- Coastal Equine
Poll Evil: Taking Care of your Horse’s Poll
Reprinted from https://benefabproducts.com/
by Kat Chrysostom, Owner of Benefab Products
Every good horse enthusiast knows the importance of a horse’s poll – which is the highest point of a horse’s skull nestled between their ears. Although the poll area is relatively small compared to some of your horse’s muscles, it is key to his freedom and ease of movement. This vital part of a horse’s anatomy can be at risk of some painful and dangerous conditions. It is common for horses to experience tightness around their poll after pulling a muscle in their neck or head. Polls on older horses have also been known to become arthritic and stiff with age.
A condition called “Poll Evil” is an inflammation or infection that develops around the poll. This creates severe pain in a horse whenever something such as a halter or bridle come in contact with their poll. This condition can be caused by infection or an injury such as a blow to the head or neck. Although, the most common cause is infection from bacteria. This can become life threatening if the infection spreads into the ligament and bones. This is extremely hard to treat with success. In fact, many horses with poll evil require months or even years of treatment.
High body temperature
Pain in the neck and head
Holding the neck still and straight upright
Dizziness or staggering
Refusal to wear bridle or halter
Pulls away when touched in the face, head, or neck area
Treating your horse for poll evil depends on the cause. However, the most common treatments are cleaning and draining, medication, surgical, and therapeutic. Once swelling and inflammation are observed, prompt treatment with an antibiotic, plus therapeutic treatment with application of ice packs, may keep the infection and inflammation in check. Halters made of leather or soft, natural materials are much more comfortable for horses than most nylon halters
Any injury or discomfort around a horse’s poll can affect the rest of their body and their ability to move freely. BeneFab’s Therapeutic Poll Pad is specialized to help benefit this important part of a horse’s anatomy. The Poll Pad fabric is infused with far-infrared emitting minerals that keeps muscles supple and relaxed. It helps harmonize bodily functions safely and naturally, stimulating recovery time, promoting blood circulation, increasing oxygen flow, and ultimately reducing pain and stiffness.