Equine

Why Horses Need Annual Wellness Exams

Sep 8 • 2 minute read

Every pet requires exams to track its health. Annual wellness exams are necessary for hoses, however, if the horse is young, aging, or has medical problems, your vet may recommend more frequent checkups. The exams focus on vital aspects of your horse’s health, including its temperature, respiratory system, pulse, heart function, reflexes, weight, and general body wellness.

With consistent training, the horse can learn to feel comfortable and remain still during a veterinary exam. You should let the vet lead the way in handling the horse during the wellness exam. The following are three main reasons why horses need annual wellness exams.

Exams Help You to Keep Track of Your Horse’s Health

The vet does an equine wellness exam to check for health developments and problems such as:

  • Osteoarthritis
  • Obesity
  • Uveitis
  • Heart Murmurs
  • Cancer
  • Laminitis
  • Pregnancy

The equine exam also consists of a basic assessment to determine your horse’s disposition. Horses used in sports must be confident and responsive since they will perform in a crowd of people. The results from the exam will be used as a reference if your horse starts showing opposite tendencies. Orthopedic and musculoskeletal problems can slow down a horse’s performance. By doing a wellness exam, you can keep track of your horse’s state and easily pull it from sports if the vet notes change.

The wellness exams also assess your horse’s weight. Getting a horse to stay still on the weight scale is challenging so the vet may give you a rough estimate. The estimated weight will help you keep the horse on a diet to prevent obesity and other weight-related illnesses.

Exams Can Help Manage Illnesses

By scheduling annual wellness exams for your horse, you can easily detect and treat health problems before they progress. Abnormal growths or inflammation in the gums, ears, or under the fur can easily go unnoticed in horses, but the vet checks for these issues during the annual wellness exam.

Depending on your horse’s breed, it might be prone to some illnesses. For instance, the Draft breed is susceptible to Equine Polysaccharide Storage Myopathy (EPSM), which leads to the accumulation of glycogen and abnormal polysaccharide skeletal muscles. By doing the exams, the vet will note any issue that might arise in the foreseeable future and help you to manage it.

Exams Provide Preventive Measures

Preventive measures such as vaccines are administered during annual wellness exams. Some of the most common vaccines in horses include:

  • Tetanus Vaccine
  • Rabies Vaccine
  • West Nile Virus Vaccine

Scheduling the wellness exams together with the vaccine helps you to save time and money. Taking your horse for wellness exams also allows the vet to do a fecal egg count test. The test shows any parasite eggs in your horse. Failure to take your horse for examinations can lead to internal parasite attacks that go unnoticed.

Taking your horse for wellness exams benefits both you and the horse. The horse will live a quality life led by prevention and early treatment of illness. You will get to spend more quality time with a healthy pet and save money on costly veterinary care that can be avoided by early prevention.

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