Readers Share Summer Worries

More than 670 readers of TheHorse.com responded to a poll asking, "What is your top horse health concern for summer?"

results of poll on worries for the summer season

Results were as follows: 

  • Other: 30.95% (208)
  • Mosquito-borne disease: 29.46% (198)
  • Parasite management: 22.77% (153)
  • Pain management: 5.65% (38)
  • Foal care (first vaccinations, deworming, weaning, etc.): 3.87% (26)

Readers shared their worries for the summer season and their equines in the comments below.

Poll sponsored by Intervet Schering-Plough Animal Health.

Results of weekly polls from TheHorse.com are published in The Horse Health E-Newsletter. Published every week, this e-newsletter offers news on diseases, veterinary research, health events, and in-depth articles on common equine health conditions and what you can do to recognize, avoid, or treat them. Sign up for our e-newsletters using the form above or on our e-newsletter page.  

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  • Summer heat on an aging horse.
  • gelding with navicular
  • culicoides induced summer itch!
  • getting and keeping fat horse off the grass after all this rain. And dealing with the heat!
  • Weight and grass consumption
  • However, I don't have a foal every year, then its weight contol of pastured non-working horses
  • Summer sores and reaction to insect bites/stings
  • HEAT
  • Heat stress
  • grass founder
  • flying insects that drive the horses crazy. I use fly sheets with neck wraps, fly masks and leg wra
  • lameness issues
  • sandfly management
  • rehabilitation
  • flies and heat
  • flies
  • allergies
  • A very wet spring and early summer in Oregon will mean a plethora of mosquitoes.
  • biting insects
  • Heat and flys
  • flys,worms
  • fly bites on thinned skinned horses
  • this year, the danged flies!
  • Keeping away the flies!
  • Seasonal COPD Episodes
  • ticks & flies
  • pasture management
  • keeping the weight off due to lush pastures
  • heat stress is another major factor in the south.
  • Heat related problems-we live in Arizona
  • Feeding the fat horse
  • dexamethasone
  • different information from multiple sources. Worm at 1 mt, no....at 2 mts., worm with this or that
  • laminitis
  • leg & hoof injuries from trail riding
  • flies,flies, flies
  • keeping my gnat sensitive horse as comfortable as practibly possible, having effective repellents
  • Managing my Cushing's/IR mare and IR mini gelding in the heat and humidity.
  • Mud. The damn mud is everywhere (Seattle).
  • fly & mosquito control
  • Hives
  • We live close to the Colorado river and mosquitos are abundant
  • anhidrosis
  • training related injuries
  • fly and other biting insects
  • my horse is insect phobic
  • They are just difficult to manage if no one around you contributes to control
  • Heat affect on the horse
  • heat
  • pain mgmt from increased activity & older horses
  • preventing EPM and Equine herpes Virus
  • aged equine with extreemely worn and missing teeth
  • The ticks are awful with the wet weather!!!
  • fly control, especially when riding
  • COPD issues such as heaves
  • Being in Arizona my worry is always whether my horse will handle the heat each year.
  • Eyes must be kept clean. Last year lots had swollen/runny eyes. Mine was OK though.
  • live on a boarding facility with a horse trader as one of us boarders. so disease is a worry.
  • heat-related problems
  • heat, flies, too much rain to work effectively outside
  • fly control
  • skin sensitivity to biting flies, and mosquitos
  • Tick borne illnesses. I have advanced, chronic Lyme disease, and I'm worried about my horses!
  • Rain rot
  • We are expecting a dry summer - pastures will become damaged if rain isn't available for growth
  • heat exhaustion in So FL
  • people like Gary belcher
  • fly management
  • allergies
  • 2 horses with advanced, high ringbone
  • Not getting ridden enough
  • saddle fitting with long rides
  • Keeping my horse as comfortable as possible in muggy & buggy weather.
  • West Nile
  • Ticks, and other bugs
  • thunderstorms with lightening
  • Heat, humidity, hydration & electrolytes
  • Keeping driving pony joints healthy & pain-free.
  • Heat problems
  • not sweating. In Florida this can put an end to any riding.
  • Heat--Our summers can be very stifling hot & humid
  • flies... flies and more flies
  • Heat stress managment & insect bite allergic reactions
  • Severe Weather
  • founder and feet issues
  • Nuilding up my horse to her proper wieght within 30 days?
  • Over heating
  • have nurse mare baby
  • heat related issues; bugs
  • Mosquitos on Long Island are like Concords this year.
  • I've had West Nile already!
  • Our horses will be going on a 2 day riding trip soon & I worry what the other 148 horses might have.
  • keeping horse comfortable in hot humid weather
  • heat and humidity
  • making sure my horse has nothing happen (lameness, cuts etc) so I can ride
  • Making sure the horses are comfortable as possible in high heat and humidity
  • Lyme disease
  • Between the insect bites and rain rot, taking care of my sensitive-skinned chestnut is time consumi
  • Heat and stress management
  • I'm most concerned about mosquito and fly and gnat control. They torture my horses every summer.
  • Laminitis - been through that before from too mouch lush grass - what a worry. Muzzles are the norm
  • does not sweat
  • in addition to mosiquito-borne disease, summer heaves and hurricanes
  • sand colic prevention
  • my horse had laminitis in Az can it go out on grass pasture now
  • Ticks -- lyme's Disease!!
  • laminitis
  • too much grass= too fat horses
  • Hydration!!!!!!!!!!
  • Insulin resistance / weight mgmt on pasture
  • dehydration
  • insect bites
  • controlling flies
  • ticks
  • laminitis
  • ticks and Lymes disease!
