Posts Tagged ‘cleaning’

How To Ease the Top 3 Health Issues of Older Horses

Posted on: August 11th, 2017 by Liddleworks Indie Media No Comments

Aging is just a fact of life, and in your horse’s case, it means the same as for the rest of us: joints may not be as supple, internal systems can break down and be less effective, and it’s important to keep an eye on daily functioning to ensure your horse isn’t showing signs of illness.

The top three to look out for are arthritis, heart murmurs, and Cushing’s disease. We’ve also got a few tips on how to look after older horses and ease their discomfort. This will keep them as healthy as possible between vet check-ups.

Arthritis in an Older Horse

While incurable, arthritis can a natural part of a horse’s aging process. With proper care, it can be managed. Swelling around the joints, lameness, stiffness, and reluctance to move forwards are all possible signs of arthritis. If you are concerned, have your vet confirm the condition with flexion tests and an x-ray. Your vet may prescribe anti-inflammatory medication or in more serious cases perform surgery to remove cartilage.

What can you do? Use Leg Saver equine therapy to help with the inflammation. You can also provide daily turnout time to keep your horse moving and joints loose. Adding a daily joint supplement can help, and regular gentle massages with a professional can also help ease the pain.

Heart Murmurs

A heart murmur is the result of a leaky valve that results in the rapid filling and expulsion of blood from the heart. For older, less active horses, it won’t mean as many complications as for a competitive horse. Signs vary from tiredness, loss of appetite, to increased temperature, respiratory and heart rates. Or there may be no signs at all, only your vet confirm a heart murmur with the use of a stethoscope, followed by an ultrasound or electrocardiograph.

What can you do? Check your horse’s heart rate on a regular basis, avoid stress by keeping him on a daily routine, and ensure his weight is kept in check to avoid excess strain on the heart.

Cushing’s Disease

Also known as Pituitary Pars Intermedia Dysfunction (PPID), Cushing’s Disease is caused by the lack of secretion control of hormones ACTH and cortisol. This happens when the hypothalamus suffers nerve degeneration. Watch for increased thirst, tiredness, weightloss, if your horse suddenly develops a curly coat, and fat deposits cropping up on their neck and above the eyes. Call your vet to take a blood sample.

What can you do? While incurable, there is medication to keep your horse comfortable. You can also work to keep his weight regulated, his coat clipped to ease sweating, and regular dental care is important. Vaccinations and de-worming should be on a regular schedule as well.

The key to these three health concerns is really knowing your horse: what’s abnormal, and what keeps him comfortable. And as always, if in doubt, call your vet! Do you have any more tips on how to look after older horses? Share them with us on our Facebook page!

What You Need To Know About First Aid for Horse Owners

Posted on: August 8th, 2017 by Liddleworks Indie Media No Comments

The first things to consider when it comes to first aid for horse owners are temperature, pulse and breathing, particularly when your horse isn’t acting himself. Check them regularly so you have a record of his normal temperature, pulse, and respiratory rates on hand for comparison in the event of an accident or illness.

How to Check Your Horse’s Temperature

If possible, get someone to help you hold your horse while you take his temperature. Stand to one side of his hindquarters–never behind–and gently lift his tail. Insert the thermometer a few inches into the rectum and hold for one minute. Keep in mind that normal horse temperatures run 37.5 degrees to 38.5 degrees centigrade.

How to Check For Your Horse’s Pulse

Feel for the artery that runs over your horse’s jaw bone. This is the easiest to get an accurate reading from with practice. A normal heart rate is approximately 20 to 40 beats per minute.

Measuring Your Horse’s Respiratory Rate

A normal horse’s respiratory rate is 8 to 12 breaths per minute. You can either count how many times his nostrils flare in a minute, or how many times his ribs move up and down. This method can be trickier than the others and requires patient practice.

How to Treat a Wound

The first two things to remember if your horse suffers an injury is to keep calm, and secure him immediately. Then, gently wash the wound with water in a slow trickle from a hose or plastic syringe. Once clean, you’re free to assess the depth and severity of the wound. Try to steer clear of antiseptics; simply cleaning it and a light bandage should do the trick until the vet arrives.

