If we have decided to buy or adopt a horse, it is essential to have an organized and clean place to house them. We should store a variety of medications and a first aid kit in this location, just in case of an emergency. It would be unwise to wait until our horse is in pain before attempting to locate a specialized pharmacy in the middle of the night. We must always keep the phone number of a licensed local veterinarian on hand, in case we need to contact them at any time. We should only use any of the medications or first aid kit contents under the guidance of our vet, especially injections.
Firstly, we need a dry, clean cabinet to store our first aid kit and medications. Secondly, we require a refrigerator to store specific medications.
The most commonly used products for injuries or illnesses are povidone-iodine, various sizes of bandages, different types of painkillers, hydrogen peroxide, penicillin, and dexamethasone. We should consult with our local veterinarian to create a list of essential products that we need to purchase before welcoming our horse. If our horse requires emergency transportation to a veterinary hospital, we must also find 2-3 legitimate horse transport agents in our local area.
In addition, we must regularly check the health and mental state of our horses. The most common abnormal conditions that horses experience are constipation, colic, and dehydration. Constipation refers to when a horse is unable to defecate (produce feces). If left untreated for too long, constipation can lead to more serious health problems. Horses usually need to defecate multiple times a day. If we observe a horse not defecating for several hours, we should immediately check if the horse is suffering from constipation. Normally, when we put our ear against a healthy horse’s belly, we can hear the sound of digestion taking place, like a small factory. Therefore, if a horse is eating normally during the day but not producing feces and we cannot hear the sound of digestion, we should call a veterinarian as soon as possible. Other emergency symptoms include inability to stand, sleeping all day, not eating or drinking for several hours. Generally, horses should receive vaccinations and deworming by a licensed veterinarian at standard intervals and in emergency situations (such as a local epidemic). Read more about vaccinations for horses.
We should also pay attention to the cleanliness of our horses. Brushing is a necessary procedure that can keep a horse’s skin healthy while also promoting contact between people and horses. You can find grooming tools for horse hair (such as brushes) in specialized stores. There is no fixed rule for how often to brush horses. Some horse owners prefer to groom their horses every day as a way to interact with them, while others groom their horses once a week. Additionally, in hot weather, it is very beneficial to wash our horses once a week with special shampoo.
As horses age, it is natural for their teeth to grow unevenly. If left untreated, elderly horses may develop health problems due to poor dental condition. Therefore, we strongly recommend hiring an expert to monitor and adjust (float) the horse’s teeth at least once a year.
Horse owners should also trim the horse’s hooves (using a hook-shaped trimmer) to prevent infections. We should check their hooves every 2-3 days, but trimming should generally be done every 4-5 weeks. Using specialized horse shoes can help horses walk and prevent various infections. You can contact a veterinarian to find the right shoes for each horse.
Horses are often bothered by flies and various insects, which like to visit areas near their eyes. In specialized shops, you can find fly masks of various colors and sizes. Wearing a fly mask can maintain the horse’s complete vision and provide sufficient protection for the face and eyes.
SEE ALSO: How to Choose and Care for a Horse