A Happy Horse: Health Problems To Look Out For

Written by Jake Dunning

Horses are seen as the ultimate luxury pet. They are incredibly elegant and extremely smart creatures. But, just like other large animals, that are very susceptible to health problems. Especially in the case of horses that are given heavy workloads. You may encounter a number of problems stemming from your horse’s health. Diagnosing and treating them, however, are a different matter entirely.

Here are a few of the main things you need to look out for.

Breathing Difficulty

Trouble breathing is a massive problem among horses because of their sheer size. Combined with the excessive exercise they go through, sometimes their frames struggle to keep up with the task. It is thought that horses often suffer from a form of asthma that may result in blocking their airwaves. As you might suspect, it’s a matter of urgency to have this treated as soon as possible.

Coughing and wheezing are surefire signs that your horse is having difficulty breathing. There may not be a cure for ‘heaves,’ so prevention is critical. Try to limit your horse’s time spent indoors, where the air particles may be responsible for this reaction.


Horses are vulnerable to a number of digestive issues. They all have a variety of causes, so pinpointing the problem is never easy. It is, however, urgent that you see to suspected digestion problems as an utmost priority. It could be a form of colic, which is fatal in horses if left untreated. Excessive gas is one of the most dead giveaways that your horse may be suffering the onset of colic. To avoid this, it’s important that you feed your horse only proper food and clean water.


Muscle Damage

Tying up is a common term that is thrown around in the horse community, but there is no one-size-fits-all definition. It is caused by an excessive workload and the muscles being unable to respond to the stress. Despite the idea that horses are very athletic animals, they aren’t immune to muscle damage. A common cause is the weight, size, or shape of its saddle putting a strain on the back. In this instance, it may be easily treated by plenty of rest and an equine chiropractic treatment.

Hoof Problems

There are many different problems that horses can encounter with their hooves. Most of them are related to the stress put on them by running, but there are more serious conditions to be concerned with. One of them, laminitis, can lead to your horse becoming lame if left untreated. Given the amount of time that horses spend standing up, it’s no surprise that there are so many hoof complaints. Signs to look out for include foul odours and splitting in the hooves. An abscess is also likely a sign of infection, so call a vet immediately.

Keeping your horse healthy and happy should be your utmost priority. For the most part, this is easy to achieve if you follow all the right precautions. Allowing your horse to spend the majority of his time outdoors, providing a proper diet, and limiting his workload are all key.


About the author

Jake Dunning

Leave a Comment