At every stage of your horse's life, there is one constant that should never be overlooked. This is staying up to date with your horse's health needs. Your horse’s health needs include staying up to date with vaccinations, medications, and regular farrier visits.
Hoof care for your horse should be routine. It’s critical in their all-around maintenance and care at all ages, as unhealthy hooves can lead to diseases and infections. Routine hoof care should include cleaning, trimming, and corrections of imperfections. Without a proper visit to your farrier, an untrimmed hoof can cause poor balance and make them weak. Regular maintenance from a professional farrier is a must for the longevity of your horse. A farrier is a craftsman who shaves and trims hooves. If you don’t currently have a professional farrier, reach out to your horse’s veterinarian.
In hand with professional hoof care, there are also daily tasks that you can do at your own barn to ensure the health of your horse’s hooves. After conditioning or training, you should always use a hoof pick to remove debris. This debris can harbor harmful bacteria that can cause infections if not paid attention to.
Importance of Vaccinations
Staying up to date with your horse's necessary vaccinations is one of the easiest and most effective ways to protect your horse from infectious diseases. This also stops the spread and can protect other horses from something that your horse may have caught. Depending on your location, the risk for certain diseases that your horse can catch may be higher or lowers. For example, in Texas, rabies vaccines are recommended to be given twice a year. Where the vaccine for equine influenza is universal and can be compared to our seasonal flu shot.
Make Sure Your Horse Is Receiving the Right Medications
Drugs and medications for your horse can come in many forms and can be administered daily orally, intravenously, intramuscularly, or can even be applied as a topical treatment. In order to make sure that your horse is receiving the right medical treatment your horse should be going to your veterinarian for check-ups systematically. Don’t be afraid to ask your veterinarian to learn how to properly administer these medications. As a horse owner, you should learn these techniques to handle medications correctly.
There are different guidelines to follow for different forms of medications. For pills, capsules, and tablets they can be crushed and added to your horse’s feed. You can insert them into a piece of carrot or you can mix it with applesauce. Pastes should be inserted orally with a syringe in between their teeth. Injections should only be administered if your veterinarian has demonstrated the correct dosage and procedure.
Periodic dental care should also not be overlooked. Your horse is a grazing animal and this means that their teeth are built for shearing and grinding. Because they are in so much use there are many dental problems that can come up. This is why dental examinations are essential. Every dental exam provides the opportunity to perform preventative maintenance. Matured horses need correct dental alignment so that they do not lose their appetite due to discomfort.
Ryerss Farm for Aged Equines is a safe haven for retired and rescued equines. Ryerss is a place where these animals can spend the rest of their days happily out in the pasture. All of the horses at Ryerss Farm spend their days simply grazing and enjoying life. We are constantly looking for volunteers to help care for our dear equine friends. Check out our how to help page for more information about donating and volunteering.