The standard practice of deworming every 2 months has been followed for more than 40 years, but much has changed in that amount of time. Parasite drug resistance has increased and at a rate that is faster than the development of new dewormers. A more selective deworming approach is therefore recommended to help decrease parasite resistance. In order to select the proper deworming medication and frequency, a fecal egg count is performed to determine the parasite load the horse is currently carrying. Parasite infection varies with age and health of the horse. Therefore, it is important to perform fecal egg counts routinely throughout the horse’s life.More
Keeping Your Horse Healthy
Infection Control and Prevention in Your Barn
- Clean equipment between horses (bits, halters, twitches etc)
- Avoid shared water sources
- Wash hands regularly or use hand sanitizer
- Have designated barn boots that are cleaned regularly
- Vaccinate against influenza and herpes viruses routinely
- Isolate new or competing horses for two weeks
Dentistry is an important part of your horse’s general health care. An oral exam is recommended yearly to help monitor normal wear and identify potential problems. Discomfort in the mouth can lead to poor weight gain, decreased performance and bad behavior even when not bridled. Depending on the age of your horse and oral exam findings, a dental procedure may be recommended once to twice a year. For a thorough and safe dental procedure to be performed the horse is sedated and a speculum is placed in the mouth. With motorized dental equipment, each tooth can be addressed efficiently and accurately.
Routine dental care is important due to the unique structure and function of horse’s teeth. Horses have a combination of brachydont and hypsodont teeth. The simple (brachydont) teeth are the first premolars (wolf tooth) and canines that have a distinct crown and root, but have no function for the domestic horse. The incisors and molars (cheek teeth) are hypsodont, like the molars of ruminants (cows, goats and sheep etc). This type of tooth has a large body that continues to erupt into the horse’s mouth as they are worn down by fibrous feed material. Most of the tooth is below the gum line in younger horses and continues to develop as it enters the mouth. The root of young teeth extends into the maxillary sinuses and mandibles creating “dental bumps” in 2-5 year olds.
These are general guidelines on feeding milk replacer to foals and transitioning to solid feeds. Note: Depending on the foal’s growth rate, they may need more or less of the prescribed feeds. These are guidelines for the average 50 kg (100 to 110lb) foal at birth being fed 2 to 2.5% of its body weight in kilograms a day.More
High-quality hay can be an important source of essential nutrients in your horse’s diet. A horse’s protein and energy requirements depend on age, stage of development, metabolism and workload. A mature horse will eat 2 to 2.5% of its body weight a day, and for optimum health, nutritionists recommend that at least half of this should be roughage such as hay. For a 1000-pound horse, that means at least 10 pounds of roughage each day.More
In an emergency, time is critical. Don’t be concerned with overreacting or annoying your veterinarian. By acting quickly and promptly, you can minimize the consequences of an injury or illness. Your horse’s health and well-being depend on it.More