VETERINARY AND HEALTH

Worming: The dangers of tapeworm and encysted small redworm

Tapeworm Tapeworms are the largest worms to affect horses in the UK. While the most common type can grow up to 20cm long, there is a less common type which can grow to a whopping 80cm in length! Tapeworms are white, flattened, segmented worms. The adult worms attach themselves at the junction of the small…

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Ligament injuries

Ligaments are the elastic soft tissue structures that connect the ends of bone at joints. In certain cases, they attach from a bone to a tendon i.e. the inferior check ligament. Their role is to maintain bones in alignment and provide support to a joint. They are usually located on either side of a joint.…

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Tendon injuries

Tendons are the strap-like elastic structures that attach muscles to the bones on which they act. Most tendons are relatively short and are rarely damaged. However, the long tendons of the limbs are vulnerable to damage during exercise or as a result of trauma. The flexor tendons are the most important long tendon structures prone…

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Lameness investigation

The diagnosis and treatment of the lame horse can be frustrating and confusing. The aim of this article is to try and explain the processes that veterinary surgeons go through when dealing with a lame horse. It goes without saying that every lame horse is unique. Therefore a flexible approach to dealing with cases is…

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Equine Herpes Virus

Equine Herpes Virus (EHV) is a highly contagious airborne disease. There are five main strains of EHV, but strains EHV-1 and EHV-4 are the most common and occur in horses world wide. What are the different strains? EHV-1: This strain is most commonly associated with disease in horses and can cause respiratory disease, abortions and…

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Colic – what to do after you’ve called the vet

So your horse has colic and the vet is on their way – what do you do? Remove all feed If possible move the horse to a flat, enclosed area. An arena or dry paddock is ideal If the horse is stabled, make sure there is plenty of bedding to prevent injury Walking the horse…

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Colic – How to recognise it and what to do

Colic is a term used to describe abdominal pain and can vary from being mild and short lived to severe and life threatening. Colic symptoms usually indicate a problem with the gastrointestinal system, however other abdominal organs such as liver, kidneys, spleen or urogenital tract can be involved. Why is colic so common in horses?…

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Kissing spines in horses

Back pain in horses is fairly common. It can either be primary, associated with the bones in the spine, or secondary i.e muscular pain secondary to a poor fitting saddle, low grade lameness causing muscle tension and a restricted gait or lack of top line. Primary back pain is most commonly caused by over-riding/impinging dorsal…

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Applying a foot poultice

The most common reason for very severe lameness in horses is a solar abscess or “pus in the foot”. This is most common after wet weather when the bottom of the foot becomes softer and more likely to be hurt. It is important to get your vet to examine any lame horse even if you…

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Antibiotic resistance

Antibiotic resistance is increasing throughout human and veterinary medicine, and at the same time there are no new classes of antibiotics being produced. This means that there is an increasing population of “superbugs” which are resistant to many or all antibiotics. This may lead to longer recovery times, or in some cases it may unfortunately…

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Supplements

Using Supplements The market for supplements is huge and many owners find different supplements useful for caring for their horse. However, it is easy to become overwhelmed by the vast number of options available for your horse. Manufacturers of supplements do not have to tell you how much of an active ingredient is present in…

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Sarcoids

What are Sarcoids? Sarcoids are a relatively common tumour seen in horses of all kinds. Although they generally cause no major health problems because they are limited to spreading on the skin alone, the presence of sarcoids can cause irritation, problems with tack and a loss of value if selling your horse. It is believed…

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Bandaging

When your horse is injured a bandage may be needed to keep the wound clean, prevent movement and apply pressure so that the wound can heal more quickly. Large wounds and any wound over the knee, hock or fetlock should be checked by your vet. What do you need in your bandaging kit? It is…

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Tetanus

Tetanus is caused by the bacterium Clostridium Tetanii which is an anaerobic organism (does not need oxygen). It survives in the environment (soil and droppings) for long periods of time. Tetanus is not contagious, meaning it cannot be spread horse to horse. It penetrates the body via wounds. Puncture wounds and foot penetrating wounds carry…

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Sweet itch

Sweet itch, also known as Culicoides Hypersensitivity, is a skin disease caused by an allergy to midge bites. It presents as pruritis or itching, usually of the mane and tail but can also occur on the underside of the abdomen. Preventing or minimising bites is the most effective way to control symptoms.  This needs forward planning…

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Weight management

Our horse is an amazing product of evolution. Over thousands of years they have developed to survive on the sides of mountains with little food pursued by all sorts of predators. This means that they do a little too well when we provide them with a life of luxury, food brought to their door and…

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Strangles

What is strangles? Strangles is a highly contagious, bacterial infection of the upper respiratory tract caused by Streptococcus equi equi.  The disease can affect horses, ponies and donkeys of all ages. Although the disease can make affected horses quite unwell for a couple of weeks, most make a full recovery. It is the highly contagious…

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Sheath examination

What is the sheath and what does it look like normally? The term sheath describes the pocket of skin around your horse’s penis. Unless your horse is relaxed or urinating, its penis will usually be retracted and you won’t be able to see the sheath. Over time skin secretions and dead skin cells can build…

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Equine Gastric Ulceration Syndrome

What is gastric ulceration and why does it happen? Equine Gastric Ulceration Syndrome (EGUS) is a common disease affecting the equine stomach. The horse’s stomach is divided into two very distinct areas, the non glandular/squammous and glandular region. These are separated by a sharp demarcation called the margo plicatus. Horses can develop ulcers in both…

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Coughing and equine asthma

Winter is a time when we often hear our horses coughing more.  Whilst in many situations this is not a major issue, in others, especially middle aged to older horses, this could be due to a disorder called equine asthma. Signs tend to be noticed more in winter as horses spend more time indoors. This…

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