When you need an equine emergency service, the first step must always be to contact an equine vet near you, even if it is to have a conversation about the crisis. For example, if you are a resident of Chelmsford, contact an equine vet in Chelmsford

In this article, we will see five equine emergencies and how you can treat them.

1. Bleeding and Lacerations

These injuries in an equine must be treated the same way a child’s lacerations are treated.

  •   Stop the bleeding by applying pressure on the injury directly or with a bandage.
  •   Do not remove the pressure or the bandage to take a look at the condition of the injury. Bandages apply pressure to the damage and help in clotting. Removing the pressure can begin the bleeding once again.
  •   Do not apply a tourniquet unless the veterinarian asks you to.
  •   Run cold water over the injury with a hose but do not increase the water pressure. Just let the cool water run down the laceration.
  •   Do not apply any sort of ointment to the injury. As it is difficult for the vet to inspect the wound properly if it is covered in the ointment, and the vet cannot use sutures if there is ointment on the injury.

2. Foaling

Time is very crucial when the mare is foaling. The veterinarian needs to be called immediately if the foal is not out within twenty minutes of the water breaking, or if you are not observing any significant progress at all, or you notice that the foal is not presenting its front feet first.

Foaling is one of the only equine emergencies where the vet’s presence will most probably affect the fact of whether your mare and foal will live or die.

Everything goes smoothly in 99% of foaling, but the 1% that goes wrong is known to go completely wrong.

3. Eye Injuries

Eye injuries in equines need to be seen by the vet immediately. It is always worth it to attempt and try to preserve the vision of your horse, no matter how far gone the injury seems to be.

Contact an equine vet near you as soon as you notice an eye injury. It is sometimes hard to see the eye injury in an equine due to the absence of bleeding and swelling. Eye injury can sometimes be recognised by the position of the eyelashes.

The eyelashes of a healthy eye are almost parallel to the ground, but the eyelashes of an irritated or injured eye are slightly tilted down.

4. Downed horse

Helping or assisting a downed horse is risky and highly technical. Some basic information and essential tips about downed horses are:

  • Make sure that the horse has a good footing. If the horse is on ice or mud, improve the footing of the horse by putting cat litter, carpet, bedding, etc., under the feet of the horse as ice and mud can contribute to a horse’s struggle to stand.
  • Warm your horse if it is winter. The muscles of the horse will be stiff and tense if it is down in the cold for a while. This stiffness will limit the capacity of the horse to push itself up and can also cause hypothermia. Increasing the warmth can give the horse the impetus it needs to stand up.
  • Do not rush the horse to stand up and wait till help arrives.
  • Always remember that no one gets hurt when it comes to helping a downed horse.

5. Equine Choke

Equine choke means that there is some blockage that is preventing the horse from swallowing, but your horse can still breathe. A common cause of equine choke is pelleted food, as rapid consumption of pelleted food can combine and create a blockage in the oesophagus of the horse.

Improper and irregular dental care of the horse can lead to a struggle in chewing food. This struggle can also cause equine choking.

A very common sign of equine choke is nasal discharge. The discharge will often be coloured, and the horse will be disinterested in its feed. Remove the feed of the horse so that the problem does not worsen anymore, and try to keep the horse calm. Give the horse some time and see whether it can resolve the blockage on its own or not. Contact your vet if the horse cannot remove the blockage on its own. 

Final words

Choose a vet for your horse so that you can easily contact them in case you need equine emergency services. Your horse should come before your comfortness with the costs as failure in tackling any equine emergencies may cause its death and a greater financial loss.