Start Thinking About Healthy Senior Horse Care
Many things become better with time. Skills, understanding yourself, wisdom…all of these things wouldn’t be what they are if it wasn’t for the time they’ve witnessed. Although wisdom may come with age for both humans and horses, there are some downsides to balance out the scale.
Increased health risks and decreased vibrance of the body are to be expected. Creating a healthy senior horse care plan can prevent unnecessary stress down the line – it’s better to prepare than react in moments of uncertainty. In this article, we will give you some ideas and inspiration to get you started on a healthy senior horse health care plan.
1. Regular Horse Health Checkups Are A Must
It’s no surprise that routine horse health care checkups throughout the entire life of your companion are important. They help you see any early signs of future health risks, and catch any health/comfort issues that may be happening below the surface of your happy horse. You will have a better idea of what to expect when your horse ages if you are tracking its health throughout its maturing years.
2. Learn Your Horse Health Care Benchmarks
As you’re taking your horse to the clinic for regular checkups, have your vet record the stats of your horse every time. This could include weight, health risks, pulse, temperature, respiration, and more. They should have a record of the numbers anyway, so it shouldn’t be a hassle to get them.
You can keep a personal record of these expected results to easily find gradual adjustments and/or abnormalities as your horse ages. Taking photos of your horse from different angles can help give the vet a better idea on what has changed when you do run into changes/issues with age. Having a baseline is a great first step to healthy senior horse care.
3. Plan For Decreased Nutrient Absorption
Nutrition is a large factor to discuss with healthy senior horse care. Parasitic worms compete for nutrients and can leave scarring on the intestine, causing chronic mucosal damage and less efficient absorption rates.
Aside from parasitic damage, normal aging weakens the mucous lining of the intestine on its own, and research shows that phosphorus, vitamins, and protein becomes more difficult to fully absorb within the horse. Ask your vet how to prepare for these issues as your horse ages – whether that means an adjustment to their current diet, or signs to look for.
4. Encourage Healthy Joints
Just like people, older horses are more prone to experience arthritis. Factors such as diet, movement routines, and environment can all influence the future of your horse’s joint health. Ask your vet how you can optimize this mix to keep your horse moving comfortably as it ages.
Adjusted bedding such as increased hay or rubber mats will allow your horse to easily get up as it pleases without extra joint pain. Horse health care prescriptions will also make sure that your horse is comfortable to move and exercise as it pleases.
Pay Attention To Signs
Now you’ll have a more organized way to track your horse’s health and set it up for a graceful aging process. That’s awesome! Remember to keep your eye out for any physical or behavioral differences in your horse. If there’s an issue, they’ll usually try and communicate it somehow.
At BRD Vet Rx, our passion is helping horses be their happiest and healthiest – we’ve been doing just that for almost 100 years! Contact us today to learn how we can improve your horse’s quality of life.