Treating cuts and tears in horses

Knowing how to treat horses with minor cuts and tears is important for every horse owner. This article discusses six steps to follow when treating a cut or tear.


Wounds require immediate attention and first aid treatment. The seriousness of a wound depends on the location, depth, type of cut or tear, amount of tissue damaged, and type of tissue affected. Serious wounds should be treated by a veterinarian. All cuts and tears should be cleaned thoroughly and all …

Common Ectoparasites in horses

What is an ectoparasite? An ectoparasite is a parasite that lives on the skin surface of an animal–in this case, the horse. The primary ectoparasites of horses are houseflies, stable flies, mosquitoes, and, to a lesser extent, horse and deer flies.


The common housefly (Musca domestica) is by far the most common pest for horses. Houseflies are a nuisance as well as carriers of disease to humans and horses. A housefly in two weeks time may lay more than …

Temperature, Pulse and Respiration in a Horse

Equine Vital Signs

Temperature, pulse, and respiration ( TPR) are the basic physiological parameters every horse owner or care provider should know if he or she wants to take proper care of a horse. These three vital signs are very important and can greatly help you and your veterinarian when you think your horse might be sick. Just knowing the normal values for these three vital signs can provide great insight about your horse’s physiological state.

How to Administer an Injection in horses

How to vaccinate

Giving an injection for the first time can be a little nerve-racking, but with practice it gets easier. Horses feel far less pain then humans do from shots. Most vaccines are given intramuscularly (IM) in the neck or hip. Injections can also be given subcutaneously (SQ) or intravenously (IV). Subcutaneous injections are given under the skin but not in the muscle. Intravenous injections are given directly into a vein.

In preparation to administer an injection, do the …

How to administer deworming medicine in horses

At one time, most deworming was done with a stomach tube by a veterinarian, because many older products were caustic to the horse’s gastrointestinal tract. Today, most horses are given an oral dewormer as a paste or gel by the horse owner or farm manager. Research has shown that paste or gel deworming is as effective as tube deworming. Oral deworming is also more convenient and far safer than tube deworming.

The following procedure prevents horses from spitting out an …

Proper bandaging technique and types of bandages in horse

Leg bandages for horses can serve as a form of support for the horse while traveling, working, or recovering from injury. It is important to understand how to properly bandage a horse.

There are any number of reasons to bandage a horse’s leg. Bandaging can provide both protection and support for the horse while working, traveling, resting, or recovering from injury. Regardless of the reason a bandage is being applied, it is essential that the proper technique be used. Applied …

Shipping Bandages

There is a plethora of commercially available protective shipping gear for equine legs– everything from a simple fabric-fastening wrap for the cannon bone area to a full-length leg cover that is molded to go over the hock or knee. The individual horse’s needs should be taken into account before choosing which type to use.

Commercial “pillow” or “quilted” wraps that are the appropriate length for the leg and provide thick padding are most commonly used for shipping. The material should …

Standing Bandages

The standing bandage is used on many performance horses during performances or for standing for half or all of a day. The wrap should be snug, clean, and wrinkle-free.

The main functions of standing bandages are to provide protection and support and to cover various leg sweats, paints, liniments, or poultices. The support can help reduce any “stocking up” or wind puffs, but the actual support that is provided to the tendons and other leg structures is not as much …

Management and control of internal parasites in horses

Signs of Parasite Infestation

Contrary to popular belief, many horses that have dangerous parasite levels appear to be perfectly healthy. From the outside they may be fat, sleek, and shiny, while on the inside worms are doing irreparable damage. But in other horses, especially young ones, parasites can take a visible toll.

Signs of infestation might include:

  • dull, rough hair coat
  • lethargy or decreased stamina
  • weight loss, coughing and/or nasal discharge
  • tail rubbing and hair loss
  • resistance to the bit

Ascarids in horses

Internal parasites are small organisms that live a portion of their life cycle in a host animal–in this case, the horse. They live in internal organs, body cavities, and tissues while gaining their nutritive source by feeding on the host animal. The horse is affected by many different species of parasites. The nature and extent of damage varies with the parasite.

Parasite infestation causes loss of nutrients or blood from the host, resulting in serious medical problems. Horses heavily burdened …