Summertime for Horses
Summer is well underway. This is typically a time when vets are called to provide thorough annual health checkups for horses. While many vets offer their services free-of-charge to horse rescue organizations, veterinary care – and overall health care – is still a significant cost for all of these terrific organizations.
With that in mind, here’s a quick overview. We encourage all PonyUP! Friends to keep these costs in mind, and do what you can to help.
Vaccinations: The best immunity derived from many vaccines is during the first two to three months after they are given. Mosquitoes transmit one of the more common vaccinated diseases, encephalitis, as well as the West Nile Virus, so horses need the best protection during the worst of the mosquito season. Other diseases such as rhino and flu are transmitted from horse to horse.
Pre-Show Season Soundness Exam: This evaluative exam helps ensure a long, useful, and comfortable life for horses. This evaluation establishes a baseline on horses’ soundness and helps identify future health risks and opportunities for early intervention.
Supplements: When it comes to the nutrition of rescued horses, rescue organizations are often playing catch-up. Many rescued horses have suffered neglect and near starvation, and they often need nutritional supplements to regain their health.
Grooming Supplies: Horse rescue organizations always need to replenish their stock of shampoo, hoof care products, fly spray, and other grooming essentials.
Spring Turnout: Horse rescue organizations need to be cautious about turning horses out onto lush green pastures. The sudden introduction of a grass-rich diet can lead to founder and other health problems, especially in horses that are stressed or unsound. For this reason, many horse rescue organizations are still in need of hay during the summer months.
Disease Monitoring: Horses need to be closely watched for signs of thrush or rain rot that can occur during the early wet part of spring. Horse rescue organizations need veterinary supplies to treat these conditions.
De-Worming: Parasite control isn’t something to think about only in the spring. Fecal testing helps horse rescue organizations evaluate the effectiveness of parasite control programs, and should be performed several times per year.
Tooth Care: While there are some vets who are well trained in dentistry, horse rescue organizations frequently seek the services of certified equine dentists. Many rescued horses need immediate dental work so that they can eat properly and gain weight. Horse dentists are always welcome volunteers!
These are just some of the pressing needs for horses in rescue care. Like you, we’re doing what we can to ease the financial burden of horse rescue organizations everywhere.