Working together with a veterinarian is the best way to keep your horse healthy. With proper planning and implementation of a wellness program for each of your horses, diseases and infections can be prevented. A horse’s wellness program should include these four important aspects – vaccinations, annual physical exam, deworming, and annual dental exam.
Each horse in your barn should have its own annual vaccination program. These vaccinations are necessary to keep your horses healthy all year round, as they become protected from outbreaks of diseases and infections. The most recommended vaccines that your horse should have are West Nile virus, tetanus, rabies, and equine encephalitis (Eastern/Western). Your veterinarian can also work on a vaccination plan for other viruses and infections that can affect your horse in the future.
Annual Physical Exam
Schedule with your veterinarian an annual physical exam for each horse that you own. A physical examination of a horse will consist of a visual inspection of the animal and monitoring of the vital statistics like pulse, temperature, and respiration. The horse’s lungs will be listened to closely, and there is also an evaluation of the skin and coat condition. Any abnormalities and concerns will be discussed immediately for proper action.
Also, for horses in their senior years, they need to frequently undergo a blood test. This is done to rule out the possibility of your older horses having equine Cushing’s disease, also called pituitary pars intermedia dysfunction.
A deworming plan should also be implemented with the help of your veterinarian. It’s important to have complete control of the parasites that could live in your horse’s gut. A fecal testing will be done first, then a deworming strategy can be followed based on the test results. You’ll not only need to deworm your horse, but also your property as well. Your veterinarian will help you with the necessary steps to accomplish this.
Annual Dental Exam
Regular dental care is also important to keep your horse healthy. Horses are also susceptible to dental issues, especially when they’re already in their senior years. When a horse has a dental issue, it can lead to poor performance, weight loss, and unruly behavior. It’s best that each horse undergo a dental exam yearly to diagnose dental problems early on, and be treated accordingly before they can affect the health of your horse.
This well-rounded wellness program for your horse is only possible if youre working together with your trusted veterinarian all the time. Let your veterinarian know of any minor health concerns that your horse is experiencing, to prevent possible diseases from getting out of hand, that will result to the death of your beloved equine.