First Aid Kit

For our first article on basic notions with regards to horsemanship we interviewed Nora “Pichi” Burgués who is a renown Argentine veterinarian that has worked with several teams that participate in the Argentine Triple Crown and has travelled to Europe and South East Asia working alongside international teams since 1989.

The first recommendation that Pichi has made is what she believes should be the basic first aid box that every stable should have. Not only has she provided us with her recommendation on the contents of a first aid kit but also when to use the different products, of course making the clarification that these products should be applied with the consent of the veterinarian.

As she explained “having these basic products in the stables it will enable to provide the first aid to the horse while the veterinarian arrives”.


Basic First Aids Kit:

– Cotton and cotton bandages

– Bandages like «vetraps»

– Lodopovidone solution (Pervinox)

– Syringes and needles


Veterinary Products:

– Meglumine (Banamine / Flunix)

– Fenylbutazone (injectable or paste)

– Dexamentasona

– Cream or eye drops with antibiotic (without dexamethasone)

– Cream with antibiotics for wounds

– Antibiotics

– Oxytetracycline (Terramycin 100)

– Penicillin streptomycin x 5,000,000

– Gentamicin 8%

By having a basic kit at the establishment one is able take care of the first aids until the arrival of the veterinary professional.

Wound Treatment:

There are actually a number of ways to treat a wound, the following is just one of many

Disinfect the cut with povidone iodine solution, applying healing ointment and bandage with cotton and vetrap. The idea is to treat the closed wound to see if the possibility exists of suturing it within a period of hours.

-When the wounds are «tortuous» and impossible to suture the bandage will be changed every 3 to 5 days.  Sugar can be used alongside with the cream to accelerate the healing.

-I do not recommend washing it daily with a hose, nor the use of lime and / or aggressive powders in the first stage of healing.


Colic Treatment:

This is an important point and before medicating it is crucial to contact the veterinarian.

-The use of analgesics such as meglumine, can make one think that it was a temporary condition when in fact all it does is cover the symptoms of a problem that can be serious for the animal.

-What one should not do when the pain goes away by the use of analgesics is to feed the horse either grain or feed for at least 8-12 hours. One can walk it to avoid that when  the horse rolls on its back some portion of intestine that is recharged is displaced.

Treatment of Corneal Injuries

-Very common when the animal is stabled or in the field. Signs are tearing and inability to open the eyelids freely, which may be inflamed or not.

-Avoid drops or ophthalmic ointments with corticosteroids at first, it is necessary in addition to the local treatment 3 to 4 times a day, to administer anti-inflammatory drugs such as phenylbutazone or meglumine.