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Equine Health & Maintenance

What vaccines does my horse need and how often should they be given?

Two PDF downloads for adult horse and foal vaccination schedule.

The first PDF file is for Adult Horse vaccination schedule, the second PDF download is for the Foal vaccination schedule.

What are hock injections all about?


Distal tarsitis, often referred to as "bone spavin", is the most common cause of clinical lameness associated with the tarsus (or "hock") in horses. Distal tarsitis is an inflammation of the lower hock joint(s), and occasionally the proximal intertarsal joints. Distal tarsitis is a clinical diagnosis.

In other words, demonstration of pain in distal tarsal joints is diagnostic. Pain is demonstrated upon clinical examination, lameness characteristics, response to Churchill's Hock testing, hock flexion, and response to intra-articular anesthesia. Radiographs are frequently used to assess the presence and severity of distal tarsitis. It is important to note, however, that joint inflammation (arthritis) is invisible on a radiograph (which provides only structural information). Since the tarsus is a low-motion area, radiographic changes and the presence of distal tarsitis do not always correlate.

The low-motion nature of the distal tarsal joints also allows veterinarians to be very aggressive regarding treatment, which usually involves intra-articular (joint) injections. Typically, a combination of steroids and hyaluronan is used. Although the excessive use of steroids can be harmful to joints, the lack of movement within the distal tarsal joints presents little risk in regard to future function and performance. In fact, horses that are refractory to distal tarsal injections may be candidates for chemical fusion, which eliminates the joints altogether and produces soundness.

What is an example of a worming program?

Rotation Deworming Schedule: Veterinarians recommend deworming every two months.

JANUARY/FEBRUARY (ROTATION 1)
Compound: Pyrantel
Product (choose one): Durvet Pyrantel, Strongid Paste, Exodus Paste, Primex

MARCH/APRIL (ROTATION 2)
Compound: Benzimidazole
Product (choose one): Panacur Paste, Panacur PowerPac, Safe-Guard Paste, Safe-Guard Power-Dose, Anthelcide EQ

MAY/JUNE (ROTATION 3)
Compound: Ivermectin
Product (choose one): Equimax Paste (with praziquantal), Zimecterin Paste, Zimecterin Gold (with praziquantel), Quest Equine Gel (Moxidectin), Quest Plus Gel (Moxidectin with praziquantel)

JULY/AUGUST (ROTATION 4)
Compound: Pyrantel
Product (choose one): Durvet Pyrantel, Strongid Paste, Exodus Paste

SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER (ROTATION 5)
Compound: Benzimidazole
Product (choose one): Panacur Paste, Panacur PowerPac, Safe-Guard Paste, Safe-Guard Power-Dose, Anthelcide EQ

NOVEMBER/DECEMBER (ROTATION 6)
Compound: Ivermectin
Product (choose one): Equimax Paste (with praziquantal), Zimecterin Paste, Zimecterin Gold (with praziquantel), Quest Equine Gel (Moxidectin), Quest Plus Gel (Moxidectin with praziquantel)


COMMON EQUINE INTERNAL PARASITES:

Pinworms: Pinworm eggs are picked up by horses from contaminated feed, water, or bedding. These worms are irritating, causing the horse to rub its tail, resulting in hair loss and sometimes injury to the tail and rump.

Ascarids (large Roundworms): The adult stages of the large roundworm is found in the small intestine, where the female passes large numbers of eggs into the manure. In about two weeks, these eggs become infective and the horse picks them up while grazing. The larvae migrate into the blood vessels and are carried to the liver and lungs. The immature worms are coughed up and swallowed, maturing in the small intestine to complete the life cycle.

Bots: Bots are the immature maggot stages in the life cycle of the bot fly, the adult of which resembles the honeybee in general appearance. The females lay their eggs by attaching them to the hairs of the front legs, throat, and under line. As the horse licks itself, the larvae attach themselves to the lips and tongue and burrow into these tissues. After about three weeks they attach themselves to the lining of the stomach, where they may remain for several months, causing additional damage.

Large Strongyles (Blood Worms): Adult strongyles are found firmly attached to the walls of the large intestine, where the females pass large numbers of eggs into the manure. These eggs hatch and the larvae climb blades of grass and are swallowed. The larvae then migrate to the large arteries which supply the intestines. As the artery walls are damaged, blood clots form and break away, causing colic.

Tapeworms: Difficult to diagnose, it is estimated that 40% of the horses in the U.S. are affected. Tapeworms are contracted during grazing, when the horse ingests the intermediate host, a mite found on plants. Once infected, tapeworms contribute to digestive problems, colic and malnourishment. Tapeworms are often undetected using normal fecal flotation methods.

What is shockwave therapy?

Extracorporeal High-Energy Shockwave Therapy (ESWT) is a new treatment methodology that is currently gaining popularity in the world of performance horse medicine. ESWT was first developed for humans to break up kidney stones without the need for invasive surgery. Subsequently, it was recognized that ESWT might have applications in orthopedics as well.

High-intensity waves apply mechanical pressure and tension on tissues. These forces stimulate new bone formation and removal of excessive osseous tissue (calcification). The effects of shock waves occur in regions where tissue density changes, such as bone/ tendon or bone/ ligament interfaces. We have had high success rates treating conditions such as bucked shins, inflamed suspensories, navicular disease, hock arthritis, and sore back muscles, Research shows better quality healing and improved recovery rates.

 
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