‘Accident-Prone’ Horses May Merit Additional Examination

Though horse owners often joke that their horses seem to be looking for ways to injure themselves, is there a point where a horse may be more than simply “accident prone?” Dr. Amelia Munsterman, Associate Professor of Large Animal Surgery and Emergency Medicine at Michigan State University, tells EQUUS magazine there may be some additional reasons a horse may seem intent to harm himself, including soreness, lameness and neurologic issues.

The first step in determining whether there’s an underlying problem is to have the horse thoroughly checked by a veterinarian, including a focused neurologic exam. This exam will put the horse through a variety of movements to see if he knows where his limbs and body are in space. A lameness exam is also helpful as a horse that is sore may alter his gait and the way he moves, causing him to run into things.

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One other thing the vet should check is the horse’s vision. Limited sight in one or both eyes will cause difficulty for a horse trying to navigate his surroundings.

If all of these tests yield no concrete answers, the horse may simply be very curious; adding toys to his stall may keep him out of trouble, Munsterman says. Ensuring he is in a regular exercise program can assist with channeling his extra energy, and spacing out feedings can also help keep him busy and out of trouble.

Read more at EQUUS magazine.

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