There are some winter pathologies that the horse could face in the most severe period like humans. Knowing the symptoms helps to intervene in a timely manner.
Winter pathologies can be of bacterial or viral origin or simply linked to temperature changes or cold air blows. Exposure of the horse to freezing air or its permanence in an unhealthy and humid environment can lead to diseases affecting the respiratory system, eyes, or skin.
For horses that remain in the stable, humidity, accumulation of ammonia vapors, mold and dust inside can cause various respiratory problems.
It is important to maintain a healthy and ventilated environment so that the horse can breathe clean, fresh air.
Bacterial and Viral infections
Environmental and climatic conditions favor the onset of pathologies of infectious origin that affect the respiratory system. These include influenza, rhinopneumonitis, arteritis, pneumonia, and/or bacterial and fungal pleuropneumonia. In this case, the necessary treatment will have to be based on antibiotics.
The causes of cough from respiratory disease in horses can be bacterial or viral or because of cold air. For this reason, it is important to identify the type of cough if acute or recent linked to the upper respiratory tract (larynx, trachea) or if it is low relative to bronchi, bronchioles.
An acute cough is attributable to diseases such as colds, acute laryngitis, acute tracheitis, acute bronchitis, or allergies. The cough can also be chronic, that is, long-standing and resistant to treatments.
In the case of a simple cold, in addition to the cough, other symptoms such as more or less abundant nasal discharge (called mucus), nasal congestion, phlegm, sneezing, and exhaustion occurs.
Horses with a depressed immune system can experience colds and sinusitis either by getting cold or by contracting viruses and bacteria that cause infections.
Cold symptoms are sneezing, nasal congestion, mucus secretions, and exhaustion.
One of the immediate and simple therapies is inhalation.
- bucket of hot water and salt
- as an alternative to salt it is possible to use essential oils (chamomile, eucalyptus, camphor, sage, thyme or peppermint). Essential oils must be very diluted to prevent the animal’s nasal mucous membranes from becoming irritated.
- place the bucket under the horse’s nose
- inhalation must last 15-20 minutes for two or three applications per day.
It is possible to prevent by strengthening the animal’s immune system with adequate nutrition or with supplements such as echinacea also available in drops or tablets.
The cold Shot
Even the horse risks the cold stroke especially in places where the temperature is rigid and in the face of temperature changes.
The symptoms are tremors, muscle pain, anxiety, apathy, nasal discharge, and fever. If neglected, the cold stroke can lead to a cold. First, it is important to shelter the horse and warm it up.
Prevention is essential. Shorn horses are more exposed to the cold stroke. Avoid leaving the horse sweaty, exposing the animal to sudden changes in temperature or currents of cold air.
Mud fever or metacarpal dermatitis and dermatophytosis are skin diseases. Dermatophytosis affects the animal’s rump and butt while mud fever affects the paws.
When the skin is soft, it is more exposed to bacteria that cause an infection. Consequently, crusts, scaly and swollen areas are created. In this case, it is possible to wash with chlorhexidine or Marseille soap. During treatment, avoid exposing the horse to mud.
The horse is also sensitive to the eyes and can experience conjunctivitis that can result from irritation or bacteria entering the eyes. The symptoms are redness, swelling, and dripping of pus. It is possible to make chamomile compresses or resort to an antibiotic usually in drops or cream to be applied to the eye.
During treatment, protect the eye, perhaps with an anti-fly mask.