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Glastonbury CT Equine Preventative Care

Equine Preventative Care

The physical exam is the basis for diagnosis and treatment of your horse. Our doctors perform a complete examination at least once a year, as well as any time the horse is brought in with a problem. Doing a thorough examination even when there are no obvious problems allows us to determine whether a problem that surfaces later is indeed new, or the progression of an older condition. In addition, in animals with known abnormalities, such as heart murmurs or dental irregularities, regular exams allow us to chart the course of disease, and determine whether it is progressive or static.  Unlike people, animals cannot tell us if anything has changed, making information from the owners and the physical exam even more important in identifying problems. The doctor generally observes the animal walking in from the paddock or stall area, and takes note of its attitude and any obvious abnormalities. Changes in weight, hair coat and general demeanor are often a clue about possible underlying diseases.  The physical exam includes the following:

  • Listening to the heart and lungs with a stethoscope to check for abnormal heart rhythms or murmurs
  • Listening to the abdomen to assess the movement of ingesta through the bowel
  • Examining the eyes and ears for abnormalities in structure and indications of abnormal function
  • Examining the mouth and teeth to ensure that the horse maintains normal occlusion and can chew its food properly
  • Examining the hair coat for abnormal hair growth or evidence of skin infection and external parasites
  • The horse’s temperature is taken to ensure there is no underlying infection prior to giving any vaccinations

Core Vaccinations:
Eastern/Western Encephalomyelitis (EEE/WEE)
West Nile Virus (WNV)

Risk Based Vaccinations:
Equine Herpes/Rhino Virus
Potomac Horse Fever
Strangles (Streptococcus equi) 

Parasite Management

  • Good pasture/dry lot management is necessary to reduce parasite burdens
  • Pick up and dispose of manure droppings on a regular basis in stalls and paddocks
  • Harrow pastures regularly to break up manure piles and expose parasite eggs to the elements
  • Rotate pastures by allowing other livestock to graze them, interrupting the life cycles of equine parasites
  • Keep the number of horses per acre to a minimum to prevent overgrazing and reduce the fecal contamination
  • Remove bot eggs quickly and regularly from the horse's hair coat to prevent ingestion