Seasonal Care

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Ticks are a nuisance that can often go undetected. Because of the risk of disease transmission (Lyme disease, Anaplasmosis, Equine piroplasmosis), it is important to frequently examine your horse for the presence of ticks, and to take steps to lower risk of exposure.

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There are a vast number of plants located throughout Canada that are toxic to horses in some respect. Many need to be eaten in large doses to cause much of an effect, while others require only a few mouthfuls. There are a variety of resources on plants toxic to livestock, but the Canadian Poisonous Plants Information System seems to be the most comprehensive. It lists over 250 poisonous plants found in Canada, their lethal dose (if known), and symptoms of poisoning.

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Spring is upon us and so is the prevalence of gas colic. Equine Guelph is sharing many strategies to prevent it. First, Equine Guelph recommends that every horse owner refers to its FREE Colic Risk Rater Tool to help them assess their management practices, such as introducing new feeds slowly to reduce their colic risk. An excellent video discussing safe introduction to spring pasture with expert in equine nutrition, Don Kapper, has just been added to the valuable resources housed on the Colic Risk Rater web page.

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The equine respiratory tract is responsible for many different functions and is, on a basic level, quite similar to the human respiratory tract. One of its primary functions is the exchange of oxygen between the lungs and the red blood cells, which allows oxygen to be delivered to tissues throughout the body and becomes especially important during exercise when the oxygen consumption of the tissues increases. Another important function is the clearance of irritants such as dust, ammonia, and bacteria, from the respiratory tract. This is done by filtering large dust particles in the nose, coughing, sneezing, and trapping irritants in the airway mucus. However, excess nasal discharge, coughing, sneezing, and mucus secretion are all signs that a horse may be suffering from respiratory problems.

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Does your horse have a drinking problem? Good hydration is not just about how much a horse drinks, it’s also about how the water is used internally. A properly hydrated horse with balanced electrolytes will be healthier and perform better. A dehydrated horse is at increased risk of impaction colic and reduced athletic potential.

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Persistent and large amounts of rainfall can create challenges for equine care and have negative effects on your horse’s overall health.

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Etiquette and safety are closely related, in many cases, a lack of one creates a breach of the other. Poor etiquette typically leads to unsafe situations, while good etiquette paves the trail for a safe riding experience. It is the right and responsibility of every trail user to ensure their oTrail etiquette and safety calls for cyclists to yield to hikers and horses, and hikers to yield to horses.wn safety and expect safe practices from other trail users.

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