The importance of understanding the anatomy and physiology of the heart and lungs will go a long way in helping you ascertain if there is a medical emergency at hand.
What you might observe
Signs of a heart problem might include a loss of condition, shortness of breath, slow recovery after exercise, an increased effort to breathe, a shorter period of exercise before development of fatigue, and general weakness. Fluid accumulation in the abdomen, legs, or under the skin surrounding the ribs is another indication of poor heart function.(1)
Some condition a horse owner may see are cardiac dysrythmias,
Pawing at the ground with forelimb
Reaching around with the head to the flank;
Increased amount of time lying down;
Playing in the water bucket;
Continual shifting of weight on the hind limbs; and
Standing against a wall and moving infrequently.
Treatment: Calling Vet sooner than later is always advisable as colic can become worse quickly.
PURPOSE: the purpose of this SOP is to provide guidance in the situations where Fire is present or other safety hazards that are present on the farm and could endanger your safety or the safety of all livestock.
SOP 2.1 Fire and Safety Prevention
1. Absolutely no smoking, lit flame or source of combustion that be allowed within a 100m of barn, arena, stables hay or grain barn storage
2.1 All emergency exists shall be clearly identified and lit. Hallways and doorways shall be kept free of any and all debris. This is to maintain egress route
2.2. CSA approved and recommended fire extinguisher are to be mounted at every exit including grain and hay storage areas.
2.3. All vehicular storage areas. Shall have good ventilation, longtime storage of batteries, fuels explosive equipment materials, shall be stored in a designated yellow cabinet of steel construction.
2.4 Farm Vehicles that do not have current plates and licensing that is current will be asked to remove the vehicle from the property.
2.5 Farm vehicles that have proof of licensing and registration are asked to place oil pan or equivalent to capture leaks
Management of manure is a key step in controlling flies, larva and eggs, as well as minimizing odours.
The management plan will be as follows:
Stalls to be emptied of manure and bedding daily as needed and deposited into manure containment. Pastures to be cleaned of manure once a week.
Rationale: reducing the number of eggs interrupts the reproductive life cycle, and reduces population of flies
Minimal use of bedding that can absorb urine,
Rationale: bedding is slow to break down into a compostable product.
Manure will be stored and composted for use as fertilizer on the farm. Excess can be bagged and sold to the local community for profit or donated to family/community garden plots Rationale: giving back to the community is one of our pillars of success.
A vermiculture composting system will be established to ensure high quality of compost is produced.
Pest and Insect control is an important part of the horse health management.
Focus areas are: Pastures, stalls, manure pits
Rationale: Flies, larvae and eggs are found in manure that remains in pastures, stalls and manure pits. Removal of manure and proper disposal will reduce the load available for the horse to digest and thus reduce the overall load in the horse(s).
Procedure: All stalls to be cleaned a min of once per day depending on how much time is spent in stall.
Use shavings in stalls to soak up liquids,
Ensure to sweep all debris from hay and grain and dispose of in garbage bin sealed from rodents
Remove all manure from small paddocks twice a week(1)
Dispose of manure in manure pits with concrete pad. Disposing of manure in a field contributes to the problem, as rain soaks ground, runoff is created, manure now becomes breeding ground for flies and larvae) (2)
(1) Zimmel, D. (2009). Ch. 5: Equine wellness program. In D. Reeder et al. (Eds.), AAEVT’S Equine manual for veterinary technicians (summary of parasite control measures p142)
Rationale: Purpose and intent of this SOP is to provide direction on the vaccination of horses within the herd, to increase resistance to disease
In consultation with the vet, a vaccination schedule for each horse shall be outlined and recorded in the horses’ health record. (1)
Broodmares are to receive appropriate vaccines for this area.
Foals will also receive proper vaccinations with primary and booster vaccines
any adverse effects to the vaccine shall also be recorded as well as the vaccines serial , lot number and expiry dates. (2) Rationale: Recording this information will be useful in the event of a reaction and if the vaccine itself is recalled.
1.National Farm And Facility Level Biosecurity Standard for the Equine Sector, Section 4 Principles of Infection Prevention and Control Programs, Methods of Pathogen Transmission,
2. Code of Practice for the care and handling of Equines, Section 4.1.2 Vaccines
This S.O.P explains and outlines the risks of fire and safety hazards in the equine farm environment
Rationale: Identification of fire risks and location of fire hazards and places/things required for fire protection are needed so that maintenance protocols can be established to reduce risk and increase safety.
More detailed plan:
Fire safety standards for the barn and grounds surrounding areas that could become hazard points. ie: keep dust down, sweep and dispose of dirt/debris outside of the barn in a sealed weatherproof container. Dust light fixtures and keep cobwebs from building up around lights and electrical outlets.
Identify locations of smoke detectors, fire extinguishers and electrical panel. No Smoking signs are clearly visible within barn and other structures.
Clearly marked emergency exits with lights, that are always kept clear of debris that could impede emergency egress for horse and human.
Develop maintenance schedule for fire extinguishers and smoke detectors IAW Fire Regulations/ recommendations.
This page outlines the Standing Operating Procedures. Standing Operating Procedures are an important tool for the staff at any barn, as they provide guidance on what to do and actions to carry out from Emergency Procedures to Pest and Parasite control.
You will notice that the SOP’s are clearly identified so that when needed the reference can be found quickly. These SOP’s will also be available in hard copy and posted for quick access to all staff.
This is a work in progress and will never truly be finished, as when our knowledge and experience grows so should our S.O.Ps
This is also promulgated with the help of all the staff. If you see something that could be done, better, more efficiently, speak UP!!