What does the Code of Practice say about the Care of Geriatric Horses?

Icon of a book The Care of Geriatric Horses

Senior horse with greying muzzle in outdoor enclosure eating hay.
Figure 3.4 An Old (‘Geriatric’) Horse
Image by Iva Balk from Pixabay

Specialized care is required for geriatric horses in order to meet their nutritional requirements and address any aging health concerns. Weight loss or failure to maintain appropriate body condition in the face of perceived adequate feeding strategies are common problems in geriatric horses. Some geriatric horses may require specialized feed rations. 

Causes of weight loss or poor body condition in geriatric horses, include: 

  • underfeeding or giving feeds of insufficient nutritional content 
  • reduced feed intake (e.g. due to competition for feed) 
  • inability to eat (e.g. due to painful dental problems) 
  • lack of appetite due to health conditions
  • increased nutrient requirements (e.g. due to health conditions) 
  • parasitism.

If owners observe signs of weight loss or poor body condition in geriatric horses, they should determine the cause and take corrective action.

Icon of a person's head and brain Practice Quiz

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