Preventative Health Maintenance for your Horse
PARASITE CONTROL (DEWORMING)
Internal parasites are a common danger to the health and well‑being of horses. These parasites are responsible for many diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, including most types of colic. The treatment and control of internal parasites is not only a continuous, long term task, but a cornerstone to a successful equine health management program. Recently research has been responsible for the development of several new deworming products, many of which are in paste form that can be easily administered to the horse by you or your veterinarian. The type of medication used depends on the time of the year, the age of the animal and history of previous medications. Some parasites will develop resistance to certain medications so rotation of dewormer is important. A parasite control program can be tailored to your animal’s needs by your veterinarian. Currently, treatment every sixty (60) days is the most effective means of parasite control in horses. Less frequent treatment could result in less than optimum results. At least twice yearly stronger combinations of equine dewormers should be administered by stomach tube by your veterinarian.
Immunization against infectious diseases is another important part of a preventative medicine program for your horse. An annual Encephalomyelitis ( sleeping sickness), Tetanus and Influenza vaccination is necessary for minimum protection. For those horses that are exposed to infectious diseases contact with other horses, vaccination more frequently for Influenza and Rhinopneumonitis is helpful in preventing respiratory diseases. The frequency of vaccination depends on the amount of exposure and the duration of immunity provided by the vaccine. Foals are pregnant mares require special attention to their vaccination schedule.
The horse’s teeth should be examined once a year and floated if necessary. Some older horses may require floating more often than once a year. An efficient preventative medicine program for your horse or horses is quite important, but developing one can be confusing and expensive. We offer the following suggestions:
- Your veterinarian can help tailor a worming program to fit your horse’s specific needs.
- Immunization would be administered in March, April, May or June with boosters as necessary.
- Dental care can be coordinated with one of the visits.
- Our office will be happy to remind you, by mail, when one of the above procedures is done.
We offer this program to help you maintain your horse’s health to the best of our understanding of current knowledge and available products. If your horses are not on such a program, please feel free to contact us and we will establish one for you.