Emergency Services: When to Call Equine Field Service Immediately

When in doubt, call your veterinarian. Especially call the Equine Field Service if:

  • Any time an eye is involved (tearing, swelling, lacerations, cloudiness, or squinting)
  • If your horse is acting colicky (down, rolling, pawing, looking at flanks, off feed)
  • If a laceration (cut) is over a joint or tendon, if bone is exposed, if stitches are needed, or if the bleeding won't stop
  • If your horse becomes depressed or lethargic, stops eating, or has a high (>102 oF) temperature

What to Do in an Emergency

  • Remain calm and remove all non-essential people from the area.
  • Carefully assess your horse – remember a horse may act differently when scared or painful.
  • For colic, call Equine Field Service before giving any medications. If your horse is trying to roll or go down, you can walk him/her until you talk to your vet.
  • For lacerations, gently clean with warm water and mild soap; apply pressure to stop bleeding. You can apply a light bandage to keep the wound clean while you wait for the on-call veterinarian.
  • For eye emergencies – call Equine Field Service – do not attempt to clean or apply any ointment; do not wait a day.
  • When you call, state your name and emergency calmly. Clearly provide your contact phone number. Keep your phone with you, or have someone stay by the phone until the vet calls you back.