How to Care for Your Horse in Winter

As the seasons change throughout the year, your horse’s care should change too. The things your horse needs during the hot and humid summer months are not necessarily the best things to keep them healthy during the cold months of winter. In order to optimize your horse’s health and performance this season, consider the following winter care tips for horses.

8 Horse Care Tips for Winter

1. Hydration

Horses can become dehydrated during winter – especially if their water is frozen or too cold. Horses are more likely to drink slightly warm water in cold weather. We suggest adding a heater, de-icing regularly, and making sure your horse’s water is fresh at all times. You can also add a bit of salt or a salt lick to your horse’s meals or environment to further promote hydration.

2. Feed Adjustments

Horses have different nutritional and caloric needs in the winter. Be sure to adjust their feed accordingly.

3. Exercise and Joint Health

Regular exercise and turning out are essential during the winter, as it is during the warmer months of the year. Be sure to go easy on an older or arthritic horse’s joints, as the cold weather can increase stiffness and the risk of injury.

4. Fresh Air

Although a barn or stable might be warm, it can also be dusty, moldy, and stagnate. Indoor areas need to be properly ventilated for fresh air and the prevention of respiratory problems.

5. Proper Medication Storage

Check the storage requirements on your horse’s medications before the temperature drops. If any are stored in an unheated area, they might need to be moved indoors.

6. Shelter

Shelter from the wind and harsh temperatures can benefit horses in winter. Keep plenty of clean, dry hay in their stalls for added warmth.

7. Blanketing

Horses with short hair can benefit from blanketing – especially when they are unsheltered in inclement weather. Be sure blankets are changed often and that horses are clean and dry beneath them.

8. Hoof Health

Ice or snowballs collecting on a horse’s hooves makes it difficult to walk, increasing their risk of slipping and becoming injured. Overgrown hooves collect more snow than those that are kept properly trimmed.

Winter Horse Health and Equine Examinations With Our Veterinarians in Fishkill, New York

Advanced Equine of the Hudson Valley offers comprehensive veterinary care for horses, specialized for achieving optimal health and performance throughout every season. To learn more about caring for your horse in winter or to schedule an appointment with an experienced equine veterinarian, we welcome you to contact our office today.

What You Should Know About Stomach Ulcers in Horses During GI Health Month

Equine Gastric Ulcer Syndrome (EGUS) is the official term for referring to gastric ulcer disease in horses. This term encompasses a wide range of different types of ulcers that can occur for a variety of underlying reasons. EGUS is surprisingly common in horses of all ages with an estimated prevalence of 25-50% in foals and 60-90% in adult horses.

Signs and Symptoms of Stomach Ulcers in Horses

The effects of gastric ulcers in horses aren’t always outwardly noticeable, but horses living with stomach ulcers can be affected in several ways. While the signs and symptoms are usually subtle, they can include:
In more serious cases, horses might experience more severe colic (abdominal pain), and they might grind or clench their teeth.
Foals often experience:
Any clinical signs of gastric ulcers in foals are serious and require immediate care.

How to Diagnosis Equine Stomach Ulcers

Stomach ulcers can only be definitively diagnosed with a gastroscopy procedure. During this procedure, the horse is sedated and an endoscope is inserted via the horse’s nose into its stomach. This allows the veterinarian to view the stomach lining and visually confirm the presence and nature of stomach ulcers.

Treatment for Equine Stomach Ulcers

Currently, the is just one treatment approved by the FDA for the treatment of stomach ulcers in horses. This medication is called Gastroguard and comes in the form of a paste administered daily to the horse daily on an empty stomach.
Additional medications and supplements that help coat the stomach, reduce acid levels, and promote healthy blood flow and tissue healing, will often be included in the treatment program depending on the location and severity of the ulcer disease.
Other approaches to managing EGUS include training adjustments, reducing the intensity of exercise, in addition to nutritional changes such as the addition of alfalfa to the horse’s diet.

Comprehensive Equine Care in Fishkill, NY

At Advanced Equine of the Hudson Valley, our equine veterinarians are highly experienced in detecting, diagnosing, and treating stomach ulcers in horses. If you suspect your horse could be suffering from a gastrointestinal issue of any kind, we strongly encourage you to schedule an appointment with one of our veterinarians.

