Blood Tests

Joined
18 April 2015
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49
Hi,
Can anyone tell me how often I should do blood tests to keep an eye on the health of my 14 year old mare? I do my dogs every 3 to 4 months, is it the same for a horse? Also for the flu vaccine I have been told by the vet that it can be every 6 months or every 12 months, my choice. I have decided to do every 6 months, but if anyone knows a reason that this is wrong please could you let me know.
Thanks so much!
 

Red-1

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7 February 2013
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Hi, I don't generally blood test my horses unless I think there is a problem.

I do worm count (poo test) a couple of times a year, as we are on stable turnout (not new horses coming and going) and find we don't have to worm other than a tape worm and bots.

Usually I give a tetanus vaccination every 2 years and a flu vaccination every year. In the year when they are due both they are done with a single combined dose. However, this year there is a flu scare, with above average incidences, so this year a lot of horses (mine included) will be on a 6 month schedule.

ETA- if you do choose to do a general blood panel to check for general health, be aware that most tests show a horse to be low on red blood cells. This is because (my vet says) that the ideal results are based on racehorses, who would generally show a higher red blood cell count than a leisure horse.

I have known people try to correct a perceived low red blood cell count only to turn the, normally amenable, horse bats!

Other tests some people do are on the forage. That way they can supplement anything that the forage is short of.
 

Red-1

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7,103
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Yorkshire
Thanks so much! I had not known about the worm count but I will get this done too:)
Yes, I think a worm count is more important than a blood test. I added some after your comment...

ETA- if you do choose to do a general blood panel to check for general health, be aware that most tests show a horse to be low on red blood cells. This is because (my vet says) that the ideal results are based on racehorses, who would generally show a higher red blood cell count than a leisure horse.

I have known people try to correct a perceived low red blood cell count only to turn the, normally amenable, horse bats!

Other tests some people do are on the forage. That way they can supplement anything that the forage is short of. Personally I don't do that, I find that most horses do best on a mostly forage based diet, with a small feed of chop based food with a good quality general vitamin/mineral supplement in, I use Progressive Earth Pro Hoof. That has pretty much everything a horse needs, except salt. Manufacturers generally don't add salt to the feed as it makes it liable to get damp.

So to summerise, I don't habitually blood test but do habitually worm count, feed forage (hay or haylage) with a chop based feed (I use Agrobs, and only a small amount at that) with salt and a quality vit/mineral supplement.

That is sufficient and best for most horses, unless they are skinny.
 
Joined
18 April 2015
Messages
49
Yes, I think a worm count is more important than a blood test. I added some after your comment...

ETA- if you do choose to do a general blood panel to check for general health, be aware that most tests show a horse to be low on red blood cells. This is because (my vet says) that the ideal results are based on racehorses, who would generally show a higher red blood cell count than a leisure horse.

I have known people try to correct a perceived low red blood cell count only to turn the, normally amenable, horse bats!

Other tests some people do are on the forage. That way they can supplement anything that the forage is short of. Personally I don't do that, I find that most horses do best on a mostly forage based diet, with a small feed of chop based food with a good quality general vitamin/mineral supplement in, I use Progressive Earth Pro Hoof. That has pretty much everything a horse needs, except salt. Manufacturers generally don't add salt to the feed as it makes it liable to get damp.

So to summerise, I don't habitually blood test but do habitually worm count, feed forage (hay or haylage) with a chop based feed (I use Agrobs, and only a small amount at that) with salt and a quality vit/mineral supplement.

That is sufficient and best for most horses, unless they are skinny.

This is really great information - thank you so much! She is already having a general supplement, as much hay as she will eat, grass pellets and museli. She seems to do well on this, but I am always aware of how much I don't know about horse welfare, so your advice is very much appreciated. I will look into the supplement that you mention too. Thank you!
 

Red-1

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Joined
7 February 2013
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7,103
Location
Yorkshire
This is really great information - thank you so much! She is already having a general supplement, as much hay as she will eat, grass pellets and museli. She seems to do well on this, but I am always aware of how much I don't know about horse welfare, so your advice is very much appreciated. I will look into the supplement that you mention too. Thank you!
I chose a barefoot friendly one as barefoot people are geeky about nutrition (as bare feet show the results of poor nutrition sooner than those with shoes).

Mine has been barefoot over the winter, not sure how long she will be now we are picking up the work a bit more, but I have been avoiding any supplement with iron in and having a good level of copper instead. Horses don't use iron like humans do and they usually have too much.

You might do well to look at any threads on barefoot nutrition as people wiser than me will have contributed, as to the best supplementation. Or, to do the job absolutely correctly, you could have your soil and forage tested. I find that a bit OTT though.
 
Joined
18 April 2015
Messages
49
Your vet can do a worm count, or a lot of people on here use Westgate labs.

https://www.westgatelabs.co.uk/

They give you the result of the worm count and also a suggested worm program.

If you are new at worm control they will do a free phone consultation.

Thanks so much. We are in Poland so I suppose I need to ask the vet, but I'm sure he can do it. Thank you very much for the information:)
 
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