Best Practices for Rescue Horses (Horses in Transition)

Presented by Stacie Boswell, DVM, DACVS-LA
8 pm ET/5 pm PT, Wednesday, February 10, 2021

This webinar is approved for 1.5 hours of RACE CE
credit (medical category) for both veterinarians and veterinary technicians. 


During this webinar, Dr. 
Stacie Boswell, a board certified large animal surgeon, will focus on caring for equines in transition who have medical issues, particularly starvation. An attendee should be able to appropriately manage a horse’s return to health after starvation or prolonged caloric deficiency. Attendees should be able to identify additional health needs for an individual neglected horse, and learn how to triage health and behavioural considerations for optimum well-being. Refeeding syndrome and considerations for euthanasia will be discussed. More specifically, Dr. Boswell will address:

  1. A big-picture overview of the needs that should be addressed for all horses in transition. This overview will include a brief mention of routine vaccination, parasite management, hoof care/lameness, wounds, common illnesses, castration of colts and other reproductive problems of males, management of parturition and foals, horses who are down and unable to rise, and considerations for euthanasia.
  2. Detailed discussion of how to manage a starved horse, and why lack of access to appropriate food can have consequences beyond weight loss. Overview of refeeding syndrome, and specific considerations for feeding a horse in a way to avoid refeeding syndrome. Prognosis of refeeding syndrome is poor to grave, particularly if the horse goes down and is unable to rise. Discussion will include body condition scoring (BCS) and what applicable medical treatments (such as deworming) and training and fitness (such as halter breaking) are pertinent for rescued horses with a low BCS.
  3. Reproduction, particularly with respect to nutrition and re-feeding.



Dr. Stacie Boswell is a veterinarian with over a decade of clinical experience and board-certified in large animal surgery. Through her educational experience, she has developed a broad perspective of the diversity of horse management practice throughout North America. She is certified in Technical Large Animal Emergency RescueTM.

Dr. Boswell is also attentive to horse behavior because mental health is a critical part of a horse’s overall well-being; she is Fear FreeTM certified, serves on the Fear Free Advisory Group, and is the author of three Equine Fear Free continuing education modules. Dr. Boswell’s special interest in rescue horses led her to write the only consolidated resource containing specific guidelines on caring for needy equines. Her book, The Ultimate Guide for Horses in Need has information about medical care as well as horse behavior and how they are integrated when horses are transitioned to new homes and rehabilitated.