Emergencies - 0412 619 740
Our vets are available 24hrs a day every day of the year. Regular
consultations occur between 8.30am and 5pm Monday to Friday,
but a vet is always on-call after hours and on weekends for any
Elite Equine staff have attended a Large Animal Rescue workshop and are
experienced in this field. We have assisted in many horse rescues over the
years and have a good working relationship with the local SES, CFA and rescue organisations.Some of the more common conditions that we consider equine emergencies are:
Colic is defined as abdominal discomfort.
Signs of colic:
Kicking at the belly,
Lying down or rolling,
Inappetance (not wanting to eat),
Dull demeanor and/or agitation.
If you are worried your horse may have colic, we will get to you as soon as possible. While waiting,it is best to keep the horse standing (which may mean walking the horse if it won’t stand), take away all feed and do not medicate with anything before discussing with a vet first.
If your horse has just recently cut its leg and the wound is clean,
apply a clean bandage with padding and keep the horse standing still while
waiting for the vet to arrive. If the wound is older and dirty or contaminated,
cleaning with dilute betadine or chlorhexidine (if available) or tap water will
usually suffice until the vet can examine the extent of the injury. However,
do not apply any wash or cream to wounds where bone or tendon are exposed,leave these for the vet to assess first.
A horse with an eye ulcer will have a watery or purulent (pus-like) discharge, the eye itself may be cloudy and the horse may be squinting or have the eye shut. Equine eye ulcers can deteriorate quickly. Uveitis, or inflammation within the eye, is a common sequelae to eye ulcers and if left untreated may result in blindness or even
removal of the eye. Therefore we recommend eye problems are examined as soon as they are noticed. We do not recommend applying any ‘left over eye medication from last time’ without talking with a vet or before the eye is properly examined. Some eye medication can be detrimental if an ulcer is present.
Horses can have an allergic reaction to many things, including weeds, certain grasses, hay, insect bites, or heat/sweat rash. Reactions usually show up on the skin as raised soft lumps, wheels, or hives (termed ‘urticaria’). Reactions can present as a single or small cluster of lumps which may vary in size, or present as small lumps covering a large area or even their entire body. Insect bite reactions have the potential to induce a systemic (whole body) reaction which can affect horse’s lungs and breathing. Additionally, the lumps can form small scabs or pustules and become infected. Most reactions will regress with prompt treatment involving injectable corticosteroids and anti-histamines.
A horse with choke will often present distressed, coughing, looking uncomfortable, not willing to eat, head and neck extended and may have a discharge from the nostrils. We do not recommend hosing the mouth out because the pathway to the stomach is blocked, so often the fluid will go towards the lungs instead and can cause pneumonia. Some horses will pass the choke without treatment but if they don’t, try to keep the horse calm or even walking and keep their head down to prevent any aspiration while waiting for the vet to arrive.