10 Warning Signs That Your Horse is Sick

Signs That Should Not Be Ignored

Some symptoms are hard to detect; that is why you need to check your horse’s coat, eyes, hooves, and back for any abnormalities. A useful guide such as allpetsexpert.comwill come in handy here. However, we know sometimes it can be challenging to differentiate between normal behavior and signs of illness that is why we have compiled this list for you.

  1. Eyes, Ears, and Nose

If you know how to take care of a horse, you know the animal is naturally curious; this means that the ears ought to move back and forth or be picked up. If the pony is asleep the ears should rest on each side.

If the animal is unhealthy or in pain, you will notice that he spends his time in a dark corner with a low hanging head with the ears pushed back.

Any type of nasal discharge, congested or teary eyes are signs of infections or underlying internal problems. Horse care should entail regular cleaning of the eyes and nose with clean water.

  1. Body Processes

Horses like other herbivores, eat and drink water most of the time. They also urinate several times as well as pass dung. Loss of appetite, discolored urine, drinking excess water, constipation, and diarrhea could be signs of digestive horse health problems.

  1. Skin and Fur

A healthy pony should have soft supple and glowing skin. Dry peeling skin, lackluster coat with greasy or dry hairs could be symptoms of an undiagnosed illness. Basic horse care helps you to groom the animal regularly to help it maintain a healthy coat and skin.

  1. Teeth

Checking the animal’s teeth should be on your basic horse care list because the teeth wear out over time. Some signs might be indications of other health problems, for instance, drooling, lack of appetite, foul breath, and mouth sores. Other symptoms such as swollen jaws, chewing using one side, spilling chewed food are signs of dental issues.

  1. Limbs

Your horse care routine should include examining the feet; this is important because early detection of minor conditions could prevent lameness. A healthy pony walks effortlessly, and the weight is distributed evenly on all limbs. Use your horse care supply to clean the hooves, and be cautious when brushing the heels. Watch out for stones, loose shoes, thorns, foul smell, discharge, and abnormal patches.

  1. Bad Back in Horse Care

This condition refers to a range of conditions such as bruising, muscle tension, and soreness which could be signs of underlying horse health problems.

Signs of back problems include buckling, resistance or aggression when saddled, strained movement, and dropping to one side. An ill-fitting saddle could cause some of these symptoms or they could be the indication of accidents from falling or slipping.

  1. Coughing

In your basic horse care, you will notice different coughs. The first is caused by cold which is characterized by watery mucus from the nose. If the condition is untreated, the cough becomes rapid, and the discharge turns yellow. Bacteria or allergic reactions can cause other coughs. You should quarantine your horse if you notice these signs to keep other horses and animals safe.

  1. Mud Fever

Wet and mushy conditions are the main culprits of this condition. It is characterized by high fever and inflamed skin around the stomach and legs. This condition is caused by bacteria that creep into the skin and cause wounds which heal and form scabs thus covering the infection.

  1. Fungal Infection

If you conduct horse care routine, you will be able to notice fungal infections such as ringworms before they spread all over the body. Look out for circular-shaped lesionswhich cause hair loss on the neck, back, head, and saddle regions. Remember to isolate the animal, destroy the beddings, and disinfect the equipment.

  1. Itching

One of the most common horse health problems during summer is the sweet itch caused by the female midge. This insect’s saliva causes an allergic reaction which leads to inflamed skin. The horse gets itchy along the mane, back, and tail. If untreated the pony could scratch itself and cause bruises and wounds. Sometimes the symptoms are dormant, and a pony might live with the disease until adulthood.


Horses might be sturdy, but they are susceptible to various illnesses which can be detected early through regular care and inspection. Most of the conditions are not severe, but they could cause adverse consequences if not treated.

Author Bio:

Rachel Hudson is passionate about writing on topics to do with domestic animals. Most of her work focuses on horses, their health, food, exercise, and accessories. Through interaction with horses, veterinarians, and animal owners; she writes comprehensive articles that help horse lovers to understand and provide for their pet’s needs and comforts.

by  on MAY 20, 2019 · LEAVE A COMMENT · in BARN AND HORSE