old-horseWinter is a tough time for our older horses so if your long time friend is ‘getting on a bit’ here’s a check list that will give those oldies a leg up this winter

Diet

Diet is probably one of the first things to consider as animals burn energy in order to keep warm so we need to increase their feed as the temperatures drop.  Coastal grasses will lose much nutritional value during winter which is another reason why we should increase our horses’ normal diet. Protein supplements are essential and there are many available at your produce merchant,  products like Gum Nuts, designed for aged horses and ponies and specifically formulated to address the challenges of old age.

Another supplement from your vet is Glucos-a-flex with Glucosamine, it’s designed to aid in joint health and improves joint function and mobility. Many horses can potentially benefit from Glucos-A-Flex from high performance horses, working horses, pleasure horses, but it’s a great help for the old pensioner in the paddock.

Dentistry

This is an area that sometimes gets forgotten or put off, but costly supplements and extra feeds are wasted if your horse can’t chew! Older horses will need their teeth checked more regularly and Veterinary dental treatment and a health check are invaluable for your horse and will save you money in reducing food wastage.

Vet Check

A full vet check is always performed prior to dental treatment and if we find issues early it can save much heartache and costs later.

Worming

Older horses do it tough enough during winter without worms sucking the life out of them! Worm them at the end of summer and regularly through the winter, rotating wormers through the year to avoid parasite resistance.

It’s important to note that many horse wormers have the same active ingredient but with a different brand name and it would be easy to think you were using a different wormer if you didn’t check the ingredients

It can all be a bit confusing so if you are in any doubt about your worming program talk to the team at your Vet Cross, they will be happy to advise you.

 

Here’s a short list of wormers to give you an idea of their differences, one of the most widely used active ingredients are Mectins and Benzimadazoles

Mectins  (ivermectin, moxidectin, abamectin) are generally mixed with another active ingredient.

Benzimadazoles ( febendazole, mebendazole, oxfenbendazole) are a different class of wormer and are good drenches when used in  rotation with the Mectins.

Pyrantel Ebonate is another class of worming compound and provides a good rotation drench. Combined with the benzimadazole group it provides a wider spectrum of activity.

 

 

Promectin Plus
is Abamectin and Praziquantel. Praziquantel is used to kill tapeworms and should be used every six months.

Equinox
has Oxfendazole  as its active ingredient.

Stratergy T
contains Oxfendazole and Pyrantel Ebonate as its active ingredients.

Equest
is Moxidectin and Praziquantel which has the same active ingredients as Promectin Plus.

 

 

Husbandry

Not everyone is lucky enough to have stables for their horses so adequate shelter is important for the older horse. They must have somewhere where they can keep dry and out of the wind, temperatures drop through the night and it can be miserable for them if they are left out to fend for themselves in the cold or rain. A good winter weight rug will help them tremendously by keeping them dry and warm through those cold nights.

 

If you have any queries about your old friend and his needs this winter just call the team at Vet Cross

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