The Horse

FEB 2019

The Horse:Your Guide To Equine Health Care provides monthly equine health care information to horse owners, breeders, veterinarians, barn/farm managers, trainer/riding instructors, and others involved in the hands-on care of the horse.

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18 February 2019 The Horse | those that dangle from the ceiling—could simply create more opportunities for horses to hurt themselves. Preparing for the Inevitable Of course, no matter what you do, it's going to happen: He's going to hurt him- self again. So when he does, make sure you're prepared. Stock your cabinet with bandag- ing equipment and non-steroidal anti- inflammatory drugs, Aurich says. Make sure you've got access to cool water you can keep running on an injury to reduce swelling and infection risk. Keep a ther- mometer handy to check for fevers caused by subcutaneous (just under the skin) wound infections. "These infections can come up fast and get really bad," she says. Ask your veterinarian to teach you basic first-aid techniques, such as how to bandage and what to do about gashes, lacerations, and punctures, says Gimenez. Establish a good working relationship with your vet, so you can call and even send photos when injuries happen. Train your horse to trailer-load easily, and ask your veterinarian or a reliable trainer how to calm an injured horse so he doesn't add more injuries because he's stressed. Make sure you have a trailer accessible at all times—"one that's cleaned out and has pumped-up tires," Gimenez adds. And, of course, plan for this sort of thing to happen at the worst time, because that's when an injury inevitably happens. "It's like he knows I'm about to leave for a conference," Aurich says. "One time I had to go bandage him and give him antibiotic injections on my way to a funeral. He really knows how to find the day to do these things." Get a plan in place so veterinarians and other caretakers know what to do when you're unavailable, and make the plan clear for everyone involved. Take-Home Message So life has landed you a Bubble-Wrap- worthy horse. Take heart: There are always ways to reduce the risks and plan for the accidents, which will happen from time to time despite your best efforts. You might also need to budget for added ex- penses with your special equid, recogniz- ing his hazard-finding tendencies are just part of who he is—for better or for worse. "He's so talented as a dressage horse and so easy to ride," says Aurich of Stromboli. "But more than that, he's just highly intelligent and always trying to talk to me. He follows me around like a dog; he comes when I call him; and he's always asking me, 'What do you want me to do?' He's a lot of work, but he's so worth it." h THE ACCIDENT-PRONE HORSE Put him on the biggest pasture you can afford. It's all about flight distance." DR. REBECCA GIMENEZ

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