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Common Horse Sickness

By Lynn Lopez

Horses may be hardy creatures, made for working or racing, but this doesn't mean they aren't susceptible to illness. For the most part, a lot of their illnesses can be prevented by proper health care and by ensuring their safety, but other diseases can still severely threaten their health. Here are five of the common ailments a horse may experience.

Horse Colic. It is difficult to distinguish whether colic in horses is mild or already life-threatening. The symptoms include rolling, biting, kicking, and increased sweating. Observe the horse's vital signs and keep it comfortable in its stable and call a veterinarian.

Equine Herpes Virus. There are five strains of this virus, and they cause respiratory, reproductive, and neurological problems in horses. Vaccination and administering antibiotics can take care of the symptoms.

Horse Lameness. This can be caused by corns, a bruised sole, incorrect shoeing, mudfever, and laminitis. You can first observe how the horse is walking and if there are any visible abscesses or injuries to its legs. You can also try walking it around to determine which one is the injured leg.

Rainscald. This appears are scabbed areas all over a horse's back. Grooming and shampooing can usually ease the condition, although antibiotics will required in more severe cases.

Strangles. This is caused by bacteria called Streptococcus equi and affects the upper respiratory tract. The symptoms include a lack of appetite, nasal discharge, and fever. This is highly contagious and infected horses should be isolated for three weeks at least.

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