Create a parasite control plan to help your horse stay parasite free and healthy.
A routine parasite control plan should be in place to help you horse to stay parasite free and healthy. Parasites can be prevented and controlled in various ways. Some keys to preventing parasites and treating them:
clean paddocks (no build up of manure, stagnant water, moldy/old hay)
clean sheds (clean fresh sheds will help diminish insects as well as better air quality for your horses)
clean fresh water (tank should be algae free, fresh cold water in summer months)
Fecal Egg Count Reduction Test
treating only for which parasites your horse has and rotating products to diminish parasite resiliency
knowing more prominent parasites in your area/environment
Have your veterinarian perform a lameness exam to aid in diagnosing cause of lameness.
A lameness exam is a great way to get the diagnosis of your horses lameness started. The lameness exam is often broken up in to multiple steps:
Physical Examination: visually examining the horse of any visible signs of lameness, conformation defects, palpation and manipulation to view heat, pain or swelling.
Examination in Motion: examining the horse in its 3 gaits (if horse is capable of doing more then a walk). Often done in hand or ridden.
Flexion Tests: stress particular areas and structures in the horse to see if they show any lameness or worsened lameness. Flexion of a joint is often performed and horse is immediately asked to trot away.
New arrivals and sick horses should be quarantined/isolated for a minimum of 14 days, ideally 30 days.
Isolating new arrivals and sick horses allows you to properly monitor said horse while keeping the others in your herd safe. While horse is isolated you should monitor his manure, feed/water intake, for any signs of sickness/disease and make sure to do a daily health check. By keeping new arrivals and sick horses in quarantine you are preventing the spread of sickness and disease to your main herd as well as making sure these new arrivals don’t catch anything for the residing herd as well.
The number one disease prevention rule is cleaning.
Disinfection is key to preventing the spread of disease and unwanted sickness on your farm. There is a three step process to proper disinfection. Step One: remove loose material. Step Two: wash with warm soapy water, rinse thoroughly and dry. Step Three: Disinfect (Skelding, 2013)