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April 20, 2014

Horse First Aid Kit

Before, During, and After the scare yesterday I felt very unprepared for colic.   The vet treated Journey with Banamine IV, and said I should always have Banamine injectible on hand.  I did have Banamine paste, which may or may not have been optimal.  So I'm giving thought to what is in the kit for emergencies, and what others feel is good to have.  I had him leave me 100 cc of Banamine (generic), syringes, and needles.  He said to give intramuscular, then I turned around and read that it should never, ever, EVER, be given in the muscle.  But the drug literature says you can. 

Sedatives?  In the case of an injury I can see where having an injectible on hand could be very helpful for initial treatment, or for calming to get a horse loaded and to the vet hospital for stitches or whatever.  Are there feed additive sedatives?  What works best and is relatively safe?

Benadryl?  For an allergic reaction?

What else would be considered a must have?  I'm usually set with vet wrap and something to dress a wound, usually have eye ointment in a couple of types, eye wash, and topical antibiotic. 

We have one veterinary hospital that deals with horses (but doesn't like to AT ALL) in our county.  My vet comes from about 80 miles away, and on the weekend I'm not going to get her.  It makes me very uneasy concerning emergencies. 

I have a friend who is a vet.  She isn't close, but I'm sure she can answer some of the questions.


  1. Since you are quite a way from a vet, it would be great if you can have emergency drugs on hand! Sounds like you have most of the other first aid and wound type stuff covered (suggest antibiotic powder, if you don't already have it). So other than that, all I can think of are the injectables you suggested: something for colic, a sedative (hopefully something other than ace) and something for allergic reaction. Drugs are called by different names here, so I won't confuse matters by using those names...
    I have been in situations where all 3 of those drugs have been needed. Also handy to have injectable pain relief (bute) but less important than the other 3.
    Remember to keep an eye on the expiry dates ;) Hopefully they all reach the expiry dates without use!!!

  2. I'll have to check into the sedatives. Some web-searching brought up suggestions for a complete equine kit, which would take me some time to assemble.

    Twitch (I'd rather sedate, but I guess in a pinch...or dire circumstance)
    Clean Fly Mask (for eye issues)
    2 Clean first aid only buckets
    Hydrogen Peroxide
    Sterile needles/ syringes
    Gauze, large sanitary napkins
    Vet Wrap
    Bandage scissors
    Betadine shampoo
    Disposible Diaper (for a hoof dressing)
    Duct Tape (see above)
    Digital thermometer
    Saline Solution
    Antibiotic salve/ powder
    Antihistamine (such as benadryl, trihist)
    Banamine (oral/and injectible)
    Sedative (still need to research the safest, dosage, etc with the vet)

  3. My advice is to NEVER give IM Banamine. I had a bad, bad experience when I gave IM Banamine to a neighbor's horse (the vet instructed me to do it since she could not make it out for at least 6 hours). The mare's neck swelled up like a balloon and the mare could not get her head down to eat, drink, cough, etc for DAYS. The poor owners were having to deal with putting hot compresses on this mare's neck three times a day in an ice storm. I felt horrible!

    Paste Banamine works just fine. It takes a tiny bit longer to start working than IM, but a couple minutes is worth it to me.

    If you have the vial of IM/IV Banamine, you can give it orally. Really. You draw up the syringe of, say, 10 cc's of Banamine, and either pop off the needle and squirt it right down their throat or mix it with something yummy (like applesauce) and then cram it down their throat. Much, much safer to do it this way than to give it in the muscle.

    Just my advice.


  4. Jacke, it's my understanding that although banamine can be injected IM, it's extremely touchy and dangerous. IV is almost always recommended. Here's an excellent article from one of my favorite blogs:

  5. IMHO, I'd also steer very clear of Furacin/Furazone, as it's highly carcinogenic to humans. I no longer use betadine (or any "dine") or alcohol or peroxide, I just use saline. I use Omega Alpha Anti-Flam instead of Bute. It's just as fast and effective, and it's all natural, no chemicals. For antibiotic ointment I love Farnam Tri-Care, it's like our Neosporin w/pain relief and bug repellent. Everything else you have in your first aid kit is also in mine! All I carry in my saddlebag is the ointment, gauze, and a roll of vetwrap. And a tube of Benadryl stick for bug bites for me :)

  6. On the Banamine Solution given orally do you have any web links that I can search on that one? I've heard that you can do this with Ace as well. But need some back up information.

  7. Here's some good info on some things that can go wrong with some common injectables:$department/deptdocs.nsf/all/hrs3718

    For a sedative, I'd recommend something that is an analgesic as well, rather than just a tranquilizer. So Xylazine or Dormosedan (turns out my confusion about names was due to using generics, hahaha!).