Preventive Health Care: Doing What’s Best For Your Horse

Whether you have a showring champion or backyard pony, you want the very best health care for your horse. And just as people benefit from preventive medicine, so do horses.

A preventive equine health program includes parasite control, physical and dental examinations, a well-balanced diet and appropriate immunizations.

Such steps help ensure a horse’s lifelong health and reduce the risk of serious conditions such as equine colic.

To be enrolled in this program, your horse must meet specific preventive health care requirements on a yearly basis, including:

  • Annual physical and dental examinations. Regular exams are one of the best investments you can make in assuring the well-being of your horse. These check-ups can help head off the development of more serious conditions by recognizing and remedying them early.
  • Immunizations as recommended. The best approach to any disease is prevention, so protect your horse through routine vaccinations against the more common diseases. Specific diseases can be neutralized by the antibodies that vaccines produce. Also, regular immunizations improve the reaction time of your horse’s immune system so that it recognizes diseases and responds quickly. Since no one vaccination schedule fits all horses, ask me about specific recommendations for your horse.
  • Prevention of internal parasites. Internal parasites are a serious threat to your horse’s health. These internal opportunists can cause diarrhea, impaction, anemia, weight loss, arteritis, poor performance and colic. Plus, these parasites are continuously present in the environment, so your horse is likely to be exposed to them every day. Even when your horse looks healthy on the outside, parasites can be taking a heavy toll inside as invading larvae inflame your horse’s tissue.
  • Purge programs do a good job of killing adult worms, but they don’t prevent reinfestation – or the damage caused by migrating larvae in the 60 days between dewormings. With a program that emphasizes prevention of parasites vs. periodic treatment, chances are you will really notice a difference in how your horse looks and acts.

Annual nutrition counseling. What and how much you feed your horse is essential to its health and well-being. High protein feeds, overfeeding and abrupt changes in diet can all cause health-related troubles for your horse.

A well-balanced diet, coupled with a thorough deworming program, can help your horse get the most from its feed, thereby improving its performance, health and possibly even longevity.

When it comes to your horse’s health, preventive care is the best, most affordable care available. If you’re interested in enrolling your horse in a preventive equine health program, call our clinic for more information.