It is a situation that we hope that we do not have to be in, but it is also the situation that you need to be able to work with and keep your horse or pony comfortable. Once you have looked at the signs that have told you your horse is not very well, Some of these are in our other blog posts like. ‘What makes you think your horse is off colour?’ or ‘When do you need to call the vet?’
Once you have spoken with the vet and you are familiar with what is required to look after your horse or pony. Here are some helpful tips:
- Your horse will need frequent visits to check that there is no deterioration in its condition but visits should be made with a minimum of disturbance. You need to quietly check without disturbing your horse.
- Regular checks should be made and write down the horses Temperature, pulse, and respiration. Also, it is a good idea to keep a record of condition; for example, how much the horse is eating, if there is more or less swelling whether the horse is lying down more or less, etc.
- Remove droppings regularly and keep the bed level, with good high banks. Short straw, or shaving, allow for ease of movement. Shaving can stick to woods, however, and should be avoided for this type of ailment. Full muck out may not be possible if the horse has limited movement. Use the deep litter system in this case, or look at the options that can help you. Possible shavings under the bed and straw on top or, keeping the bed clean is essential.
- The stable needs to be well ventilated but free from draughts.
- You need to keep your horse warm but no weighed down with heavy clothing. Use leg bandages to keep extremities arm. Light quilted rugs are good to use.
- Do not groom vigorously if the horse is weak, Pick out the feet twice daily. Sponge eyes, nose and under the dock each day. Lightly brush over, being careful not to let the horse get cold.
- If bandages are worn, remove bandages daily and hand massage the legs to improve the circulation.
- Monitor, the horses’ water intake and keep the supply very fresh.
- Give light, tempting but laxative feeds. Remove any uneaten food immediately. Stale food and water will discourage the horse and possibly delay recovery.
- Follow veterinary instructions carefully.
- If the horse has an eye injury, keep the stable darkened and avoid bright lights.
- Unless the vet advises otherwise, give an ad lib supply of hay.
Keeping your horse or pony as comfortable as possible and following the advice and treatment that your vet has supplied is paramount.
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