Important Information About Horse Examinations and Vaccines
What happens during an equine wellness examination?
Exactly what happens during an equine wellness examination can vary depending on your veterinarian, but typically it can include:
An assessment of body condition
Examination of the haircoat and skin
Evaluation of the eyes and eyelids
Listening to the abdomen
Listening to the heart rate and rhythm
Dental examination including assessment for tooth growth control (known as floating)
Parasite control consultation
The wellness examination is the perfect time to raise any concerns that you may have about the growth, development or health of your equine. Discussion around nutrition, behavior and any emerging disease threats to equines is usual.
When should the examination be carried out?
An annual wellness exam should ideally be performed between March and May in order to ensure that seasonal vaccinations and parasite control treatments are given at the optimum time.
Vaccinations are just as important for horses as they are for humans and household pets. Equine vaccinations are the only proven method of protecting against a variety of debilitating and even life-threatening health problems including influenza, herpes and tetanus. This can save your animal from discomfort and prevent expensive and often unsuccessful medical treatments.
All horses should be routinely vaccinated against tetanus and equine influenza. Other available vaccines include herpes, rotavirus and equine viral arteritis (EVA) and your veterinarian will be able to recommend these, if suitable, for your horse.
If you are planning on competing your horse in any way, the event organizer may require you to provide proof of vaccinations, particularly flu vaccinations. This is to minimize the risks of infectious diseases at events where large numbers of horses come into contact with one another.