2 Preventive Veterinary Care Although riding activities slow down in the winter, your horse’s health and general maintenance are still important. Boosters for
equine influenza and rhinopneumonitis are recommended twice a year to ward
off respiratory infections caused by these viruses.
Strategic deworming programs should be based on fecal egg counts for each
individual horse. An effective deworming program helps your horse get the most
from his feed and reduces the risk of colic and weight loss. The fall months are a
good time to treat for encysted small strongyles even if a fecal egg count comes
back as negative. These parasites migrate into the intestinal wall and lie dormant
until spring so limiting their numbers now benefits your horse’s intestinal health.
Your horse’s nutritional needs increase about 5 to l0 percent for every degree
below freezing. To improve your horse’s ability to eat and digest his feed, have
your horse’s teeth checked by your vet so dental care can be addressed.