horse health

Horse Health and what you can do?

Dentistry is an essential aspect of horse care that should not be overlooked. Proper teeth care is crucial for horses to optimize chewing of their food, which is essential for their overall health and well-being.  


We highly recommend that horse owners schedule an oral examination with their vet at least once a year to ensure that their horse’s teeth are in good condition. However, if the horse owner is advised to do this more regularly after their first visit, it is important to follow through with the vet’s recommendation.



Horses’ teeth continually erupt throughout their life, and due to their figure eight chewing motion and the greater quantities of concentrated feed that horses consume these days, they can develop sharp points. 



These sharp points can cause discomfort during riding and, if left untreated, can lead to an unbalanced mouth that may predispose them to diastemata (spaces between teeth) and periodontal pocketing (holes in the gum next to, or around, teeth). 



These conditions can cause severe pain in extreme cases. Therefore, it is crucial to schedule regular dentistry appointments with your vet to prevent issues from arising and to pick up on any already present or developing problems.



Parasite management is another vital aspect of horse care. Drench resistance in horses is becoming a massive worldwide problem, where parasites are no longer susceptible to the drenches given to them. 



As a result, we will see more parasite-related diseases in our horses, such as colic and diarrhea. 



To combat this problem, horse owners should have a faecal egg count done on a poo sample every 3 months and then be drenched according to the results, as advised by their vet.



 A faecal sample can be dropped off to the clinic for assessment.



Vaccinations are also crucial to keep horses healthy. The recommended vaccination for horses is Tetanus toxoid, which is a serious disease that is often fatal if acquired. The bacteria live in the dirt and can get into breaks in the skin, causing tetanus.



 The vaccine is 100% effective if given correctly. It requires two vaccinations (4 weeks apart), a booster at 12 months, and then a booster every 2 years after that. 



The Strangles vaccine is also commonly given to horses and is strongly recommended if they are traveling out of Southland regularly for competitions, as it passes from horse to horse. Streptococcus equi causes the disease, and clinical signs are fever, nasal discharge, and swollen lymph nodes. The Strangles vaccine is not 100% effective and requires 3 shots, 2 weeks apart, and an annual booster.



Finally, horse nutrition is becoming a niche in itself. Requirements for each individual horse are dependent on how much work they do, weight management, and age-related factors. There are many products on the market, so it is essential to talk to your KeyVet about what is best for your horse. Please follow our page for more tips on animal health to ensure your horse is healthy and happy.

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