The Importance of Routine Exams
Wellness exams are critical to helping your horse maintain good long-term physical health.
Combined with regular vaccinations, parasite prevention, and proper nutrition, these routine examinations including regular physical checkups can help identify minor problems early in the course of a disease.
Weight issues and nutritional concerns, as well as general health care questions, can be addressed during the face-to-face consultation with the veterinarian.
What To Expect At Your Horses Routine Checkup
Whether your horse is coming into our clinic, or we are coming to you through our ambulatory services, knowing what to expect from your horse's routine veterinary exam will help the process go much smoother for you, your horse, and your vet.
At each routine assessment, our Mount Vernon vets will check each of the following:
This test is carried out at distance and is used to determine if your horse is quiet, shy and nervous, or bright and responsive. This is important as it reveals basic personality and behavior traits that can be used for comparison for future exams.
Body Condition Score
Also referred to as a BCS, this assessment focuses on the overall condition of your horse on a scale of 1-9. To calculate this, your equine vet will look at your horse’s weight, size, muscle tone, and the prominence of their hips and ribs.
This is what is used to calculate the approximate weight of your horse since getting them to stand on scales is impossible. The tape is passed around the girth of your horse and the result is recorded.
Any raised temperature could indicate that your horse has an underlying infection.
Your vet will check your horse's heart rate, sounds, and rhythm to ensure that there are no abnormalities. Your vet will also check how your animal’s lungs sound and that their breathing isn’t too fast or slow.
The condition of your horse’s coat can tell your equine vet about the overall health of your animal. A dull, dry coat and skin problems can be indicative of poor nutrition or other health issues.
Horse’s teeth grow for the duration of their lifetime and must be ground down regularly to prevent overgrowth. If this isn’t happening, you may need to arrange for a procedure known as ‘floating’ where a professional manually files their teeth.
Leg and feet health is particularly important for horses, and your vet will check for any abnormalities. If there is any concern about your animal’s gait, it will also be evaluated.