Category: Caring for your horse

Worms – a wriggly problem

Every horse owner has heard about the danger of worms but without some knowledge it is hard to understand the full impact of a worm infestation (or burden). Intestinal worms can seriously damage your horse and in some circumstances can kill it, even if the burden is not life-threatening your horse may lose condition. Implementing an... Read more »

Worm control

Every horse owner has heard about the danger of worms but without some knowledge it is hard to understand the full impact of a worm infestation (or burden). Intestinal worms can seriously damage your horse and in some circumstances can kill it, even if the burden is not life-threatening your horse may lose condition. Implementing an effective worm... Read more »

Weight loss

Horses usually maintain a good body condition if offered a good quality diet of hay and pasture. Young horses or horses in hard work may require additional concentrates to meet their nutritional needs and old horses often require a 'senior' feed because wear and tear on their teeth no longer allow them to graze sufficiently.... Read more »

Vaccination protocols and safety

Development of vaccinations has resulted in there being protection available for an increasing number of infectious diseases in horses. Recently concerns have been raised about potential 'over vaccination' of people and animals and this has led to development of the concept of tailored vaccination protocols. If your horse is not likely to be exposed to... Read more »

Vaccinating your horse

Horses are susceptible to a number of serious infectious diseases, e.g. influenza (flu). Fortunately, vaccines are available for some of these common conditions. What is a vaccination? A vaccination is an injection that stimulates an immune response against a specific disease. A vaccination programme will ensure that your horse has maximum protection against these serious... Read more »

Sheath washing – to wash, or not to wash!

Regular washing of a gelding or stallion's sheath and penis is something that horse owners debate on a regular basis. The following information should make the decision "to wash, or not to wash" an easy one! Do I need to wash my horse's sheath? As a general rule there is no need to wash your... Read more »

Senior horse care

It's not only humans that are living longer our horses are too! Improvements in diet, management and veterinary care mean that horses and ponies can easily live into their 20s and 30s. The average age for a horse is about 24 years. Just like young animals, older animals need special care to keep them happy... Read more »

Saying goodbye – options for euthanasia

This is a very sensitive subject but it is important for you to be aware of the reasons for euthanasia, the options available and the possible arrangements for disposal of the body. Learning about euthanasia now will enable you, should it become necessary, to say goodbye to your horse in a dignified and peaceful way.... Read more »

Routine health care

We are all familiar with the phrase "A healthy horse is a happy horse" - but there is probably also something to be said for keeping your horse happy in order to maintain its health. If you know your horse you will probably quickly recognise the signs that suggest it is not well. What are... Read more »

Poisonous plants – what to look out for

Many plants that are poisonous to horses cause neurological and liver damage, which can be life-threatening. Unless you have a good general knowledge of poisonous plants it is unlikely that you will be able to easily identify which plants are poisonous to your horse or not. There are some plants that you will be familiar with,... Read more »

Operations: caring for your horse before and after surgery

There may be an occasion when your horse will need to undergo surgery, this may be for emergency or for an elective procedure such as castration. Whatever the reason, you need to know how to care for your horse before and after surgery to ensure the surgery goes as smoothly as possible and to ensure... Read more »

Nosebleed (epistaxis)

Epistaxis means bleeding from the nose and is relatively common in horses. If your horse has a nosebleed dont panic! The nasal passages are full of blood vessels, so it can look like a lot of blood is coming from the horses nose. Most minor nosebleeds stop within 15 minutes, so any bleeding that lasts... Read more »

Normal parameters and vital signs

Knowing what your horses normal vital signs are is very important as these can be a very good indicator of how your horse is feeling and if he needs veterinary attention. You should check your horses vital signs on a regular basis - once a week is ideal as well as when you think your... Read more »

Identification – keeping your horse safe

Owning a horse is a big responsibility and just like any pet, they soon become part of the family and it would be terrible if they got lost or stolen. Without positive identification your chances of finding a missing horse or pony are slim, within a very short period of time, your horse could be... Read more »

Eye problems

The horse's eye is large and lies in a prominent and somewhat unprotected position in the skull. Given the horse's propensity of flight under circumstances of fright, trauma to the eye is not uncommon. Also, given the many varied occupations of horses in some rather harsh environments, it is not unexpected that the horse incurs... Read more »

Exercise intolerance/poor performance testing

If your horse isn't performing to the best of its ability, there may be an underlying problem that will need to be investigated by your vet. Exercise intolerance can have a number of causes and finding out what it is can be a lengthy process, but more often than not, treatment will be available to... Read more »

Equine Cushing’s disease

Equine Cushing's disease is a condition of senior horses (over 15 years of age) of all types - ponies commonly seem to be predisposed because they tend to live longer. It is also known as ECD, hyperadrenocorticism and pituitary adenoma. It is sometimes called Cushing's syndrome, suggesting it is a disease with a variety of symptoms some of... Read more »

Emergencies – when to call the vet

Every owner will at some time have to deal with an emergency involving their horse. It is essential to know how to deal with such emergencies before they arise and to know who to call when they do. Although concern is understandable when you think your horse is unwell or in pain, if your horse... Read more »

Coping with the loss of a pet

Pets often become beloved members of the family, and when they die, the loss can be very traumatic. From hamsters, to cats, dogs, horses and everything in between, no matter what the animal, losing a beloved pet is never easy and it is only natural to grieve. Understanding grief Everyone grieves differently, and grief can be... Read more »

Choosing a vet for your horse

Everyone who owns a pet will, at some point, need to take it to see a vet, whether it be for routine treatment, for an illness or an emergency. Horse owners are no exception, but in most cases, your vet will come to see your horse rather than you taking your horse to see the... Read more »

Basic equine anatomy

If you own a horse it is useful to have a basic understanding of the horse's anatomy. Having this basic knowledge will enable you to spot problems or diseases your horse may have at a much earlier stage, and will enable you to communicate effectively with your vet. What do I need to know about... Read more »

Bandaging – the do’s and don’t’s

There may be a number of occasions when you will need to bandage your horse's legs. Bandaging can be used for protection, support and injury. Correct leg bandaging is essential - applied incorrectly, bandages may cause discomfort, restrict blood flow and even cause injury. Learning the correct bandaging techniques can save your horse from potential... Read more »

Azoturia – ‘Tying-up’

Azoturia is popularly known as 'Tying-up' but it is also known as 'Set fast', 'Monday morning disease' and 'Exertional rhabdomyolysis'. What is azoturia? Azoturia is a recurrent syndrome in which excess urea and other nitrogen compounds are excreted in the urine following exercise. The urea comes mainly from the build up of toxic lactic acid... Read more »