WHAT TO DO

EQUUS - - First Response -

As you wait for the ve­teri­nar­ian to ar­rive, take the fol­low­ing steps to staunch bleed­ing and keep your horse calm and com­fort­able. • Ap­ply di­rect pres­sure

to stop the bleed­ing. Grab the clean­est cloth you have at hand---ban­dages are best but a towel, your shirt or a sad­dle pad will do---and press it gen­tly but firmly against the wound. Do not ease up on the pres­sure while the bleed­ing con­tin­ues. If the fab­ric be­comes soaked with blood, place an­other di­rectly over it. If it’s pos­si­ble, you can also use a ban­dage to hold the cloth in place. • Find a safe treat­ment area. If you can do so safely, walk the horse to a quiet, well-lit area with ac­cess to run­ning wa­ter. How­ever, do not move the horse if you are hav­ing dif­fi­culty con­trol­ling the bleed­ing or if you sus­pect there may also be in­jury to a ten­don, lig­a­ment or bone. If the horse seems re­luc­tant to move, let him stay where he is un­til help ar­rives. • Keep the horse calm.

Bring­ing in a quiet buddy to stand nearby may help set­tle an anx­ious horse. If the wound is not on his head or neck, you can

of­fer him hay and wa­ter.

• Flush the wound. Once the bleed­ing has slowed, use a gen­tle stream of wa­ter from a hose to rinse the wound as thor­oughly as you can. You want to re­move any dirt or small de­bris that may be cling­ing to the ex­posed tis­sues. Do not use a high-pres­sure spray at­tach­ment---you may push de­bris deeper into the wound. (Note: Skip this step if the bleed­ing was pul­satile and spurt­ing; if an artery might be in­volved you do not want to risk restart­ing the bleed­ing--- just leave your ban­dage in place and wait for the ve­teri­nar­ian.) • Look for for­eign ma

terial. Splin­ters or other for­eign ob­jects stuck in a wound can slow heal­ing. If you see any­thing, leave it in place un­til the ve­teri­nar­ian ar­rives. She may need to de­ter­mine the depth and track of any punc­tures within the larger wound. If em­bed­ded de­bris falls away while you are wait­ing, keep the ob­ject to show to your ve­teri­nar­ian. • Ex­am­ine the rest of the horse, too. A gap­ing wound will de­mand your at­ten­tion, but your horse may have in­curred other in­juries that also re­quire treat­ment.

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