Preventative Health Care
The Milverton Wellesley Veterinary Services equine veterinarians want to ensure your horse remains in peak physical condition throughout the year. The following preventative health care measure will give you peace of mind knowing that your horse is healthly and pain free.
An annual physical examination is one of the best ways to detect any underlying health issues and implement strategies to deal with them promptly. We will keep permanent records of your horse’s health and condition, allowing us to monitor any future changes.
Many horses benefit greatly from an annual dental exam, to ensure their teeth and gums remain free from pain and malocclusion. The condition of the horse’s teeth, age, and requirement to wear a bit may help dictate the frequency with which dental floating may be necessary.
Vaccinating your horse to prevent disease is always the preferred option, as opposed to treating a preventable disease. Rabies vaccination is mandatory in Canada. Others that are considered core vaccines by the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) include vaccination against Tetanus, West Nile Virus, and the Eastern and Western Encephalitis viruses.
Fecal Egg Counts
With increasing resistance of parasites (intestinal worms) to dewormers, it is wise to examine your horse’s feces at least annually to ensure the worm burden is kept low.
Performing a fecal egg count before turn out in the spring will determine if the parasite burden within the intestinal tract of your horse is high enough to contaminate pastures. Based on the results, you can choose to deworm or not. Keeping worm burdens low in your horse will also help protect the others in the same pasture. Fecal egg counts in the fall will ensure parasite numbers are low going into winter. Deworming may not always be necessary. Reduction in medication use will help prevent parasite resistance in the future.
CBC General Health Profile
A Complete Blood Count (CBC) and General Health Profile would require a blood sample, taken as part of your horse’s annual physical examination. The blood results allow your veterinarian to detect any metabolic diseases which could be managed before they cause severe health issues.