Wellness Program

We know that every horse is unique and requires individualized care to meet their specific healthcare needs. That is why we at Chastain Equine Medicine work with you to offer wellness plans designed for your horse.

Chastain Equine Medicine offers 3 levels of equine wellness care: Performance EQ, Active EQ, and Basic EQ

Wellness Exam

After each visit, you will be provided with a report so you have a record of what your horse has been given and the results of the exams. During this examination, the following will be evaluated:

  • Body condition: Is your horse at the proper weight and getting the correct exercise?
  • Skin and haircoat: Does your horse look healthy? Are there any dermatologic (skin) problems that need to be investigated?
  • Eyes: Perform a Basic ophthalmic (eye) exam.
  • Lungs and heart: Evaluation of your horse’s circulatory and respiratory systems. Do your horse’s lungs sound clear? Is there any evidence of a heart murmur?
  • Musculoskeletal system: Is there soreness or swelling that indicates an impending problem? Is a more comprehensive lameness exam needed?


Vaccines can be separated into two classes: CORE & NON-CORE (or risk-based)

  • Core vaccines are those that AAEP considers essential to maintaining the health and well-being of the average horse or necessary to safeguard human health.
  • Noncore vaccines are commended based on regional infectious disease concerns and individual lifestyle.

Core vaccines, in general, are highly protective against diseases than can kill your horse or you. They are Rabies, West Nile Virus, Tetanus, and Eastern & Western Encephalitis. These diseases are easily protested against with proper vaccination and can be acquired at home without ever leaving your place due to spread via flying vectors.

We use Core EQ Innovator by Zoetis to protect against all core equine diseases in a single injection. Non-Core or Risk-Based vaccines are those designed to protect horses from diseased often associated with direct spread/contact with other diseases/shedding horses, or endemic diseases of a particular area. These include; Influenza, Rhinopneumonitis, Equine Viral Arteritis, Strangles, Rotavirus, Anthrax, Botulism, and PHF. Many risk-based vaccines don’t prevent the disease completely but decrease the severity of the disease if contracted. We use a variety of vaccines as needed for risk-based exposure.

Dental Exam

Teeth continuously grow in length throughout your horse’s life and the development of sharp points and hooks can occur over time based on how they chew. Because of this, yearly dental exams are required to prevent the development of permanent dental disorders, irritation to soft-tissue structures in the mouth, dropped feed, and weight loss. The inability to break down plant material can lead to feeding impaction in the intestinal system and the development of signs of colic. Dental exams include sedation.

Learn More!

Lameness Exam

Annual lameness evaluation should be done on all horses being ridden. It consists of: a thorough In-hand active and dynamic lameness evaluation with flexion of all 4 limbs, Limb palpation of soft tissues, hoof testers, and proximal and distal flexions. If unexplained, or new lameness has arisen with more information needed, the Lameness Locator (kinematic gait analysis system) can then be used.

Fecal Float Exam

It used to be simple to deworm horses. You went to the tack store, bought the dewormer that was on sale, and gave one tube to your horse every 60 days. This has gotten us in a lot of trouble. Resistance has developed to most dewormers, a large percentage of parasites are immune to one or two classes of available dewormers. Parasites can be a significant cause of serious illness in horses. At best, parasites cause a loss of body weight and condition in horses. At worst, parasites are a leading cause of colic—a serious and potentially fatal digestive disorder that can require expensive treatment and even surgery.

Developing an individualized plan for each horse based on population density, herd stability, individual resistance, exposure, and lab testing is recommended. Some horses will continue to require frequent deworming and others can safely get by on once-a-year treatment. The key to it all is fecal testing. This will identify which horses have a parasite load, how heavy it is if there are resistant parasites, and which is the best drug to use. To perform a fecal test, a small, fresh sample of manure is collected and submitted to a lab. Once the results are known, Dr. Chastain can advise you on which dewormer to use and when or when to retest.

Coggins Testing

The “Coggins Test” screens the blood sample for exposure to the virus causing Equine Infections Anemia. This is a serious and often fatal disease that is spread by blood-sucking flies. If an affected horse is bitten by such a fly he can then transmit the virus to another nearby horse. Horses that are “Coggins Positive” may not show any signs of clinical disease but act as a reservoir for other flies to bite and thus spread the virus to many other horses. If the horse starts to get sick, the signs of the disease are fever, depression, weight loss, anemia, and dependent edema (stocking up). Horses often require a negative Coggins test result to cross state lines, and most boarding, training, and show facilities will not allow a horse on the premises without a current, negative test result.

Blood Work / CBC / Chemistry

An annual look at a horse’s hematology and biochemistry levels can be important in the early detection of severe diseases. A simple blood draw can show red blood cell, white blood cell, liver & kidney function. Having a wellness baseline of blood work to compare year after year is good, thorough medicine your equine partner’s health deserves.

Front Feet Radiographs

“No hoof, no horse” is well known saying that is true. Taking farrier radiographs, or lateral and dorso-ventral views of your horse’s front feet for balance and alignment, as well as guilds for your farrier, is proven to prevent feet problems that develop over time.

All 3 Wellness Plans qualify the equine participant for the Immunization Support Guarantee from Zoetis for Core EQ Innovator, as well as Platinum Colic Coverage if enrolled in direct dispense.