What are some common health issues in certain horse breeds?



Common Health Issues in Certain Horse Breeds

Owning a horse comes with great responsibility, including ensuring their health and well-being. Just like humans, different horse breeds are prone to specific health issues. Being aware of these common health concerns can help you provide the necessary care and attention to keep your equine companion in optimal condition. In this article, we will explore some of the common health issues seen in certain horse breeds.

1. Thoroughbred Horses

Thoroughbred horses, known for their agility and speed, are prone to several health issues:

Exercise-Induced Pulmonary Hemorrhage (EIPH)

EIPH is a condition commonly observed in Thoroughbreds during intense exercise. It is characterized by bleeding in the lungs due to the high pressure exerted on the pulmonary blood vessels. If your horse displays symptoms such as coughing, nasal discharge, or reduced performance, consult a veterinarian for diagnosis and treatment.


Thoroughpin is a condition where the tendon sheath in the hock joint becomes distended. This can cause swelling and lameness. Regular monitoring and appropriate treatment, such as rest and anti-inflammatory medication, can help manage this condition.

2. Arabian Horses

Arabian horses are known for their beauty and endurance. However, they are prone to some specific health issues:

Guttural Pouch Tympany

Guttural pouch tympany is a condition where air becomes trapped in the guttural pouches, leading to swelling and discomfort. Arabian horses are more susceptible to this condition due to the conformation of their upper respiratory tract. Regular veterinary check-ups and appropriate management can help prevent complications.

Equine Gastric Ulcer Syndrome (EGUS)

EGUS is a common health issue in Arabian horses, characterized by the development of ulcers in the stomach lining. Stress, improper feeding, and intense exercise can contribute to the development of EGUS. If your Arabian horse shows signs of discomfort, such as decreased appetite or weight loss, consult your veterinarian for diagnosis and treatment.

3. Quarter Horses

Quarter horses are versatile and popular for various disciplines. However, they are prone to certain health issues:

Hyperkalemic Periodic Paralysis (HYPP)

Horses with HYPP have a genetic mutation that affects the regulation of potassium levels in their muscles. This can lead to episodes of muscle tremors, weakness, and even collapse. It is essential to manage the diet and exercise routine of Quarter horses with HYPP to minimize the frequency and severity of episodes.

Equine Polysaccharide Storage Myopathy (EPSM)

EPSM is a metabolic disorder seen in some Quarter horses, affecting their ability to properly metabolize carbohydrates. This can lead to muscle stiffness, weakness, and tying-up episodes. A low-starch, high-fat diet along with regular exercise is crucial for managing EPSM in Quarter horses.

4. Draft Horses

Draft horses, known for their strength and size, are prone to certain health issues:

Equine Recurrent Uveitis (ERU)

ERU, also known as moon blindness, is a common eye condition in draft horses. It is characterized by recurrent and painful inflammation of the uveal tract of the eye. Regular eye examinations and appropriate treatment can help manage this condition and prevent vision loss.


Laminitis, a painful inflammation of the laminae in the hoof, can affect draft horses. This condition can be triggered by various factors, such as obesity, excessive grain consumption, or hormonal imbalances. Proper nutrition, regular hoof care, and weight management are essential in preventing and managing laminitis in draft horses.

Remember, while certain horse breeds are more prone to specific health issues, every horse is an individual. Regular veterinary care, proper nutrition, and a suitable exercise routine are vital for maintaining the overall health and well-being of your equine companion.

If you are a horse enthusiast and want to learn more about horse care, training, and maintaining their health, visit our website, where you can find a wealth of information and resources dedicated to pet horse owners.

Julieth Bill

Hi, I'm Julieth Bill. Before I was a writer for the NBCpet.com blog I was known for inventive and unusual treatments of dogs, cats, bird, fish, snakes, horses, rabbit, reptiles, and guinea pigs. Julieth worked for major zoos around the world. He Also Receives Pets a Scholarship.

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