Annual Wellness Exams for Horses

Wellness care can result in a healthier, longer life for the horse at a more predictable and manageable cost for the owner.
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wellness exams for horses
Wellness care can result in a healthier, longer life for the horse at a more predictable and manageable cost for the owner. | Photo: Kevin Thompson/The Horse

Wellness care can result in a healthier, longer life for the horse at a more predictable and manageable cost for the owner.

The thing about horses is they can’t talk to you to tell you what’s wrong. Sometimes they are “speaking,” but their communication is so subtle that without a trained eye or experience, you might miss some issues that are important to a horse’s well-being. With that in mind, it is a sound practice to have your veterinarian conduct wellness exams for horses at least annually or semiannually. By implementing such an exam once or twice a year, you will be taking a proactive approach to your horse’s care, and you will be avoiding problems in the future.

Harry Werner, VMD, who owns Werner Equine, in North Granby, Connecticut, is an American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) Distinguished Life Member and has long been committed to providing excellence in health care to his clients’ horses. Werner remarks, “Following AAEP principles, our practice’s mission has always been to provide veterinary care that improves the health and welfare of the horse. In our experience, providing proactive wellness care for our patients—and educating horse owners and associated equine professionals about the value of such care—helps us meet our mission statement goals.”

Werner emphasizes how effectively this strategy has worked for him: “In more than 33 years of practice, I’ve seen fewer medical emergencies, communicable infection cases, dental disease, and parasite-related colic when educated horse owners and trainers recognize the value of preventing health problems. Proactive wellness care means healthier, active horses and fewer veterinary visits

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Written by:

Nancy S. Loving, DVM, owns Loving Equine Clinic in Boulder, Colorado, and has a special interest in managing the care of sport horses. Her book, All Horse Systems Go, is a comprehensive veterinary care and conditioning resource in full color that covers all facets of horse care. She has also authored the books Go the Distance as a resource for endurance horse owners, Conformation and Performance, and First Aid for Horse and Rider in addition to many veterinary articles for both horse owner and professional audiences.

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