Horses Equine Flu and Arthritis

The name for the Equine Flu condition is Allergic Respiratory Disease (ARD) and it shows up with flu-like symptoms rather than sinus or nasal difficulties. The horse's lungs will get inflamed, making them far more susceptible to virus and bacterial infections. This manifests as a recurring problem your horse never quite gets over. You'll also likely see coughing, excessive eye discharge and discover they get tired easily.

You can keep them outside in fresh air to try reducing the symptoms. If however your horse needs to be stalled, store your hay in a different location and make sure the airflow in the barn is good. Soak your hay before feeding if there is a dust problem. Arthritis in the Older Horses Just because your horse is older does not mean he is ready to retire and not get ridden. Even aging equines need exercise.

Not to mention the fact that they get bored doing nothing if they were active in their day. Aging horses still have sharp minds and although the body may not be keeping up as well as it once did - they appreciate being useful. Being ignored and left alone can lead to depression in a once active horse. If his joints are really swollen and painful and the Vet has suggested he be confined for a 24 hour or longer period, either use a box stall with lots of cushy hay or a small turn out pen with lots of soft grass underfoot.

If your horse is herd sour and pitches a fit when out of sight of its buddy, put the buddy someplace close. The last thing you want is your sore horse to be fretting and pacing more trying to find his friend. Since he'll just get as stiff as all get out if left standing in a stall, take him out twice a day and hand walk him. Remove his bandage first then walk for about 15 minutes to get limber. When you take him back to his stall or pen, rewrap the bandage.

Every day gradually increase his exercise. You will need to do this about four times a day as he progresses and then also reduce the length of time he is to be confined to about half the original period of time. You'll be doing controlled exercises like hand-walking, ponying at a walk or slow trot or riding at a walk or slow trot.

These all depend on what condition your senior is in, so use your discretion. If the swelling comes back, you need to slow down.

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