Library

Horses

  • Arthritis is an inflammation of a joint or joints that causes pain and stiffness but the word 'arthritis' is often used to cover a range of conditions, many of which are not true arthritis.

  • Owners will recognize that horses and ponies all have different ‘personalities’, with varying temperaments, willingness to please and responses to environment and handling. With the exception of some of the miniature breeds, they are bigger and stronger than their handlers.

  • The sole is the insensitive protective undersurface of the horse’s foot in which are the highly vascular (rich in blood supply) and sensitive (rich in nerve supply) tissues (laminae) that connect the hoof to the pedal bone.

  • Canker is now rarely seen but is a serious infection of the horn of the foot, that results in the formation of a soft, moist, disintegrating growth of horn. It most commonly affects the hind feet and is most often seen in horses kept in wet tropical climates, or in large draught type horses.

  • The average horse lives to be approximately 20 years of age, although many ponies and a few horses live for 30 years. Older horses and ponies need a little extra care to ensure that they remain healthy and happy.

  • Choke is a relatively common condition that occurs when food or a foreign body blocks the horse’s esophagus (gullet), which is the tube that takes food from the back of the mouth (pharynx) to the stomach.

  • The term “colic” simply means abdominal pain. There are many causes of colic and symptoms range from very mild to violent.

  • The term ‘contracted tendons’ describes a condition where the leg is excessively straight, usually at the fetlock or coronary band, i.e., corono-pedal joint, but it occasionally also affects the knees.

  • Corns are specific types of bruises of the sole, specifically occurring at the angle of the sole between the hoof wall and the bars, i.e., at the 'seat of corn', most commonly affecting the medial (inside) aspect of the front feet.

  • Parasitic worms live in the intestines of horses and ponies. Small numbers of worms can be tolerated, causing no effect on well-being.