Allossery Equine is available 24/7 to assist you in dealing with winter medical emergencies. If you have any questions about implementing a safe winter management program for your horse, give us a call. Working together, we can make life easier for you and maximize your horse’s health and wellbeing.
Winter conditions increase the chances that your horse will experience certain types of medical emergencies, such as colic and barn injuries. These same winter conditions can also delay the arrival of your veterinarian. You need to be ready. Here are some tips to prepare yourself, your premises, your equipment and, of course, your horse for the cold weather ahead.
1) Prioritize good communication
This means calling your vet sooner rather than later if a medical problem arises. Post your vet’s phone number in a conspicuous place in your barn and ensure your staff and others know where to find it. Telephone landlines can be unreliable in severe weather. Keep a charger for your cell phone in the barn, so it’s easily accessible in case you need it. If you board your horse, ensure the barn manager has any relevant health and insurance information, your vet’s contact information and your contact information, including the number of an emergency contact who can reach you at any time.
2) Stock up your first aid kit
Ensure you have the supplies you require to deal with the most common medical problems your horse may encounter. This includes treating minor medical issues on your own and coping with more serious issues until your veterinarian arrives. Helpful items to have in your kit include: Vetwrap, Animalintex poultice pads, iodine soap, clean gauze squares, Banamine paste and Phenylbutazone powder.
3) Clear the snow
Maintain a snow-free driveway and ensure there’s an open path to the barn.
4) Get a backup generator and keep it in good working order
Loss of electrical power can happen at any time, but it’s more likely to occur in winter. Create a strategy for safe fuel storage and, if need be, for sharing resources with neighbours. Uninterrupted electrical power is particularly essential if you run a pump to source water for your horses.
5) Reduce the risk of injury
Frequently inspect your property for sharp objects that your horse might bump into, causing lacerations. Before the snow falls, rid your barn perimeter of objects that could hide under snow-cover, creating tripping hazards for both people and horses. Remember, in high winds, objects such as debris that are otherwise harmless can transform into dangerous airborne projectiles.
6) Ensure your trailer is roadworthy
For serious medical situations that can’t wait or if your vet recommends hospital care, be prepared to transport your horse by trailer to an equine surgical centre. Educate yourself and your staff on where the local centres are situated and the best routes to take.
Note: We often refer our patients to Milton Equine Hospital located at 10207 Guelph Line, Campbellville, ON, L0P 1B0; Phone: (905) 854-2111).