Posts Tagged ‘equine’

Choosing the Right Vet – Small Animal Vet vs Large Animal Vet

Caring for your horse’s well being and health requires choosing the right vet for the job. A veterinarian can best assess your horse’s health, prescribe medication and vaccinations to keep any ailments and diseases at bay, and address small problems in the initial stages so that they do not grow into any larger complications.

Typically, there are two kinds of vets. Small animal vets are more accustomed to grooming and taking care of smaller animals like cats, dogs, guinea pigs, etc. On the other hand, large animal vets are specialized in working with larger farm animals like horses and cows. Therefore, it is normally more feasible to get the services of a large animal vet in order to keep your horse happy, healthy, and fit at all times.

If you are facing any sort of trouble choosing the right vet for your horse, go through the following tips and guidelines to make the best choice!

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Do you research! Before selecting the services of a veterinarian, it is important that you conduct a background check to be sure that your vet is not only good at their job, but also loving and caring when tending to your animals. Ask other horse owners in your area about their behavior and treatment plan, you can also check the Internet for feedback and references about a particular vet in your locality.

-Experience is the key to making the right choice. Choose a vet who holds both experience and expertise in dealing with horses. Also, it is a good idea to select a vet who specializes in the particular breed of your horse. He/ she can be better assess the care and attention that your horse needs. A small animal vet will not specialize in dealing with farm animals particularly horses, and this may result in a misdiagnosis. Therefore, in order to ensure that your horse gets the best at all times, choose a large animal vet.

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-Assess their availability. When choosing a vet, it is important that you pay attention to their accessibility. It if often difficult to transport a horse to a veterinary hospital, especially if the horse is sick. Therefore, a vet who can come to you in an emergency is a must to cater to any unfortunate situations and circumstances. Large animal vets are normally available for duty most of the time and can tend to animals even at odd hours. On the other hand, small animal vets usually practice at fixed timings and schedules.

-Ask for their qualifications and the medical equipment they possess. Make sure that your vet is qualified and registered, and the vaccination he/she uses are also registered and up-to-date. Vets with portable medical equipments such as x-ray machines are preferable, as they are especially useful when your horse has experienced a particularly severe injury or fracture

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At the end of the day, communication is the key! A vet who is warm, friendly, gently, and open in their approach, communication, and attitude, and has the ability to make quick house calls in case of an urgent need, is a vet that you need to ensure the well being of your horse for years to come!

 

Common Diseases in Horses and How to Prevent Them

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Caring for your horses requires a thorough knowledge of how to prevent any disease and ailment , as well as keeping their health and wellness in check at all times. The following list will help you in getting information about the most common diseases that affect horses and what measures can you take to avoid them in the first place. Remember, if left ignored, some of these diseases can be fatal.

Continue reading to find out how you can ensure a safe and healthy environment for your horses.

Lockjaw

Lockjaw, or tetanus, is a bacterial disease that enters the horses body through an open wound. If left untreated, it causes the horse to get spasms in muscles, followed by flared nostrils, stiffness, and contracted jaws that make the horse unable to open his mouth. In the final stages of the disease, the horse can die of respiratory paralysis. Treatment of tetanus involves wide opening and thorough cleaning of the wound to remove all signs of infection. After that, penicillin is injected into the wound to treat the virus.

In order to avoid the condition, make sure that you tend to all wounds or scratches on your horses body as soon as possible to keep them free from bacteria. Tetanus shots and vaccinations are also a must for newborn foals.

Sleeping Sickness

This condition is characterized by three diseases that are transmitted by mosquitoes- Eastern, Western, and Venezuelan Equine Encephalitis. They affect the nervous system of the horses and are extremely dangerous. Early symptoms of this condition include a high fever, lack of coordination, lethargy, and staggering. In the final stages, the horses develops seizures and paralysis, which can result in an untimely death.

Basic measures to avoid this disease include keeping your horses in a clean environment and conducting proper and regular vaccinations.

Equine Influenza

Equine Influenza is a respiratory condition that involves fever, dry cough, watery nasal discharge, irritation, weakness, depression, and a lack of appetite. It spreads by inhaling infectious material and can progress on to more critical conditions like bronchitis or pneumonia if left untreated.

If you notice the symptoms of Equine Influenza in any of the horses, keep them away from the rest of the herd and provide them with ample rest and medication to treat the fever and stiffness.

Heaves

Scientifically termed as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, it is a condition that is similar to asthma in humans. Symptoms include coughing, loss of weight, lethargy and weakness, and mostly effects horses that are stalled in winter.

To avoid this condition, horses should be kept in barns that are free from dust and mold. Avoid exposure to extreme cold temperatures for long amounts of time, and make sure that the barn does not contain moldy hay. Replace shavings and straw in stalls with rubber mats.

Strangles

Strangles is a dangerous and extremely contagious condition that usually affects young horses and foals. It causes the lymph nodes in the throats to swell in size which gives rise to difficulty in breathing. Other symptoms include poor appetite, weakness, and high fever.

Vaccination is the main preventive measure that you can take in order to avoid strangles.