Managing Field Emergencies–Back to Basics


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It’s probably no coincidence that several of the speakers in the afternoon session on “How to manage critical field emergencies” referenced the Winston Churchill quote-turned-Internet-meme “Keep Calm and Carry On.” Emergencies are a huge part of the ambulatory equine practitioner’s bread and butter. After all, horses are emergencies on the hoof.

Still, certain situations can make even the most seasoned veterinarian cringe. Our emergency cases are often more acute, larger, and more public than those seen by our small animal colleagues. There is no back room into which the field practitioner can take his or her patient to evaluate the patient quietly, or to stabilize the patient without a hysterical owner hovering nearby. Stabilization of equine emergencies takes place not only in front of the owner, but often the trainer, neighbor, other boarders, assorted children, and the guy who happened to drive by and wondered what all the fuss was about

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