Most Common Health Issues in Horses


Taking care of horses is a lot different than other pets. Although they are large animals, they are sensitive and require much care than you may think – from feeding, grooming, keeping them active, and a lot more. You could always ask an equine veterinarian if you’re having issues with the health of your horse to get the right diagnosis and treatment that is needed.

To help you get a better understanding of your horse’s health, here are some of the most common health issues in horses.


Arthritis is a common condition not just on horses but also on other animals and even humans as well. This condition causes the joint cartilage to wear down through time causing inflammation to the nearby joint tissues because of the increased friction in that area. It causes severe pain and discomfort to your horse which decreases their movement especially in the affected area.

Arthritis takes a long time to develop and is common for horses that work hard on a regular basis. A check-up from the vet is needed to determine if it is really arthritis that is bothering your horse. Diagnostic imaging procedures may also be required such as an X-ray to further explore the current condition of your horse’s joint.

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Colic is a common issue that raises a huge concern for most horse owners. This condition refers to abdominal pain which could range from mild to severe. Colic is caused by a variety of reasons – from sudden change in the horse feed, parasite infestation, inadequate water consumption, stress, or worse, a twist in the intestine. If it is a mild colic, you could withhold feed and take your horse for walking to relieve the pain. If it’s not getting better, you need to call an equine vet to get the right medications for colic.

Gastric Ulcers

This condition refers to the small erosions in the stomach lining of your horse. These small wounds cause severe pain and affect the appetite and the overall demeanour of the horse. There are different causes of equine gastric ulcers – feed deprivation, diet management, stress caused by training, and even medications taken by the horse.

Diagnosis is done through a gastro scope to check the stomach lining and see the severity of the condition. Although gastric ulcers are really painful, it is curable and the ulcers usually get better in about 4 weeks of medication.

Inflamed Ligaments

Inflamed ligaments or desmitis is another common equine health problem that is uncommon to a lot of horse owners. The inflammation causes lameness in many cases. However, there are rare cases when lameness is not present. When you notice that your horse’s performance has changed compared to its usual capability, it could be a sign of desmitis. Then you need to take proper treatment for your horse. You have to follow all the instructions as doctor suggest. There may be need some medicine or need extra test for confirming the particular disease. But you need to keep in mind that proper treatment and rehabilitation are needed to bring cure and bring back the normal performance of your horse. It needs some time.

With more awareness about the common health problems that affects horses, you get to know more about your horse and take care of them better than before.

By Master Henry

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