Just like people and pets, horses need to have some preventative care in order to stay healthy and avoid expensive vet bills down the road. From nose to tail, here is the basic equine health care you’ll need to schedule throughout the year to keep your horse in tip-top shape.
Getting your horse’s hooves trimmed may not be performed by your vet, but it’s absolutely necessary for your horse’s overall physical health and comfort. At every six to eight weeks, it’s also the most frequent of all the components of your equine health care program. When your farrier trims your horse’s hooves, he removes excess growth, corrects the angle of the foot if necessary, and rounds the edges to prevent cracking.
Horses are prone to getting parasites in their intestines that consume the nutrients they eat, and in the worst cases, can cause poor coat, weight loss, and a higher risk of colic. To prevent parasites or “worms” from getting out of control and wreaking havoc on your horse’s health, it’s standard practice to deworm four times throughout the year. Talk to your vet about setting up a deworming program that’s best for your horse.
Horses generally need to be vaccinated twice a year, as they require a lot of vaccinations, some of which don’t last a full year. Dividing them into spring and fall enables vets to spread them out, and give each vaccine when it is most needed. Rabies, tetanus, West Nile, eastern/western encephalomyelitis, rhino, flu, and strangles are the standard diseases to vaccinate for. Some horses may need certain vaccinations more often or get vaccinated for more of these things if they travel a lot, if there are a lot of horses coming and going from their barn, or if they have a lot of physical stress.
Yes, your horse needs to see the dentist too. Horses’ teeth never stop erupting, which means that over time, they can get to be too long, or wear into sharp points that cause sores in the mouth. Horses with sores don’t chew as thoroughly and may not benefit from all the calories they consume as a result, causing chronic weight problems that can only be resolved by feeding soft food or getting their teeth “floated.” Floating is typically done once a year for prevention, and involves filing the teeth level to promote good chewing habits and prevent sores.
Good equine health care is important, but a happy, healthy horse requires a lot of care on a daily basis, too. Always make sure your horse has plenty of fresh, clean water, and high quality food with all the nutrients he needs to maintain the proper weight and provide energy to do his job. For more information about how complete pelleted feeds make it easier to meet your horse’s nutritional needs, contact Sacate today.