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All About Horses | PetsWeekly

Biosecurity at the Barn

A recent outbreak of VSV, or Vesicular Stomatitis Virus, a nasty virus that causes awful sores in your horse’s mouth, reminds me that we can never be too careful when it comes to biosecurity measures for our pets.

What is Biosecurity?

Biosecurity refers to measures taken to protect yourself or your animals from hazardous biological agents, like viruses. Biosecurity measures can include quarantine, changing clothes between groups of animals or places, washing tools and shoes, and so on.

Why Should I Worry?

Any time you invite someone to your farm or property, they may bring some unwanted visitors. Clothing, shoes, cars, tack, other animals, wildlife, tools – all can carry disease. Anything that was used on the same species (and sometimes others) can harbor something that could make your animal sick. We need to be aware of the potential vectors and learn how to help minimize risk.

Read more: Biosecurity at the Barn

How to Choose A Farrier

The most important things you can do for your horse includes feeding a balanced diet and providing proper care for their feet. Choosing a farrier is as important, or more so, than choosing a veterinarian or boarding facility.

Finding the right farrier will take time, but avoiding lifelong injury or crippling your horse due to improper shoeing will save you thousands of dollars, and a lot of heartache, in the long run.

Here are some tips on how to find a farrier (horseshoer or blacksmith) and why it's so important to select a great person to work with your horse.

Read more: How to Choose A Farrier

Do You Really Have The Commitment To Own A Horse?

Owning a horse requires considerable commitment on your part. He will need stabling, feeding, mucking out, grooming, and exercising. While this isn’t much different to owning a dog, a combination of the size of the horse and the fact that you will usually have to travel to the stables means that you may regret your decision, especially on cold and dark mornings when you want nothing more than to stay in bed and have a cup of coffee. Horses are big animals and they require regular care and attention. You need to ensure that they have a good quality feed, permanent access to water, and that you are giving horse supplements to help ensure that they get all of the vitamins and nutrients that they require. Certain supplements, like NAF horse can prove especially useful if your horse has undergone a change in its exercise regimen.

Read more: Do You Really Have The Commitment To Own A Horse?

Taking Care of Your Horse – Making Sure They Get the Best Nutrition

Whether you horse is a beloved family pet or used in competitions - you want to keep your horse happy and healthy for as long as possible. Ensuring your horses have a well-balanced diet and are getting all the nutrition they need can be a big part of that. Various foods and substances are recommended for horses but here are three of the simplest and the most recommended dietary supplements for horses:

Seaweed for Horses

Did you know seaweed can be a relatively cheap supplement that’s great for hoof and coat health? Seaweed is a natural source of vitamins and minerals for horses; in particular it’s a great source of iodine. Iodine is important for healthy development and growth in horses because it is used to synthesize thyroid hormones – which contributes to regulating metabolism, balancing body temperature and oxygen usage.  Seaweed also provides your equine friends with other useful healthy, natural substances including amino acids, vitamins A, B, C, E and K, calcium, iron, magnesium, sodium and many others – all which help to fuel a healthy and happy horse.

Read more: Taking Care of Your Horse – Making Sure They Get the Best Nutrition

Horse Worming Advice

Most horse owners are aware of the need to worm their horses on a regular basis. Although a horse is able to tolerate a small amount of worms without any problems, a large number of worms can lead to weight loss and diarrhea and therefore it is important to use horse wormers. Most of the worms that affect horses have a similar life cycle in that the horse swallows the worm larvae from the pasture, the larvae then spend time developing in the horse, before reaching adulthood in the bowel.

It has been shown that most owners use a horse wormer frequently enough to prevent a significant infection developing. There are three commonly used classes of horse wormers, these are macrocyclic lactones, such as Eqvalan and Equimax; pyrantel embonate such as Strongid P Paste, and benzimidacoles such as Panacur. Horse wormers should be used routinely, with set intervals between each dose. It is important to ensure that the correct dose is used, in particular to make sure that you do not under dose. It is also important to make certain that the class of drug is rotated on a yearly basis so that the worms do not grow resistant to the wormer being used.

Read more: Horse Worming Advice

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