The hunt season is well under way and hopefully all is going well. Injuries are common place on the hunt field and more often than not occur in the last hour, when both horse and rider are tiring. It is important to listen to your horse and if you feel him/her getting tired then pull up before an accident happens.
If an accident does happen to occur then the first thing is not to panic. This will not help yourself or your horse. Step back for a moment and assess the situation. Ensure that is it safe to approach the horse, if not wait for help. Try and keep the horse calm and move it to a safe area. If it is non-weight bearing then do not move it. If you see blood, especially if it is bright red and squirting, it is important to get pressure onto this wound immediately. This means an artery has been punctured. Use clothing or some other make shift bandage to stop the bleeding, if the blood seeps through the bandage leave it on and put another one over top. This allows the clot that will be developing to remain undisturbed.
When do you need to get a vet to come out?
Some small wounds will heal completely without veterinary intervention.
However if your horse has any of the following it is important you call a vet:
• Excessive bleeding, especially if it is bright red and squirting.
• Bones or tendons exposed.
• Non-weight bearing lameness
• Sudden swelling.
• Wounds near a tendon or a joint, these can be life-threatening
to your horse no matter how small and benign they may appear.
• If your horse is not protected against tetanus. Any small wound can cause infection.
• If a wound is not healing as you think should be.
• If your horse goes off its feed or becomes depressed.
At RVC we have an experienced vet on call 24 hours a day. This means that if your horse does get injured on a Saturday hunt you can rest easy that we can get there quickly to help.