Education


Equine Emergency Preparation

 
 

Your veterinarian might ask questions regarding your horse’s vital signs when you call with an emergency situation. It is important to know normal ranges for your horse’s vitals, and it is equally important to know how to check a horse’s vital signs. Have your veterinarian show you the correct way to take vital signs.


Normal ranges for adult horses:

·         Temperature: 99-101 F

·         Heart Rate: 28-44 beats per minute

·         Respiratory rate: 28-44 beats per minute

·         Capillary refill time: 1-2 seconds

Normal ranges for suckling/weanling foals:

·         Temperature: 99.5-101 F

·         Heart rate:  40-60 beats per minute

·         Respiratory rate: 12-24 breaths per minute

·         Capillary refill time: 1-2 seconds

Normal ranges for foals less than 2 weeks old:

·         Temperature: 99.5-101.6 F

·         Heart Rate: 80-110 beats per minute

·         Respiratory rate: 12-32 breaths per minute

·         Capillary refill time: 1-2 seconds


There are many different kind of emergencies. Following are the most common kind of emergencies.

Choke involves an obstruction of the esophagus. Signs of chock include a green, frothy discharge from the nostrils, coughing, gagging, distress, and evidence of abdominal pain. Slowly walk horse.

Diarrhea can have many causes, and can be quite serious. It can develop into colitis (inflammation of the colon, which might lead to dehydration and toxic shock. Signs of colitis include fever, red to brown mucus membranes with prolonged capillary refill time, depression, colic, and increased output of watery, smelly diarrhea. If painful and not hot, walk horse.

Tying-up is a muscle disorder with many possible causes. Clinical signs include stiffness and muscle soreness. The muscles will feel firm to the touch, and the horses’ urine might appear brown. Place horse in stall.

Colic is abdominal pain gastrointestinal, as well as non-gastrointestinal causes. Signs vary but might include decreased appetite, depression, pawing, rolling down, kicking at the abdomen, decreased or absent manure output, distended abdomen, elevated heart and respiratory rate, and white, blue, purple, or red mucous membranes. Walk horse if restless and if not hot. Hose down if sweating.

Eye Injuries always require immediate attention from the veterinarian. Squinting, tearing, cloudy appearance of the cornea, narrowed pupil, and swelling are clinical signs that might be apparent in a horse with an eye injury. Keep flies away.

Fractures have sudden onset and non-weight bearing lameness. The limb is usually swollen unless the fractured bone is within the hoof.  

Bowed tendons can occur during strenuous work, and the superficial digit flexor tendon is most commonly involved. Clinical signs include a warm, painful, swollen tendon with lameness. Ice leg. Try not to move, Support wrap.

Lacerations and puncture wounds are open wounds that generally constitute an emergency. Lacerations should be sutured within the first 6-8 hours in order to maximize the chances of successful suture placement, hasten healing, and minimize scars. Puncture wounds-penetration by nails or other foreign bodies-can be quite serious, especially if they penetrate the hoof or joint capsule. If bleeding use direct pressure with hand or wraps using non-stick material.

Laminitis or founder is the failure of the connective tissues within the hoof that suspend the coffin bone, which can result in rotation and/or sinking of the coffin bone to the bearing surface of the hoof. Many possible causes have been named; clinical signs are variable, but generally include sudden lameness in 1 to all 4 feet (usually the front feet), a reluctance to move or turn, an abnormal rocked back stance, and painful response to hoof testers in front of the frog. Do not move, no grain.

Neurological emergencies could be injury to the head, or spine, or might result from an infectious disease such as rhinopneumonitis. Horse might present with unsteady, wobbly gait; depression, circling, head pressing, weakness, or inability to rise. Put in unclosed area and get out.

Vaccine reactions can range from immediate hypersensitivities with respiratory distress, hives, edema, and shock to delayed effects such as stiff and sore muscles. Immediate reactions usually occur within 1 hour of vaccine administration.  (Magdesian, G. and Roberts, L., The Horse, April 2002, P. 30)

Fever: >103.5. Hose until temperature drops below 102 then monitor.

Contusions: (bruises) Keep still and hose.




