How to tell if a horse has worms

How to tell if a horse has wormsIt is a sure bet that you will find some type of parasite in your horses system. It is not unusual for horses to have worms in fact a few worms can be tolerated very easy but when the worm population explodes into mass productions of worms it then becomes a problem. It is not difficult to tell if a horse has worms here are a few simple suggestions of confirmation.

Check the stool

To check your horse for worms all you need to do is examine the feces your horse leaves behind. With a horses diet you are sure to see other things mixed in the stool but you can spot the worms very easily. Horses eat hay and it comes out the other end much the same way as it is ingested. Worms will climb to the top of the stool via these hay bits and lay there in wait for the next animal to ingest them. This is why it is so easy to find them in your horses stool.

Check your horse’s appearance

As with any animal if there is an abundance of worms their coats will suffer. The condition of your horses coat can tell you the story of how many worms he is carrying. His coat may appear dull and drab. There may be patches where the hair is long while the rest is short especially during the warmer months when their entire coat should be short. This is a sure way of confirming your horse has worms.

Check your horse’s tummy

If your horse’s tummy is a ball of fat while the rest of him stays slim it is quite likely your horse has worms. Worms can rob your horse of the nutrition that his body is taking in. They will use up at least a half of his food intake leaving his body to do without. You will not notice any lack of appetite in a horse if he is riddled with worms. It is more likely that he will eat more than usual trying to compensate for what his body is losing in his foods.

Perhaps the best way to know if your horse has worms is to seek your veterinarian’s advice. While a few worms will not harm your horse an overload of worms can make your horse very sick if they are left untreated. Your vet will do an eggs count to see just how many worms your horse may have and treat them. You can keep the worms under control by de-worming your horse at regular intervals. This will not get them all but it will go a long way in keeping your horse healthy.

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Is your horse lame? Here’s how to tell

When animals get hurt, they do try to hide it. But still, there are ways you can tell if your horse is lame. As a horse owner, you ought to know your horse well, – like most owners – and spend some time checking the horse’s legs and hooves. Your horse will probably try not to place the affected limb on the ground in the normal, completely flat fashion, and also avoid bearing any weight on it. The following suggestions should help you know if a horse is lame:

Standing

While your horse is in the stall, observe for a while his hooves as he stands. Do you notice anything unusual? By observing carefully how he is standing, you can get your first hint of a problem. Usually, a hurting limb will be placed loosely on the floor, without supporting any weight, and it is likely that your horse will lean towards the side of the hurt limb. And it is not hard to tell which hoof/leg is hurting, since it will slightly bend off so as to avoid the weight from mounting on it. Even if the bruise could be temporary, you should still have a look at it.

Walking

If you believe that one your horse’s limbs could be hurt, then it would be advisable to take him out of the stall and have a little walk with him on the outside. Keep an eye on the limb that you suspect could be hurt while he walks. You’ll tell that he’s lame if it appears difficult for him to place the hoof on the ground – hesitation in doing this is a clear sign that his hoof or leg is hurt. Your horse will change his usual style of walking and this will be the indication you will be looking for.

Trotting

This is probably the easiest way to tell if your horse is lame, or about to go lame. Lame horses usually throw back and forth their heads in a rhythm that matches the stride (instead of how the head usually follows when he is normal). Trotting him will help you easily identify which limb is affected. You’ll realize that his trot is no longer the same, and the side that’s hurt tends to be favored. This is your horse’s way of trying to shake off any weight from being placed on the limb that hurts. And even if you can pinpoint the exact spot that is hurting on the limb, you’ll still veterinarian’s expertise to be able to confirm it.

A horse is not only a precious animal, but it could also be a lifelong companion. If you do understand your horse well enough, then it should not take you much time to tell when something just doesn’t seem right. In most instances, your horse cold become lame temporarily but there still are some serious cases to look out for. If you notice any signs of lameness, check with the veterinarian immediately so you and your horse can get the assistance you need.

How To Treat A Foot Puncture Wound

Puncture wounds of the foot and hoof are common and are usually caused by a sharp object like glass shards, nails, or metal stakes. A puncture wound can be mild in severity or the wound may be serious enough to cause death. The key to preventing problems including lameness is to promptly treat the wound.

