Our Most Frequently Asked Horse Questions

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As an equine hospital, it goes almost without saying that we get asked a lot of questions related to horses. Here is a list of the ones we encounter most often:

What is a coggins test?

A coggins test is used to determine whether a horse has developed Equine Infectious Anemia – an incurable blood disease transmitted by horse flies and deer flies. Since these flies can come to your farm, there is always a risk of contracting the disease, even if your horse never travels. A coggins test is often required when moving your horse to a new boarding barn, traveling across state lines, and when attending horse shows.

My horse seems to be losing weight, and her food falls out of her mouth when she eats. What can I do?

Often when a horse is dropping her feed, it’s a sign she needs to have an oral exam, and maybe even have her teeth floated. Horses typically need their mouths and teeth checked once a year, with some special cases needing to be seen every six months. Older horses often need their teeth checked more frequently than younger ones.

How often does my horse need to be vaccinated?

Horses should be vaccinated twice a year. The second vaccination is a booster that helps keep them safe against disease. Vaccines like the West Nile vaccine, Flu/Rhino, and EWT can be done every six months, while the rabies vaccine is done every 12 months. Flu/Rhino is required to attend horse shows and competitions.

Which dewormer should I use on my horse?

It is recommended that your horse have a fecal test before deworming, since using a dewormer unnecessarily can gradually create an immunity to the drugs. Fecal tests will show the amount of eggs per gram and can help your vet come up with an effective treatment plan for your horse.

What are the symptoms of colic?

Colic can have a wide range of symptoms. However the most common are as follows:

  • Anxiety or depression
  • Pawing at the ground
  • Frequently looking at the flank area
  • Rolling or wanting to lie down
  • Playing with their water but not wanting to drink
  • Lack of defecation
  • Lack of appetite

*If you think your horse is colicing or is in distress do not hesitate to call your vet!

My horse cut itself, can I wait or does it need to be seen immediately?

Because some lacerations can be life threatening, they should be seen as soon as possible. If your horse is dealing with a fresh laceration, make sure the vet is one of the first people you call!