'Healthy Happy Horses, Naturally' with Catherine Bird

Posts tagged ‘water’

Herbs for waterlogged horses

Dealing with flood waters

When a flood hits an area, there is not always enough warning to get horses out of the way of rising floodwaters.

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Firstly don’t panic, a horse can go without feed for a long period of time, and most floodwaters will recede in a couple of days.

Floodwaters often contain sewerage and other pathogens, so it is important once waters do recede you need to be stringent about cleanliness. Disinfect water containers and feed bins, stables need to be hosed out thoroughly.

Some horses may have injuries or wounds from debris that has been in the water, so thoroughly clean any open wounds. Herbs like calendula and rosehips can be added to feed to help build immunity and make the lymphatic system more effective at this time. Calendula made into a tea and used to wash infected cuts and scratches can be very effective.

If your horse develops mud fever, add clivers to your horse’s feed.

A course of probotics would be worth considering in case your horse has ingested a nasty bacteria while standing in water, this will help your horse reestablish healthy gut bacteria.

Horses have been known to suffer hypothermia if left standing in flood waters, so monitor them closely. This is when a thermal blanket comes in handy if available.  One teaspoon of ginger powder added to any feed after standing in chilly water; or a slice or two of fresh ginger root added to a water bucket will also help the older horse warm from within.

If your horse has been without feed for several days, introduce a soft feed slowly. Sometimes without feed horses can develop a sensitive gut, or even esophageal ulcers, so a warm bran mash or softened pellets will not irritate your horse. If the experience has stressed your horse, chamomile flowers added to the soften feed will help with settling his nerves and soothing the gut.

The most important thing is to not hesitate to contact your veterinarian. A local veterinarian will often have seen many horses by the time you call, and will have a good local strategy worked out to assist you.

Travel Hints when Your Horse Doesn’t Want to Drink

drinking water competition celery herbs

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Some horses don’t like to drink away from home.

Suggestion 1

Add a teaspoon of celery seed to their feed the night before and when they are away – celery seed tends to make horse’s a little thirstier and encourages them to drink water.

Suggestion 2

Flavour their water with a small bottle of apple juice – we have all drunk water from a different water tank and know it can taste different – the addition of this small amount of juice can mask that difference and be yummy. If you forget to take juice with you a splash of coke or lemonade is a second-best option.

Suggestion 3

Soak their hay in a large bucket and when they eat their hay from the container they will also slurp up a good quantity of water.

These are just three ideas that have worked for clients in the past – if anyone else has any suggestions – you are most welcome to contribute as what has worked for you may just work for somebody else.