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How to Care for Sick Horse

(January 3, 2012)

How to tell if your horse is sick?

Horses are not the most common of pets; however, if you have a pet horse, you may need to be familiar with sick horse symptoms so that you can get the right treatment for your pet. The easiest and surest sign of sickness in a horse is altered behavior. Before you look for any other sick horse symptoms, check its vital signs. Take the horse to a vet and check for changes in temperature, pulse, and the rate of respiration. Abnormalities in any of these vital signs may indicate disease.

After checking your horse’s vital signs, your doctor will be able to give you an indication of your horse’s ailment. You could then proceed to give your pet a complete physical examination. Check for rashes, wounds, and other signs of sickness. If your horse is limping, drooling, or seems uncomfortable or lethargic, it is possible that this is due to some kind of sickness, disease, or ailment.

Also keep a check on your horse’s feeding habits. A horse that is unwell usually avoids eating normally. Also check whether your horse is drinking water and passing stools normally. Check the consistency and color of the stools, as well as the urine to report to your vet so that the doctor can make an accurate sick horse diagnosis.

Submitted by N on January 3, 2012 at 04:27


What are the signs of a sick horse?

It is important for every horse owner to be familiar with the signs of illness in their horse. Sick horse signs and symptoms are important indicators of the affliction and will help to get quick diagnosis and treatment for your horse in the event that the condition requires urgent treatment. Before you consider buying a horse, it is best to get all the information you can possibly get on the animal.

When the horse is healthy, it stands squarely on all four limbs. A horse that is shifting its weight from one limb to another may not be completely healthy. The horse should also ideally have a soft and shiny coat that is flat and smooth. One of the surest signs of a sick horse is a dull and uneven coat with rashes and exposed skin. Another one of sick horse signs includes discolored gums and loose teeth. Also check the horse’s nostrils and ensure that they are wet and free of swelling.

A sick horse usually avoids food and is not very keen on eating regular meals. In addition, pay attention to the horse’s breathing; it should be even and regular, especially when at rest. Younger horses tend to have quicker pulses than older horses, and you can get the reference ranges from your vet. Also observe the horse’s excretory patterns. Healthy horses have four to eight bowel movements every day. Anything more than that is a sign of disease.

Submitted by N on December 19, 2011 at 11:35


Given that horses are rather large animals, taking care of a sick horse can be quite a task, especially when the animal tends to be a little temperamental. Given the fact that the horse is unable to actually tell you that he or she is not feeling too well, the owners best bet is to look for symptoms and changes in attitude in order to get the animal to feeling back to its best. The fact is hat the horse will give its owner a number of clues that it is not in the best of health and it is up to the owner to be observant enough to detect these messages. Some of the more common signs of ill health in horses include – the horse not eating food or drinking fluids to the extent it normally would, some animals may even refuse their favorite treats. The coat will tend to become very dull and dry while the animal will stand in a rather odd way, continuously shifting its weight from one side to another. Your horse may start to sweat profusely in spite of the fact that it has not been performing any strenuous physical activity and have only been rooted to a certain spot for a considerable period of time. The animal’s eyelids and gums will turn either pale or very red instead of their usually pink while the body temperature will go up above 101, compared to the normal body temperature of a horse which is between 99 and 101. You may also need to keep an eye out for fast and heavy breathing. This can be measured by counting the breaths per minute; healthy horses will take about 8 to 16 respirations per minute and any higher rates are usually an indication that something is wrong.  

As with people, the most effective treatments always lie in the correct diagnosis of the root cause. Irrespective of the exact condition, however, it is important to remember that the animal will need to receive a significant amount of care in addition to the medication and right diet to aid recuperation. Most veterinarians will suggest the horse be ordered into a stable during the recovery – something that could be a little out of the ordinary for a horse that has lived mainly in a paddock. Depending on the severity of the condition, the entire healing process could take anywhere from a couple of days to even a few months.

Submitted by M A on February 2, 2010 at 04:50


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