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Deciding whether you need to call the vet or not can be a real cause of concern for horse owners. You might worry about the cost of an unnecessary call out, you might be worried about looking silly if it was something that you could have coped with on your own.
With that in mind here are 15 key times to call our vet out.
- A closed or swollen eye should always be classed as a veterinary emergency, and swift treatment can make a huge difference to the outcome for your horse.
- If your horse has not eaten or drunk as normal for them (this could be colic)
- If you notice that your horse has not passed as many droppings, or you notice a change in consistency (this could be colic)
- An elevated temperature
- Any wound that is situated in the ‘wrong’ place, i.e. over a tendon, joint or ligament (even if the wound is very small)
- A snotty nose (this could be strangles, equine influenza or a cold)
- Heat stress
- If your horse is lame
- A cut or wound which won’t stop bleeding
- If your horse has signs of abdominal pain, i.e. flank watching, kicking at its belly (this could be colic)
- If your horse appears tired or lethargic (without an obvious reason), this could also be colic
- If your horse has trodden on a nail (getting your vet to assess which internal structures have been damaged is essential)
- If a wound or cut is very deep, and other structures can be seen or skin flaps are present
- If your horse doesn’t have an up to date tetanus vaccination and you find a cut
- When your horse isn’t quite right… the best thing you can do for your horse is to know what is normal for them. Measuring and recording vital signs such as temperature, pulse and respiration is very helpful then you have a baseline to compare. Knowing what your horse normally eats and drinks, how many droppings they pass overnight or within a 24 period and their normal behaviour is so helpful as well.