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Equine Practice
Clinical management of the geriatric horse and pony
  1. Nicola Jarvis

    Nicola Jarvis qualified from the Royal Veterinary College in 1990. After several years in mixed practice in Norfolk, she undertook a two-year internship with Rossdale and Partners, an equine referral centre in Newmarket. In 1996, she joined Redwings Horse Sanctuary in Norfolk, where she is senior veterinary surgeon. The sanctuary houses horses, ponies and donkeys that are no longer able to work or that have been rescued from cruelty or neglect.


GERIATRIC retired horses are frequently kept by their owners as a companion for their current riding horse or simply as a much loved 'lawnmower'. With age, horses experience specific clinical problems, including osteoarthritis (degenerative joint disease), weight loss, pituitary hyperplasia and related conditions. These common causes of debility in the older horse are often insidious in onset and usually progressive but, when managed appropriately, animals can maintain a reasonable quality of life. This article discusses the diagnosis and clinical management of these conditions in the older horse and pony.

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