Whether you have one horse or 40, maintaining health records on your animals is the easiest way to stay on top of their annual vaccinations, dental upkeep and any injuries or diseases they may experience throughout their lives. A health record gives you easy access to past annual dates, thus giving you a better idea when this year’s annual shots need to be done. It eliminates the guessing game – because trust me, having a place to record everything is much easier than trying to remember what your horses had done three months ago.
Detailed information on your horse(s) can be valuable information for your veterinarian in times of illness or to potential buyers. The files might also come in handy if you have to leave the care of your horses in someone else’s hands temporarily.
Organizing an system that works for you is the first hurdle to overcome. We simply use a couple of file drawers down at the barn with separate files for every horse. Then when a vaccine is administered or something notable occurs, it’s easy to write that information into an individual file while it’s still fresh in our minds.
Parts of an individual horse’s records should include:
1. The horse’s identification – Owner’s name and contact information, alternative emergency contact info, horse’s registered name and barn name and registration numbers, age, brand or tattoo info, color and markings, breed, and gender.
2. Precautions – This information is very good for a vet to know before any work is done on a specific horse. It includes allergies, behavioral issues like cribbing or horse that kicks, etc., and if the animal is prone to anything, for instance Rompin aggression (reaction to Xylazine).
3. Deworming Record – Basically this just keeps track of the date a product was given and the type of product used.
4. Vaccination Record – This part keeps track of vaccines administered, the dates they were given, any possible booster due dates, plus adverse reactions a horse had experienced to specific vaccines.
5. Dental Care – This part details any dental treatments done, the dates they were done and specific teeth or issues that were dealt with on that day.
6. Illness / Injuries / and Veterinary Care – This part includes any injuries or disease that may have occurred and the dates of which they were first noticed. It also includes the type and care administered by you and your staff.
Veterinary Care then generally details wounds or lamenesses, diagnosis, prognoses (in how long an expected improvement should be seen), what treatment was given and any complications seen during the healing time.