Your Healthy Horse: Do You Know How to Avoid the 5 Most Common Ailments?

Do you know why the most-common ailments plague horses?  It’s lack of awareness.  Most illness and health threats are easily addressed but prevention and solutions are unknown.

Flies, colic, and dehydration are common yet avoidable horse ailments.  Learn how to lessen and avoid the following to keep a healthy and happy horse.



Ear nets, fly repellant, and electric lights keep flies and pests away from horses.  Flies and other insects live off the blood of humans and animals, and can attract and transfer disease and sickness.

Anti-bacterial ointments and creams, as well as good cleaning of wounds, keeps horses healthy.  Yet, some diseases, such as swamp fever, are unavoidable in some cases, so an owner’s best defense is observing its symptoms.  Ensure you buy a horse trailer with plenty of ventilation and room for flies to escape.  For example, a 2 horse gooseneck trailer for sale requires added investment without proper ventilation.


Colic, an abdominal condition, is caused by dehydration, impact to the colon, or ingestion of fibrous foods.  Medication and surgery are common solutions, yet a veterinarian needs to assess the cause of colic before making a final decision.

Keep your horse in a dry and clean area; maintain a regular feeding schedule; and, provide needed parasite control.  Get an automatic waterer for the barn or pasture to avoid periods of dehydration and colic.


Severe heat, exercise, diarrhea, and a number of viruses lead to dehydration.  An owner needs to recognize the signs and commit to habits that lessen a horse’s tendency to get sick or overworked.

Thick saliva, lethargy, noticeable depression, high levels of protein in the blood, and dullness in the eyes are signs of dehydration.  Schedule regular vet visits in addition to spending daily time with horses to maintain a healthy level of awareness.


Like humans, horses are affected by pollen, mold, and insect bites as well as susceptible to a host of food-related allergies.  Hives, sneezing, coughing, and itching are common symptoms, yet most skin-related allergies disappear without aid of anti-itch cream.

Remember to clean the stable just as you would your home to rid it of dust, mold, and horses of allergic reactions.  Replace hay regularly and maintain areas to free them of dust, dirt, and aromas that attract flies and pests.


Horses work like machines, and like mechanical instruments, are prone to overheating.  During hot summers, the heat depletes a horse’s strength, and when regularly neglected, kills animals.  Horses struggle to regulate body temperatures depending on immediate duties and outside conditions.  An overheated horse could lose function of muscles, not want to eat or exercise, and exhibit uncommon behaviors.

Rinse horses with cold water; provide fresh water daily; and, increase the evaporation of sweat via alcohol swabs.  Moreover, don’t overwork a horse on a severely hot day and be mindful of irregular reactions and conditions.

Know the common ailments; address symptoms properly and swiftly; and, enjoy summer months free of cold weather and horse-related stress.  Keep flies away, cold water coming, and maintain regular visits with horses to stay aware of differences in behavior.  Awareness is an owner’s greatest medicine and defense against common horse ailments.

Estela Cooper has kept horses and livestock for a very long time now. An avid writer, she likes to help newbies to the horse world by sharing her insights online. Look for her informative posts on farming, racing horse and livestock blog sites today.