Horse Medical Supply Tips

Read these 11 Horse Medical Supply Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Horse tips and hundreds of other topics.

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How can I aleviate rain rot?

Dry Out Rain Rot

If your horse develops rain rot, you shouldn't sit back and let it run its course. Rain rot is not fatal but it can become serious. This condition is among the most common of skin infections that affect horses. The organism that trigger rain rot thrive in warm, humid conditions—hence the name, “rain rot.” Your hose may develop scabs and lesions that can worsen with rubbing (caused by saddles, and wraps).

Want to alleviate the situation? Remove anything that could rub or irritate the scabs. Additionally, the bacteria grows better without oxygen so it can be helpful to remove scabs and lighten thick coats to allow for more oxygen. DO NOT apply ointments or creams that will add moisture. Your best bet is to invest in antimicrobial and antibacterial rinses and shampoos that you can purchase through a good horse medical supply company.

*If your animal has any type of illness it's best to consult a qualified veterinarian before purchasing and administering any type of treatment.

Do horse supplements really work?

What's the Skinny on Supplements?

Horse supplements are a dime a dozen these days. You can get these miracle supplements for just about any ailment or deficiency. The question is, however, are they really worth it or are they a sham? And, which ones are the most beneficial to you equine?

A supplement is designed to provide your horse with something it is lacking in an everyday diet. Before looking into supplements for horses, look into what you are feeding your horse. The best thing that you can do for your animal is to invest in quality food loaded with the essentials to remain healthy. You will get what you pay for, so it's worth it to shell out as much as you can for good food. Additionally, provide him with adequate salt and water. If you provide your horse with a first-rate diet he shouldn't need any additional supplements.

There are some horses (pregnant mares, show horses, and young horses) that really can benefit from supplementation. Any horse put under added stress can gain from an extra supplement boost. Before you order and distribute these additives, however, be sure to run it by your veterinarian. When it comes down to it, a trained professional is the only one qualifies to assess your horse's needs.

How do I know if I'm getting a healthy horse?

Don't Settle for a Lemon of a Horse!

You've heard the term “lemon” applied to the world of used cars. You can, however, also purchase a lemon when it comes to horses. If you're shopping for a new equine don't settle on the first one that you stumble upon. Horses are an investment and they are something that you hope to have around for a long time so don't cheat yourself by selecting one that will end up costing you more in medical bills in the long run. Know how to spot a healthy horse off the bat. A healthy horse will have a sleek, shiny coat and will be attentive. In addition, he will have a healthy appetite and good weight.

When you do purchase your healthy horse, you'll want to purchase every horse medical supply that you may require in the event of an emergency. If your horse does develop a serious problem, seek professional help immediately. If your horse experiences any of the following, contact a veterinarian on the double:

• Any wound that is pulsing blood

• Swelling

• Seizures

• Atypical behavior such as aggression, shaking, swaying, depression, etc.

• Diarrhea (when not a result of nervousness)

• Abnormal pulse

• Difficulty during urination, dark urine, or urine leaks

• Changes in eating habits

• A wound that is swelling oozing with ill-smelling secretions

• Constipation

• Kicking, biting, sweating, rolling, or inability to stand after laying down

• Coughing

• Staggering or limping

Does my horse have arthritis?

Does My Horse Have Arthritis?

Horses put a lot of pressure on their joints and are subject to arthritis (as well as degenerative joint disease). The best way to protect your horse from this ailment is to catch it in its early stages. It's crucial that you look for swollen joints —this is an early indicator of arthritis. Additionally, look for reluctance to perform normal behaviors (jumping, cantering, taking turns, barrel turns, etc.). Hesitance could also indicate a behavioral issue, but it's in your best interest to also explore the arthritis arena.

A good vet will examine your horse thoroughly to assess the problem. The doctor should observe the horse's trotting in a straight line and also assess the horse's ability to run circles on a hard surface. In addition, a vet should take x-rays and use nerve and joint blocks. If your horse is diagnosed with arthritis don't panic; arthritis horse treatment is available. Discuss your options with your vet and find out what's best for you and your equine.

How often should I administer a dewormer?

Frequency of Administering Dewormers

You should use a dewormer at least twice a year to protect your horse from both bots and worms (Ivermectin is a product that is effective on both). If you want to administer the product strategically, there are two key times of year to use it: In the beginning of spring when the larvae leave the stomach of the horse, and at the end of fall following a killing frost and the removal of all eggs form the coat of the animal.

A simple way to worm your horse is by using a paste dewormer. This method is essentially mess free and a synch to handle with one hand.

Most dewormers come in either a high volume dose of about 20 milliliters, or a low volume dose of about 6 milliliters. The majority, however, are low volume as these are the most simple to administer.

*Before administering any dewormer, clean your horse's mouth of any food and check the expiration date on the bottle or tube. In addition, a dewormer paste should ALWAYS be kept at room temperature (if it is too warm it will be less likely to stick to the palate and tongue, and if it is too cold it will be difficult to administer as it will be stiff.

How can I protect my horse from arthritis and cartilage wear?

