Common Health Issues With Horses To Know The Signs Of

Taking care of your horses or any of your pets is challenging since you can’t speak to them or know how they feel. One of your primary concerns is probably about how to keep them healthy all the time.

The good news is that you can determine the signs that your horses are not feeling well or if something is bothering them early. By all means, you can get veterinary treatment for them right away.

Here are the common health issues that horses get and how to find out if that is what’s wrong with them:

Health Issue #1: Rain Scald

The common skin condition called rainscald in horses is caused by a bacteria named Dermatophilus congolensis. You will know your horse has rain scald when flat scabs appear on the skin of the horse. It is due to prolonged exposure to moisture, especially in the autumn and winter months. The parts of the horse that may tend to show these scabs are the flanks and the back.

Vet In Discussion With Horse Owner

Health Issue #2: Digestive Problems Due to Colic

Colic is considered a major problem which may be why it can be considered a horse’s number one enemy. If you observe your horse carefully and regularly, you might see that your horse seems to have extreme pain in his abdomen which indicates the presence of colic. 

The term colic is actually an umbrella term for a wide variety of abdominal problems. So, you need a vet to examine your horse to find out the exact cause of the colic. To resolve this health issue, your horse may have to undergo surgery.

Health Issue #3: Bad Teeth

You might first notice that something is wrong with your horse’s teeth if you get a whiff of strong odor from its mouth. The best treatment for bad teeth is for your horse to get dental check-ups regularly from a competent vet. 

Health Issue #4: Restlessness

It is not enough to simply provide adequate feed and water to your horse. You will also have to give them regular exercise, either by letting them run loose in a closed field or by riding them as often as possible without overworking them. 

A horse that hasn’t been exercised lately will show signs of restlessness so a perceptive horse owner will realize right away that the horse needs exercise.

Veterinary horses on the farm
Veterinary horses on the farm making an inquiry with the tablet

Health Issue #5: Laminitis

The hooves of a horse can be attacked by laminitis which induces inflammation that can be very painful for a horse. Bear in mind that horses tend to stand for long periods of time. So if you see that your horse seems to be reluctant to be exercised or even to move a lot, then you will have to have its hooves checked. 

Other signs of laminitis in a horse are an elevated heart rate and a tendency to rock on its heels. The vet might recommend performance boots to prevent the onset of laminitis.

Health Issue #6: Osteoarthritis

This condition might be better known as Degenerative Joint Disease because it attacks the joints of a horse, particularly the leg joints. You may notice that the joints of your horse seem inflamed or puffed up when they have a disease, leading to rather stiff movements. 

Unfortunately, horse owners tend to retire their horses when osteoarthritis is present because there is no known cure for it. You need to do preventive routines like warming up your horse adequately before letting them perform and letting them cool down sufficiently after a performance. You can also let your horses have a change of riding terrain and not letting them run on very hard surfaces too.

Health Issue #7: Back Problems

Your horse could be feeling pain in its back for reasons such as overuse or carrying a saddle that doesn’t fit very well. A perceptive horse rider will notice right away when the horse seems to have trouble competing well due to back pain. The solution to this problem is to give your horse sufficient rest without any saddle on its back.

For further guidance on how to care for your horse, check out this video: 


Horses are very loyal animals that are used for work and for leisure by their human owners. If you love your horse, you may want to observe them daily to check for any health problems. 

The sooner you give veterinary care to your horse, the easier it gets to treat their health issues or even to prevent these health problems from cropping up. If you give this kind of care to your horse, chances are, there won’t be very serious health problems afflicting them. If not, you can at least minimize the onset of any dangerous health issues from the start.



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