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Health Problems In Horses During Winter And Ways To Overcome Them

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DATE POSTED:November 17, 2020

Since winter is approaching fast, it is a busy time of the year with holidays just around the corner. All the other chores also come along with the winters. Which includes cleaning the house, decorating it, and working on your resolution.

Amidst all this, it is possible that being a horse owner, you forget that winter is also coming for your horse. You should not forget about your horse(s) in your busy schedule because they, too, are your responsibility.

Winter comes and brings along with its specific health problems for horses. Problems which, if they are not treated right away, can cause lifetime issues with your horse. If you are a horse owner, then this blog will prove very useful to you.

Because we have decided to discuss some of the most common winter health problems in horses and how you can deal with them.

Winter Health Problems In Horses

If winter is around the corner, then no matter how much you prepare for it, there is a chance that your horse can get sick. So, let’s discuss some of the problems that your horse can face health-wise.

1. Dehydration

The general notion is that since it is winter, nobody wants to drink water. Especially not as much as it is necessary for summers, including pets. If you think that it’s cold and your horse does not want water, you need to reconsider. Giving less water to your horse can lead to dehydration. There have been many researches, especially in Pennsylvania, which proved that horses like to drink warm water.

This means that horses, when they drink warm water in winters, will drink more water than usual. It is their physical requirement to drink more water in winter. But, they would NOT drink the water if it is cold.

 

2. Respiratory Problem

Sometimes even humans suffer from respiratory diseases in winters. But, the horse is just an animal, and that poor fellow cannot tell if he is having a hard time breathing. The cold months of the year can weaken the respiratory system of your horse.

The moist and dank hay and staying indoors for too long in the stable can cause the prevalence of respiratory issues.

The breathing problem can eventually lead to bigger issues like asthma if not treated on time.

3. Joint Stiffness

The weather of winter is cold, moist, and damp, leading to joint stiffness in animals. Horse being such a vast and sturdy animal, can be an easy target of joint stiffness. Because pain in horses happens mostly because of chronic conditions like inflammation or arthritis.

Due to the weather, many horse owners provide less exercise to their horses, which aids the illness. It aids the disease because if the horse is not active, its body won’t be warm, and hence his joints get stiff. A happy horse is the one who is healthy because it is an animal which can’t work with stiff joints.

4. Hooves

Due to weather conditions, many horse owners neglect the hooves’ health of their horses. The wet and muddy environment can make cleaning the hooves a tedious job, and this is why many owners put this work off until absolutely necessary.

Not keeping the hooves dry and clean can lead your horse to have white line thrush. This animal depends on its hooves for everything because It is a-mount animal. So, if its hooves are in bad condition, then it is pretty much useless for you and even for itself –because it won’t be able to walk.

 

5. Weight Issues

Unlike humans, horses lose weight in winters. This is because they eat the usual amount of food daily, but their bodies burn more calories to stay warm. If the quantity of a horse’s food is not more in winters, your horse can emerge as a skinny and vulnerable fellow at the end of winters.

The right quantity of food is necessary to keep your horse healthy and happy during the winter.

Caring For Your Horse And Dealing With Their Health Problems

Since we have discussed the winter health problems in horses, it is now time to discuss how you can fight those problems.

1. More Water For Your Horse

Horses can’t speak, so you will have to take care of their essential needs yourself. It is not true that horses need less water in winters, but on the contrary.

They need more water but warmer. To keep your horse’s water warm, you can buy a bucket heater or insulate the trough. To lower the water’s freezing point, you can add a bit of salt. Salt will also fulfill their sodium intake.

If you don’t keep your horse well hydrated, it can end very badly because it can cause many diseases like colic.

2. Hooves Care

To avoid getting fungus or issues on the horse’s hooves. You should keep them dry and clean at all rates. The ideal time duration to clean the hooves are 6 to 12 weeks.

The hooves grow slowly in winters, so you can just keep them dry and clean them after 12 weeks minimum. You can also coat the hooves with anti-bacterial/fungal cream to reduce the chances of hooves disease.

3. Feed Adjustment For Horses

To ensure that your horse is not drastically getting weaker or losing weight, you should increase its food supply. Give your horse plenty to eat so that their bodies can work twice as hard as in summers, and they keep warm.

Leaving an adequate supply of dry hay for your horse at all times is the best option generally. You can also ask your vet about how much food you should give to your horse and what you should give it (especially for winters). Horses take 90% of their nutrients from what they eat, so ensure the quantity and quality of food.

4. Providing A Shelter

Winter is a season of rains, strong winds, sleet, and storms. It is not fair to your horse if you don’t provide them a warm and cozy place to live. Giving your horse a shed will help you in keeping it safe from stiff joints and respiratory problems.

Because the horse won’t have to face the harsh weather directly. To fight both these diseases, you should also provide exercise and warm clothes to your pet. The stable/shed should be well ventilated to avoid any molds or moistness.

5. Exercise

Exercise can keep the body of your horse warm and can keep it fit. If you regularly walk your horse, the issue of stiff joints will solve. Exercise keeps the joints of the horse working and keeps the breathing channels open and clear of any mucus or coating.

Conclusion

These were some of the basic problems and their solutions. Keeping your horse healthy in winters is not as difficult as it might seem if you really care about your horse. And now that you are aware of the problems your horse might face, you should prepare yourself beforehand to deal with any issues that arise due to winter.

Author Bio

Gloria Kopp is currently working as a Business Manager at EssaysnAssignments. She has done great work in helping out people, and she has also shaped many lives with this notion. Apart from this, she loves traveling and visiting different cultures.

 

 

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