What are normal Body Indices?

Temperature: 37.0° - 38.5° C (99° - 101.5° F) 
Heart Rate: 36 - 42 beats per minute
Respiration: 8 - 16 breaths per minute

How often and how much does a horse need to be fed ?

Minimum of twice daily; average of 1kg (2lbs) per 45.36 kg (100lbs) of body weight per day. Water should be given free choice, clean, unfrozen, 24 hours a day. 

Is my horse too fat?

You can determine if your horse is too fat or not by doing a simple evaluation and test and adjust your feeding program accordingly. Body Condition Scoring Your Horse

When should I deworm my horse?

This is becoming an increasingly difficult question to answer as our recommendations for deworming are constantly evolving.  Over the past 5 years, we have started to implement deworming programs based upon the results of fecal egg counts for horses in each individual herd.  This information allows us to tailor a program specifically for your herd.  The goal of our current deworming programs is to identify which horses in each herd are shedding the most parasites and treat these individuals more aggressively.  Horses with low numbers of parasites on a regular basis do not need to be dewormed as frequently as in years past.  By cutting back on the amount of deworming that is performed, we are able to limit the development of parasite resistance to the commonly used deworming medications - an issue that is becoming a serious problem in the southern states and Ontario.  Fecal egg counts are recommended each spring and summer to monitor the parasite levels in your herd.  For more information, visit our Blog posting "Nasty Little Parasites - An Update on Deworming".

How do I submit a fecal sample from my horse for a fecal egg count?

A fresh sample is required. A fecal sample (1-2 fecal balls is all that is required) should be collected very shortly after it is passed by the horse, then placed in two resealable plastic bags (ex Ziplocs) and labelled with your name and your horse's name. If not submitted immediately to the clinic, it can be refrigerated for up to two days. The best times of year to submit fecal samples are April/May and July/August.

When should I deworm my foal, and what should I use?

Foals usually carry a higher parasite burden, and the primary parasite of concerns in foals (ascarids) is different from that in adult horses (strongyles). For that reason, foals need to be dewormed more often than adults, and with different deworming medication than we typically recommend for older horses. We recommend first deworming your foal at 2 months of age, and continuing on an every two month deworming schedule. We recommend alternating between pyrantel pamoate (ex Strongid, Exodus) and fenbendazole (ex. Panacur, Safe-guard). Once the foal is one year of age, treat him or her as an adult and submit a fecal egg count +/- treating with ivermectin as directed by your veterinarian. As with adult horses, these yearlings should be treated with a deworming product at least yearly to rid the horse of bots, pinworms, or other intestinal parasites that may not be detected on a routine fecal egg count.

How often and what should I vaccinate my horse for?

Since the needs of the individual horse and owner vary greatly, there is not one simple recommendation for all horses.  We have three examples of programs that we would recommend based on the level of competition and potential exposure to disease, Intensive, Intermediate, and Basic.  As costs are a consideration for most people, the second and third examples will give optimum protection within a fixed budget, as well as simplifying the yearly vaccination routine.  Weanlings and previously unvaccinated horses will require a primary shot plus a booster(s) for all diseases. West Nile is the biggest concern and should be at the top of everyone’s vaccination priority list. The other most important vaccine is commonly called a 3-way, which is for tetanus and the two sleeping sicknesses - WEE and EEE.  Click here for examples of vaccination programs for infectious diseases of the horse. If you have any special needs or questions, we can discuss them and then customize a program for you.

How long is the gestation period of a mare?

The gestation period of a mare is normally 340 days. During this time the fetus will go through various stages of growth and size. Gestation Table and Fetus Size Chart