Causes of Poor Equine Body Condition in Nicaragua
One of the most obvious signs of welfare issues in working equids is emaciated body condition. While we might be quick to judge that these animals are not receiving enough food, the reality is that dental issues, parasites, or other diseases or conditions might be contributing factors.
Sara Gomez-Ibanez, DVM, of Sustainable Veterinarians International, has participated in a number of equitarian projects in Central America—“equitarian” referring to volunteer equine veterinarians sustainably improving working equid health. During an October 2014 Equitarian Workshop in Nicaragua, she decided to investigate several infectious and parasitic conditions of working equids there and see how they correlated with low body condition scores.
She presented her results at the 2015 American Association of Equine Practitioners Convention, held Dec. 5-9 in Las Vegas.
“As a veterinarian, I wondered why some horses looked so much better than others in the same area,” she said. “I started asking (the owners) questions and got recurring complaints: lethargy, inappetence, and ill thrift
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