Basic Vet Care

Karran

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The insurance thread in NL/Tack Room/Whatever has made me think.
As a kid I learnt to ride at the RS, I learnt to reasonably muck out, tack up, groom etc but anything illness wise was rightfully taken over by the members of staff, so I feel woefully underprepared for actual illnesses. I know about recognising signs of illness and I can spot obvious lameness/laminitis and been around a severely colicking horse but anything else is a bit beyond me.

Obviously I'd not be attempting surgery on my potential pony myself but I'd like to know more about how to look after small cuts/bruising/things myself, short of using my part loan pony who certainly wouldn't appreciate being dressed up like a mummy for bandaging practice, how does one gain experience in this?

I don't like the thought of waiting for these things to occur and then begging help from those around me or panicking and calling the vet over nothing
(if all goes to plan I shall be keeping the horse at a yard where my previous RI keeps her horses, so I know I have at least one experienced person there to call upon)

I hope this makes sense and also doesn't make me sound like a complete idiot but it is something that does concern me.
 

Tammytoo

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Don't worry about asking others - this is how most of us learn! You will quickly become an expert at things that happen to your horse i.e. I am very expert in Sweet Itch and Cushings as our pony suffers from both, but would probably struggle with things I have never come across and I'm never worried about asking others. I'm currently becoming an expert in hock spavins, something I have never experienced before. If in any doubt I call the vet.

I think there are stable management courses for horse owners which will include basic first aid - why don't you ask your RI about them?
 

Maesfen

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There are some decent veterinary books about for you to read and learn from.
I'm sure others will come up with more but for a start The Horsemasters Notebook is excellent about all stable management as well as ailments and treatments, wouldn't be without it; Colin Vogel has some books out, think they're called Stable Owners Veterinary Handbook and something else too which I can't remember. Here are some more, not a complete list though, plenty of others about too. http://www.britishhorse.com/sections/veterinary-farriery.html http://www.britishhorse.com/sections/books.html http://www.britishhorse.com/sections/stable-management-saddlery-horse-care---breeding.html
 

Herts05

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Sign up to the talks given at Vet Colleges throughout the year. The ones at the RVC are well worth attending. Check their website for details.
There's usually a small charge, but they do lovely tea and cake beforehand!
 

CaleruxShearer

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You learn very quickly when you get your own! Agree with what others have said about asking others. I've worked on professional event yards so have a fairly decent knowledge of stable management and basic first aid bits and bobs but still occasionally ask my friend or yard manager what they would do.
Little cuts and scraps are fairly common, as long as they aren't too deep then I give them a good clean with some cotton wool and antiseptic (I just use savlon, does the same job as hibiscrub) make sure there are no bits of cotton wool or cr*p left in it then just stick a bit of wound gel on it and keep an eye on it. Anything near a joint I am much more suspicious of, even if it doesn't seem very deep you have to be so careful because an infected joint can be the end of a horse, so I tend to call the vet even if just to check in these circumstances. Better safe than sorry.
Bruising is a bit of a funny one and you will probably get different answers, as an example my boy slipped over last year playing in the field, I saw it happen, saw him get up straight away and move off sound but the next day he was a bit stiff and sore in his body (was 100%) sound so he had a couple of days of bute and gentle walking to keep him moving, just like you'd nurofen if you' tripped and were a bit sore.
Colic I always call the vet. Even if they are prone to it and it seems pretty mild, they can go the other way very quickly. Keep them up and walking while you wait for the vet but not so much walking they become tired.
I've just realised I've written an absolute essay so I'll shut up now but I hope some of my waffling has been vaguely useful!
 

ruth83

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The BHS in the Yorkshire Region has recently run a series of lectures, including a basic first aid one.

It would be worth contacting your local Development Officer and asking them if they would consider arranging something similar (PM me if you like, I can give you more details).

You could also look for a local instructor who runs Horse Owners Courses. These are designed for people who want to know a bit more about looking after their horse and can be a lovely way of meeting other horsey people too. The BHS register of instructors will list people in your area.
 

Karran

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Yay - I'm so glad what I said made sense. I did worry a bit about posting it in case I got shot down for not knowing and therefore not being "ready" to get one of my own.
I have added a decent first aid kit into my start up budget as I realised I should probably prepare for the worst just in case!
I'm happy to beg advice from anyone who has more experience than me! I have no shame, but I'd like to be a bit more prepared before I take the plunge myself.
Maesfen - thank you for the book recommendations. I've added them to my Amazon wish list!
CaleruxShearer - No essays are good! :) I am very lucky in that my current loan and previous loan remained injury-free in my care but what you've said about mini cuts and scrapes is what I (in my head) would have done so its good to know I'm not completely on the wrong track!
Ruth83 - will PM you, I did have a quick google myself and couldn't find anything so anything would be fab!
 

CaleruxShearer

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No probs, I've rung people for advice today as mine has got a mystery fat keg, very odd and not like any fat leg I've seen before, from the knee down to the fetlock on the outside of his off fore but fine on the inside and he's sound! Most bizarre! Good luck, I'm sure you'll be fine :)
 
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