Call your vet even if a wound near a joint or tendon looks minor, it can cause unseen long-term damage. If a wound won’t stop bleeding and requires stitches, keep pressure on it until the vet arrives. Be aware that the bleeding may be a result of puncture wounds or a hidden, embedded object.

Signs of Eye Injury

The signs of an eye injury include excessive tearing and blinking, it’s swollen or half shut, can be painful to the touch, or any other visible signs of injury.

In the event of a possible eye injury, always call your vet immediately. If left untreated, eye injuries can lead to infection and loss of sight. Try to keep your horse as calm as possible until your vet arrives, and if anything is protruding from the eye, leave it in until the professional arrives no matter how painful it may look.

Possible Fracture

Fractures can actually cause your horse to go into shock, so cover him with a blanket and keep him–and you–calm until professional help arrives. Never move your horse if you suspect a fracture, and call the vet immediately. Be prepared your horse may act distressed, have swelling, and sweat profusely due to the pain. Keep in mind not all fractures will be immediately visible, such as a bone sticking out unnaturally, so watch for sudden lameness.

How To Make an Essential First Aid Kit

Make sure to have the following essential items in a handy kit:

  • Blunt-ended scissors
  • Thermometer
  • Self-sticking crepe bandages
  • Cotton wool
  • Swabs
  • Gloves
  • Torch and wire cutters
  • Paper towel or kitchen roll
  • Gamgee
  • Poultice
  • Salt
  • Small plastic bowl

Consider making a duplicate kit and keep them in different places so you’ll never be looking for one last minute.

No matter what, it’s always best to call your Vet first and follow directions in an emergency. But having these basic tips in the back of your mind while you wait for help to arrive can make all the difference in your horse’s health. If you have any other first aid for horse owners tips, share them on our Facebook page. We’d love to hear from you! 

How to Keep Your Grey Horse Gleaming

Posted on: July 31st, 2017 by Liddleworks Indie Media No Comments

Keeping a horse clean is a huge task on its own. Getting into a daily routine of basic cleanliness combined with a weekly bath and grooming session can go a long way towards your horse not only looking his best, but preventing permanent staining on grey coats and fending off minor health issues. Even if you already know how to clean your grey horse, the following steps will also help you to examine your horse on a regular basis for signs of injury.

If your horse suffers from skin conditions, using medicated shampoos is also a good way of caring for the problem in a gentle way. Think of this time with your horse as more of a bonding experience than a job that needs to be done.

Step 1: The Pre-Bath Brushing

Get rid of all loose dirt and surface dandruff with a thorough pre-bath brush. A good tip is to use a new or clean headcollar during bathing to prevent grease and dirt transfer from their regular headcollar onto your horse’s face.

Step 2: Wash Your Horse From Head to Hoof

If your stable isn’t equipped with a horse shower, boil water and mix it with cold water for a nice, warm bucketful. Using a large sponge, start at the neck and work your way through the mane, across the body and down the tail last, as it may require several cleansing strokes. Don’t be stingy; a thorough soaking does the coat good.

Step 3: A Detailed Facial

Consider switching to a smaller sponge when cleansing your horse’s face to really get into the crevices. Get behind the ears, under the jaw, around the nostrils, and even under the forelock! Dandruff and browband stains like to hide out under the forelock plait, so this is especially crucial.

Step 4: Build a Lather

Lather up your horse. Massage the shampoo deep into the roots of your horse’s coat and mane. Putting the shampoo on the sponge first can increase the amount of lather you get for a deeper clean.

Step 5: It’s All in the Rinse

Use warm water to rinse ALL of the soapy residue off and comb through excess water to reduce drying time. Scraping the water off will also alert you if there’s any shampoo left to rinse out.

Finish off with a wool horse rug to prevent your horse from catching a chill after his nice, warm bath. These need to be swapped out as well to avoid moisture build-up if used regularly enough.

What are your top tricks on how to clean your grey horse ? Share with us on Facebook!