1. Mercury or Digital Thermometer: A thermometer will quickly tell if your horse has an elevated temperature--a sure sign of a health problem that needs attention. Some digital models save the last temperature taken, should you forget to write it down. A string and clip feature will help prevent a “lost” thermometer.
2. Antiseptic Wound Cleaner: You'll find antiseptic wound cleaners such as Hibitane, Betadine or Novalsan scrubs are useful for washing skin infections, cuts and punctures.
3. Cutters: A pair of sharp scissors is essential in a horse first aid kit. If you have wire fences there is a chance your horse could get entangled. Keep a pair of wire or bolt cutters handy. These can also be used to remove a very loose shoe.
4. Clean Stable Wraps: Keep a clean set of leg wraps handy for emergencies. Since you want them to be clean and ready, have an extra set of stable wraps in your horse first aid kit, other than those you might be using for non-emergency use.
5. Gamgee, Gauze Diapers, Cottons or Other Absorbent Padding: Use for padding under leg wraps or cut up for wound dressing. Leg cottons used under stable wraps work as well. The cottons must be kept clean so seal an extra set in a zip closure bag for your first aid kit. Zip closure bags are very handy for keeping your horse's first aid kit clean and organized.
6. Self-sticking Bandages: What did we do before the availability of these stretchy self-sticking bandages? They seem to have so many uses around the stable. In a first aid situation use to keep a dressing in place, or help support stable wraps. There are lots of different brands such as VetWrap, Co-Flex and others. There will be little difference between the ones you buy at the tack shop, and the ones you can buy at the pharmacy, so chose the ones you can afford.
7. Zinc Oxide Cream: Used to soothe and protect sunburned noses, help clear up grease heel, protect and heal minor cuts and nicks. You can find zinc oxide creams in the baby care section of your drugstore. A recommended brand is Ilhes Paste that is inexpensive and effective.
8. Salts: Epsom salts are great for drawing out infection. Also good old fashioned salt water to wash out cuts and scrapes on both four legged and two legged family members works well. Both are inexpensive items you can buy at the grocery, pharmacy or bulk food store.
9. Antiseptic Cream or Ointment: Nicks, cuts and scrapes can be encouraged to heal by keeping the skin moist and clean. There is a wide variety of products available. Choose all natural products or products containing various medicinal and antibiotic ingredients.
10. Books: There are many great veterinary first aid books available. Buy one and read it before an emergency happens. Another book you’ll want is a notebook to keep track of temperatures or write down things you want to tell the vet and may forget in your worry. Keep both books in your first aid kit with your vet’s number written on the covers. Of course, keep your veterinarian’s number near the phone as well.