Canada

Conditions That Should Generate a 911 Call To Your Veterinarian

Certain conditions and situations may arise for which veterinary intervention is needed. Discuss these situations with your veterinarian ahead of time and have a plan of action in place.

Your level of experience in recognizing certain conditions and being able to provide appropriate basic first aid will influence at what point you make that call. As a guideline, consider the following as potential "911" situations:

  • Certain wounds may require veterinary attention:
    • Puncture wounds
    • Injuries involving the eye
    • Injuries involving joint/tendon or bone
    • Those that are grossly infected
    • Those missing tissue: skin, etc
    • Embedded foreign bodies like wood or nails. N.B.: The foreign body should not be removed until your veterinarian arrives
    • Those with spurting blood, those associated with uncontrolled hemorrhage, those that appear deep or are gaping and long, i.e. the edges of the wound are grossly spread
    • Those with accompanying systemic signs such as fever, weakness, abnormal breathing, sweating or shivering, pale mucus membranes and/or severe depression
    • When your horse is too agitated to permit examination and/or handling
  • Persistent, high fevers
  • Severe/sudden weakness, abnormal breathing, sweating or shivering, pale mucus membranes and/or severe depression
  • Colic:  e.g. biting at flank/abdomen, rolling, getting up and down
  • There is an unwillingness to put any weight on a limb
  • The horse is down and unwilling – or unable – to get up
  • When you are not comfortable making a treatment decision or have a gut feeling about your horse