If you’re a horse owner and lover, you probably like to think of your horse as invincible—perpetually galloping joyfully in the fields and ready for a ride. Unfortunately, like all animals, they are susceptible to disease and other physical ailments.
As a responsible horse owner, it is crucial that you educate yourself about the most common health issues your horse might face so you can be proactive about prevention and treatment!
Here are the top problems to be on the lookout for:
Laminitis—acute or chronic—is a serious condition that many horses face in their lifetime, characterized by an inflammation of the connective tissue in the hooves. This condition can cause permanent damage and excruciating pain. Obesity, too much grain in their diet, and stressful work on hard surfaces can put your horse at higher risk for this disease.
As soon as you notice any of the following symptoms in your horse, you should contact your vet promptly to seek treatment:
- Pain when walking
- Overcompensating with more weight on their other hooves
- Lying down to relieve pain
- Foot is hot to the touch
Colic is a term for abdominal pain in your horse that can range from mild to severe and be caused by many different disorders of the digestive system. In many cases, if not treated quickly, colic can cause serious damage to your horse’s intestines or even be fatal.
Signs that your horse may be suffering from colic include:
- Lying down
- Excessive rolling or restlessness
- Lack of appetite
- Unexplained sweating or labored breathing
Equine arthritis, just like arthritis in humans, is the swelling, redness, and painful inflammation of your horse’s joints. This condition (sometimes referred to as Degenerative Joint Disease—or DJD) is one of the most common reasons a horse must be retired.
DJD is typically slow to develop, so it’s important to pay attention and address any symptoms as soon as you notice them to limit progression. Keep an eye out for the following:
- Warm or swollen joints
- Stiff movement (your horse may often warm out of this)
- Shortened stride
At Deer Creek Structures, our team is dedicated to providing reliable shelter to keep your horse safe and well-protected from the elements, so that they may enjoy a long, healthy life! Our Texas-built horse barns can be designed and constructed to accommodate any number or types of horses, and to best fit the needs of your property.
Contact us today to learn more about our in-stock units and custom-built structures!