Horses are strong, beautiful animals. Like all animals, however, they suffer from their fair share of health conditions. Here are a few of the most common equine health problems, including their symptoms and possible treatment options.
Arthritis is a painful joint disease that is also known as Degenerative Joint Disease. It affects many horses, and it can be difficult to manage. The most common symptoms include stiffness while running, walking, or moving; inflamed joints that appear larger than normal; and heat in the joint area. If the arthritis has progressed, your horse may become lame. If your horse has arthritis, you will need to exercise her much more carefully than usual, giving her plenty of time to warm up and exercising for shorter periods of time with less intensity. Your vet may recommend oral medication or injections to help control the inflammation. He or she may also recommend certain exercises to help increase your pet's mobility.
Colic is not a particular disease, but rather a term used to describe a range of gastrointestinal horse ailments. Signs of distress may include constipation, diarrhea, vomiting, excessive salivating, rolling, lethargy, and other signs of pain. Your vet may recommend changing your pet's diet or water, better hydration, better eating habits, and deworming.
3. Hoof Problems
Your horse may experience hoof problems, like laminitis, from time to time. Laminitis is the inflammation of the inside of the hoof, and it's quite common for horses. Horses also commonly experience other issues with their hooves, including injuries. You should watch for anything abnormal, including smells, cracks, shoe problems, or signs of pain. The horse may also avoid using the afflicted hoof. Treatment for laminitis includes cold packs and anti-inflammatory drugs. Treatment options for other injuries depend on the type and cause of injury.
4. Eye Problems
Horses commonly experience eye problems such as infections and injuries. These range from mild concerns like conjunctivitis to larger issues like glaucoma and serious injuries. Signs and symptoms vary but may include tearing, watery eyes, redness, thick discharge (which may be yellow or green if infected), cloudiness, sensitivity to light, and squinting. Your horse may exhibit signs that the eye is painful or itchy. If the problem is an infection, the vet may recommend a treatment like Terramycin to clear it up quickly. If the problem is caused by an injury, the treatment will vary depending on the severity of the injury. If your horse has developed glaucomaor another serious eye condition, your vet will review long-term treatment options with you.
Horses are especially prone to a range of parasites because they spend almost all their time outdoors. These parasites include ticks, lice, tapeworms, roundworms, lungworms, and pinworms. Check your horse thoroughly at regularly intervals for signs of external pests. You can usually spot them easily. However, internal parasites are more difficult to catch. Look for signs of distress, such as scratching (by rubbing against objects) or hair loss. Your horse should be dewormed on a regular basis, and you can remove other pests manually with your vet's guidance.
Most horses will develop some health condition over the course of their life. However, many of these issues can be solved quickly and easily. If you believe your pet has any of the conditions mentioned above, see a vet for assistance ASAP.
Author: Lannie, writer for Allivet. Allivet provides affordable pet supplies and pet medications, all of which can be purchased online.
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