How Immunosenescence Impacts Senior Horse Care

Your horse’s immune system is aging with him. Here’s what to remember when managing your old horses.

No account yet? Register


You might not have heard the word “immunosenescence,” but if you’re caring for an older horse, you’re dealing with it daily. It seems that aging isn’t just a matter of time marching on for the horse as a whole; the immune system itself is also aging biologically via this process.

As horses age, their systemic immunity declines, which can contribute or lead to increased prevalence of cancer, autoimmune and chronic diseases, poor response to vaccination, and increased susceptibility to common infectious diseases.

Amanda A. Adams PhD, a researcher at the University of Kentucky Gluck Equine Research Center, in Lexington, spoke on the topic at the 2016 American Association of Equine Practitioners convention, held Dec. 3-7 in Orlando, Florida. She explained research findings regarding how aging horses respond to vaccinations, inflammation, and parasites.

Another term you might not have heard is “inflamm-aging,” or chronic, low-grade inflammation that occurs with age. We normally think of inflammation as being acute, for instance, as with a swollen ankle. With treatment, that acute inflammation resolves in days, and the swelling subsides

Create a free account with to view this content. is home to thousands of free articles about horse health care. In order to access some of our exclusive free content, you must be signed into

Start your free account today!

Already have an account?
and continue reading.


Written by:

Maureen Gallatin is a freelance writer, founder of Horses on a Mission, and author of the inspirational devotional, An Extra Flake.

Related Articles

Stay on top of the most recent Horse Health news with

FREE weekly newsletters from

Sponsored Content

Weekly Poll

sponsored by:

Which skin issue do you battle most frequently with your horse?
252 votes · 252 answers

Readers’ Most Popular

Sign In

Don’t have an account? Register for a FREE account here.

Need to update your account?

You need to be logged in to fill out this form

Create a free account with!