Horse Health Care Guidelines
Prevention is the best medicine! Badger Equine Veterinary Services provides routine health care for horses including annual wellness exams, vaccinations, parasite control, and Coggins testing. We believe that taking the time to perform a complete wellness examination annually can help address potential problems earlier and promote excellent long term health for your horse.
Annual Physical Exams
When medical problems exist, horses are unable to tell us that something is wrong. Signs can often be subtle, and it takes a trained eye to uncover the early signs of health issues. Taking a proactive approach to horse health with a annual wellness exams can make the difference between a good prognosis and a grave one.
Badger Equine Veterinary Services recommends a wellness exam for all horses on an annual basis. The annual wellness exam is your opportunity to get a professional opinion on the health of your horse. It includes:
- Monitoring your horse's weight, body condition, and vital signs
- Listening to the heart, lungs, and abdomen
- Evaluating the head, body, and skin
- Manually examining the limbs
- Conducting a brief oral exam
- Discussing vaccination and deworming protocols and recommendations for the year
Vaccinations help prevent or lessen the severity of life-threatening or infectious diseases. Vaccination recommendations are based on the age of the animal, the animal’s exposure to potential infections, and the geographic location where the animal lives.
Badger Equine Veterinary Services has put together annual vaccination recommendations for your horse, in accordance with AAEP guidelines, and our doctors can customize a vaccination protocol that works for your particular horse, stable, and situation.
We recommend all horses receive the following core vaccines:
- Eastern and Western Equine Encephalomyelitis
- West Nile Virus
Equine Infectious Anemia (EIA) is a chronic, contagious viral disease of horses. Most infected horses show no recognizable clinical signs, while other horses present with signs including fever, weight loss, and anemia. Blood from infected horses is the most important source of EIA for transmission, with blood-feeding insects the predominant means of natural transmission.
Diagnosis of EIA is made with a Coggins test. This test is required on all horses being imported, entering exhibitions or competitive events, participating in organized trail rides or training seminars, being moved interstate, changing ownership, or entering auctions or sale markets. Test results are valid for different periods of time depending on state of origin.
Coggins tests are valid for one (1) calendar year from the date the blood was sampled in both Wisconsin and Illinois.
Internal parasites are silent killers, causing extensive internal damage without you realizing your horses are infected. Parasites affect horses in many ways, ranging from dull hair coats and general unthriftiness to colic and death. They lower horses' resistance to infection, rob horses of valuable nutrients, and, in some cases, cause permanent damage to internal organs. Combining good management procedures with strategically-timed administration of deworming agents based on fecal egg counts is critical to relieving your horse of most parasites.
The most useful tool in strategic deworming programs is the fecal egg count, a microscopic exam of feces for parasite eggs. This count allows us to determine which parasites are present and whether your horse is shedding eggs in low, moderate, or high numbers. We use this information to develop a deworming program specifically for your horse or farm as well as to monitor the program's effectiveness. Our goal is for all horses to be classified as low shedders which allows for deworming every 6 months.
Equine Dental Care
Annual comprehensive dental care is an essential part of your horse’s overall health and well-being. Badger Equine Veterinary Services recommends oral examinations every 12 months to identify dental problems before they become extreme. Read our detailed information on equine dental care.
Feeds and Feeding
Your horse’s body condition, hair coat, and activity level are just a few things affected by the quantity and quality of your horse’s feed. A nutritional consultation with Badger Equine Veterinary Services can assist you in making the right choices when it comes to hay and grain for your horse’s age, breed, intended use, and performance level. Testing your hay is the first step, and we use those results to build a successful feeding program for your horse.