It's Spooky Season! Common Things That Frighten Horses and How to Handle Them Safely

Horses are prey animals which means they have a natural fight or flight response. However, some horses are jumpier than others, and a variety of things can frighten or startle them. For example, some horses get anxious when new items, like toys, are added to their stables, others might startle easily when a bird flies away on a trail. They might fear being touched, eating out of a bucket, riding in a trailer, or receiving veterinary care. These are anxious horses, and to understand how you can calm your horse’s fear, you first have to understand what’s causing it.

Why Is Your Horse So Anxious?

A horse could be anxious for several reasons including:
In addition to these possible reasons why a horse might be spooking easily, some horses are simply born more anxious than others. These horses will require additional training time and benefit from working with confident handlers and riders.

What to Do If Your Horse Is Anxious

If you have an anxious horse on your hands, take the following steps to calm them safely:
The first step should always be to rule out underlying conditions or issues that could be causing pain, discomfort, or vision problems and heightening your horse’s anxiety.

Keep Yourself Calm and Don't Overreact When Your Horse Does

Your calm demeanor will help to calm your horse.

Work on Desensitization Training

Work with an experienced professional to slowly expose your horse to things that frighten him until he gets comfortable.

Train the Horse to Focus on You

If your horse knows to focus on you, he’ll be less likely to get distracted and frightened by other things.

Keep Your Horse With Calm Horses

If possible, allow your horse to socialize more frequently with calm and confident horses. Your horse will start to take behavior cues from these horses and learn to be calm and more confident.

Keep Your Horse Healthy and Fit With Our Equine Veterinarians in Fishkill, NY

A calm horse is a happy horse. A healthy and fit horse is also a happy horse! We encourage you to continue your horse’s ongoing veterinary care with our experienced equine veterinarians at Advanced Equine of the Hudson Valley. We provide comprehensive equine veterinary care services and treatments and look forward to helping your horse be the best it can be. To learn more or schedule an appointment, we welcome you to contact our office today.

Equine Tips: How To Properly Train Your Horse

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to the question of how to train a horse. Every animal is different and will respond differently to various methods of training. However, there are some general tips that can be shared, which will help you build a bond with your horse, and teach it the basics of obedience. In this blog post, we will discuss four key steps in horse training: groundwork, desensitization, saddle training, and weight training. Follow these tips, and you will be on your way to having an obedient and well-behaved mount!

4 Key Elements Of Horse Training

1. Groundwork is the foundation of any training program for a horse. It involves teaching the animal basic obedience commands, such as ‘whoa’ (stop), ‘walk on’ (go forward), and ‘turn around’ (change direction). This type of training can be done in an arena or round pen and should be started with young horses as early as possible. Groundwork is important not only for teaching obedience but also for building trust between you and your horse.

2. Desensitization is another key element of training. This involves exposing your horse to new environments and situations and teaching it to remain calm in the face of change. This is important not only for safety but also for building confidence in your horse. Start slowly, and gradually increase the intensity of the stimuli you expose your horse to. Some specific areas to work on are: taking a temperature, picking up feet and looking in the mouth and ears. These will help you, your veterinarian and your farrier for the life of your horse.

3. Saddle training is the next step in training your horse. This involves getting the animal used to the sensation of being saddled, as well as the weight of a rider on its back. Start by simply placing the saddle on your horse’s back, and letting it get accustomed to the feel and smell of leather. Once your horse is comfortable with this, you can begin adding weight, either by sitting in the saddle yourself or by using a sandbag or other object. Remember to go slowly and be patient; so that it becomes accustomed to them.

4. Finally, apply pressure under the saddle. This is the process of teaching your horse to move forward when you ask it to, by using gentle pressure from your legs. Start with short sessions in an arena or round pen, and gradually increase the amount of time you spend riding. Remember to be consistent with your commands, and always praise your horse when it responds correctly.


Horse Training With Help From Advanced Equine Of The Hudson Valley!

