With advances in care and nutrition, horses are living longer than ever. They are also maintaining active lifestyles into their late teens and early twenties, partnering with their owners to continue the activities they enjoy together. With this increased longevity comes a greater need to maintain a regular preventive exam schedule so issues can be caught early while they are easier and less expensive to treat.
Preventive care exams for your horse are more than just wellness checks. We examine all your horse’s major systems, including eyes, ears and teeth, and check for conformity. We do a full hands-on check to ensure everything feels as it should and there are no concerning lumps or bumps. Your horse’s musculoskeletal system, hair coat, skin and body condition are all evaluated. We listen to your horse’s heart, lungs and gut to ensure everything is functioning properly with no apparent issues. Horses communicate health issues very subtly, so the better we know your horse, the better the likelihood we will catch anything that is off.
These exams are also a good time to discuss vaccination protocols, customize a vaccination schedule for your horse, review nutrition and address dietary concerns and establish a parasite prevention program, as well as take care of any additional concerns you may have in regard to your horse’s overall health. However, some issues may require a second appointment to ensure your horse gets properly evaluated and appropriately treated.
Depending on the age of your horse, she should be examined anywhere from quarterly to annually. Neonates and senior horses should be examined on a more frequent schedule, while healthy adult horses should fall somewhere between the middle to lower end of the frequency, unless usage or current health status, such as pregnancy, dictates more frequent exams. Current health status and usage may also play a role in the recommended schedule for your steed. Regardless of whether you ride for competition, work or pleasure, illness and lameness can reduce your time in the saddle. If your horse is due for a preventive care exam, contact our office to get on the schedule.