Equine Emergencies by Dr. Maggie Turner


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Equine Emergencies by Dr. Maggie Turner

  2. 2. WHAT WOULD YOU DO???
  3. 3. DON’T PANIC!!!
  4. 5. COMMON EMERGENCY SITUATIONS <ul><li>Choke </li></ul><ul><li>Eye injuries </li></ul><ul><li>Colic </li></ul><ul><li>Sudden onset of severe lameness </li></ul><ul><li>Fever </li></ul><ul><li>Lacerations </li></ul>
  5. 6. CHOKE
  6. 7. CHOKE <ul><li>Esophageal obstruction (not windpipe) </li></ul><ul><li>Not always an extreme emergency – a lot will resolve on their own </li></ul><ul><li>Usually occurs when horses eat too fast or don’t chew their feed enough (esp. w/ beet pulp and pelleted feed)- therefore usually occurs after or during a meal </li></ul><ul><li>Call veterinarian if it does not resolve in 30min </li></ul>
  7. 8. Signs of choke… <ul><li>Standing quiet not eating or drinking </li></ul><ul><li>Large amounts of green discharge w/ food particles mixed in it coming from the nose </li></ul><ul><li>Some horses will paw, cough or act very distressed </li></ul>
  8. 9. What to do…… <ul><li>Remove all feed from the </li></ul><ul><li>stall (water is okay) </li></ul><ul><li>If you can see an area on the neck where the blockage may be (always on the left) you can gently massage it </li></ul><ul><li>If it does not resolve the vet will sedate the horse, pass a tube and try to flush the feed down into the stomach </li></ul>
  9. 10. EYES
  10. 11. EYES <ul><li>EYES ARE ALWAYS AN EMERGENCY! </li></ul><ul><li>Cloudy </li></ul><ul><li>Squinting </li></ul><ul><li>Excessive tearing </li></ul><ul><li>Lacerations </li></ul>
  11. 12. What to do… <ul><li>Try to prevent them from rubbing the eye </li></ul><ul><li>DO NOT USE ANY OLD EYE OINTMENTS IN AN EYE THAT A VET HAS NOT SEEN (an inappropriate ointment can do more damage than </li></ul><ul><li>good and some old ointment can be contaminated with bacteria) </li></ul>
  12. 13. COLIC
  13. 14. SIGNS OF COLIC <ul><li>MILD – off feed, quiet, occasional flank watching, laying down more than normal </li></ul><ul><li>MODERATE – the above + pawing, rolling, getting up and down a lot, standing in a stretched position, sweating </li></ul><ul><li>SEVERE – the above + trying to go down even when being walked and hard to get up once down </li></ul>
  14. 15. WHAT TO DO….. <ul><li>If possible take the horse’s TPR </li></ul><ul><li>Call your veterinarian </li></ul><ul><li>Take away any feed </li></ul><ul><li>If the horse is rolling walk it to prevent it from doing so – if it is laying quietly that is okay </li></ul><ul><li>If you do have Banamine and choose to give it before the vet arrives do not be fooled by the fact that it will make them feel better while it is in their system although the cause of the discomfort has not been eliminated </li></ul>
  15. 16. SUDDEN ONSET OF SEVERE LAMENESS <ul><li>Any lameness in which the horse is reluctant to move or put weight on the leg or is significantly lame at the walk </li></ul>
  16. 17. What could it be???? <ul><li>Abscess </li></ul><ul><li>Penetrating wound to the sole (i.e. nail in the foot) </li></ul><ul><li>Cellulitis </li></ul><ul><li>Fracture </li></ul><ul><li>Joint or tendon sheath infection </li></ul>
  17. 18. What to do….. <ul><li>Call your veterinarian </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t move the horse if there is a chance that it may be fracture </li></ul><ul><li>If there is a nail in the foot DO NOT TAKE IT OUT UNTIL THE VET ARRIVES!!!!! </li></ul><ul><li>If the horse appears distressed give them some hay </li></ul><ul><li>If there are any open wounds address them as you would a laceration – clean and wrap while you wait for the vet </li></ul>