If you have any questions or concerns about when the right time to begin training is, or if you just want to ensure your horse is in good health, our Doctors at Advanced Equine of the Hudson Valley are here to help. We offer Wellness Exams as well as Performance Evaluations and are happy to consult with you about your horses performance as well as overall health. Call to Schedule an Appointment today to discuss anything Equine related, and remember, always consult with a professional trainer if you have any questions or concerns about training your horse. Happy riding!

Aging Gracefully: Pain Management for Older Horses

As with people and other animals, each stage of a horse’s life has different requirements to achieve and maintain optimal health. As a horse grows older, managing chronic pain can become a primary concern because several age-related conditions in horses can contribute to this problem. At Advanced Equine of the Hudson Valley, our veterinarians are always here to help you manage your older horse’s pain and underlying conditions to keep your horse comfortable, healthy, and happy throughout the golden years.

Recognizing Pain in an Older Horse

Unfortunately, our horses can’t tell us when they are in pain. There are, however, some telltale signs and symptoms that can indicate pain in a horse. These include:
Since these behaviors can indicate pain, it’s important to be familiar with your horse’s normal behavior, appearance, posture, and demeanor so that you can recognize changes that might indicate pain or another physical ailment.

The Best Options for Equine Pain Management

Of course, if there’s a treatable underlying cause leading to your horse’s pain, the best way to manage their pain is to diagnose and treat the underlying issues. There are also a variety of additional pain management strategies that can be used with horses that suffer from chronic pain. Some of these strategies include:

Medications and Supplements including:

Physica and Energy Treatments

Most geriatric horses suffering from chronic pain can benefit from an ongoing pain management strategy that takes a multifaceted approach, using a variety of treatments.

Mobile Geriatric Care for Horses in Fishkill

Our veterinarians at Advanced Equine of the Hudson Valley are highly experienced in treating horses of all ages, including geriatric horses. Our veterinarians come directly to you to examine and evaluate your horse while helping you adjust your horse’s diet, supplements, exercise regimen, environment, and lifestyle in addition to providing age-specific care to ensure your horse ages gracefully with minimal pain and discomfort. If your horse is suffering from chronic pain, our veterinarians can work with you to determine the most appropriate course of treatment.
To learn more about caring for your older horse or to schedule a consultation with an equine veterinarian, we welcome you to contact our office today.

Is My Horse Dehydrated? How to Recognize Equine Dehydration

The hot summer weather has arrived, and, with it, the need to monitor your horse’s hydration more closely than during the cooler months of the year. Dehydration can affect your horse’s performance, damage their health, and also be deadly. Equine hydration requires a careful balance of water and electrolyte intake. To protect your horse from the dangers of dehydration, you should be aware of the signs of equine dehydration and keep a close eye on your horse.

4 Ways to Tell If Your Horse Is Dehydrated

1. Skin Elasticity

When a horse is adequately hydrated, you can pinch its skin and it will snap right back into place. You can test a horse’s hydration level by pinching their skin near the point of the shoulder blade and keeping track of how long it takes for the skin to move back into place. Two to four seconds indicates a moderately dehydrated horse, and any longer than four seconds indicates a severely dehydrated horse.

2. Capillary Refill Time (CRT)

Hydrated horses have pink, moist gums. When you press your finger against the gum tissue, it will leave a white spot behind where the blood has been pushed out of the horse’s capillaries. If hydrated, the white spot will return to a pink color almost instantly. If it takes more than three seconds for the capillaries to refill and the white spot to disappear, then the horse is likely dehydrated.

3. Stiffness

Hydrated horses are more flexible than dehydrated horses. If your horse seems stiffer than usual when stretching, the stiffness could be a sign that your horse is dehydrated. Follow-up with the pinch test or CRT test and an equine veterinarian.

4. Weariness

Dehydrated horses can become confused, tired, and lose the ability to focus. Additionally, a dehydrated horse might not seem thirsty because it might stop drinking or refuse to drink water. If you notice any of these symptoms in your horse, especially when working in hot weather, seek veterinary attention right away.

Equine Nutrition, Hydration, and Wellness With Advanced Equine of the Hudson Valley

At Advanced Equine of the Hudson Valley, our equine veterinarians are horse hydration experts. We can help you create an environment and hydration regimen for your horse to help promote healthy hydration during summer. Additionally, if you notice any signs of dehydration in your horse or suspect that your horse could be dehydrated for any reason, we strongly encourage you to contact us for emergency equine care right away.

