Geriatric Care Program
Growing older has its effects on health for everyone, including your horse. Understanding these changes and addressing the evolving needs of your loved one will help your horse achieve their best potential to a “ripe old age”. We have several patients that are into their forties! While such a number is optimistic for most horses, we do feel that proper preventative care can help prolong the health and vitality of your horse. New York Equine offers a “geriatric program” geared to those changing needs, which can be catered to each individual so that their specific concerns are addressed. This program is geared towards horses 15 years and older that may have increased risk for certain diseases and/or have a need for a different management program than their younger counterparts.
In general, an annual to biannual thorough physical exam is recommended to monitor weight changes, assess heart and lung function, and general overall condition of your older friend. Radiographs of the feet, particularly in cases where laminitis has been a past problem, can be monitored yearly. Dental needs of the older horse are different than that of a younger horse, and as their oral dentition changes, so might their nutritional management need correction. General bloodwork performed at least yearly can help catch early changes in organ function and note any changes in white blood cells or red blood cells (anemia). Bloodwork geared towards testing for metabolic conditions, including equine metabolic syndrome and Cushing’s syndrome, is important for this age group. A lot of our patients are athletes, and assessing soundness and addressing any lameness issues becomes even more important in maintaining joint health and athletic ability. Oftentimes flexion tests, completed as part of an overall soundness evaluation, can pinpoint certain joints that have underlying arthritic changes before a lameness arises and addressed accordingly.
Please call to discuss what specific components of our program could benefit your horse. We enjoy working with your loved one, and look forward to maintaining their health to retirement and beyond!