Monday, January 21, 2013

Call the Vet! Tell-tale Signs to Spot an Unhealthy Horse

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Do you know what the symptoms are for common horse health problems? If you love your horse, you surely want it to live a long and healthy life. Part of this includes understanding the common horse health problems and their signs and symptoms so that you will be able to know when your horse is in trouble.

If you can identify a health problem early enough you will be able to get your horse the treatment that it needs so that it can get better. Whether your horse needs equine wormers or surgery, your vet will have time to intervene and give the correct treatment. Here are some of the common symptoms to keep an eye out for:

Colic

This is actually a term for several conditions which affect horses and can often be fatal. It is caused by a blockage in the intestines such as improper food or foreign objects or excessive gas in the intestines due to a change in diet. Sometimes the intestines can even become twisted, which requires surgery to correct. Watch your horse for any signs of constipation, lack of appetite, teeth clenching, salivation, nipping at its sides, pawing the ground and frequent rolling. To prevent colic, make sure that your horse eats a healthy diet and doesnÂ't ingest anything that isnÂ't food.

Worms

Horses are exposed to a lot of different worms and parasites, including roundworms, tapeworms and lungworms. Internal parasites can reside on your horseÂ's gut, liver or other organs and can be very harmful and sometimes even fatal or older or ill horses. Horse worms can produce a number of symptoms including diarrhoea, weight loss, a pot belly, mouth sores. Sometimes horses will exhibit a loss of appetite because they have mouth sores, other times they will eat more than usual because the worms are absorbing all the nutrition and leaving them starved. Call a vet immediately and get some horse wormers if your horse exhibits these signs. A proper schedule of horse wormers throughout the year will treat and prevent parasite problems.

Heaves

This is another term of emphysema in your horse and it is a disease which involves the degeneration of the lung tissues. It can be caused by dust or mould in hay or bedding. Watch out for any symptoms of wheezing or coughing while your horse is exercising. You can also see a Â"heave lineÂ" which is a ridge that will show up along your horseÂ's ribs as he coughs. You should call your vet right away, as your horse might need a special hypo-allergenic diet and a different environment without dust or allergens.

These are just a few of the common horse health problems that you should be looking out for to ensure the health and happiness of your equine friend.  

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