Equine Rehabilitation Program

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Equine Rehabilitation Program


This rehabilitation program is based on an emaciated equine with a body score of 1 to 3.  The program needs to be adjusted slightly for each individual equine, but provides a solid guideline for the beginning of their rehabilitation.


Day 1 – 3:  Provide free choice good quality grass hay if possible or a minimum of 2 to 3 double feedings of hay per day and free choice clean water.  If the equine appears to be gorging itself, then switch to several smaller meals through the day.  Do not start grains yet, if fed concentrates too soon in their rehabilitation this may lead to liver, kidney or respiratory failure due to the increase amount of insulin being released into the body.  If the equine can not eat hay, then it can be fed a mixture of soaked beet pulp pellets and soaked grass hay pellets.


Day 4: If the equine has shown no digestive tract upset, concentrates may be introduced at this time at the rate of ½ pound 2 times per day.  The concentrates may be increased every 3 days by ½ pound until the desired amount of feed is achieved.  During this time the equine needs to be watched closely for any complications and the feed adjusted accordingly.  Keep in mind that an average size equine can only hold approximately 5 pounds of food in its stomach at any given time, so make sure not to overfeed or it could cause the equine to colic.  Recommended percentages for grain are no lower than a 6% fat and no higher than a 14% protein.


Day 7:  The equine may start being weaned onto grass/pasture at the rate of 1 hour one time per day and can be increased every 3 days at the rate of ½ hour added each time until completely weaned onto the grass/pasture.


Deworming:  Doing a slow kill on internal parasites is recommended to decrease the chance of impaction and/or other complications.  The first deworming should be done with Oxibendazole at no less than 7 days from intake and no more than 14 days.  The second deworming should be done with Pyrantel 2 weeks after the first deworming.  The third deworming should be done with Ivermectin (with Praziquantel in it to treat tapeworms – safest seems to be Equimax by Pfizer) 4 weeks after the second deworming.

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