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How To Keeping A Horse Healthy

It is better to prevent disease than to have to treat it once it occurs. Horses can be vaccinated against specific diseases, such as tetanus and equine influenza, but the best general disease prevention is good stable management and a sharp eye for deviations from normal health. You must get to know what is normal for your horse.
How To Keeping A Horse Healthy
How To Keeping A Horse Healthy
Give it a mini health check once a day; then you will spot a problem if it occurs. Be extra-vigilant if your horse has been mixing with strange horses—for example, at a show—and consider isolating it from other horses when you get home, in case it has picked up an infection.

Signs of health:

You should visit a turned-out horse twice a day. Check that its feet are in good order, that it does not have any cuts or injuries, and that any blanket is in place and not rubbing.
If possible, bring the horse in during really bad weather.

Disinfecting the stable:

Never introduce a new horse to a dirty stable. The stable should first be cleaned thoroughly and then disinfected. Dirt, especially feces, renders many types of disinfectant inactive, so disinfection on its own is not an alternative to cleaning—it is a vital element of it.

Checking all over:

Every day, you should run a hand over literally every part of your horse’s body. Look for the classic signs of inflammation: heat, swelling, and pain. Naturally, you should be familiar with the size of any existing lumps and bumps on your horse. The skin should be supple and not show any signs of sweating. Horses often rest one leg more than the others, but look out for any variations in this habit.

Worming:

It is essential to worm your horse regularly. The main goal of worming is to prevent worm eggs from passing out in the feces to reinfest the horse at a later date.

Examining the mouth:

Look inside the horse’s mouth and make sure that there are no ulcers on the tongue or insides of the cheeks caused by sharp points on the teeth. Watch your horse eat. If it drops appreciable amounts of food out of its mouth, there may be a dental problem.

A professional check:

Horses should have their teeth checked by a vet or an equine dental technician annually, with some older horses requiring more frequent examinations. Professionals will use a gag to hold the jaw open and may use electrically driven files to remove the sharp points that develop on a horse’s teeth during natural wear.

Checking the respiration, temperature, and pulse:

Respiration:

While at rest, a horse normally takes 8–16 breaths per minute. (A breath is counted as one out–in movement of the ribs.) It may be hard to see and count such slow breathing. Stand behind the horse at a safe distance and watch the ribs rise and fall as it breathes.

Temperature:

A healthy horse has a temperature of 101–101.5°F (38.3–38.6°C). At first, ask an expert to help you
take the temperature. Grease the thermometer with petroleum jelly, shake it hard, then insert it, bulb first, into the rectum, holding on to it tightly. Read the mercury level after about one minute.

Pulse:

The normal pulse rate of a horse is 30–50 beats per minute. It takes practice to feel it. Rest the tip of your fingers on the artery that passes over the edge of the lower jaw, and count the beats. Expect the rate to be three or four times the respiratory rate, even after exercise.

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