Horse Health

Normal Horse Vital Signs

August 28, 2015

Horse-Health Tip: Learn how to check your horse’s vital signs to make sure he’s healthy.

A normal temperature for a horse is between 99.5 and 101.5 F.

Here’s how to check your horse’s temperature:

  • Lubricate the thermometer with petroleum jelly.
  • Attach a string to the end of your thermometer if it should fall into your horse’s bedding.
  • Tie a clothespin to the other end of the string so you can attach it to your horse’s tail while you’re taking his temperature.
  • Approach the horse from the side, and do not stand directly behind him.
  • Raise your horse’s tail and insert the thermometer into his rectum.
  • Wait at least one minute, then read the thermometer. Read the rest of this entry »

West Nile Virus: Is Your Horse Ready for Peak Mosquito Season?

July 21, 2015

Learn how you can help protect your horses.

Vaccination is the most effective way to help protect horses against West Nile and other mosquito-borne diseases, such as eastern equine encephalomyelitis and western equine encephalomyelitis. Photo courtesy of Zoetis

Vaccination is the most effective way to help protect horses against West Nile and other mosquito-borne diseases, such as eastern equine encephalomyelitis and western equine encephalomyelitis. Photo courtesy of Zoetis

From AQHA Corporate Partner Zoetis

In the United States, July through October coincides with peak mosquito activity, which places your horse at the highest risk of contracting West Nile virus (WNV) during this time of year.1 However, with the right vaccine and preventive measures, it’s not too late for horse owners to help protect their horses against this life-threatening disease.

West Nile virus is transmitted by mosquitoes, which feed on infected birds and then infect horses, humans and other mammals. In 2014, the U. S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 19,623 West Nile virus cases; case numbers include mosquitoes, birds, humans and horses.2 California topped the charts with 7,008 cases, followed by Texas with 2,484 cases. 2

“It is a good sign that the overall number of cases has declined over the last decade. However, there continue to be an alarming number of human and equine cases every year, especially in the late summer and fall,” says Dr. Kevin G. Hankins, senior veterinarian, Equine Veterinary Operations, Zoetis.

Vaccination remains the most effective way to help protect horses against West Nile and other mosquito-borne diseases, such as eastern equine encephalomyelitis and western equine encephalomyelitis.

Researchers recently tested horses’ response to six West Nile virus vaccination regimens and found some substantial differences in their immune responses.3 While all of the vaccinated horses demonstrated an initial immune response, by Day 28, the response of the horses vaccinated with WEST NILE-INNOVATOR® was four times higher than those vaccinated with the one-dose, big combination WNV-containing vaccines.

Learn more about West Nile virus and other common horse health concerns with AQHA’s Common Horse Health Issues report.

“We thought that WEST NILE-INNOVATOR would produce a higher immune response than the large one-dose combination West Nile vaccines but did not think it would be nearly four times higher,” Dr. Hankins says. Read the rest of this entry »

Protecting Horse Health in the Show String

June 27, 2015

Preventing equine stomach ulcers is one of the secrets to success for this German-born trainer.

Not all horses show obvious signs of ulcers, as Robin Schoeller found out with his one of his mares. Photo courtesy of Merial

Not all horses show obvious signs of ulcers, as Robin Schoeller found out with his one of his mares. Photo courtesy of Merial/Laura Schoeller

From AQHA Corporate Partner Merial

If it weren’t for a chance trip to a western riding camp, successful reining trainer Robin Schoeller might still be doing what he did when first introduced to horses – vaulting.

“It was me – and the rest were girls,” he says of his younger days taking vaulting lessons in his native Stuttgart, Germany. “I was lucky that my mom loved horses and was committed to keeping me involved, because horses are an expensive hobby.”

Robin made the switch to western riding in his early teens and devoted his spare time to riding as much as possible, even cleaning stalls in exchange for lessons. After high school, he went on to earn a degree in horse science and accepted a position working for German reining horse trainer Volker Schmitt. Read the rest of this entry »

Get Your Shine On

June 18, 2015

These grooming tips will have your horse looking great for the trail, the show pen and beyond.

