Sick Horses

Recognizing Illnesses in Your Horse

During the colder months, many humans end up sick with colds and viruses.

However, horses can also get sick and it can happen during any season. Horses frequently suffer from respiratory diseases, similar to the “common cold.”

It’s important that horse owners recognize the symptoms of these illnesses and have an understanding of what treatment is needed.

Symptoms to Look For in your Horse.

If you have a horse that doesn’t seem to be eating, seems depressed or lethargic, and has a significant amount of nasal discharge, you likely have a sick horse. If your horse has a fever of 105 and doesn’t seem to want to exercise or is unable to do so, your horse has symptoms of a common illness.

Some horses even begin to develop a nasty dry cough.

  • Symptoms can change depending on the horse, and not all of them will be present at once.

Horses that typically get sick are horses that are younger, horses under a significant amount of stress, or horses that are frequently interacting with other horses.

Common Horse Illness

There is one “common illnesses” that often occurs in horses, an influenza virus.

This virus is often indicated with coughing, fever, and loss of appetite. The illness affects the upper and lower respiratory systems of horses and is highly infectious. It is easily spread from horse to horse through coughing, shared brushes, or shared clothing.

  • Horses are typically contagious for a minimum of 10 days when they develop this virus.

The good news is that this virus is typically not a serious health issue for horses and they typically recover within three weeks.

Treatment Options for a sick Horse

If your horse is suffering with a virus, there are things that you can do to relieve your horses symptoms and help them get better. Allowing your horse to rest is an absolute priority when they feel under the weather.

  • You should also do your best to get them to drink water and hydrate them as often as you can.
  • If they will not eat, you might need to add table salt or electrolytes to their water source as a source of nourishment.

Getting a veterinarian’s opinion and guidance is never a bad idea and you should consider calling them. A veterinarian may need to treat your horse with medication to provide some relief.

For more advice and news on all things horses, visit Deer Creek Structures blog.