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Saddle Up! Getting a Jump on Proper Horse Care
Date:6/23/2008

California Veterinary Medical Association Provides Tips on Caring for Your

First Horse

SACRAMENTO, Calif., June 23 /PRNewswire/ -- Many children and teenagers love horses and often parents buy or lease a horse for their child to teach positive skills and responsibility.

"Grooming, feeding and taking caring of a horse can be wonderful but a time-consuming responsibility," said Dr. Jeff Smith, president of the California Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA). "Caring for a horse's health is extremely important and should be taken very seriously."

Here are some CVMA tips on caring for your horse:

Keep Vaccinations Current: Be sure your horse receives all necessary immunizations, including West Nile virus, rhino/flu vaccine, tetanus, western and eastern encephalitis and influenza. Other vaccines, such as strangles and Potomac horse fever, should be given to horses at risk.

Put the Best Hoof Forward: Horses' hooves grow continually, so trimming should be performed every six to eight weeks. Excess growth can lead to added stress on bones, ligaments and joints potentially causing disease or injury. Overgrown and neglected hooves are more prone to hoof wall cracks, abscesses and thrush.

Keep Parasites Away: Parasites are the most common equine affliction with more than 150 varieties affecting horses. Telltale signs include a dull coat, tail rubbing and/or diarrhea. Because worms are typically ingested through food or water, avoid placing hay or grain on the ground. Most veterinarians advise de-worming horses at least four to six times per year depending on the type of pasture your horse grazes in and where the feed hay originates. Ask your veterinarian about the best de-worming program for your area.

Remember Dental Care: Horses' teeth should be examined regularly from birth, and "floated" by a veterinarian at least once per year beginning at age two. Horses' teeth grow continuously throu
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SOURCE The California Veterinary Medical Association
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
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