IN an Emergency Call your Clinic
We provide an emergency service 24 hours, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
Emergencies will always take priority over any non-emergency call and we always have vets available in order to respond quickly without too much disruption to existing calls. Our emergency service is provided by our own vets, rather than a bought-in locum service provided by unfamiliar vets. A standard visit fee is applied to emergency visits during normal office hours. Out of office hours a standard surcharge is applied to all visits.
During normal office hours an equine receptionist is always available to help you and arrange for a veterinary surgeon to visit, outside of working please call your normal surgery number and your call will be answered by our out of hours emergency team who will listen carefully and take your details; a vet will then call you back.
Please call the vet if you are concerned in any way about your horse.
We are always more than happy to discuss your horses condition over the telephone and to assist you in deciding whether or not your horse is suffering and needs a visit.
Please remember that some apparently insignificant wounds or sore eyes can result in permanent injury or even death. Your call, no matter how trivial it may seem is welcomed. If in doubt please ask.
It is prudent to keep the veterinary clinic number on your phone and at the stables to save time in an emergency situation. If your horse is at livery we recommend making sure the livery yard manager has your horses vets contact number.
What is an emergency and how to deal with it before the vet arrives;
Signs: Trouble breathing, increased rate or effort of breathing, may hear wheezing, flaring of nostrils. A line of abdominal muscles called the ‘heaves line’ may be visible (see below picture) and the horse may have a nasal discharge.
What to do: Move the horse into an area that facilitates breathing easily, ie outside
Signs: Stretching neck, repeated attempts to swallow. Saliva and/or food coming from the nose, distress.
What to do: Remove all food and water and try and keep the horse as calm as possible
Signs: Horse uncomfortable due to abdominal pain; looking at flanks, kicking belly, pawing ground, sweating, lying down, rolling.
What to do: Remove food, encourage horse to stand but do not force it to walk if it does not want to. If possible, move to a stable with a deep bed.
Signs: Horse found down in stable/field, collapsed on exercise or slips / falls down.
What to do: If the horse collapses during exercise, try to loosen tack if possible. If the horse has collapsed on a hard area and is unable to stand, try and support the horse with bedding/rugs.
Signs: Discharge/excessive tears from eye, swollen eyelid, unable to open eye. Spots/white film over eye. Red/inflamed eye or lids.
What to do: Ideally keep the horse stabled in a subdued lit stable and do not apply any ointments until the vet has been.
Signs: If the foal’s feet are visible but it has not been born within 7 minutes, or the mare is straining unproductively for more than 15 minutes please contact us without delay.
Signs: Reluctant to move, not able to take weight on one or more limbs, lies down. Uncomfortable standing, frequently alternates feet, stands with forelegs in front of body in an attempt to shift weight to relieve pain in the front feet (see picture below). Shortened strides, muscular stiffness over loins/quarters.
What to do: Keep the horse still, ideally in a well bedded stable.
Signs: Wounds/injuries that require emergency treatment include any wound with arterial bleeding (pulsing), a deep wound over a joint or a wound causing severe lameness.
What to do: In the event of profuse bleeding, apply pressure over the source of the blood. This should be done with a clean dry cloth, fold the cloth several times on itself to create a thick pad and apply to the bleeding wound, secure with a stretchy tape such as Vet Wrap. You can slow down the bleeding considerably using this method. It is recommended not to apply any creams/sprays to a wound until the vet has seen it, in case it requires sutures.