Volume 1, Issue 1



Speaking Equine is brought to you by:

Dr. John Canning, DVM
(970) 963-4573


In this Issue:

Introducing Speaking Equine

Your Horse's Dental Health


Evaluate Your Horse's health

Determining Your Horse's Age

Digital Coggins


Introducing Speaking Equine

Welcome to the first issue of Speaking Equine. This month’s newsletter includes information about horses and their health care. For more information on the topics in this newsletter, as well as valuable resources about current trends in horse care, check out www.DrCanning.com.

Your Horse’s Dental Health

Learning to recognize signs of a dental problem is one of the keys to keeping your horse healthy. Treating the problem and maintaining healthy teeth is a critical element in your horse's overall well being. Horses with dental problems may show obvious signs, such as pain or irritation, or they may show no noticeable signs at all. This is because some horses simply adapt to their discomfort. For this reason, periodic dental examinations are essential to your horse’s health. It is important to catch dental problems early. If a horse starts behaving abnormally, dental problems should be considered as a potential cause. On the web site you will learn 5 key signs that your horse has a dental problem.


West Nile virus is now considered to be Endemic in All Areas of North America. Infectious disease control programs in conjunction with vaccination are important in maximizing the health of your horse. At www.DrCanning.com you will find AAEP’s recommended vaccination schedule for horses.

Evaluate Your Horse’s Health

While there are other parameters that can be used to evaluate your horse's medical condition, the basic are temperature, pulse and respiration. Your horse's temperature is easy to evaluate and one of the best indicators of your horse’s health. The pulse and respiratory rates are equally easy to evaluate. Knowing your horse’s base rate for each of these areas helps you evaluate your horse's condition. To learn how to evaluate these key indicators check out the Know Your Horse page on our new web site.

Determining your Horse’s Age

The long-standing practice of studying horses’ teeth is still used today to determine a horse's age. By custom, all horses age one year each January 1st. Therefore, a November foal and a foal born the previous February are both yearlings on January 1st. The teeth of various breeds of horses develop differently. Environmental conditions and feeds also influence the development and wear of a horse's teeth. When we consider all of these factors it is easy to understand why telling the age of a horse by looking at its teeth is as much as an art as a science. In the Know Your Horse page under How Horses Teeth Develop you will find a chart of Equine Tooth Development.

Digital Coggins

Dr. Canning has incorporated a new electronic Coggins test that uploads all pertinent data to a database. The database includes three color digital pictures of your horse. As in the past, a blood sample is still drawn for testing. The information is stored on a database and can be retrieved and sent electronically when ever you need the information. The annual re-testing will only require a new sample of blood! That’s it!

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You will find more information on Equine Emergencies in the next issue of Speaking Equine. Sign up for your free email copy today. The Team at www.SpeakingEquine.com.