Hazards in the Home

Tylenol
Ibuprofen
Aspirin/cats
Cold and flu medications
Perscription medication
Pesticides/baits
Detergents
household chemicals
Lead
Lighter fluids
Mothballs
Solvents
Tobacco
Liquid potpourri
Avocados
Fruit pits
Tea
Coffee
Chocolate
Caffine
Onion
Garlic
Grapes/ Raisins
Macadamia nuts
Alcoholic beverages
Moldy/ spoiled foods
Salt
Fatty foods
Xylitol, artificial sweetner
Raw yeast dough
Balls
Batteries
Twist ties
Buttons/ coins
Cotton swabs
Glass
Hair accessories/rubber bands
Jewelry
Paper clips
Pens/ pencils
Paper towels/ toilet paper
String/ yarn
Algae
Antifreeze/ coolants
Objects dangerous to small
      children
Fire pit/grill
Broken fence/gate
Lattice
Chip/ mulch
Gas/ oil
Swimming pools
Hot tubs
Fake Easter grass
Fireworks/ loud noises
Bones/ pork and chicken
Wrapping paper/ bows
  and ribbons
Christmas trees decorations
Styrofoam/ peanuts
Empty balloons
Aloe
Amaryllis
Andromeda
Asparagus fern
Australian nut
Azalea
Belladonna
Bird of paradise
Bittersweet
Black locust
Branching ivy
Buckeye
Buddhist pine
Caladium
Castor Bean
Ceriman
Clementis
Cordatum
Corn plant
Crocus
Cycads
Cyclamen
Daffodil
Devil's Ivy
Dieffenbachia
Dumbane
Elephant ears
Emerald fern
English ivy
Eucalyptus
Fiddle leaf
Gold dust dracaena
Florida beauty
Foxglove
Glacier Ivy
Gladiolas
Golden Pothos
Heavenly bamboo
Honeysuckle
Hurricane plant
Hyacinth
Hydrangea
Iris
Jerusalem cherry
Jimson weed
Kalanchoe
Lantana
Lillies
Lily of the valley
Lupine
Marble Queen
Morning glory
Mother-in-law
Mountain laurel
Narcissus
Needlepoint ivy
Nephthysis
Nightshade
Oleander
Panda
Philodendron
Poison hemlock
Precatory bean
Privet
Red emerald
Rhododenron
Ribbon plant
Sago palm
Satin pothos
Schefflera
Stripped dracaena
Sweetheart ivy
Tulip
Water hemlock
Wisteria
Yew
Yucca
Print
National Animal Poison Center at the University of Illinois:  1-888-426-4435
                                                                                                         
The NAPCC's phones are answered by licensed veterinarians and board certified veterinary toxicologists. The NAPCC staff have a wide range of information specific to animal poisoning allowing them to make specific recommendations for animals, rather than generalized poison information provided by a human poison control center.
 
Cost: $65 per case- the NAPCC will do as many follow-up calls as necessary at no extra charge. If you have a credit card on file you recieve a $5 discount for each case.  
 
If you suspect that your pet has been exposed to a poison, try and stay calm.  Take 30-60 seconds to safely collect and have on hand the material involved.
 
If your animal is having a seizure, losing consciousness, unconscious or having difficulty breathing, you should contact your veterinarian immediately. Be sure to remember to bring  the product in a container if you go to the veterinarian office. Also, put any vomit or chewed parts in a zip-lock bag and bring that to.
 
When calling the NAPCC be ready to provide:
  1. Your name, address, and phone number
  2. Information concerning the exposure (the amount of agent, the time since exposure, etc.), and if the agent is part of the Animal Product Saftey Service, the consultation is free.
  3. The species, breed, age, sex, weight, and number of animals involved.
  4. The product the animal(s) have been exposed to
  5. The symptoms the animal is experiencing
The NAPCC agent will direct you as to what to do which may or may not include visiting your veterinarian.



Helpful Links

 
Here are some links to articles, organizations, and businesses to provide additional information on animals, our specialties, and other interests.


Informational Links

AMVA Postion on Spay and Neuter 

Horse Colic and Sand

Pet Food Recall Information

Helpful Cat Information

Helpful Dog Information

AMVA Care for Pets

Hurricane Plan for Pets

Goats 4H Information

Llama Lifestyle

Pigs 4 Ever

Belspur Oaks

The Pet Lemon Law

Companion Therapy Laser

Animal Poison Control Center/ASPCA




Links to Other Medical and Animal Organizations

American Veterinary Medical Association

Humane Society of Sarasota Co

Florida Horse Page

Horses in the South

National Horse Show

Tampa Horse Show Association
Dr. Dawn's Favorites & "Pet" Projects

4-H Clubs









Dr. Dawn triage's all after hours emergency calls herself. 
After hours small pet emergencies are best recommended to go to the several Emergency Animal Hospitals in the area for urgent care:
South Sarasota:  923-7260
Charlotte Co:      255-5222



Myakka River Animal Clinic * 3146 East Venice Avenue * Venice * FL * 34292
www.myakkariveranimalclinic.com
 
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