pain-mangeTimely identification and resolution of pain is an important step to ensure good health for your horse.

When Dr. Werner examines a horse showing signs of pain, he must

  • Understand the anatomy and physiology of different pain pathways
  • Recognize different categories of pain
  • Identify the causes and effects of the pain
  • Determine how to resolve the pain

Special considerations for horses in pain:

  • Horses that live under constant stress to perform or compete may require a greater stimulus to provoke a pain response than horses that live in a stress-free, non-competitive environment.

This aspect of pain in performance horses may explain why they may willingly complete a competition class in spite of experiencing pain from a pre-existing injury or disease. They may not show obvious signs of pain until they return home to their normal routine.

  • A horse that adjusts its gaits or way of jumping to compensate for chronic pain (such as from gastric ulcers or a sore fetlock) may also suffer other serious health problems in the future if you do not resolve the pain from those underlying conditions.

How can you know if your horse is in pain?

  • Pay careful attention to subtle signs of discomfort that may mean your horse is in pain.
  • Identify and address common problems such as orthopedic disease, gastric ulcers, dental pain and ill-fitting tack before continuing to train, compete or use a horse you suspect may be in pain.
  • Understand that unresolved pain can debilitate your horse and cause loss of normal form and function.

How can you manage and treat a horse’s pain?

  • Have an equine veterinarian identify and treat the cause of the pain.
  • Modify or stop training as indicated.
  • Follow a rehabilitation program if one is prescribed.
  • Administer doctor-prescribed, pain-relieving medications to help rehabilitation, not to mask signs of pain.

Call us at 860.653.5088 to learn more about Pain Management at Werner Equine.