A New Horse With an Unknown History: Where to Start?

I purchased a horse, and she came with no health records. How do I get her back on a preventive care regimen?

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A New Horse With an Unknown History: Where to Start?
Veterinarians recommend housing new horses in a 'welcome barn' for 14 to 21 days upon arrival. | Photo: iStock

Q. I recently purchased a horse from an auction, and she came with no health records whatsoever. I have no clue where to start when it comes to getting her back on a preventive health regimen. Should I just deworm and vaccinate her like my other horses? Does she need any special care?

—Cathy, via email

A. Any new horse to your own farm with horses or a boarding/training barn situation should always be placed in a quarantine area for a minimum of 14 to 21 days. A “Welcome Barn” that is situated away from the regular herd or horse traffic—but close enough that the new horse doesn’t feel isolated for one month—is recommended. This allows the barn manager or farm owner to monitor the new horse for potential contagious diseases, such as strangles or influenza. Then after the quarantine time period, you can introduce the horse to the rest of the horses

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Written by:

Erin Denney-Jones, DVM, is an FEI veterinarian and owner of Florida Equine Veterinary Services, in Clermont, Florida. Her interests and practice areas include chiropractic care, sport horse medicine, reproduction, general medicine and surgery, and preventive care including wellness programs, vaccinations, parasite control, and dentistry.

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