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How to Recognize & Manage Pain

Nobody wants a horse to suffer or be in pain. But before pain can be effectively treated, it first must be detected – and that’s not always as easy as you might think. Yes, a horse that is lame or nipping at his belly is clearly in discomfort, but horses often hide other types of discomfort. Dr. Bri Henderson an equine sports medicine veterinarian, based out of Mono, Ontario, with Ferguson Equine Veterinary Services, pointed out that “Horses are a prey species – they are preprogrammed to hide weakness and pain from potential predators. They are by nature stoic, and often the subtle cues of pain are missed in the daily hustle and bustle.” Types Pain can be classified into two general types: somatic, usually associated with bones, ligaments and tendons or injuries to the skin; and visceral, associated with the internal organs and the digestive tract. Somatic pain tends…

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