Horse Side Vet Guide ®

Equine Health Resource

Winded, Fatigues Easily with Work

Code Orange - Call Your Vet at Their First Available Office Hours

Code Yellow - Contact Your Vet at Your Convenience for an Appointment

Code Orange - Call Your Vet at Their First Available Office Hours

    Code Yellow - Contact Your Vet at Your Convenience for an Appointment

    • If you consider this a chronic and relatively mild problem that is not changing rapidly.
    • If the results of the Whole Horse Exam (WHE) suggest the horse is otherwise normal.

    The majority of horses that seem to fatigue too easily are simply out of shape. That said, diseases of many body systems may also cause horses to tire easily. The body systems most commonly associated with this finding are the cardiovascular, respiratory, and musculoskeletal systems.

    If your horse is showing any sign of illness, do not force them to work or exercise until you have a better understanding about what is going on. Consider the horse’s past performance in comparison to what it is now. Has anything changed that might account for the fatigue?

    Assess the horse’s general health using the Whole Horse Exam (WHE), monitoring pulse and respiratory rate after exercise at 5 minutes and 10 minutes after exercise, and share your findings and concerns with your vet.

    Your vet will try to rule out conditions that might be causing the rapid fatigue. History, physical exam, blood work and exercise challenge can all be helpful.

    Author: Doug Thal DVM Dipl. ABVP

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