  18. 19. Hoof Abscess <ul><li>Can be as lame as a horse with </li></ul><ul><li>a fracture </li></ul><ul><li>A pus pocket develops in the sole of the hoof and can become very painful in a very short period of time </li></ul><ul><li>Generally the abscess will drain and the problem resolves uneventfully </li></ul><ul><li>Probably the most common cause of acute onset of severe lameness </li></ul>
  19. 20. Penetrating Wound to Sole <ul><li>IE – a nail in the hoof </li></ul><ul><li>Pick out the foot and </li></ul><ul><li>thoroughly examine the </li></ul><ul><li>foot for a foreign body </li></ul><ul><li>DO NOT TAKE OUT A NAIL </li></ul><ul><li>BEFORE THE VET GETS THERE!!!! </li></ul><ul><li>It is very important to take an x-ray with the nail in the foot to determine what structures it may have penetrated and therefore what the treatment and the prognosis will be </li></ul>
  20. 21. Cellulitis <ul><li>Bacterial infection of the skin and subcutaneous tissues that can enter from the smallest nick and lead to a very swollen leg very quickly </li></ul><ul><li>It generally responds well to antibiotic and diuretic therapy </li></ul><ul><li>The leg can be VERY swollen - so much so that the skin can crack and seep fluid </li></ul><ul><li>Can often be very painful to touch </li></ul>
  21. 22. FRACTURE
  22. 23. FRACTURE <ul><li>Some are more obvious </li></ul><ul><li>than others…. </li></ul><ul><li>Closed = skin is still intact </li></ul><ul><li>Open = the skin has been damaged during the injury and is open around the fracture </li></ul><ul><li>DO NOT MOVE THE HORSE until the vet arrives and can apply an appropriate splint to the area </li></ul>
  23. 24. <ul><li>Many horses can be saved with surgical repair but it can be very costly and there can be complication </li></ul><ul><li>There are also many fractures that cannot be repaired due to the fact that they have to stand on their feet during the healing process </li></ul><ul><li>Fractures such as coffin bone fractures and splint bone fracture generally do well and do not need to be surgically repaired </li></ul>
  24. 25. FEVER
  25. 26. <ul><li>Any horse that is off feed should have its temperature taken because most horses with a fever do not have an appetite </li></ul><ul><li>It is wise to have a vet come out and see if they can find a cause for the fever (although often the fevers are of unknown origin) </li></ul><ul><li>Banamine or bute can help decrease a fever </li></ul><ul><li>Having a high fever is not good for the horse’s body in general and may put them at risk of foundering </li></ul>
  27. 28. What to do…. <ul><li>Call the vet  Depending on the location, size and timing (<8hr) of it it may need to be sutured </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Often it is the large body wounds that heal well and the small innocuous puncture wounds over joint that give you trouble </li></ul></ul><ul><li>If there is a significant amount of bleeding apply a bandage and pressure if the horse allows you to </li></ul><ul><li>Keep the horse still – it will also help with controlling the bleeding </li></ul>
  28. 29. <ul><li>If the bleeding is under control and the wound is contaminated with dirt or manure you can gently lavage the wound with warm water (sterile saline is ideal) – DILUTION IS THE SOLUTION TO POLLUTION!!! </li></ul><ul><li>DO NOT apply ointments </li></ul><ul><li>or sprays while you are </li></ul><ul><li>waiting </li></ul>
  29. 30. OTHER EMERGENCIES <ul><li>Hives – generally respond well to corticosteroids </li></ul><ul><li>Down horse – i.e. elderly horses that slip on the ice in winter </li></ul><ul><li>Trapped horse/ trailer accident – sedation can be a key to the best outcome </li></ul>
  30. 31. WHAT TO HAVE ON HAND <ul><li>Thermometer </li></ul><ul><li>Bandage material </li></ul><ul><li>Iodine based scrub or solution </li></ul><ul><li>Stethescope </li></ul>
  31. 32. THANK YOU