Use these tips to have your horse looking sleek and shiny no matter what your discipline. Journal photo

Use these tips to have your horse looking sleek and shiny, no matter what your discipline. Journal photo

By Cynthia McFarland for AQHA Corporate Partner Farnam

Ever done a double take when you’ve seen an especially handsome horse? A dazzling coat and a glossy, flowing mane and tail will always turn heads, whether you’re in the show ring or heading down the trail.

You may never plan on showing your horse, but you still want him to look his best. Your obvious starting point is providing complete, balanced nutrition designed for your horse’s age and use. Then comes the fun part: a regular grooming routine that keeps his skin, coat, mane and tail clean and conditioned.

Beyond appearances, grooming is a time of bonding and relaxation for you and your horse. It’s also a great way to spend quality time with a horse you can’t ride for whatever reason, such as a young horse, an old retiree or a horse recovering from injury. Read the rest of this entry »

Stress-Free Basic Horse-Health Care

June 11, 2015

DORMOSEDAN GEL® makes mild sedation safer and easier.

Sometimes horses make basic health care procedures difficult for owners to perform, making it unsafe.

In some cases, mild sedatives are necessary when performing basic horse health care procedures. Courtesy of Zoetis.

From AQHA Corporate Partner Zoetis

Some horses simply don’t like some procedures, and if they don’t like it, their sheer size and power can make it difficult and often unsafe for them and anyone around them. Mane pulling, sheath cleaning, body clipping, hoof trimming, and changing a bandage can all be troublesome at times.

DORMOSEDAN GEL® (detomidine hydrochloride) can make one or all of these standard horse care procedures easier and safer for you and your horse. Prescribed by a veterinarian, DORMOSEDAN GEL is a mild sedative in an oral dose-adjustable applicator similar to a deworming tube that is easy and safe enough for horse owners to administer themselves. Read the rest of this entry »

Bug Off, Bugs!

May 28, 2015

Equine spot-ons offer round-the-clock insect protection for improved horse health.

Protect your horse from diseases transmitted by ticks and flies with a spot-on insect control product.

Protect your horse from diseases transmitted by ticks and flies with a spot-on insect control product. Journal photo

By Cynthia McFarland for AQHA Corporate Partner Farnam

It’s a buggy world out there, and your horse often pays the price. Now that warmer weather has finally arrived, many pests that were only memories during the winter are coming out in full force. Your horse’s comfort – not to mention, his health – may face increased risk from a number of insects unless you intervene.

Certain ticks carry dangerous bacteria that can spread lyme disease. Mosquitoes can transmit West Nile virus and eastern and western equine encephalomyelitis, also known as “sleeping sickness.” Horse flies can spread the viral disease known as equine infectious anemia when they bite an infected horse and then bite a healthy horse. Read the rest of this entry »

Guard Against the Horse Health Threat Posed by Equine Herpesvirus

May 22, 2015

Gain peace of mind with an Equine Immunization Support Guarantee that covers EHV-1 and EHV-4 (respiratory).

Although equine respiratory disease due to EHV is a cause for concern for many horse owners, the guidance of your veterinarian and the right vaccination program can help you prevent it.  Journal photo

Although equine respiratory disease due to EHV is a cause for concern for many horse owners, the guidance of your veterinarian and the right vaccination program can help you prevent it. Journal photo

From AQHA Corporate Partner Zoetis

Equine herpesvirus is a common virus that afflicts horse populations worldwide. Rhinopneumonitis due to EHV is three times more likely to cause equine respiratory disease than flu caused by equine influenza virus.1 Respiratory disease caused by EHV is most common in fall and winter among weaned foals and yearlings. Older horses are more likely to transmit the virus without showing signs of infection. Read the rest of this entry »

The Mare That Defied the Odds — Twice

May 14, 2015

A horse health struggle turns inspirational: Coming back from colic.

Lucchesse and her mare Watch Texas are still a great team, despite the trials they faced. Photo courtesy of Bridget Tobias

Lucchesse and her mare Watch Texas are still a great team, despite the trials they faced. Photo courtesy of Bridget Tobias

From AQHA Corporate Partner Merial

In 2009, when the Quarter Horse mare Watch Texas (aka “Charo”) came to the Tobias family as then-6-year-old Lucchesse’s barrel racing mount, they could not have predicted the ride ahead with the plucky mare that would include two death-defying surgeries and two triumphant returns to barrel racing.

