What are the Ten Signs of a Healthy Horse?

Horses can vary regarding behavior, attitude, and strength, but there are certain signs of sound health that apply to one and all. To ensure good health condition of your horse, try to minimize its stress, get an annual health check-up and regular vaccinations, feed quality food, provide appropriate accommodation, and make sure that it has its own time with itself and with fellow horses.

If you know how a healthy horse looks like, you can easily understand when your horse's health has deteriorated. Note below the ten signs of a healthy horse:

        1.  Eyes and nose: Bright eyes and a definite nose are the sign of good horse health. Discolored or cloudy eyes and excessive discharge or discolored discharge from the nose is a sign of worry.

        2.  Coat: Shiny and bright coat indicate good appetite and regular grooming. Dullness in the coat is indicative of lack of nutrition or presence of parasites.

       3. Gums: Moist and Salmon Pink gums are symbolic of good health. If they appear pale, purple, deep red or yellowish, then this calls for immediate medical attention.

       4.  Teeth: if your horse is dropping too much feed out of its mouth or if it is having difficulty with chewing, then you must call a vet. It is essential, especially in the case of old horses, to float or rasp their teeth regularly as sharp points may develop out of uneven wear.

       5.  Hooves and legs: Legs with lumps, bumps, cuts or swelling and long, brittle, and weak hooves are a sign of poor health condition. Clean legs and healthy feet require regular grooming, nutritional diet, and periodic checks.

      6. Body and weight: As per the Henneke Body Condition scoring system, your horse’s body condition should score 4-5 on a 9-point scale. The optimum health condition of the horse must be maintained to ensure that it is neither too obese nor to thin. In certain seasons, as a part of self-balancing act, horses may lose weight suddenly. Your horse’s ribs should not be visible, but they should be felt.

          7.  Idle conditions:

ü  Standard respiration rate of 8-16 breaths per minute at rest.
ü  Standard pulse rate of 26-44 beats per minute at rest.
ü  Temperature around 37.2-38.3 degree Celsius.
ü  Plentiful gut sounds like gurgling, occasional roars and growls are normal
ü  When you gently press the gums and it turns white and returns to natural pink shade, then that is normal. 
ü  If you pinch the base of neck or shoulder and it snaps back to normal, this indicates your horse is sufficiently hydrated.

        8.  Appetite: If your horse is disinterested in food then it indicates that it is not feeling good or something is wrong with its health. Lack of appetite points at infectious diseases such as influenza or West Nile virus. At times, teeth problems may prevent eating, so it is essential to know the reason behind disinterest in food.

          9.    Movement: Free-flowing movement without any lameness is a sign of good health. Short steps or irregular gait is abnormal. Watch them on TVG.

         10.  Attitude: A bright, alert and active horse is a healthy horse. If your horse is disinterested, dull or listless, then consult a vet now!
What are the Ten Signs of a Healthy Horse? What are the Ten Signs of a Healthy Horse? Reviewed by Pravesh Kumar Maurya on 23:16 Rating: 5

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