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Equine Emergencies

What is Normal?

There will be variations in individual temperature, pulse and respiration values. Write them down and keep them within easy reach, perhaps with your first aid kit, so you have them to compare to in case of an emergency. Normal ranges for adult horses are: 

  • Pulse rate: 30 to 42 beats per minute.
  • Respiratory rate: 12 to 20 breaths per minute.
  • Rectal temperature: 99.5' to 101.5' F. If the horse's temperature exceeds 102.5' F., contact us immediately.
  • Capillary refill time (time it takes for color to return to gum tissue adjacent to teeth after pressing and releasing with your thumb): 2 seconds


Sick Horse 

Emergency First Aid Kit

  • First aid kits can be simple or elaborate, but there are some essential items. Here is a short list to get yours started.

    • 1 Derma Gel
    • 2 Vet wraps
    • 1 Non-Adherent Dressing Bandage
    • 1 Fura-Septin Jar
    • 1 Bottle Dexamethasone- 2mg/ml
    • 1 Tube Triple Antibiotic Ophthalmic Ointment
    • 1 Tube Phenylbutazone Paste 12 grams
    • 1 Tube Banamine Paste 3000lb dose


Colic/Tye-Up: For 1000lb horse, give 1000lb dose of Banamine paste orally. Allow 20-30 minutes to work. Call Veterinarian before giving paste

Lameness/Swelling: For 1000lb horse, give 2 grams Phenylbutazone paste orally. Allow 20-30 minutes to work. If lameness/swelling persists, or gets worse within 1 hour, call your Veterinarian.

Hives/Welts/Snake Bite: For 1000lb horse, give 10ml (20mg) Dexamethasone orally. If condition does not improve or gets worse within 1 hour. Call your Veterinarian.

Eye Injury: If injury occurs to the eye, place Triple Antibiotic Ointment in eye and call your Veterinarian

Cut/ Wound: If severe cut or wound occurred, clean out area with water and antiseptic, place Fura-Septin on wound and wrap with non-adherent dressing and vet wrap. Call your Veterinarian.

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