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Storey's Barn Guide to Horse Health Care + First Aid

Storey's Barn Guide to Horse Health Care + First Aid
Storey's Barn Guide
to Horse Health Care + First Aid 

Storey Publishing, 2007

Pinch Test

Dehydration, or the loss of body fluids, is a dangerous condition that can easily go undetected in horses. It is not easily recognized until the animal has lost 5% or more of its body weight. A loss or 12 to 15% of body weight in water is life threatening.

"The pinch test is a handy way to test a horse's hydration level by assessing the skin's turgor, or normal state of distention and resiliency," states Storey's Barn Guide to to Horse Health Care + First Aid. In the shoulder or neck area, pick up a fold of the horse's skin between your thumb and forefinger. Pull it away from the body. Then release the skin and observe how long it takes to return to its normal flat position. In a healthy, well-hydrated horse, the skin will return to this position almost immediately. In colder weather, it may take slightly longer, but not more than 2 seconds.

If after 3 seconds the skin remains markedly peaked, the horse had suffered some fluid loss. If after 5 to 10 seconds the skin appears "tented," the horse is suffering from moderate to severe dehydration and should be seen by a vet.

What To Do About Colic

Colic is a catch-all reference to "abdominal pain," which can have a variety of symptoms and arise from , a myriad of causes.Some of the more common types of the ailment include spasmodic colic (intermittent cramps arising from overexcitement or nervousness), sand colic (from unintentionally consuming sand) entertitis (an inflamation of the intestines often caused by parasites or toxins), constipation (from lack of water or exercise), and flatulent colic (excessive gas arising from highly fermentable feeds).

Never attempt to treat colic on your own,"
Storey's Barn Guide to to Horse Health Care + First Aid advises. "Colic is serious business. Improper treatment can lead to death, so a horse showing obvious signs of gastrointestinal distress should be examined by a vet.

"If the horse shows signs of colic, make note of his symptoms, take his pulse, check his capillary refill time, perform a pinch test and listen to his gut sounds. Then call the vet with your findings. Never leave a colicky horse unattended for long."

Back to the Book Stall

The second in a series of manuals designed to hang on an inside wall of a barn like a calendar, Storey's Barn Guide
to Horse Health Care + First Aid
is a practical reference providing advice on health care issues specific to horses, such as lameness, nutrition, wound treatment and removing a loose shoe.

Illustrated step-by-step instructions lead horseowners through daily health checks, basic dental and hoof care, and first aid.

Loaded with tips and suggestions on items that veteran horsepeople take for granted, like how to pick up a hoof to check the animal's shoes or applying a twitch, this manual will be especially useful for new horse owners.

Basic Horse Anatomy    Checking the Skin    Checking Vital Signs   
Restraining a Horse
Feed Requirements 
Feeding Seasonally    Toxic Plants
Dental Care
Teeth and Age
Hoof Care
Tips for Healthy Hooves
Basic Foot Anatomy    Foot Size
Picking Up a Hoof    Cleaning a Hoof    Checking a Hoof    Removing a Loose Shoe
Treating a Hoof
Infectious Diseases
Types of Parasites    
Removing Bot Eggs    Giving an Injection    Eye Medication
Applying a Sport Boot    Applying a Splint Boot
Cleaning the Genitals
First Aid
Treating Hoof Ailments Laminitis
Navicular Syndrome    Leg Ailments
Bone Problems
Treating Wounds
The Wound-Care Toolkit
Types of Wounds   
How to Clean a Wound
Bandaging a Wound    
Removing a Bandage    
Treating a Puncture    Treating a Fracture
Record Keeping Vaccination Schedule    Treatment Record 

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Copyright © 2006 Outrider News Service. All rights reserved.
Information in this document is subject to change without notice.
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