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September 12, 2019
If your horse comes in from the pasture or from a trail ride covered with ticks, he could be facing potential health risks. In many areas of the country, ticks come with warmer weather and can stick around well into the late fall. Here’s what you need to know about ticks and how to keep your horse healthy.
Ticks transmit a number of diseases to horses, including Lyme disease, anaplasmosis, and equine piroplasmosis. Some horses may show no signs of having contracted a tick-borne disease, while others can develop a variety of symptoms including fever, muscle wasting, lameness and more.
Even if a tick doesn’t transmit one of these diseases to a horse, the site of a tick bite can become swollen and itchy. Scientists believe that ticks need to be attached for about 24 hours to transmit disease, but it’s best to prevent ticks from biting at all to help minimize that risk.
If a tick bites your horse, note the location of the bite and the date when it occurred. Keep an eye on the area to make sure that it heals well; if you notice any unusual symptoms, call your vet. Many horses recover from tick bites without incident, but the more information you have, the faster your vet can make a diagnosis if your horse does have a tick-borne disease.
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These seven tips can help to keep your horse’s lungs healthy so you can both breathe easily during rides and competitions.
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