Time for Your Bi-annual Vet Visit?

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If you're not on a regular, twice-a-year veterinary wellness visit schedule, now's the time to initiate this habit.

Besides recommending and administering the proper vaccinations for your area, your bi-annual visit should be used to check your horse's teeth, clean his sheath, check in on his worming program and make sure his overall health is in good order.

Most importantly, scheduling a bi-annual visit can save you money in vet bills down the road.

When the vet comes, it's a good idea to have familiarized yourself with the American Association of Equine Practitioner's vaccination guidelines (www.aaep.org) And remember, these are guidelines, not the rules. Your veterinarian may recommend additional vaccinations, particularly if a disease like Potomac Horse Fever has been occurring in your area.

At a minimum, your horse will need Tetanus, Eastern and Western Encephalitis, Rabies and West Nile. Additionally, your vet may recommend others such as Anthrax, Botulism, EHV, Equine Influenza, Strangles and Potomac Horse Fever among others.

Your vet should also have a look at your horse's teeth and check his vital signs. If he has points (sharp teeth) or needs floating, either have it done immediately or schedule an appointment in the near future. Bad teeth can affect performance and health, so this is crucial.

Now is also the time to discuss your horse's nutrition and worming program with your veterinarian.

And remember, an ounce of prevention equals a pound of cure.