Lori's Library of Horse Books
A Collection of Book Reviews on All Things Equine!
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Emergency
The Active Horsemans Book of Emergency Care
 

Emergency     
 
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Karen Hayes, DVM, MS
Half Halt Press, Inc., 1995
ISBN 0939481421

I was inspired to buy this book almost solely because Dr. Karen Hayes wrote it. I became a fan of hers after reading The Complete Book of Foaling. That book was so useful and enjoyable to read that I figured this one would also be good. I wasn't disappointed! This is another extraordinarily useful book. This book is written for experienced horse people who know how to handle minor first aid and know when to call the vet, but the basic premise of Emergency! is what to do when you can't call the vet.

Maybe you're trail-riding with your horse miles from civilization and he gets colic, or say you have a trailer accident in the middle of nowhere. This book will help you help your horse until you can get him to the vet, or get the vet to him. Using the information in this book, if you are thrown into a situation where you have to do something because you are the only one there and the vet is hours away, you will first off avoid doing the wrong thing (first, do no harm) and secondly, have the necessary information to stablize your horse until professional help can be obtained. This book may save your horses life. It is on my list of things to pack when we trailer anywhere.

Subjects covered are Colic, Diarrhea, Founder, Sudden Severe Lameness, Superficial Lacerations and Barbed Wire Cuts, Scrapes and Bruises, Injury to the Face and Head, Choke, Eye Problems, Tying-Up, Heat Exhaustion, Respiratory Disease, Severe Adverse Reactions to Medications, and Hives.

For each subject a general overview is given, then the author clearly explains "What you See", "What's going on inside", "What would the vet do", and finally "There's no vet. What should you do?" This part gives step-by-step instructions along with notes on how the horse should respond, how long it should take for him to respond, what to do if he doesn't respond in the expected manner or timeframe, and finally what to do once he is stable (whether to try to trailer him to a vet, or go get a vet).

There is a very informative section on Equine Drugs as they relate to the law, the insurance company, and event regulations. You don't want to be getting into trouble with any of those parties! Detailed instructions on how to give intra-muscular shots, as well as contents of the well-equipped emergency kit, and how to do all the different types of bandages are given.

The author dissuades you from thinking that you could ever undertake certain procedures by yourself (even though they may look simple when performed by a professional), namely: nasogastric intubation (passing a stomach tube), intravenous injections, and rectal palpation. She is adamant that these procedures should be left for the veterinarian, even if the horse is in a crisis situation and the attendant believes their efforts could be lifesaving. There are so many things that can go wrong when trying to perform these procedures that it is just not worth the risk - and as the author points out, if something does go wrong, there is no way you'll ever convince your insurance company that you were acting in the horse's best interest.

Every horse person who ever anticipates being away from the vet for any length of time should get this book.

 
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