Spring is almost here! Now is a great time to check our equine companions and make sure they are as prepared for the change in weather as we are.
Regardless of the care your horse has been given this past winter, a spring prep inspection is definitely required as spring brings its own set of issues. We’ve put together a list of 8 areas to start with.
Vaccinations can help protect your horse from several diseases, such as West Nile Virus. Which like some other diseases can be transmitted by insects that are more active in warm weather. Other diseases, like Tetanus, can begin from an open wound which occur more often in the spring and summer. Be sure to check with your veterinarian to see which vaccines are recommended in your area.
Whether you and your horse compete or ride for pleasure chances are you will be doing more of it as the temperatures warm up. As your horse’s activity level chances so will their nutritional needs. Be sure to monitor their body condition and adjust their diet as needed.
3. Skin Issues
April showers can often bring more than flowers. Fungal and bacterial skin infections are more common during wet weather. Monitor your horses skin for conditions such as, rain rot, girth itch, dew poisoning and scratches.
4. Hoof Care
Laminitis (founder), Thrush, Cracks, Contracted Heels, etc. Many things can affect your horse’s hooves. Cleaning, trimming and shoeing will help keep your horse’s hooves in top condition.
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5. Parasite Control
Don’t let the warmer weather bug your horse. External parasites, such as flies and ticks, will be looking for a free meal. The use of sprays and other topicals can keep your horse from being part of the insect buffet. Internal parasites will also be lurking around. This is one time when you don’t want your animal to be a good host. Implementing a good deworming program will help keep your equine friend parasite free. Fecal exams can also be done by your veterinarian to check for parasite problems.
6. Vet Exams
Spring is a good time to get your horse a yearly health exam. Veterinarians are trained to look for issues before they become problems. If you plan to raise a foal with your horse, you should have a breeding soundness exam performed. A veterinarian can also do an EIA (Coggins) test on your horse which is often required when traveling or attending events with your horse.
If, like me, you are a fair-weather rider your horse may be a bit out of shape. Proper exercise and training will help prevent muscle and tendon strains.
Finally, before you head out, be sure to check your saddle, girth, pads, bridle and horse trailer. Being sure everything is in working order will make your time with your horse safer and more enjoyable.
Watch the video below to find out why horse lover Cathy Hale is amazed by Vetericyn!
Dr. Melinda J. Mayfield-Davis, DVM, WCHP-AH, brings over 20 years of experience in veterinary medicine. She is the Technical Services Veterinarian with Innovacyn, Inc., parent company of Vetericyn Animal Wellness. She received her DVM from Oklahoma State University and now resides in Southeast Kansas with her husband, two children, four dogs, and six horses. Prior to working with Innovacyn, Dr. Mayfield owned and operated the Animal Care Center in Columbus, KS.