A closeup of a horse's eye. Photo by Jannelle Lamprecht.……

You can save yourself a lot of headache by learning some health terms in the horse world. It will make communicating with your veterinarian and farrier so much easier! When they ask important questions, it’s essential you use the correct terms so they get a clear picture of what’s truly going on. This will also allow them to decide if the situation is an emergency or can wait.

“Must Know” Horse Health Terms

  1. Abscess: A pocket of puss in the horse’s hoof or sole. In some cases, you’ll need to soak the hoof in Epsom salt. This will drawl out the infection and allow it to drain.
  2. Acepromazine: “Ace” is a common tranquilizer.
  3. Banamine: An anti-inflammatory for pain, swelling, and fever.
  4. Bowed tendon: The lower part of your horse’s leg will swell and bow outward.
  5. Choke: The horse has an obstruction in their esophagus or throat. Many times, it’s due to horses eating too quickly.
  6. Colic: Intestinal/ abdominal pain. It can be caused by different things, including gas or impaction.
  7. Founder: The laminae of the hoof becomes inflamed.
  8. Hives: An allergic reaction in the skin to something in the horse’s environment or that was consumed.
  9. Lameness: The horse has abnormal movement usually due to pain or discomfort.
  10. Rain rot: A bacterial infection on the skin. Wet conditions can trigger it.
  11. Stocking up: An accumulation of fluid in the horse’s leg(s).
  12. Strangles: A bacterial infection that is very contagious. It causes swelling and discomfort in the lymph nodes.
  13. Sweet itch: An allergic reaction due to midges or sometimes mosquitoes.
  14. Thrush: An infection of the frog. It usually looks like black puss and smells horrible.
  15. White line disease: An infection that wrecks havoc on the tissue of the hoof wall.
A closeup of a horse’s nose. Photo by Jannelle Lamprecht.

Unfortunately, there are many different aliments that affect horses. By knowing some of the common ones, you can be better prepared! It’s also helpful to learn the various parts of your horse, especially when communicating with your vet.