We recommend yearly nose-to-tail exams for all our equine patients. We will check the mouth for overgrown or infected teeth (see our dentistry section for more details). Then we will check the eyes and lymph nodes. We will listen to your horse’s heart to make sure there are no murmurs or irregular heart beats and check the lungs to be help ensure your horse will perform at his full potential. Then we will check the skin and hair coat and palpate his back for signs of soreness. Last but perhaps most importantly, we will check your horse’s legs and hooves for any abnormalities that may make him uncomfortable when riding.
Many undesirable horse behaviors such as head tossing, kicking when the feet are handled, bucking, or rearing can be caused by a physical problem. A complete exam will help to find any signs of this. If we don’t find a physical cause of your horse’s problem behavior, we will provide a brief behavioral consultation as part of our physical exam to help look for a possible source of the problem. And we will put you in touch with a natural horsemanship trainer who can help you solve undesirable behavior.
We follow the vaccine guidelines of the American Association of Equine Practitioners and therefore advise vaccinations based on your horse’s lifestyle. All horses living in our area should receive twice yearly vaccinations – the exact vaccinations will depend on how much your horse travels and how many horses he comes in contact with.
Parasite prevention is an important part of equine wellness care. Deworming should not be done too often as this will lead to parasite resistance and the dewormers will stop working. Instead, fecal egg counts should be run to determine how often each horse should be dewormed. It varies from every two months to every six months depending on the horse. We can check fecal egg counts in our clinic so you can get same-day results on whether deworming is needed for your horse.