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Discuss some of the common health problems found in horses

Horse has a graceful figure. But as it gets old, age related problems catch up with as well, but not to the extent of other animals. It’s well-proportioned, ‘athletic’ figure may give way to potbelly and swayback. Age related vision changes will happen. But very rarely they suffer from blindness. “We don’t see a lot of older horses presented with vision problems,” says Claire Latimer, DVM, an equine ophthalmologist in Lexington, Kentucky. “Typically, deterioration does not progress to the point where it causes a change of behavior that the owner notices.

” (Meszoly…) But in spite of such vision problems, the horses don’t appear disabled. Such age-related changes are likely to increase horses’ chances of suffering from eye maladies. Ulcers near the lower lid, for example. This is treated with an antibiotic ointment. ” If the horse is suddenly spooking, knocking into things, tripping or having trouble keeping his footing with slight changes in elevation,” says Latimer, “then vision should be checked. “(Meszoly…) Horse Lameness: Laminitis and navicular disease—these are the two most common health problems afflicting the horses.

The modern trend is to keep the horses in barn. The horses have begun to live in ‘flats’ and not in open areas. They have adapted to live as per this changed lifestyle, but not without the resultant consequences. Colic is one of the common diseases the horses have to suffer, on account of this sort of standard of living. Colic of the horse is in fact a type of stomachache. The digesting power of the horse has limitations. It is unable to digest feed in quantity in a short time.

Overloading of the stomach kills the helpful bacteria that aid digestion. With no helpful bacteria to ferment to assist the process of digestion the feed accumulates in the hindgut. Toxic problem is the result. Toxins being to enter the blood stream resulting in colic and founder. The horse will then roll continuously. It is likely to develop a fever and begin to sweat. A veterinarian should be consulted immediately. The best treatment is prevention. Many factors relating to the upkeep of the horse are interrelated and have much bearing on each other.

“A fault in conformation may predispose a horse to unsoundness, such as cow hocks tending to curbs or splints, which in turn will affect his performance. Conformation that causes faulty gats will affect the horse’s willingness, attention span, and ease in learning just as unsoundness or ailments causing pain ordiscomfort wil make him irritable or miserable. ”(Prince, 1989, p, 3) Horse Bedding: You are not expected to let your horse stand on wet or hard stall floors. Horses need dryness and extra cushion in their abode for overall health and for perfect hooves.

The bedding provides traction and your horse will not slip. For horse bedding, straw, sawdust and wood shavings are used depending upon the conditions. High absorbing bedding will reduce the level of ammonia odor by absorbing urine better. The bedding should be low in dust. The high volume of dust will cause problems for the horse’s respiratory system. The horse’s hooves are softened by wet or damp bedding, and it is an invitation for bacterial breeding. The bedding needs to be cleaned once in a day to keep it dry and safe for the horse’s movements with the stall, even though such movements are limited.

Also, you need to treat the horses humanely. For their common problems, that may happen at the most unexpected time, and for their safe handling, you need to “know first aid and have proper supplies and equipment on hand. Betadine, sterile gauze pads, conforming gauze roll, crepe bandage, scissors, latex gloves, thermometer, triple antibiotic ointment,” are some of the suggested items. (Hill, 1997, p. 5)The most important part of horse’s body is legs. It is like the ‘tier’ in a car. The scars and bumps in the leg, if any, must engage immediate attention.

Perfect legs means, that the horse will be athletic and flexible. Periodical checkup of the horse from the vet is a prudent course. X-ray the legs, even in the case of slightest doubt about its movements. Some of the leg ailments that may escape your attention, but not of the vet surgeon, are: Bone Sprain, Bog Spavin, Bowed Tendons, Crapped Hocks, Crapped knees, Curbs, Jack Spavin, Knee Sprain, Osselets-Green, osselets-True, Sesamoiditis, Shin Splints or Bucked Shins, Speedy Cut, Splints, Sprained Ankle, Sprained Suspensory Ligament, Stocking Up, Thorughpin, Wind Puffs or Wind Galls.

Conclusion: . Horse care art and science have undergone much change in the last 3-4 decades. New technologies have emerged in veterinary care. Alternative therapies for healthcare are also in vogue now. Horses need to be treated as family members and they must get quality care they deserve till the end of their race of life. As for its contribution to the welfare of the master, its food requirements are very limited. It takes the minimum, to give you the maximum.

References Cited:

Prince, Eleanor F (Author), Galydell M. Collier(Author: Book: Basic Horse Care, p. 3, Publisher: Main Street Books (May 23, 1989) ISBN-10: 0385261993 ISBN-13: 978-0385261999 Hill, Cherry (Author), Klimesh, Richard (Author); Book: Horse Health Care, p. 5 Publisher: Storey Publishing, LLC (January 4, 1997) ISBN-10: 0882669559 Meszoly, Joanne, Article: Eye Problems in Senior Horses – 100 Ways to Improve Your Horse’s Health. … equisearch. com/horses_care/health/senior/eqeyes2521 – 50k –Retrieved on n18th September 2007 .

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