IMPORTANT MESSAGE FROM DR. COOK
Certain medical conditions must prevent horses from working, or if recognized while working, should necessitate immediate return to the stables:
1) Colic. Signs include: pawing the ground incessantly, looking at the belly, trying to lie down.
2) Lameness: Head bobbing, or markedly reduced length of stride.
3)Tying up or reluctance to move.
4) Heaves. Signs include: huffing and puffing with nostrils flaring, elevated respiratory rate.
* Heaves seems to be the most prevalent right now. It affects horses at different times a year, but big drafty horses are often affected in the summer, especially when they get older.
* Any signs of huffing and puffing with nostrils flaring, and a respiratory rate elevated above 20 breaths per minute, must not work. If recognized while working, the horse must immediately stop working – immediately return to the stables. I must stress IMMEDIATELY.
* Additionally, if you recognize your horse already suffers from this condition, I should be consulted to help try to tailor a treatment plan that might allow you to work.
* There is a difference between breathing after strenuous work and heaves. Recovery time for a horse without any underlying problems should not exceed 10 minutes. Anything beyond is respiratory constriction. A horse standing idle should not be huffing and puffing.
5. Any open wounds or sores.