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Horses can encounter health issues just as any other type of pet can. Fortunately, the great majority of these issues can be prevented through regular wellness care and proper home care, or they can be treated by a veterinarian with proper training and expertise in equine health.
Vaccinations, Dental Care and More for Your Equine Animals
Just as dogs and cats require core vaccinations from a young age, so must horses receive certain essential vaccines to protect them against serious illnesses. Rabies, a universal and deadly threat to mammals, can cause neurological damage, behavioral changes and eventually death. This frightening ailment is transferred through the bite of a rabid animal, making it imperative that you vaccinate your horse and keep providing booster shots as needed to maintain protection. Other core vaccinations for horses include those for tetanus, Easter/Western equine encephalomyelitis and West Nile virus, and these vaccinations also require periodic boosters.
Horses' teeth and hooves also require regular evaluation and care. Horse teeth require a procedure called "floating" to smooth them down to an even height and surface; jagged or overgrowing teeth can lead to pain, chewing difficulties and digestive problems.
Hooves must be trimmed regularly. Uneven or neglected hooves can suffer a serious form of inflammation called laminitis, in which the lamina of the hoof loosens from the bone. If laminitis does develop, it must be treated promptly to prevent crippling lameness. Other treatable ailments that can produce lameness, including arthritis, poor hoof conformation, infections and traumatic injury to a joint, can be diagnosed through close observation of the animal's gait and pain level, and through diagnostic imaging such as digital radiography or ultrasound.
Horses are vulnerable to several ailments caused by parasites or infections. Fungi, bacteria, allergic reactions or other conditions can cause skin lesions and/or hair loss. Allergic reactions may come from external stimuli, such as the choice of bedding or airborne pollutants, or from food sensitivity. Horses may also need treatment for health problems such as colic, worms, cancer or internal organ dysfunction. Periodic lab testing allows us to search for any sign of ill health and prescribe the appropriate treatment as quickly as possible. We can perform these tests during an annual wellness check while also evaluating the need for tooth floating and evaluating the feet. We encourage horse owners seeking a high standard of professional care for their beloved animal to contact our office for an initial consultation.