Horse Health

My Horse is in Pain

Horses show a wide range of symptoms when they are in pain.

Recognising the signs

  • Restlessness
  • Sweating
  • Lying down more than usual
  • Depression with lowered head
  • Rigid stance
  • Anxious appearance
  • Dilated pupils
  • Glassy eyes
  • Flared nostrils
  • Muscle tremors
  • Increased respiratory/pulse rate
  • Reluctance to move
  • Limbs held in unusual positions
  • Abnormal gait
  • Reduced appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Alterations in weight bearing, including
    weight-shifting between limbs
  • Signs of colic (rolling, pawing, lying on their side, flank watching, kicking their abdomen, yawning, tooth grinding, persistent urination, ‘saw horse’ stance and sweating)

Causes of pain in horses

Inflammation is a major cause of pain, however it can also be caused by:

  • Acute trauma
  • Musculo-skeletal disorders
  • Colic
  • Skin disease
  • Dental disease
  • Opthalmological disorders