For horses and ponies in their senior years, providing the best quality of life is important and is often at the forefront of many owners’ minds. As with humans, age-related illnesses can develop in our equine friends, and knowing what these are, and how to manage them can prolong both the length, and quality of life for your horse or pony. Over the coming months, XLEquine practices will be helping owners to learn more about providing the best care for their older horse or pony, through their ‘Old Friends’ campaign.
Often veteran horses and ponies still lead active lives; many are still ridden, or are even competing well in to their later years. Exercise can be beneficial, but it’s important that older equines receive regular veterinary health checks to ensure they are in good health, and perhaps most importantly, continue to be safe to ride. Joint pain, heart disease, eye problems and respiratory conditions can all arise with age, and many can worsen over time, or can be life-threatening. Through regular health checks, your vet can help identify such problems early, and put a plan into place to manage the condition over time and determine what activities your horse or pony can safely do.
Good nutrition and dental care are another two areas where minor adjustments and continuous monitoring can be beneficial to keep older horses and ponies in tip-top condition. As equine teeth wear down with age, and become less efficient at grinding forage, an annual health check from your vet will highlight any changes to teeth. Your vet can also review your horse’s diet and provide advice regarding alterations to feed to prevent loss of condition. A dental check will also identify any tooth problems, such as diastemata, loose teeth and sharp edges and an appointment made to address these.
Over the coming months, XLEquine practices will be offering ‘Old Friends’ health checks tailored to the needs of your own horse or pony. The ‘Old Friends’ initiative will be launched regionally through the XLEquine practices; supported by informative materials for owners. For more details, or to find your nearest XLEquine practice, click here or download the XLEquine App. To find out what ‘Old Friends’ offers* your local XLEquine practice has, please contact the practice direct.
*XLEquine Old Friends campaign offers will vary from practice to practice.