- Vaccinations have saved the lives of millions of horses.
- The benefits of vaccinations greatly outweigh the risks.
- Vaccines are inactivated live disease agents that cause the immune system to produce a protective response specific to that disease.
- Vaccinations are the best way to prepare your pet’s immune system to prevent disease when the “real” infection strikes.
- We can design a vaccine protocol that is right for your horse.
With the recent changes in parasite management, we at 3H will be glad to help you design a strategic de-worming program that is right for your horse.
A Progressive Feeding Program
As horse owners, we all want the best nutrition for our horses. Supplying a nutritionally balanced diet helps achieve optimal growth, timely breeding, improved performance as well as saving money over time. Accomplishing this dietary balance requires evaluating several factors including forage, horse type, and horse owner management. A feed companies primary goal is to meet the needs of your horse so you can achieve the results you desire.
The foundation of a balanced diet is forage. Horses are continuous grazing animals, consuming several small meals over 18 hours per day. Therefore, offering as much hay or forage as possible, whether in a pasture, paddock or stall, will help maintain digestive tract function and overall well-being.
How To Reduce Gastric Ulcer Risk In Horses
Ulcers are a man made disease, affecting up to 90 percent of racehorses and 60 percent of show horses. Stall confinement alone can lead to the development of ulcers, A horse’s feeding schedule also can be a factor. When horses are fed just twice a day, the stomach is subjected to a prolonged period without feed to neutralize it’s naturally produced acid. In addition, high-grain diets produce volatile fatty acids that can also contribute to the development of ulcers.
Both environmental and physical stress can increase the likelihood of ulcers, as can hauling, training and mixing groups of horses. Strenuous exercise can decrease the emptying of the stomach and the blood flow to the stomach, thus contributing to the problem.
The treatment and prevention of gastric ulcers are directed towards removing predisposing factors, thus decreasing acid production within the horse’s stomach. Follow these tips from the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) to properly treat your horse’s ulcers:
- Allow free-choice access to grass or hay. Horses are designed to be grazers with regular intake of roughage.
- If the horse must be stalled, arrange for the horse to see the horses he socializes with. Consider offering a ball or other object that the horse can enjoy in his stall.
- Feed the horse more frequently to help buffer the acid in the stomach.
- Decrease grains that form volatile fatty acids.
- Medications that decrease acid production are available, but are only necessary in horses showing sings of clinical disease or when the predisposing factors, such as stress, cannot be removed.
The prevention of ulcers is the key. Limiting stressful situations along with integrating frequent feeding or free-choice access to grass or hay is imperative. Neutralizing the production of stomach acid is nature’s best antacid.
Horse Council Encouraging EEE, WNV Vaccinations
With warmer months come mosquitoes and other factors that can spread viral diseases which seriously affect horses. Encephalitis diseases, such as Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) and West Nile Virus (WNV) are spread by mosquitoes and are often experienced during the summer months. Vaccinating now ensures that horses have strengthened immune system when the virus starts circulating in the mosquito population.
What does an average horse in the Raleigh area need on a yearly basis?
For Adult Horses:
1) Mosquito born diseases: Eastern Equine Encephalitis, Western Equine Encephalitis, West Nile Virus (EEE/WEE/WNV) twice yearly because of long vector season
2) Tetanus and Rabies once yearly
3) Respiratory disease: Influenza & Rhinopneumonitis (Flu/Rhino) twice yearly
Risk based vaccines:
Strangles – recommended in show horses, and horses <10 years of age
Botulism – recommended in horses fed round bales
Teeth checked bi-annually, most horses need dental floating yearly. Some need it more frequently depending on their individual needs.
A Coggins test is used to test for Equine Infectious Anemia (EIA). A negative Coggins test is necessary for travel between states, required by most horse shows, and necessary to obtain a health certificate.
Fecal Egg Count:
Once or twice yearly depending on your Veterinarian’s recommendation.
Many problems can be avoided by keeping your horse at an appropriate body weight. Your Veterinarian can help determine if your horses are too thin, too heavy, or may have an underlying metabolic condition.