Horse Care Guide: Visiting the Vet:
Just as you have a doctor who checks you regularly, your horse or pony needs veterinary attention too; you must fix a vet for their treatment and care. They should check the health of your horse or pony regularly and give it all the shots needed.
It is said that prevention is better than cure. Your horse or pony does not only need a vet when they are sick or have an injury. Since they are at risk of diseases all the time, they need some preventative medicines to keep good health.
They need to be guarded against tetanus and equine influenza and require annual vaccinations for the prevention of these.
Other annual vaccinations include anti – EEE WEE VEE and anti-rabies shots. The vet maintains a medical chart for your horse or pony so you know when a shot is due.
Apart from annual shots, a regular de-worming program is a must. As your horse or pony can pick up worms can be extremely harmful for them. De-worming is done every six weeks. But at certain times of the year, it is done more often.
Wormers usually come in powders that can be mixed into feed. You must ensure that your horse or pony eats them. Most horses and ponies do not make a fuss about their medicine. But if they do, try giving them the medicine with a cube of sugar.
Million-Dollar Smile of Horse:
Dental care is as important for your horse or pony as other treatments. Infections in gums are not only painful but breeds several diseases too. You must check their teeth during grooming and call the vet in case of any dental problem.
The teeth of your horse or pony need to be floated regularly: floating refers to the rasping and smoothing of teeth that develop sharp edges due to constant chewing. With the advancement in instruments, equine dentistry has improved greatly, to the benefit of your horse or pony.
*A horse or pony’s dental care is important for its overall health.
Horses and ponies with dental problems will show some signs. Apart from external inflammation of gums, they will eat less and there will be more undigested food material in their dung.
They might emit a foul odor from their mouth. There might even be swelling of the face. They will tend to toss their heads and chew the bit. It is important to identify dental problems early and treat them properly.
First Aid Kit
You must have a first aid kit in your stable. You should also learn the basics of giving first aid before the vet arrives in cases of emergency and injury.
In Case of Fall:
One thing you must always remember is to not panic, even in the case of the worst emergency. It is important that you stay calm; only then will your horse or pony be calm. Do not move the horse or pony unless it is absolutely essential to do so. Remember, if they have got a fracture then moving around is not only painful but dangerous too.
Call the vet. Make sure that you gather your horse or pony’s vital signs before the vet arrives so as to give him the information. Reassure your horse or pony until the vet comes.
*A first aid box or kit with all the essential products is a must for every stable
First Aid Kit:
- Large roll of cotton.
- Rolls of cotton gauze.
- Rolls of crepe bandage.
- Adhesive medical tape.
- Wound powder.
- Liquid antiseptic.
- Antiseptic cream.
- Veterinary thermometer.
- Clean bowl.
- A syringe of Tetanus Antitoxin and a Tetanus booster in the refrigerator.
Horse Care: Flesh Wounds:
First of all, locate the wound and the nature of the injury. When you have identified it, act quickly. First, clean the wound with clean water to remove dirt and debris. Then use saline water or antiseptic liquid to cleanse it thoroughly and prevent infection.
Repeat till you are sure that the wound is clean. Use cotton to apply antiseptic cream in the area. If the wound is not too deep keep it open, otherwise dress it with gauze. If the wound is deep pad it with a sterile padding and if bleeding continues call the vet.
The basic first aid principles are to catch and calm the horse or pony. Assess the extent of the injury, give proper first aid, gather their vital signs, and seek veterinary advice.
Remember to replace tetanus syringes when the expiry date is over. Only attempt to give your horse or pony a shot if you are trained to do so.
*All injuries to your horse or pony must be treated without any delay.