Lucchesse, who was 6 at the time, wanted Charo as her barrel-racing mount. But the mare’s journey would take a detour almost from the start. Charo developed a severe case of colic. Veterinarians at Texas A&M University warned Lucchesse’s mother, Bridget, that if the mare survived surgery, she’d certainly never barrel race again. Bridget opted to have them perform the surgery in spite of those dire predictions. Read the rest of this entry »

Prepare for Equine Emergency First Aid

May 7, 2015

Whether you’re at home or at a horse show, be armed with the right supplies and knowledge in the event of a horse-health emergency.

It is important to be prepared to administer a first-aid treatment on your horse at any time

It’s important to be prepared to administer a first-aid treatment on your horse at any time. Journal photo

From AQHA Corporate Partner Zoetis

Despite their beauty and grace, horses can be prone to accidents. Mishaps can include cuts, bruises or something more severe. In the event of an emergency, every horse owner should have a working knowledge of first aid and an established plan of action as well as a well-stocked first-aid kit.

Emergency Reaction

Knowing how to react in an emergency situation is key. First-aid basics include:

Horse Health 411: Not All West Nile Vaccines Are the Same

April 23, 2015

Learn more about different types of vaccines and which kind might best protect your horse.

Do you know about the different types of vaccinations that can help protect your horse from mosquito-borne illnesses, such as West Nile virus? Photo courtesy of Zoetis.

Do you know about the different types of vaccinations that can help protect your horse from mosquito-borne illnesses, such as West Nile virus? Photo courtesy of Zoetis.

From AQHA Corporate Partner Zoetis

As mosquito season sets in, so does the threat of West Nile virus to horses. Last year, the United States reported 373 West Nile virus cases in horses.1 Texas and Oklahoma topped the charts with 60 and 41 cases, respectively.1 What can you do to help protect your horse during mosquito season this year? It seems like a combination vaccine would be the most convenient and effective way to help protect your horse. After all, a single injection helps provide a wide range of protection.

Even if your horse already received a combination vaccine this spring, the option of giving a monovalent West Nile vaccine with a combination of other boosters in the fall may help provide the added protection your horse needs to stay healthy. Read the rest of this entry »

Selecting Hoof-Care Products

April 16, 2015

Your horse’s environment — wet or dry — influences what he needs on his hooves.

Spending time in hot, sandy soil can leave a horse with hard, dry feet. Journal photo

Living in hot, sandy soil can leave a horse with hard, dry feet. Journal photo

From AQHA Corporate Partner Farnam

Without four good feet to stand on, your horse is in trouble. No matter how well bred, athletic or personable he may be, he’ll never reach his full potential if his feet can’t hold up.

While genetics do arguably play a role in equine soundness and foot quality, conscientious owners will also do everything they can to give their horses the best hoof care. Read the rest of this entry »

Feel Comfortable About Using a Mild Sedative

April 9, 2015

DORMOSEDAN GEL® is a simple and easy tool to help with horse-health or horse-care procedures.

Oral sedatives offer horse owners another solution to their horses anxious behavior in common horse care procedures Photo courtesy of Zoetis

Oral sedatives offer horse owners another way to calm a horse during common horse-care procedures. Photo courtesy of Zoetis.

From AQHA Corporate Partner Zoetis

Horses can perform flawless flying lead changes and work whole herds of cattle. But routine activities such as clipping, mane pulling or shoeing some horses can be difficult to accomplish.

Zoetis helps make all of this safer for you and less stressful for your horse with DORMOSEDAN GEL® (detomidine hydrochloride) for mild equine sedation. Think of it as a humane “twitch in a tube.” Horse owners must obtain it with a veterinary prescription but can administer it themselves.

“I needed a sedative to body clip my horse but didn’t want to give him a shot or haul him 11 miles to my veterinarian for something so simple,” says Vangie Crago, a horse owner from Ephrata, Washington. “My veterinarian told me about DORMOSEDAN GEL. I was able to swing by the clinic, pick a tube and administer it myself.” Read the rest of this entry »