Take a few minutes this month to clean out your barn medicine chest. Start by throwing out all of the following items (make a list of things you dispose of so you can replace them promptly):
1. any expired products or supplies
2. ointments with visible dirt or hair mixed in
3. products that have changed color or clarity
4. pills that are crumbling, changed appearance or give off an unusual odor
5. powders that have clumped together from moisture
6. self-adhesive wrap that has “melted” onto itself over time, becoming difficult to unroll
Next, check the battery on your digital thermometer to ensure it’s still working. If you have a glass thermometer, inspect it closely for damage and dispose of it responsibly if needed. Check scissors or other tools in your medicine chest to ensure they are in good working order. Finally, wash all your fabric bandages and wraps.
Click here to read about the items every first aid kit needs.
Repacking your medicine chest
Repack all of the new, repaired and cleaned items into a waterproof container, such as a large plastic tub with a lid. Consider this the modern medicine chest. In that container, also store the phone numbers of your veterinarian and farrier, as well as copies of your horse’s Coggins paperwork, vaccine schedule and other pertinent health and medication information. If you’re not around in an emergency or you need to relocate your horse on short notice, quick access to this information may be vital.
This article first appeared in EQUUS issue #446
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