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Five Must-Have Supplies for an Equine Veterinarian

If you're starting out a career as an equine veterinarian you know that most equine vets travel to barns or stables to see their patients instead of the other way around. After all, taking a horse to a vet's office means loading it into a trailer, driving it to the location, unloading it and getting it to calm down for the actual exam. It's just easier for the vet to travel to the horse. An equine vet has dozens of supplies in their truck to use for a basic or more focused exam of a horse. Checkout five must-have supplies to put in your truck before going out to give a horse a basic exam.

A Stethoscope

Just like human doctors, an equine vet has a stethoscope handy in order to listen to a horse's heart and lungs. A normal pulse for a horse is about 32 to 36 beats per minute. A stethoscope chosen by a new equine vet must be easy to grip and deliver clear sounds when held to a horse's chest. A quality stethoscope may be a little costly for a new equine veterinarian, but it's a piece of equipment you will use every day for years to come.

A Thermometer

If you suspect that one of your equine patients has a fever, it's best to take its temperature. A high temperature can be a sign of a serious illness in a horse. Consequently, the thermometer must supply accurate readings, so you know whether a horse has a slight fever or is registering a normal temperature. A durable thermometer is invaluable to a vet.


Just like other domesticated animals, horses need certain vaccinations each year or every few years. An equine vet is responsible for giving horses these vaccines and making a record of it. As a new vet you'll want to know that vet products direct provides horse vaccines online so you can stock up on what you need for all of your four-legged patients. You'll want to have a secure cabinet where you can store all of your vaccines. Also, be sure to make note of any vaccines that need to be kept cold, so you can put them in the proper storage.

A Small Flashlight

A small flashlight is a typical item for any type of doctor to have on hand. An equine veterinarian needs a small flashlight for many reasons. One, it can be used to look into the mouth of a horse to examine its tongue and teeth. Also, it can be used to examine the eyes as well as the ears of a horse. Be sure to get a small flashlight with a rubber grip on it so you can keep a secure hold of it in all situations. You may even want to get a backup flashlight to keep in your truck, so you always have one when you need it.

A Hoof Pick

A hoof pick is helpful for an equine vet when examining the hooves of a horse. There is always some mud or dirt caked on the underside of the hoof that needs to be removed in order to make a thorough exam. Sometimes a wound or a foreign growth can be hidden under mud. A horse may even step around in the mud in an effort to relieve pain from a wound or other irritation. Clearing the mud away means the vet can address whatever issues found on the horse's hooves.

Finally, it's a good idea for a new equine veterinarian to make a list of supplies in order to have a well-stocked truck when it comes time to start visiting patients. Of course, a vet should expect to add more items to the catalog of supplies as more horses are put on the daily list of visits.


Photo credit: unsplash-logoEsther Driehaus

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