Keep your horse a happy horse
Horses are sensitive animals, and the world of horse health can be quite a complicated one. There are a number of diseases and ailments to which horses are prone, including equine colic, equine encephalitis, equine strangles, and equine influenza. It is important for every horse owner to immediately establish a relationship with a veterinarian who specializes in equine medicine. It is important to establish a vaccination schedule to prevent most common equine diseases, and to always monitor your own horse for signs of illness. Proper horse health care is the responsibility of every horse owner, whether the horse is stabled at home or boarded at a stable. If the horse is boarded at a full care stable, the owner of the stable may notify you if he or she feels your horse is ill. Good horse health care is even more important in a boarding situation, since many of the most serious equine diseases are easily communicable.
In many cases it will be obvious that a horse is not feeling well. Signs of ill horse health include not eating, not drinking and acting lethargic. In other cases, however, the signs of illness will be more subtle, so it is important for the horse owner to keep alert to changes in the horse’s attitude and demeanor.
One of the most serious conditions in horse health is that of equine colic, and many new horse owners are unaware just how serious this condition is. Equine colic is far more than a mere stomach ache, as the makeup of the equine digestive system can cause the stomach to twist, resulting in serious complications or even death. A horse who is suffering from colic may roll in its stall and be suffering from obvious pain. If the horse is down, it is essential for the owner to make the horse stand, and to keep it walking. Equine colic is a medical emergency, and it is essential that the veterinarian be called at once.
Ask your veterinarian for advice on how to prevent your horse getting sick. Here are some basic horse care measures:
Quality food: give your horse a well balanced diet. Ask your vet about the types of food your horse needs and whether he needs supplements or not.
Fresh water: your horse needs plenty of water.
Salt/mineral block: see to it that your horse has a mineral block available at all times.
Shelter: provide good shelter for your horse so that he is protected from the elements. No horse will be able to remain in the peak of health unless it has a clean, safe and dry place to get in out of the cold and the rain. While it is true that wild horses need no such shelter, the modern riding horse is far removed from their wild cousins.
Hoof Care: keep an eye on your horse's hooves. Watch out for thrush, cracks and objects sticking in the sole. Visit the farrier every 6 to 8 weeks.
Vaccination schedule: ask your vet for more information.
Visit the vet for a check up at least once a year.
First aid: buy a first aid kit for horses and ask your vet what you can do in case of an emergency.
Worming: ask your vet for advice on how to treat parasitic infestations.
Sheath cleaning: one of the aspects of horse health that are not typically shared with prospective horse owners is the need to clean the horse sheath of male horses. The male horse has specific needs for this type of cleaning, and it is important to ask your veterinarian for advice on how to do it properly.
Beyond the basic horse health care needs, there are a number of excellent ways to make horses healthier, including enzymes for horses, equine supplements, equine chiropractor, equine massage and a number of joint care, nutrition and equine therapy products. Whether you need to slim down a fat horse, or provide soothing joint care to an older horse with arthritis, chances are there is a product on the market for just that purpose.