One of the things we need to guarantee for horses is medical care. Since horses have their own nutritional requirements, and their own diseases, the veterinarian is essential. We must pay close attention to the signs and behavioral changes of horses to detect any conditions in time. That is why today we will talk about the most serious and common diseases in horses.
In the article “Importance of the veterinarian in society” we tell you the role that a veterinarian fulfills in our society. They not only take care of animal welfare, but also play a fundamental role in the food industry. If you want more information about it, we invite you to read it.
Sometimes we have the possibility to evaluate our horse with a veterinarian regularly. But sometimes we don’t have access to them easily. Sometimes it is due to the distance from the veterinarian and in other cases because of the cost of this. The truth is that this is no excuse for not giving timely attention to your horse. This can be achieved by mixing some strategies that we will tell you next.
Table of Contents.
Strategies to take care of your horse and avoid the most serious and common diseases in horses
Whenever this is possible, we should regularly evaluate our horse with a veterinarian. Once a year you can help us to attend to any problem in a timely manner. However, it is not always possible to have this tool, so we have the following tips.
- Prevention helps to avoid the most common diseases and conditions: This can be applied with a good diet, physical exercise, applying the necessary vaccines or care and hygiene. Our horse will thank us
- Observation and attention: Despite prevention our horse can be infected with a disease or develop it due to genetic conditions. It is important to pay attention to the behavioral changes of our horse.
- Basic knowledge: We must be aware of the diseases that can affect our horse, symptoms and possible treatments. Early detection can help us alleviate the most negative effects or go to the veterinarian in a timely manner without regular controls.
Following these tips, we can solve any health situation in time, avoiding serious sequelae. To facilitate the application of these tips we will give you a series of tips for each disease that we mention in the article.
Without further ate, let’s get started.
Tetanus in horses – Common diseases in horses
This is one of the most common diseases in horses and is among the most serious. It can quickly lead to the death of the horse. In addition, the horse cannot be cured on its only so it is of immediate attention.
This disease is among the most common and serious diseases. It is produced by the bacterium “Clostridium tetani”, which is also known as Nicolaier’s bacillus, in honor of Arthur Nicolaer, its discoverer. This bacterium is found in the soil and on the seabed with abundant organic matter. They usually enter the body through some wound. The closer the wound is to the brain, the more rapidly the disease develops.
This bacterium produces toxins that affect the nervous system generating strong contractions in the muscles. This produces stiffness and involuntary contractions, leading to respiratory paralysis.
When working without oxygen, one of the recommendations is to keep the wounds that the horse has ventilated. In addition, any wounds should be disinfected immediately using hydrogen peroxide.
Last but not least, it is important to vaccinate the horse with tetanus toxoid to avoid the disease. Even taking the necessary precautions, this may not be enough. Therefore, we must be attentive to several indicators.
Indicators and alerts in relation to tetanus in horses
We must be alert to the appearance of the following indicators:
- Frequent muscle contractions: If these seem to be involuntary we must be attentive because it is a main symptom.
- Tight jaws that cannot be opened: This is an advanced symptom and begins to compromise the horse’s ability to feed.
- The horse’s legs are straight and cannot bend or bend with great difficulty. This type of rigidity prevents the horse from moving.
- Expression of exaggerated smile on the horse. This symptom reflects the contraction of the facial muscles. You can also see the eyes wide open.
As we can see the signs of stiffness, involuntary contraction and paralysis are symptoms that we cannot ignore. This disease evolves very quickly and in a matter of two weeks can kill the horse. It takes a week to develop symptoms and in about a week they can peak by paralyzing breathing. They can leave serious sequelae so maximum attention is suggested.
Our greatest tool against tetanus is vaccination according to the scheme indicated by the veterinarian.
You can also have an injection of the toxoid so that in case of detecting the infection it is injected into the horse. This vaccine will not harm you and in case of tetanus it will stop the progression of the disease. However, this is not a substitute for the corresponding veterinary assessment, it is only an emergency measure.
Our horse will be well cared for if we comply with the vaccination. But it is also important to have knowledge to go to the veterinarian in time in case of this disease.
Equine Colic – common diseases in horses
Equine colic is one of the most common diseases in horses, but despite being so common it can also be deadly. It occurs for different reasons, but the most common are:
- Stones of salt or calcium in an organ.
The severe pain caused by equine colic can result in the horse’s rejection of food and water. This can lead to dehydration and malnutrition.
Serious and common illnesses can be prevented or treated in time
Without a doubt, prevention is a great ally of health. But we must also emphasize that knowledge of symptoms and timely care can be the difference between life and death. That is why we must know the symptoms of the most common and serious diseases suffered by horses.
For Gustavo Mirabal Castro this knowledge is key for any horse lover. With it we can give welfare to these beautiful animals and we could even save their lives one day.