Stress or Emer­gency?

Practical Horseman - - Cross Country -

Many signs of stress are sim­i­lar to signs of an emer­gency sit­u­a­tion, in­clud­ing colic-like symp­toms, di­ar­rhea or go­ing off his feed. How do you know what is nor­mal stress and what war­rants a call to your vet­eri­nar­ian?

Ac­cord­ing to Ted Wright, DVM, of Cedar Ridge An­i­mal Hos­pi­tal & Equine Ser­vices, a horse with di­ar­rhea should al­ways have his body tem­per­a­ture taken. A com­bi­na­tion of runny ma­nure and a fever (101°F or higher for an adult equine) could in­di­cate a se­ri­ous prob­lem. A horse re­fus­ing grain meals or ex­pe­ri­enc­ing overt signs of colic should al­ways be re­ported to a vet.

“Our num­ber-one emer­gency as horse vets and the lead­ing cause of death is colic. Any signs of colic, such as paw­ing, look­ing at the flank, ex­ces­sive yawn­ing or mouth move­ments merit a call.”

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