Sometimes, it is easy to diagnose a foot puncture wound. This usually happens because the sharp object can be seen sticking into the foot. If the object has gone into the frog, it can be very difficult to determine if the injury is actually due to a puncture wound. Even with aid of a hoof tester or x-ray, it may still be difficult to accurately diagnosis the problem.

While they can be difficult to diagnose, puncture wounds to the sole of the foot can also be difficult to heal. An abscess that develops under the sole of the foot can also travel to the coronet or coronary band. Signs of infection can also show up on the white line of the hoof.

Usually in this case, the infection will look like black spots on the line. This condition is usually referred to as “gravel”. Gravel can also travel to the coronary band and can cause great pain for a horse. An infection in the hoof will always follow the path of least resistance, which is why the infection will inevitably travel to the coronary band.

If you see a nail or other sharp object sticking out of your horse’s hoof, it is best to leave the object where it is and call a veterinarian immediately. If you take the object out, the hole may close up and not be visible when the veterinarian arrives. If you absolutely must remove the sharp object, be sure to save it for the veterinarian. Also make note of how far the nail had penetrated the hoof.

In addition to a veterinarian, you may need to call a farrier in order to drain the wound. Sometimes, a round of antibiotics may be necessary. This is not always necessary. However, all wounds will need to be drained whether or not antibiotics are necessary.

Once the abscess or infection has been exposed, the foot will need to be kept soft and hydrated in order to encourage the infection to properly drain. This can take anywhere from 3 days to a week. Keeping the hoof properly hydrated can prevent the wound from closing before the infection has healed.

One way to keep the hoof hydrated is to soak the area in warm Epsom water bath. To do this, just add Epsom salts to warm water and soak the foot. This should be done several times a day but the number of times will depend upon the severity of the infection. Any veterinarian should be able to give more information on preparing the Epsom water bath as well as the frequency and length of the bath.

The wound dressing should be changed daily for at least a week. Disposable diapers actually make great wound dressings as they absorb moisture and they can provide cushioning for the sore hoof and foot area.

During the treatment, the horse must be confined to a clean stall. In some instances, it may be necessary to make a special shoe to protect the injured foot and hoof area.

Best way to tell if a horse is healthy

It is quite easy to tell if a horse is healthy and not suffering from any ailment. Some of the common signs to look for in a healthy horse entail shining of the horse’s coats, stretching of the animal muscles, and the animal’s level of interactivity with the people around. However, there are other factors which provide vital signs that a horse is healthy, and this includes:

Food and water
Healthy horses normally finish all the food that is provided to them, and these animals also tend to consume water as expected. A healthy horse will indicate an interest in feed, and the failure of the animal not to consume all its feeds within a reasonable time frame is among the first signs that there is a health concern. A healthy horse will look and go straight towards the food served. This healthy eating habit in the end contributes towards the animal’s nutrition.

Interaction
Healthy horses have the habit of interacting with people without any fear whatsoever. These animals know their owners and always greet them with great enthusiasms. The animal will also interact in a proper manner with strangers, and also other people they are used to. The horse is always content and alert when resting, and the animal’s bright eyes will perk up readily when someone or something comes close to the animal.

Coat
The horse’s coat also sometimes form vital clue towards the animals health status. A shiny coat coupled with the glossy look of the mane and tail, sends a positive signal that the horse is very healthy. And in most cases the animal’s eyes are sparkling clear, with the nose and mouth in superb condition. Likewise, the teeth and ears are always shining.

Movements
Healthy animals should not be overweight nor underweight, and horse owners can embrace the Body Condition Score (BCS) technique which is basically a visually hand on method to evaluate the animals body fat content. When someone runs the hands over the animal’s ribs, the ribs should be felt with slight pressure as the hand runs over the barrel of the horse, and in such a situation it can be said that the horse has a BCS of 5. But when the ribs can’t be felt, then the horse has a BCS score of 6 or higher. This means the animal is healthy, and it is showing proper nutritional signs of the food it is normally fed with.

Very fat horses which have excess fat in the neck, around the croup and tail-head have a BCS of 8 or 9.

The above are some of the positive signs from a healthy horse, because a healthy horse is aesthetically appealing especially when taking a closer view on how the animal is flexing its muscles under the coat. It is the animal’s coat that the owner is usually proud with when showing off, and if a horse is healthy, it is also possible for a layman to tell so even just by looking at the animal.