How Much Exercise Do Horses Need?

Horses are active animals, and regular exercise is essential to their physical and mental health. In fact, regular movement actually helps a horse’s circulatory and lymphatic systems work properly, as the contraction and expansion of their hooves under their body weight help to pump blood and fluids up from their legs. So, how much exercise do horses need to stay healthy?

How Much Exercise Do Horses Need?

Put simply, horses require a lot of physical activity to stay healthy and fit.
For comparison, while moving between their grazing pastures and water sources, wild horses can cover as many as 20 to 50 miles every day. Throughout their days, wild horses mostly get slow, steady exercise that’s punctuated with short bursts of more vigorous activity.
Although most domesticated horses won’t cover as many miles during their days, they do need opportunities for moving about every day. Without encouragement, a domestic horse won’t automatically be as active as it needs to be to stay healthy. While most horses might exhibit an initial burst of energy when let out to pasture, they won’t remain active for long. Instead, they’ll likely stand around while they wait to be fed.
To encourage more activity, it’s best to let horses out for grazing in groups. In groups, horses will get the kind of steady exercise they need, walking around for hours. You can also spread out a horse’s hay so that they amble around while grazing, you can take them out for slow walks, or lead them around the pasture.

Every Horse Is Different: Personalized Exercise, Nutrition, and Lifestyle Guidance for Horses

Yes, generally speaking, horses need a lot of daily exercise to stay healthy and keep their circulatory and lymphatic systems operating properly. Every horse, however, is different and will have slightly different exercise needs for maintaining optimal fitness. Additionally, as you increase or decrease your horse’s activity level or change the type or intensity of activity, their nutritional needs can change also. Plus, your horse’s activity level, fitness, and capabilities can be drastically affected by the changing weather through the summer heat and into the cool of winter.
Our equine veterinary specialists at Advanced Equine of the Hudson Valley can help you determine the best turnout, exercise, and nutritional routine for your horse based on the season and your horse’s age, breed, fitness, medical history, and purpose. To learn more or to schedule an appointment for your horse, we welcome you to contact our office in Fishkill today.

Is Your Horse Ready for the Summer?

As every person who has ever cared for horses knows, a lot goes into ensuring they stay healthy and stress-free to continue performing optimally. During the hotter and more humid months of summer, it’s important to remember that horses require a bit of extra care and attention to fare well in the heat while maintaining their health and performance standards.
During the summer, overheating presents serious health risks to horses, and it can occur as a result of several factors including hot weather and humidity, poor ventilation, prolonged sun exposure, transportation, excessive work, obesity, and a lack of fitness.
Before summertime hits New York in full force, our veterinarians are here to provide you with a few tips to make sure you are well-prepared to care for your horse this summer.

5 Tips for Caring for Your Horse in Summer

1. Provide Plenty of Fresh, Clean Water

Horses cool themselves naturally in hot weather by sweating. As a result, they need to drink more water in warm weather than they do during the cooler times of the year. Make sure yours always has access to a safe water source.

2. Consider Adding Electrolytes

Horses need electrolytes to stay hydrated. These can be added to water. However, it’s important to also provide a source of plain water since some horses do not like the taste of water that has been treated with electrolytes, and they might drink less as a result.

3. Reduce the Intensity and Duration of Work

Foals and horses that are older, obese, or out of shape are more prone to heat stress. Reduce ride time and intensity to protect them from these risks.

4. Provide Shelter From the Sun

Ensure your horses have free access to shade at all times and consider adding fans to stables and barns to improve the airflow.

5. Avoid the Hottest Parts of the Day

Turn out your horse and travel with your horse during the coolest times of the day to avoid the most extreme heat.

Summertime Care for Horses With Advanced Equine of the Hudson Valley

At Advanced Equine of the Hudson Valley, our veterinarians are highly experienced in ensuring horses stay cool, healthy, and hydrated in the humid summers of New York. We can help you assess the airflow of your stables, your horse’s water intake, and your horse’s electrolyte levels to ensure proper hydration and cooling.
To learn more about seasonal horse care or our comprehensive veterinary services for equids, we welcome you to contact our office in Fishkill today.

