Survey Reveals Geriatric Horse Problems and Health CareBy Kentucky Equine Research Staff · May 17, 2011
To determine the prevalence of health problems in aged horses (>30 years old), researchers at the University of Liverpool, U.K., sent questionnaires to 128 horse owners residing in northwestern England and northern Wales. Eighty-seven usable responses were collected, and 69 aged horses and ponies were given a thorough physical examination.
A soundness examination revealed that 77% of the horses were lame in at least one limb, while nearly all of the horses (97%) had a limited range of motion. Interestingly, only 16% of owners felt as though their horses were lame during the previous 12 months.
Teeth anomalies were noted in all horses that stood for an oral examination, though less than half of owners mentioned dental problems on the questionnaire.
From the surveys and field examinations, it seems that many horse owners are unaware of their horses' age-related health problems.