A new year always presents an opportunity to clear out the cupboards, so now is a good time to dig out your first aid kit to check it is complete with all the necessary products you might need to treat a minor wound or injury.
Prompt first aid treatment can have an important influence on the eventual outcome of an injury. What you do, and how quickly, can have a dramatic impact on healing time and recovery.
With so many different first aid products available it makes sense to focus on the basic items that you are most likely to need, anything else will probably require the help of your vet.
Here are some of the products that you should always have to hand in your first aid kit.
Wound Dressings – to protect a wound and promote healing, your first aid kit should contain a good selection of various sized dressings to avoid contaminating a sterile dressing when trying to cut down to size.
Poultices – a veterinary licensed poultice such as Animalintex® can be used to treat a wide variety of ailments and can be applied as a hot wet poultice, a cold wet poultice or even as a dry wound dressing – particularly in a first aid situation. The technique used depends on the particular condition to be treated.
Wound Hydrogel – a sterile wound hydrogel should be an essential in your kit, as research has revealed that moist wound healing provides a more controlled wound environment and encourages healing to start from within. After a wound has been cleaned, the hydrogel should be applied to a depth of 5mm.
Bandages – bandages can be applied to reduce swelling, secure dressings and assist in the healing process of injuries. Veterinary Gamgee® – an absorbent, high quality cotton wool enclosed in a non-woven or gauze cover is used to promote wound healing by insulating, cushioning and protecting wounds from external trauma.
Scissors – a decent pair of blunt ended scissors are essential for cutting bandages and for safe and easy removal of bandages.
Thermometer – a slight change in temperature may indicate there is an underlying problem with your horse so make sure you have a good quality thermometer in your first aid kit.
Cotton wool – some good quality cotton wool is useful for cleaning wounds and delicate areas such as the eyes.
Salt or saline solution – wounds should be cleaned with a saline solution or a level teaspoon of salt per pint of previously boiled water.
Remember to always replace items once you have used them and when the use-by date has expired on products that contain an active ingredient.
It is also worth thinking about where and how you store your first aid kit, ensuring it is in a container that is rodent proof and kept in a prominent position on the yard that is accessible to everyone. During winter, the kit may need to be stored in a heated room to prevent certain products from freezing.
As we are all faced with lockdown number three, vets will be under a lot of pressure to carry out their daily activities and owners might be asked to carry out simple first aid procedures such as bandaging a small wound, so it is more important than ever that you are prepared with a fully stocked first aid kit.
Images courtesy of Robinson Animal Healthcare.
Along with organising your first aid kit why not consider trying Miscanthus horse bedding? Miscanthus naturally carries less bacteria and is dust extracted, improving horse health and making it hygienic, clean and pleasant to use.