How to Prevent Ailments for Your Horse


Laminitis is an extremely painful condition of the foot. Changes in the circulation cause inflammation of the sensitive laminae. Symptoms include leaning back by taking the weight on the heels in order to relieve pressure inside the hoof, a marked reluctance to move, heat in the hoof and increased pulse. Some horses and ponies are prone to suffering from laminitis so good management practices need to be put into place when caring for them. Lush, fast-growing grass and high quantities of hard feed are the biggest contributors. It is therefore important to monitor pasture during the spring and autumn and to remove the horse from grass altogether if necessary and feed hay.

Prevent Ailments  Horse


Colic is severe abdominal pain and can occur for a variety of reasons. Symptoms include kicking at the belly, pawing the ground, sweating, lying down and rolling, fast and shallow breathing and groaning. Because of their long necks, horses are physically unable to vomit food that does not agree with them. Therefore, any feed must be appropriate for the animal and given in regular small portions rather than as one large feed that will overload the horse’s gut. Avoid sudden changes in the diet. A regular worming program should be put in place to keep the horse’s stomach and intestines as healthy as possible. Always allow food to settle for at least 1.5 hours before riding as the stomach is positioned very close to the lungs and will be directly affected by the increased expansion and contraction of the lungs.

Grass sickness

Grass sickness (equine dysautonomia) is a distressing and untreatable illness with no known cause that affects the horse’s nervous system. It is most commonly seen in horses aged between three and seven years. Symptoms include muscle tremors, sweating, a high pulse rate and difficulty swallowing. The incidence is higher in spring and early summer, making those animals recently turned out after winter more at risk. The disease does not spread to cattle or sheep so the suggested cause may be a plant toxin that only creates a reaction in horses. Some regions hold more of an incidence than others. Questionable fields should not be grazed by horses and do not feed hay that has been cut from them.

Filed Under: Pets & Animals


About the Author: Fred Goodson has a passion for pets and animals. He has 4 dogs and is planning to have another one. He is also a blogger who writes about pets and animals. Currently, he is living in New Jersey.

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