Fall Season and Your Horse

Rider Jumping Horse

Our veterinary specialists are dedicated to advancing the field of large animal veterinary medicine. Diagnostic and treatment services are available to improve our patients’ health and quality of life, while enriching the human-animal bond. Here are some tips for fall from the veterinarians of the UF Large Animal Hospital.

  • Although it is important to focus on preventive care year-round, fall is the time to ensure that your horse’s vaccinations are up-to-date. Consult your veterinarian about which vaccinations are appropriate for your horse.
  • Internal parasites become active again this time of year as it cools and can proliferate in pastures. Ask your veterinarian to perform a fecal egg count and to discuss with you about a deworming strategy.
  • Through Florida’s dry winter months, proper hoof hydration is important.
    • Tip: Allow your horse’s water trough to occasionally trickle over, creating a small puddle to allow their feet to become wet.
  • Before cold weather hits, take note of normal behavior when conditioning your horse. If you know your horse’s healthy habits during a workout, it is easier to spot problems, like stiffness, lameness or cardiovascular issues.
  • Grass is of poor nutritional quality in the colder months. Plan to supplement with another forage source such as hay, cubes or a complete pelleted feed.
  • Horses are seasonal breeders. For complete breeding examinations for your stallion or mare, call the UF Large Animal Reproduction Service at (352) 392-2229.
  • Foal season is just around the corner. The Equine Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (ENICU) at UF has board-certified internal medicine specialists and the capabilities to treat basic and the most critical cases.

The UF Large Animal Hospital provides 24-hour emergency services and the most advanced diagnostic and specialty services in Florida for horses and all large animals. Contact us for more information or to schedule an appointment.

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As part of both the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences and UF Health, Veterinary Medicine is dedicated to advancing animal, human and environmental health through teaching, research, extension and patient care.

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