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Information for your reference or to print

The Veteran Horse

Older horses now form a large part of the equine population.  As horses age, some body systems start to wear out.  Going into winter, the veteran requires extra care…

 

PROBLEMS OF THE VETERAN HORSE

 

POOR GUT FUNCTION - decrease in digestion of protein, phosphorous, fibre and some vitamins


ARTHRITIS - decreased movement, muscle loss, pain and decreased feed intake


Xray of bone spavin - arthritic hock joint


POOR HAIR COAT - may use up to 30% more energy to keep warm


INADEQUATE DENTAL FUNCTION - teeth loose, missing, overgrown / sharp or simply worn out

(smooth) (see our Dentistry info sheet)


                               

                       Crooked incisors            Fractured teeth


REDUCED IMMUNITY - more susceptible to disease, especially in horses suffering ‘Cushing’s disease (see our 'Cushings' Info sheet) - a hormone imbalance resulting in long / curly coat, laminitis, weight loss, excessive thirst / urination, patchy sweating 

Cushingoid veteran pony

PRONE TO CANCER, LIVER AND KIDNEY DISEASE


INCREASED HEALING TIMES FOR WOUNDS, LESIONS ETC

 

 

SOLUTIONS FOR THE VETERAN HORSE

                                                

ADJUST FEEDING - veteran feeds have increased palatability and digestibility.  Use feed

company free helplines. Use hay substitutes to compensate for reduced roughage intake and reduced

gut function e.g. high-fibre cubes, alfalfa etc., probiotics?

 

ANTI – ARTHRITIC DRUGS, VETERINARY EXAMINATION, GENTLE EXERCISE / HAND

WALKING, JOINT SUPPLEMENTS, REGULAR FARRIER VISITS, PHYSIOTHERAPY AND

ALTERNATIVE THERAPIES eg McTIMONEY  - can all improve the lifestyle of an arthritic horse                                  



'Sterling' a successful veteran


PROVIDE SHELTER AND GOOD QUALITY RUGS – modern rugs are lightweight and breathable

 

REGULAR DENTAL CHECKS (6-12 MONTHLY)  - help ensure adequate food intake and digestion

Dental examination


MAINTAIN VACCINATION PROTOCOLS AND ADOPT A COMPREHENSIVE WORMING PROGRAM

 

      

         Injuries                Respiratory difficulty          Eye disorders


 

SEEK VETERINARY ADVICE / TREAT ANY UNDERLYING CONDITIONS - eg. prescription only drugs are available to help control Cushing’s disease

CONSIDER BLOOD TESTS TO IDENTIFY PROBLEMS AND FORM A TREATMENT PLAN

 

 


 Checking cardiac auscultation


LOOK OUT FOR OUR GREAT VALUE 'VETERAN HEALTH CHECKS' IN THE WINTER, OFFERING A COMPREHENSIVE ASSESSMENT OF THE OLDER HORSE AT A MASSIVELY DISCOUNTED PRICE