I often see many pets not taken care of during the winter; could you please discuss proper care of animals during the winter time.
The following information was provided by the American Humane Association and Adopt-a-pet, Inc.:Although horses can endure the cold successfully, they do require proper care during the winter.
Make sure your horse gets annual vaccinations for rhino-pneumonitis, Eastern and Western encephalomyelitis and tetanus. Check the horse for worms in the fall when it has more energy. A horse will burn more energy in winter. Check its teeth in the autumn, making sure it will be able to chew an increased ration of hay.
Provide your horse with a clean, dry and well ventilated place to stay. A damp environment leads to colds, coughs and viral infections. Poor ventilation can cause respiratory diseases. If you cannot house your horse in a barn, at least provide it with a three-sided shelter, open on the downwind side.
Keep the bedding dry. Moist bedding can cause foot infections. Snow can ball up in badly shod hooves. Shoes should be pulled for riding in deep snow and hooves should be trimmed enough so they will not crack or break.
When exercising your horse in cold weather, give it more time to warm up and limber its muscles, and don't forget to break the ice in its water bucket.
For other animals living outside, such as ducks, geese, chickens, rabbits, etc., always provide adequate shelter, an increase in food, and fresh water. Some trouble spots that need close attention are: Wind will go right through a rabbit's fur coat and freeze the animal. Rabbits need draft-free shelter. Ducks and geese need fresh water to swim in at all times and some grit to digest their food.
- If you have a question about health, behavior problems, laws, etc., regarding wild or domestic animals, please write Leslie Kelson-Probert, Salt Lake County Animal Services, 511 W. 3900 South, Salt Lake City, UT 84123 or call her at 264-2247.