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Horse Health

Before you read on you should understand that the information that we have included under these headings, and future headings for that matter, is of a general nature and should not be used instead of calling a veterinarian.

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Vital Signs

Health05If your horse does not look Bright, Alert and Responsive (BAR) then you will need to check his vital signs (Temperature, Pulse and Respiration – TPR).

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Overheating: Dangerous!

650 cc smallIf you are riding and you get really hot, then your horse gets even hotter. In fact a horse’s body will heat faster than a human’s and is less able to cope with the increase in body temperature.

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First Aid Kit

FirstAid introWhenever you leave home with your horse to attend an event or activity, whether it is for the day or a week, you will need to take a First Aid Kit.

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Gelding

741 Castration1Gelding, castration or cutting all mean the same thing: they are a surgical procedure that removes the testicles of a male horse.

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Laminitis & Founder

419 Founder labelsLaminitis and Founder are conditions that affect a horse’s hooves. They are usually very painful and if not caught early and treated may lead to either early retirement or having to put the horse down (euthanasia).

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Colic

709 cribbing-picture 300pxNext to old age, colic is the number one killer of domesticated horses.

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Hoof Abscesses

abscessUnfortunately, most horse owners will get first-hand experience with hoof abscesses – fortunately, most horses will make a complete recovery if they are treated quickly.

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Thrush

HoofSole thrushThis is a very common hoof problem that can go undetected for some time before it results in lameness. Unfortunately, by the time your horse is lame the thrush infection has probably moved from the outside to the inside of the hoof and has become a very serious problem.

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Scratches or Mud Fever

greasyheelThis condition has many names, depending on where you live. It is extremely uncomfortable for the horse and if it is allowed to develop it can cause great pain and even lameness.

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Rain Rot/Rain Scald

594 rain scald-1This condition, which can also be called dermatophilosis, is a bacterial infection of the skin along the top line of the horse. It is usually found in paddock horses when the weather is wet or humid.

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Ringworm

1036 smallThis is a highly contagious disease which can quickly infect the other horses on your property or your boarding stables, as well as you and your other pets.

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Sarcoids

1075 appearance4A sarcoid is a skin tumour which is the most frequently diagnosed tumour in horses. Surveys have indicated that they account for 20% of all equine noeplasms (tumours) and 36% of all skin tumours. They can occur at any age and anywhere on the body, however they are more usually seen on the head, shoulders and lower limbs.

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Strangles

716 strangles1-1Strangles is a highly contagious, bacterial infection of the upper airways and lymph nodes. This respiratory infection is caused by Streptococcus equi, and it can affect horses, ponies and donkeys of all ages.

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Tetanus

727 equine-vet-vaccinate 200Tetanus is a neurological disease affecting the muscles, through the central nervous system. The nervous system is affected by tetanus toxins (poison), produced by Clostridium tetani bacteria. 

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Eye Problems

821 uveitisThe equine eye is the largest of any land mammal. Its visual abilities are directly related to the animal's behavior and the fact that the horse is a flight animal. Horses that do not have full vision capacity can be a danger to themself and those around them.

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Immunisation

1011 smallThe importance of immunising your horse against some diseases cannot be overstated. Understanding the diseases that can be prevented or at least minimised through vaccination, is as important as understanding horse nutrition, providing a safe living environment, developing a worming programme, having a qualified farrier regularly attend to your horses hoove’s or getting an equine dentist to check your horse’s teeth annually. These are all fundamental horse care issues.

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Travel Sickness / Shipping Fever

travel introAs the name implies, this disease is associated with moving horse long distances, either overland, by sea or by air. 

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