As a guideline we have listed a few of the reasons that lead to an owner contacting us for advice or a visit and tried to suggest a reasonable time scale as well as some tips for you in how best to manage the situation. Naturally, we always recommend you contact us for a visit or further advise if you are concerned.
Require immediate attention
Tips for management: Your priority is trying to keep the horse settled, or from causing itself further injury. It is very important you do not put yourself in harms way at any time. Remove any food and water. If it safe to do so you may choose to walk the horse to act as a distraction from the discomfort; however if the horse is distressed, or already settled, it is best to leave them alone in a safe area - stable, menage or even field if necessary.
- Non-weight bearing lame
Tips for management: The best thing in these cases is to keep the horse calm and still. If you are able to slowly move the horse from a field to the yard, either waking or by trailer, that is helpful; however, if you can't then wait for us to arrive.
- Acute respiratory distress
Tips for management: Speaking to the vet is important as they will ascertain the most likely underlying cause and degree of urgency. Take any food away until we arrive and allow the horse to stand with the neck extended if that is more comfortable for them.
- Eye conditions
Tips for management: As before, speaking to the vet is important as they will ascertain the most likely underlying cause and degree of urgency. Ideally pop the horse in a darkened stable until the vet arrives.
Require same day attention
Tips for management: Clean the area with dilute hibiscrub to remove gross contamination. Cold hosing the area for around 20 minutes will help to reduce swelling and may be helpful. If the wound is on a limb and you have the ability to do, apply a light dressing to prevent further contamination. Do not administer any drugs prior to speaking with a vet.
Tips for management: Take away all food and water. If you can feel a lump in the underside of the neck, gentle massage can sometimes help. Horses will often have their neck extended and encouraging a low head position is also useful.
Conditions that can wait until the next working day
- Skin disease