  • tick-borne diseases
  • with a stable of aged horses I worry about the effects of the heat
  • To have a supplement for curring all Arthritises
  • Laminitis
  • geriatric care
  • diseases transmitted by ticks
  • summer pollen triggered breathing difficulty (RAD)
  • Control of Sweet Itch
  • Flies
  • I have a geriatric who is getting to be in chronic pain
  • bug and fly bite allergies
  • How to prevent horse #2 from taking fly masks OFF of horse #1 and #3!
  • older horse joint health
  • Flies and the diseases and overall nusiance that they are.
  • fly allergies
  • summer grass heaves in my friesian mare
  • Hoping my horse recovers ok from Laminitis!
  • lack of rain, inadaquate pasture and grazing
  • fitness
  • laminitis...our pastures are too rich and I can't ride enough!
  • the early, warm spring has produced grass that is far too rich and almost no timothy in hay fields
  • West Nile
  • Exercise in the heat
  • Fly bit allergy.
  • TX- anhidrosis/heat/dehydration issues
  • fly and mosquito control
  • so much rain & high humidity in NW Ohio
  • Flies are a nasty problem here.
  • tick borne disease
  • keeping foals from eating dirt since I don't have pasture
  • Um, probably diseases. just b/c parasites aren't as bad in the summer (b/c heat) & i dont have babys
  • flies
  • Chalenge is learning new protocols.
  • allergies to fly bites - itching off mane and tail
  • horse flies and regular flies of every kind and gnats and no see'ums
  • Flies, ticks.
  • Ticks. It's an ongoing struggle.
  • The heat
  • Laminitis
  • here in australia its winter & lush grass is a concern as have lamanetic pony but usr grazing muzzle
  • West Nile followed by Potomac
  • grass founder & obese horses as i'm a farrier
  • When the summer is hot...heat stress & water intake
  • South Florida heat/humidity
  • Tying up
  • sweet itch
  • heat, colic, bug bites despite fly spray and oral supplemrnts to prevent biting and profifercation.
  • lameness and unsoundness
  • Fly bite related skin & hoof problems
  • fly control
  • RAO and bug protections
  • Horse gaining too much weight from pasture
  • grass founder
  • weight management and founder concerns due to the rapid grass growth
  • managing the horses in hot weather (Arizona)
  • The Heat
  • heat stress and colic
  • flies
  • colic
  • LAMINITIS! and dew poisoning
  • FLIES!!
  • over heating
  • obese horses from lush pasture!
  • the insane explosion of biting flies - at least in FL
  • biting flies
  • BUILDING MUSCLE BACK ON A HORSE THAT WAS STARVED
  • Keeping weight on two young stallions who live and play together!
  • The heast. Keeping horses cool in high heat and humidity.
  • Colic...always colic.
  • Fly Control
  • good hay
  • fly control
  • KEEPING HORSES COOL IN HOT ARIZONA WEATHER
  • Pastures drying up with little hope for rain. Concerned about being able to feed properly.
  • vandalism,school will be out next month
  • Living in Wisconsin I worry about ticks, and the diseases they carry.
  • Wish I could ERADICATE flies completely.
  • colic
  • exercise and general fitness
  • Joint disease (articulated ringbone)
  • Mare newly diagnosed w/Cushings, water intake excessive as it is without AZ heat!
  • fly control
  • heat related discomfort and breathing issues
  • Flies
  • lyme
  • I have a new colt, so foal care is important, along with routine fly/mosquito prevention
  • I could only mark infectious disease but mosquito-borne disease is in there as well.
  • Forest Fire evacuation.
  • Allergies and heaves management.
  • wound care and summer storms
  • laminitis/founder
  • heat
  • Right now struggling with some respiratory problems
  • weight on an 20 year old
  • KEEPING MY HORSES FIT DURING THE HOT SUMMER MONTHS
  • After last year I'm worried about Potomac
  • We get innundated with those horrid B52s that carry EIA-always a worry!
  • HOT & HUMID AZ MONSOON SEASON
  • colic
  • Horses utd on vx, therefore I am more concerned about comfort level due to heat/pests
  • heat and drought affecting pasture and overall well being
  • Hoof and leg lamenesses due to hard ground.
  • colic
  • gnats
  • Summer storms-lightning threat to my horse when turned out.
  • injury, lameness
  • Heat
  • Allergy reactions
  • hydration & infection of otherwise minor injuries
  • Anhidrosis in my 18 yr old TB
  • Flies and other bugs!
  • lameness
  • Sunburn and maintaining horse with light skin and noses in the intense summer sun
  • Weight management - fighting the battle of the bulge!
  • My biggest concern is keeping my Cushing's horse away from eating grass, it could kill her.
  • pasture/weight managment
  • Lymes disease
  • Heat and Ticks
  • Keeping feet healthy with fly stomping
  • I use fly predators and it works well as long as manure is managed!
  • rabies. Having a high count of rabies in NYS.
  • fly control
  • keeping conditioned without over heating
  • Fly/bug control
  • summer itch/skin problems
  • mosquito-borne disease and keeping horse cool & hydrated
  • Heat tolerance - my 32 yr old is having issues with heat.
  • Goofy pasture injuries
  • heat
  • I have 2 foals--both doing great and hoping for a healthy summer!
  • not letting my small grass turnouts get overgrazed
  • Dealing with heat
  • all of the above
  • My horse overheating in hot weather
  • weight management

About the Author

Megan Arszman

Megan Arszman received a Bachelor of Science In print journalism and equine science from Murray State University in Murray, Ky., and loves combining her love of horses, photography, and writing. In her “free time,” when she’s not busy working as a horse show secretary or riding her American Quarter Horses on her parents’ Indiana farm, she’s training and competing her Pembroke Welsh Corgi and Swedish Vallhund in dog agility and running.

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