HORSE HEALTH : Three of the most frequent horse ailments

Horse Racing

HORSE HEALTH : Three of the most frequent horse ailments

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

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Laminitis is an inflammation of the laminae in horse's hooves. The tissue is a type of connective tissue that attaches the coffin bone to the hoof wall. It is a very serious condition that can result in lameness in horses and may even lead to its eventual euthanasia. Typically, the condition affects the front hooves, but it can affect all four. The condition progresses through four stages, which include the developmental stage, acute, subacute, and chronic. Obesity, high fevers, and working on hard surfaces are considered to be risk factors.


In horses, colic is a series of conditions that cause varying degrees of abdominal pain. It is a digestive disorder that is very common in horses. The severity of colic varies from mild to severe to the point of euthanization. The most common types of colic include spasmodic and impact colic. Spasmodic colic is caused by excessive gas that causes pain when it stretches the gut. Impact colic occurs when the gut is stretched due to a build-up of feed due to dryness or coarseness of the feed or some form of obstruction. Pain occurs when the stretched gut wall contracts in an attempt to push out the obstruction. Horses suffering from colic pain may bite at their flank or belly or make kicking motions toward it. In some cases, an animal may attempt to lie down or roll on the ground. Other symptoms of colic include anxiety, lack of appetite or defecation, playing in water, an elevated pulse rate, and/ or seeming to play in their water bucket yet not drinking from it.


Equine arthritis is a term that is given to swelling, redness, and pain (inflammation) of the joints. The inflammation typically hinders the animal's ability to move comfortably and freely. There are several different types of arthritis that can affect horses, including osteoarthritis. These conditions include traumatic arthritis, septic arthritis, subchondral cystic lesions, and osteochondritis dissecans. Anti-inflammatory drugs can be helpful in the treatment of arthritis in aging horses, as may certain types of physical therapy

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