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Equine FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions



Viral disease in which there is swelling of the brain and spinal column. This swelling puts pressure on the nerve roots which leads to neurologic signs. There is no specific treatment or cure, only supportive vaccination therapy; therefore, we recommend yearly vaccination in order to prevent your horse from contracting the disease.
It is a highly infectious acute upper respiratory disease that affects many horses throughout the world. Equine influenza is the most common virus that affects horses and is spread by aerosolized respiratory secretions of an infected horse. Clinical signs include a high fever, nasal discharge, coughing, anorexia, lethargy, and depression. Prevention of the disease is through good management practices with proper quarantine measures and annual vaccinations.
Equine influenza is species specific and therefore is not spread to humans.
If your horse has been vaccinated or has had prior exposure to Flu/Rhino, his immune system should be equipped to prevent him from contracting the full-blown disease.
Typically we recommend that the foal start receiving vaccinations 2-3 weeks after being weaned from the mother.
If the nail is still in the foot, don't remove it, call a veterinarian. Radiographs should be taken in order to determine what structures the nail has disrupted/penetrated within the foot, once that has been determined, the veterinarian will remove the nail and administer a tetanus toxoid. More than likely, the owner will be instructed to soak the foot in warm water and epsom salt 2-3 times daily, the horse will also be placed on antibiotics for 7-10 days.
Your pregnant mare should receive Rhinopneumonitis at 5 and 7 and 9 months of gestation. At 10 months she should receive a tetanus, EEE, WEE, VEE, Flu, Strangles and Rabies.
Rabies is a viral disease that can affect all warm-blooded mammals, including cats, dogs, wildlife and humans. The virus infects cells of the nervous system, producing incoordination and behavioral abnormalities, such as unusual aggression or withdrawal. Once the signs of rabies appear, the disease is always fatal. Rabies is usually transmitted by bite wounds, often from infected wildlife, which represent the largest reservoir of the disease in the U.S. Vaccines are very effective in preventing rabies. Most states in the U.S. require rabies vaccination of dogs at 1 to 3 year intervals. Many states also require rabies vaccination of cats.
Equine Rhinopneumonitis is a respiratory disease caused by a herpes virus namely equine herpes virus type 1 and type 4. Prevention is through regular vaccination.
Strangles is a highly contagious disease caused by the bacteria Streptococcous equi subspecies equi. It primarily affects young horses (weanlings and yearlings) although horses of any age can be infected if they are not protected by previous exposure to the organism or by vaccination. It is transmitted directly by contact with infected horses. The organism can survive in the environment for at least three months if protected from exposure to direct sunlight or disinfectants. Horses should be vaccinated if they are on premises where strangles is a persistent endemic problem or they are at high risk of exposure.
Worldwide distribution and all species of animal affected. Characterized by muscular rigidity and death from respiratory arrest or convulsions. The disease is caused by the exotoxins produced by the bacteria clostridium tetani. Disease prevention is primarily through annual vaccination.
It is a mosquito borne viral disease that affects a broad range of animals, including human beings, horses, mice, and many species of birds. Most infections appear to result in subclinical or mild disease, but roughly 10% of animals develop severe disease. The disease progresses over 1-3 days to manifest signs such as head shaking, paralysis of the lower lip or tongue, severe ataxia, ascending paralysis and terminal recumbency. Animals with less severe forms of the disease may recover fully within 5-15 days. No specific treatment, therefore prevention is through vaccination.
Coggins is a test used to diagnose equine infectious anemia. EIA is a disease that affects horses for life and must be isolated from all other horses. Therefore, most horses infected are euthanized in order to travel to horse show or across state lines, all horses must have a negative coggins within the last 6 months for some states or within the last 12 months for most states.
Colic simply refers to gastrointestinal pain.
Colic is usually manifested as looking or biting at the flank, kicking at the belly, pawing at the ground, sweating, rolling or thrashing, anorexia.
Contact a veterinarian immediately.
EIA cannot be cured; therefore, most horses diagnosed with EIA are euthanized.
Horses should be fed high quality grass hay/alfalfa hay. They can also be supplemented with grain depending on their age, level of activity and body condition.
Founder is a condition in which the sensitive laminae of the foot becomes inflamed and the coffin bone rotates or sinks in the hoof. It is generally caused by a carbohydrate overload (grain or fresh grass).
Founder can be cured, if and when the active inflammation subsides. Once the laminae reattach to the coffin bone, the correct angle can be established over time with corrective shoeing, namely using a heartbar shoe.
Horses should be fed at a minimum of twice daily. Typically if they are receiving grain, they will be grained in the AM and PM or 8-12 hours apart. If they are also being fed hay give 2-3 flakes of hay/horse AM and PM.
Normal temp for a horse is between 98.5 - 100.9, foals can run a little higher with normal being as high as 102.
If your gelding is having a hard time urinating, he may have what is called a "bean," which is an accumulation of smegma in a recess above the urethra. He should be seen by a veterinarian to have the urethra checked and bean removed.
Wolf teeth are actually premolar #1. Usually they are only present on the top and they are usually removed so that they do not interfere with the bit.
There are three species of large stronglyes. There are Strongylus vulgaris, S. edentatus and S. equinus. Strongylosis in horses causes a wide spectrum of effects from unapparent infection to sudden death. To prevent and health complications as a result of strongyle infestation, regularly deworm your horse every 8-12 weeks.
There are three speceis of "bots"; they include Habronema muscae, Habronema microstome and Draschia megastoma. They are roundworms. Adults normally reside in the stomach, where they cause little tissue reaction with the exception of D. megastoma, which produces nodules in the stomach. Flies act as intermediate hosts. Control of bot infestation is through regular deworming.
Yes your horse can get worms from other horses, namely through ingesting infected feces in the pasture. If you have multiple horses living together it is best to worm them all at the same time.
An organism that lives in or on a second organism called a host, usually causing it some harm.
Pinworms are an internal parasite and the adult worms deposit their eggs around the rectum, which causes the horse to have a very itchy "hind end." Horses infected with pinworms typically will rub off the hair on their tail. Deworming every 8-12 weeks is the best way to control and prevent infection.
The horse may lose condition and be lethargic with diarrhea and colic. They may also have a loss of appetite and a dull, rough coat. To confirm the diagnosis or to identify the worms, have your veterinarian take a fecal egg count using a fresh sample of manure.
Roundworms are another intestinal parasite of the horse. Not only do they cause decreased weight gain but can also cause colic. Deworming every 8-12 weeks is the best way to control and prevent infection.
Small strongyles are an internal parasite that is swallowed by your horse through infected grass. They burrow into the intestinal wall, mature, and emerge into the large intestine where they feed and lay eggs. Eggs are passed in manure and develop into infective larvae in the grass.
Mares are seasonal breeders and therefore, usually start cycling in March-April. Mares typically will come into heat every 17-18 days.
Mares should be bred no later than August to have a June baby. If the baby and mom can live in a barn during the winter, you can breed your mare as late as October and have a September baby, but I would not recommend that.
Castration of your horse is recommended before puberty, which is anywhere from 9 to 12 months of age. Both the testicles should be down at birth..
Yes, you can vaccinate your pregnant mare. Around 30 days prior to her due date, vaccinate the mare with all the usual annual vaccines like EWV, Tetanus, Potomac Fever, West Nile Virus and Rabies. This allows the mare to pass antibodies at their fullest potency in the colostrum to the foal.