As a horse owner, there will be times when you find yourself in an emergency medical situation with your horse. Even if you call the vet immediately, it will be up to you to provide care until the vet arrives. You will also probably have some smaller medical incidents that don't necessarily require the vet. To ensure you are prepared to handle such situations, keep the following six pieces of veterinary equipment on hand.
If your horse needs a medication that he or she won't eat in the feed, you will need a syringe to administer the medication orally. Try to buy a large syringe and a smaller one. This way, you can choose your syringe size based on the volume of medication you need to administer. The smaller ones are also handy for flushing wounds with iodine.
A tourniquet will come in handy if you ever find your horse has suffered a heavily bleeding wound. Being able to tie off and stop the wound from bleeding until the vet arrives could save the horse's life.
A rectal thermometer with a clip on it -- so you can attach it to the horse's tail -- is essential in every barn. This tool can help you determine if your horse truly is under the weather or if he is just having an "off" day. Practice using it before you need to use it so that you're comfortable with the process.
A stethoscope is not so much for listening to the heart, although that is important, but more for listening to gut sounds in a horse suspected to be colicking. Place it again the horse's flank and have a listen. Gut sounds are a good sign; no noise could indicate an impaction, for which you need to call the vet.
If you can't find true veterinary forceps, a pair of tweezers will do. These are good for everything from removing a tick to pulling a splinter of wood out of a wound.
Shoe-pulls may be more along the lines of farrier equipment than vet equipment; nonetheless, if your horse half-pulls a shoe, you will be glad to have shoe-pulls around to help you get it off the rest of the way.
Stock your barn or tack room with these essentials, and you will be better prepared for equine emergencies. For more information, contact your local vet office.