine, arnica and emergency remedies should always be available and up to date. Sunscreen, insect repellent, and other sundries of your choice should be included. A bowl or bucket, large enough for your horse’s foot, should be placed near the horse medicine cabinet. All of these items must be marked as “medicinal” and used for medical purposes only.
Keep your horse medicine cabinet clean, tidy and well stocked at all times so that you always have the essentials on hand in case of a problem. In a time of crisis, your horse’s comfort and safety are your primary concern, so it will be comforting to have all your supplies listed and in order. Your equine medicine cabinet will be a convenient tool so you can avoid further injury or illness.