First aid in freezing temperatures

It’s amazing how much a cut on a horse’s leg can bleed.

I arrived at the barn a few days ago to find bright red blood dripping down the cannon bone of one of the mares at our barn. A large glob of it was frozen, but no less red at the site of the wound and rivulets at frozen all the way down to her hoof.

Of course it was 17 degrees (F) which meant that everything in the barn, and I mean everything, was frozen. The Betadine was frozen, the antibiotics were frozen and, after I rinsed off her leg to assess the wound, my fingers were frozen.

This is my first winter since I moved my horses from a bank barn. One of the great advantages there was that the barn (and my tack room) stayed warm in the winter and cool in the summer. I never had to deal with frozen medications.

Which brings me to the most important tool to have in the barn during the winter months: an electric tea kettle. It took only a few minutes to get water warm enough to thaw out the meds that I needed and my fingers appreciated using warm water to scrub the wound (which turned out to be only a scratch). It didn’t take long for the betadine and the triple antibiotic lotion to melt enough to be useful.

Once the leg was scrubbed and shaved I could see that this was really no more than a scratch. I applied the antibiotics, wrapped up the leg and headed home.

One thought on “First aid in freezing temperatures

  1. Great point. Although I don’t deal with this issue anymore, I never even thought about having frozen meds when I lived up north. Luckily, I’d never needed to address this, but forethought is always best!

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