How to Control and Prevent Parasites in Horses

Several types of harmful intestinal parasites can infect and live inside horses. Left unaddressed, these parasites can damage your horse’s intestines and affect the horse’s ability to absorb nutrients and properly digest food. As a result, intestinal parasites can lead to lameness and a variety of other health problems.
While it might not be possible to completely eradicate all intestinal parasites from your horse’s system, it is essential to take measures to prevent horses from being exposed to a high volume of parasites while also taking steps to control intestinal parasites in your herd.

How to Control Parasites in Horses

Throughout years and years of treating horses with very similar medications to kill parasites, parasites have adapted and many have become resistant to these anthelmintic drugs. This has forced equine veterinarians to adjust the approaches we take to preventing parasites in horses and treating horses with parasites.
In the past, most equine veterinarians would simply recommend treating all horses with a dewormer every couple of months to control the parasites in their herds. Today, however, this approach is not always effective, and it would also only continue to result in parasite populations becoming stronger and even more resistant to the drugs designed to kill them.
Rather than automatically administering anthelmintics to horses on a routine basis, we now recommend routinely running fecal exams to first assess a horse’s fecal count and determine the potential number of parasites living inside the horse’s intestines. With this approach, we can better manage parasite infestations while combating anthelmintic resistance in parasite populations by only treating horses when their parasite levels have grown too high.

Preventing Parasites in Horses

It would be nearly impossible to completely prevent a horse from ever contracting intestinal parasites. Steps, however, can be taken to control the risk. We recommend isolating new horses from your herd until they have had a proper fecal count done with a veterinary clinic. Additionally, it’s essential to maintain the living areas of your horses’ stalls and stables – especially during weather that could heighten the exposure to parasites.

Wellness and Preventative Care With Advanced Equine of the Hudson Valley

Our veterinarians at Advanced Equine of the Hudson Valley are here to help you safeguard the health and performance of your horses with comprehensive wellness and preventative care, including fecal exams, thoughtfully prescribed parasite medications, and advice for maintaining your horse’s environment. To learn more or schedule an appointment, we welcome you to contact us today.
Dental health is important for maintaining a healthy, high-performing horse. Good dental health helps horses wear their bits comfortably and perform without pain or discomfort. They can also chew their food comfortably while avoiding soft tissue injuries inside the mouth. A horse with healthy teeth can get proper nutrition and take in enough calories.
Without receiving proper dental care throughout their lives, horses are, unfortunately, especially prone to developing a variety of dental problems.

Why Are Horses So Susceptible to Dental Health Issues?

The primary reason horses are highly prone to developing dental health issues without ongoing dental care is their domestication.
Wild horses spend around 18 hours each day feeding on forage. So, wild horses spend the vast majority of their days chewing with a broad horizontal grinding pattern. Additionally, while chewing on forage, wild horses predominantly hold their heads at an angle that keeps them low to the ground.
Domestic horses, on the other hand, do not have the opportunity to forage or to feed on forage as often or for as long as wild horses. They also often eat feed from elevated containers which changes the angle of their jawbones and the way their bites come together when they chew.
Despite their domestication, the teeth of domestic horses still grow to accommodate and are designed for a wild lifestyle of foraging. As a result, they can suffer from a variety of dental problems that arise from the odd, unnatural wear patterns that develop on their teeth while spending their days eating a domestic diet comprised of few foraging opportunities, elevated hay feeding, and grain-based feeds.

Common Dental Problems in Horses

Comprehensive Equine Dentistry With Advanced Equine of the Hudson Valley

At Advanced Equine of the Hudson Valley, we place a strong emphasis on lifelong dental examination and care for horses because we know the detrimental effect that even minor dental problems can have on a horse’s health, wellbeing, and performance.
Equine dental care should begin when horses are foals to ensure proper development, and comprehensive dental care should continue throughout adulthood to ensure thorough maintenance and the early detection and treatment of any developing dental problems.
To learn more about equine dentistry or to schedule an examination for your horse with an experienced equine veterinarian, we welcome you to contact Advanced Equine of the Hudson Valley today.