Due to the nature of our horses’ grazing habits, they are constantly exposed to dirt and sand. This sand can settle in the digestive tract and cause colic. Although there is no research to prove psyllium (the main ingredient in Metamucil brand laxative) helps prevent or treat sand that has accumulated in the horse’s gut, it does seem that there is some benefit to feeding psyllium to horses at risk for sand colic. This assumption is based on the fact we see less horses for colic that are on a regular sand prevention program than horses that are fed nothing to prevent the accumulation of sand in their gastrointestinal tracts. Sand prevention products can be purchased at your feed store and fed according to the label instructions. Just make sure the product is 90% or more psyllium or psyllium husks. A cheap alternative is to buy Metamucil or the store brand equivalent of psyllium and feed 1/4 cup per thousand pound horse every day for 7 days per month. Just sprinkle the psyllium over the horse’s feed and make sure the horse has plenty of water to drink near by. Some people feed a bran mash and add the psyllium to that it just depends on what your horse prefers. It has been our experience that this regimen helps with the build up of sand in the horse’s intestinal tract and decreases the horse’s risk of colic from a sand impaction.
As always, please call us with any questions or concerns.
We recommend a twice yearly vaccination schedule for most horses. Spring vaccines are usually, EWT, WN, F/R, PHF, Rabies and Strangles. Fall vaccines are usually EWT, WN, F/R, and PHF. We highly recommend a EIA coggins test for every horse once per year.
For lower/higher risk horses, these recommendations may change. Competition horses may require additional vaccinations.
Please contact the clinic for any questions on vaccines!
EWE: Eastern and Western Encephalitis.These viral diseases can cause inflammation in the nervous system in horses and humans.Viruses are transmitted by mosquito. Not contagious animal to animal or human to animal, must have a carrier (ie. birds). Often fatal.
WN: West Nile - Often fatal viral disease that causes inflammation in the nervous system in horses and humans. Transmitted by mosquito. Not contagious animal to animal or human to animal, must have a carrier (i.e. birds).
T: Tetanus - Also known as lockjaw. Develops from bacterial infection resulting from a puncture wound. Disease can result in paralysis, loss of control, and nervous system failures that can lead to death. Bateria live in the ground. Vaccination is the best prevention.
EWT: 3 Way of East/West Encephalitis and Tetanus.
PHF: Potomac Horse Fever - Can cause colic and fatal diarrhea syndrome as well as lamanitis.
Strangles: Also known as strep or distemper.Highly contagious respiratory disease that causes large abcesses under the jaw.Extremely contagious but not usually fatal.
Rhino: Rhinopneumonitis - Caused by the herpes virus. Presents as respiratory disease and abortion in pregnant mares.
Equine Influenza: Respiratory disease in horses that is highly contagious.
Rhino/Flu: Combo vaccine that protects against Rhino and Flu.
IN Flu and IN Strangles: IN stands for intranasal. Vaccine is administered thru the nose.
Our doctors recommend testing a fecal sample at least twice per year to determine the best deworming schedule for your horse. We test in-house and your veterinarian will prescribe a detailed deworming protocol for each horse.
Please refer to these pages for more information.
At Deer Creek Equine Clinic, we want to help you give your horses the best care possible. So we have put together our top ten suggestions for surviving the winter.
Dehydration is the biggest problem facing horses in the winter; horses in good condition can survive for days, even weeks with no food. However, they will die quickly with no water and snow is not the same as water!!
If your horses are stabled, ventilation is a must! Do not close all the doors and windows of your barn or you will increase the likelihood of respiratory disease. If your horse has respiratory problems, they will be better off with a run in shed and outdoor access all the time.
To be sure the horses have access to water, break the ice that forms on the water so the horses can get to the water. Make sure the horses have water next to where they eat, not across the pasture or outside of the stall. Horses drink the most when they eat. So a water bucket next to the grain bucket is very important. Horses will drink more water if it is warm, so a tank heater that keeps the water from freezing and even heats will encourage the horses to drink more. Another tip for keeping ice from forming on the water is to put a football in the water tank so when the wind blows, it moves the football and disrupts the ice as it is forming. This won’t work if it is REALLY cold, the football will just freeze in the tank.
Add warm water to feed or make warm bran mashes for the horses. Beet pulp will work too; just add lots of water to increase the horse’s intake of water. Consult your veterinarian with any questions about feeding.
Add salt or electrolytes to the feed. Don’t add it to the water put it in the feed to be sure the horses get it!
Hay, not grain, is what keeps horses warm in the winter. As the hay ferments in the large colon, it produces heat that helps keep them warm. High fiber grains (complete feeds like an equine senior) will have the same effect.
Adding oil to the feed, like corn oil, will increase the fat content of the horse’s feed. Caution: if you are not feeding enough grain and/or hay, fat will not help keep your horses weight up, fat is just a supplement and too much can cause ration imbalances.
Place a flake of alfalfa hay, 10-15 alfalfa cubes, or a few handfuls of shredded/chopped forage in a 5 gallon water bucket. Soak in hot tap water for 10-20 minutes. Remove the hay, let it cool off, and then feed it to another horse that is not colicky! Add cool water to the hot alfalfa ‘tea’ and give it to the horse that is colicky or needs to be drinking more.
Duct Tape Hoof Bandages
Does your horse have a hoof injury, or an abscessed hoof? If you don’t have a boot on hand, grab your duct tape! Dr. Alredge shows you the proper way to make the duct tape bandage.
This diagram shows the appropriate areas to give an intra-muscular (IM) injection. If you have any questions, please call the clinic!