Horses Are Special Too!

Horse Health Care


Horses should be examined by a veterinarian at least once or twice a year. They should be vaccinated against tetanus, influenza, and other diseases. When necessary, they should receive medicine to expel worms. Sometimes, a horse's teeth must be floated (filed down to remove sharp edges).

Horse owners can prevent many medical problems by feeding and bedding the animals properly, keeping them and their living quarters clean, and exercising the horses daily. Owners should watch for any changes in seminarian if a horse appears ill. Signs of illness include loss of appetite, lack of vigor, mucous or bloody discharges from the eyes or nose, swellings or sores on the body, and hot legs or hooves. A fast or slow breathing rate or pulse rate may also be a sign of illness. Normally, a resting horse breathes from 8 to 16 times per minute and has a pulse rate of 30 to 40 beats per minute.

A horse's legs and hooves easily become diseased if not cared for properly. Some common diseases of the legs and hooves include thrush, navicular, and laminitis. Thrush is an infection of the frog.  It can be prevented by providing clean, dry bedding for a horse. To treat thrush, veterinarians apply medication to the affected frog. Navicular is a disease of hoof bone that causes a horse's legs to become stiff and sore. It is treated with corrective shoeing and drugs. Laminitis, also call founder, is an inflammation of the hoof. Its symptoms include lameness, hot hooves, and increased pulse rate. Laminitis is treated by applying medication and soaking the hoof in warm water.

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Personal Comments:

If you have acquired a horse that is sick or not being taken care of properly when you purchased it, the horse should be attended to often by a veterinarian until he/she is doing well enough for health reasons. I know that with Dinkey, had I not done this, she would not have lived as long as she did.

Also, abused animals, whether they are horses or smaller animals, can be a bit much to take care of while they are sick. And the end results does not always have a happy ending. Dinkey's veterinarian told me that a person can encourage the animal by simply not giving up at the first sign of trouble. But in most cases, the abuse and neglect has already taken its toll on the animal to the point of no return. So I don't want to get anyone's hopes up to high here.

It can take years to help an animal to recover from someone's ill treatment, and the chances of the animal ever actually trusting again are slim at best. The veterinarian was convinced that my love for animals, plus my refusing to call it quits on Dinkey was the reason she responded the way she did. Not every case turns out as good as mine did with Dinkey, and it's truly a shame.

As she gained trust and straight, she became a better horse. But she also never got over some of the abuse she had received through the years. Lots of TLC can do a lot, but it cannot change some things no matter how much we want it too.

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