Cartilage Care

Is your horse at a greater risk of developing arthritis? Much like with humans, arthritis becomes more of a risk with age. During the first two years of life, a horse's joints will produce more new cartilage than is being worn away. When a horse passes the age of 2, however, the amount of cartilage being created and the amount of cartilage being worn away will equalize. And, when the horse reaches 15 years of age, more cartilage is worn away than is being created—this is when he is at the highest risk of developing arthritis. In addition, horses with toes turned in or out, or horses with crooked legs, are more inclined to develop arthritis and degenerative joint disease (DJD) as the horse will be more prone to uneven, irregular wearing of the cartilage.

Talk to your vet about things that you can do to maintain the health of your horse and his joints. There are many great supplements for horses that can help reduce inflammation, increase circulation, and alleviate pain. Using this option can help you keep your horse acting like a colt even when he's past his prime.

How can I keep my horse's hooves healthy?

Healthy Hooves for a Happy Horse

A horse's hooves are amazingly resilient, however, titanium they are not. A hoof is actually a living organism and quite capable of being damaged and stressed. It's useful to apply a hoof moisturizing cream to the hooves to help keep them healthy. However, if your horse does develop cracked, dry hooves try applying Vaseline with a paintbrush (this also a great rain repellant).

If your horse is continually suffering with dry, brittle hooves, has cracked hooves that won't keep shoes, or chronically suffers from sore feet, it's a great idea to invest in horse supplements for hooves.

*Make sure that any hoof supplement you select contains Biotin and Methionine. Biotin is essential to all connective tissue and Methionine is an amino acid that is crucial in achieving healthy hooves.

How should I administer a dewormer?

Administering Dewormers

Administering horse wormers can be difficult, especially if you are going at it alone. Here is a step-by-step guide to get you through the process with ease:

• Hold the lead rope as well as the cheek portion of the halter in your right hand and use your left hand to clean the mouth of your horse.

• Hold your fingers at the inside corners of your equine's lips and insert an interdental space in the portion of the mouth with no teeth (sometimes your fingers will cause the horse to move his tongue and jaw and let go of any food he has in there and sometimes you will have to remove it yourself).

• Use a syringe filled with warm water to rinse the horse's mouth, flush it out with warm water. Hold tight to the lead rope and the halter cheek piece with your left hand. Then, stick the syringe between the cheek and teeth, angling the syringe across his tongue and squirt the water out. Allow the horse a few minutes to get all of the water out of his mouth (dewormer won't stick to sopping wet surfaces).

• Adjust the syringe to the correct dosage of dewormer that your horse requires and fill it. Administer this the same way you did the water.

How should I select a dewormer for my horse?

Deworming Your Equine

There are countless horse dewormers out there and they are all designed to do the same thing, so what's the difference? After some time, parasites will become resistant to certain dewormers. As a result, researchers constantly create new dewormers that are capable of eliminating worms in different stages of development. If you don't know what kind of dewormer your horse needs DO NOT guess—you could be jeopardizing the animal's health. Instead, take a fecal sample to your veterinarian and allow him to determine what, exactly, your horse needs.

Please take extreme care when ridding a horse of worms—killing too many worms at once is dangerous and could harm the animal. If a large amount of worms are killed they could become lodged in the intestinal area and cause an intestinal tract blockage.

What should I do if my horse is bitten by a snake?

Snake in the Grass!

While venomous snakebites rarely kill horses (the lethalness of the venom depends on body weight) they can be dangerous and lead to the loss of limbs or even lameness. Bites on the head and areas of high blood supply are more serious than those on other parts of the body because these areas can lead to fatalities.

It is best to stock up on horse medical supply items to keep on hand in case of emergencies like snakebites. You should have a tourniquet to wrap around the area of the horse a few inches above the bite. The tourniquet shouldn't be too tight—only tight enough to cause compression to the lymphatic vessels and veins, NOT the arteries. Be sure to release and reapply the tourniquet every fifteen minutes to avoid tissue damage. Your main objective is to localize the venom until you can get the animal medical assistance.

*If your horse suffers from a severe snakebite, you will notice difficulty breathing and possible swelling. To enable breath more easily, cut two six-inch pieces of hose (like that of a garden hose), lubricate them, and place one in each nostril.

Why is worming my horse important?

Protect Your Horse From Worms

A crucial part of maintaining your equine's health is to routinely administer horse wormers in accordance to a professional's instructions. Worms are disgusting internal parasites that are extremely dangerous to the animal if they are not controlled. If you do not treat your horse for worms, the animal may develop colic, suffer from damage to internal organs, or even die. In the end, you will never get rid of every worm. You can, however, keep the worms at a safe minimum.

You should treat your horse for worms all year long. Talk to your veterinarian about the most affective treatment for your horse and his environment. Various pills and gels are available, and the right medication for your horse will depend on a number of factors: age, temperament, amount of time in pasture, living climate, etc. Allow a professional to assess the situation and come up with a regimen for your equine.

*Keep an extra eye on your horse during the summer. Summer is often the most dangerous season. Infected horse dropping can contaminate the grass (and several feet around the perimeter of the feces) and horses tend to graze more during summer months causing the parasite to spread like wildfire. Protect your equine!

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Guru Spotlight
Patricia Walters-Fischer