Geriatric Horse Care

Care for the Older Horse

Older horses present special challenges as they move into old age facing additional problems with their teeth, their joints, and with old age organ system compromise. As horses age, they, like their human owners, lose reserve capacity and are more prone to developing severe complications or even dying from incidents which would not be a severe threat to a younger animal.

All horse over the age of twenty should have routine blood panels at least every three years to monitor for organ compromise, Cushing’s Syndrome, insulin resistance, and other diseases common in the geriatric patient. Such diseases, if identified early, can often be managed or the onset delayed significantly with proper management.

Annual oral exams with regular floating are critical to manage proper occlusion of the teeth as the older horse starts to experience tooth loss. The inability to properly chew food is a major source of weight loss and poor digestions in the aging equine.

Special consideration should also be given to the problems caused by degenerative arthritis in the older horse. This condition can result in serious complications if the horse gets down and is unable to get up. Discuss possible preventive measures with your EVA veterinarian before this problem arises.
Contact Us
If you have questions or concerns about caring for an older horse, please feel free to contact Equine Veterinary Associates by calling out practice at 714-777-3942 or be filling out our online contact form. We are located in Anaheim and service all of Orange County.