Despite our best efforts, all horses will experience some form of illness or injury in their lives. It is vital to be familiar with the most common ailments and diseases that affect horses to ensure their health for as long as possible. Let’s Know the Horse Diseases.
Colic, laminitis, and gastric ulcer syndrome are horses’ most common ailments and diseases. Certain horse ailments and diseases might be more common depending on where you live.
Preventive medicine is better than curative when it comes to horse health. Recognizing early signs of Disease can help speed up recovery if the problem has already begun.
Don’t hesitate to contact the vet if you have any concerns about your horse. It is better to be safe than sorry.
Common Horse Diseases
Laminitis, a condition that affects the horse’s hooves, is painful. This happens when the laminae layers that connect the hoof wall and the internal hoof structures are inflamed. It affects approximately 1 in 10 horses worldwide and can also occur in ponies or donkeys. Source: Scott Dunn’s Equine Clinic
Hormonal factors are often responsible for the Disease. Many horses suffering from laminitis also has Cushing’s Disease (EMS) or Equine Metabolic Syndrome.
It is well-known that overweight horses are more likely to develop laminitis. This can be caused by insulin resistance. Horses who eat too much spring grass or grain can quickly become laminitic.
Most often, laminitis manifests as lameness in horses’ front feet. Horses with more severe laminitis will exhibit the “laminitis posture,” where they stand with their hind legs under the body and their forelegs extended.
Laminitis horses usually receive bute painkillers to keep them comfortable and decrease inflammation. To ensure a complete recovery, both the veterinarian and farrier are essential. The farrier will usually recommend shoes with additional frog support.
The treatment for this DiseaseDisease can take weeks, if not months. After recovery, the horse will need to be managed carefully.
It is not possible to prevent the Disease in all cases. Laminitis can be prevented by careful weight management and gradual dietary changes.
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Equine Gastric Ulcer Syndrome
Equine gastric ulcer syndrome (EGUS) is a condition that causes painful ulcers in horses’ stomachs. It is also known as Gastric Ulcer Disease. This condition affects between 50% and 90% of horses. EGUS is more common in elite sport horses and racehorses, where it is almost always present.
Most commonly, EGUS is caused by damage to the stomach’s mucosal lining. This can occur during fasting or exercise with an empty stomach. To neutralize acids, horses must have enough feed material.
Horses can show stomach ulceration, including poor performance, irritable behavior, and weight loss. Some stomach ulcers in horses may not show any symptoms.
Endoscopic examination is the best way to diagnose EGUS. This is when the vet runs a camera down a horse’s feed pipe to examine the stomach lining. The vet will prescribe oral medications to protect the stomach lining depending on the severity of the ulcers.
Gastric ulcers can easily be prevented with a healthy feeding program. Ensure your horse has access to grass and hay to avoid gastric ulcers. Also, feed your horse 30 minutes before you go to exercise. Avoid abrupt changes in your horse’s diet. Give your horse new feeds every four weeks.
Sweet itch, also known as Summer Seasonal Recurrent Dermatitis (SSRD), is a form of skin inflammation in horses. It is caused when horses are allergic to the saliva of females biting Midges (Culicides genus).
Sweet itch is a common disease that affects horses in the United Kingdom. It affects approximately 5% of horses.
Itchy horses suffering from this condition may experience itching along their topline, especially around the tail and mane. Sweet itch, if left untreated, can lead to horse itching and a tendency to rub itself raw. This could leave behind bare patches of skin.
A variety of things can cause a sweet itch. Consult your veterinarian if you think your horse might be suffering from it. Consider putting your horse in a stable at dusk and dawn, when the midges are most active. Midges can be kept away from horses’ bodies using insect repellents or fly rugs.
The most common condition affecting horse muscles is Azoturia or tying up. Recurrent Exertional Rhabdomyolysis, also known as Monday Mornings Disease (RER), is another name.
The painful cramping of the muscles in the horse’s body is called “tying up.” This is most common in horses who are not fit or horses who work hard.
Some horses will only have one or two episodes, while others may experience multiple episodes. XLVets Equivine estimates that around 7% of Thoroughbreds are susceptible to recurring episodes of tying up.
We don’t know the exact causes of the tie-up. The causes of tying up include lack of oxygen, the buildup of lactic acid, and the death of muscle cells.
Affected horses may exhibit discomfort depending on their severity. They might have stiff gaits, refuse to move, or even lie down.
Call your vet immediately if you see signs of tying up. The vet will provide pain relief and anti-inflammatory medication for the horse and hydrate it to restore electrolyte balance.
Ensure your horse is warmed up before and after each work session to prevent future episodes. To manage the condition, your vet may recommend a low-carbohydrate diet and a high-fat diet.
Horses can also catch a common cold, just like humans. A survey in the United States found that approximately 17% of horse facilities had at least one horse with the condition.
Equine Influenza is a viral infection in the upper respiratory tract of horses that can be passed from horse to horse. A horse might develop a yellowish or white discharge from their nose. The horse could also experience a fever and swelling of the throat.
Horses often contract the common cold from contacting other infected horses. they can catch a common cold at shows and boarding stables, where they are often competing. They not ventilated properly in trailers or stables can catch a cold more easily than horses with good ventilation.
It is imperative to immediately isolate horses suffering from the common cold as it is contagious. Consult your veterinarian to learn how to manage this condition. Your veterinarian can tell you when it is safe for your horse to be released from isolation.
Make sure your horse is comfortable and warm. Ensure your horse has his grooming kit, water bucket, and feed bowl to stop the spread of the virus.
Degenerative Joint Disease (Arthritis) is a condition that affects the joints. It’s most common in older horses. According to a senior veterinary surgeon, Nicola Jarvis says, arthritis prevalence is more than 50% in horses over the age of 15. Excessive wear and tear on the joints can cause inflammation and damage the joint structure over the horse’s working years. Horses who have done regular hard work over their careers are more likely to develop the disease.
Horses can develop arthritis slowly and may not show any symptoms at first. You will eventually notice stiffness, heat, and swelling in affected joints.
There is no cure for arthritis in horses. However, there are many ways to reduce discomfort and pain. Your horse’s weight should be ideal for reducing his load and allowing him to move more freely. The best way to ease stiffness is to turn your horse as often as possible.
Cushing’s Disease, also known as Pituitary Pars Intermedia Disorder (PPID), is another common condition that horses experience. This Disease is caused by hormonal dysfunction in the pituitary gland, located at the base of the brain. According to the website Care about Cushing’s”, 1 in 5 horses will get the Disease after the age of 15. Cushing’s Disease horses will have curly, long hair all year. They might also exhibit poor performance, uneven fat distribution, excessive sweating, and lethargy and lethargy.