VETERINARY AND HEALTH

A basic fitness plan for your horse

If your horse has had a period of time off, there are several things to consider before getting back in the saddle. Read our blog about Getting your horse back in shape for some handy tips of bringing your horse back into work safely whilst ensuring their health and well-being. Assuming that your horse has…

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Getting your horse back in shape

If your horse has had a period of rest during lockdown, or has been in lighter work, they may have lost some fitness and gained a little weight during their time off. Therefore, when bringing them back into work it is important to do so safely and with careful preparation. This will help avoid injury,…

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Managing your horse’s weight

Obesity in horses and ponies is increasingly problematic in the UK. Some studies estimate that up to 85% of pleasure horses are overweight. As well as affecting their general wellbeing, obesity puts unnecessary strain on joints & tendons and can cause respiratory issues, metabolic problems and ultimately lead to laminitis. Keeping the ‘good doer’ at…

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How to take a faecal worm egg count

Collect the dung sample whilst it is still warm using a glove and place into a container or clean freezer bag which can be properly sealed. Collecting the sample from fresh dung is important to ensure that the result is as accurate as possible. Eggs are not evenly distributed in droppings so the sample should…

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Equine Influenza – July 2019 update

What’s the latest on Equine Influenza? The national press has gone very quiet on the subject of equine influenza since February. However, the epidemic is still ongoing across the UK. 30 cases were reported in May and 13 have been reported in June. This was from areas all across the country, from Surrey to Scotland.…

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The link between spring grass and laminitis

The recent warm weather suggests that spring is here – along with daffodils, spring grass… and increased risk of laminitis. So how can we reduce this risk? And how can the Horse Health Programme (HHP) help you combat spring grass and laminitis? This summary will help you to understand laminitis. If you need more information,…

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Equine Influenza Outbreak

Over the last two months there have been several outbreaks of equine influenza reported in the UK, Ireland, France, Belgium and Germany. Cases have occurred in both vaccinated and unvaccinated horses, although the disease in vaccinated horses has been mild. In the UK, cases have been confirmed in Essex, Cheshire, Derbyshire, Lincolnshire, Suffolk and Yorkshire.…

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Worming in autumn

Worming As part of our Horse Health Programme (HHP), we are keen to protect your horse against worms. This includes more than just providing free wormers – the best way to keep horses safe, now and in the future, is to practice ‘targeted worming’. We explain what this means, why it is important, and how…

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Fly, midge and lice control

Fly, midge and lice control Fly and midge control Control is aimed at minimising exposure to fly and midge bites and often includes some of the following: Starting control before the midge season – do not wait for your horse to start itching Stabling your horse during dawn and dusk when midge activity is greatest Turning…

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Routine health checks

Routine health checks Checking for signs of disease  Your veterinary surgeon should carry out an annual health check on your horse. But as owners we can perform regular checks ourselves to ensure that any signs of disease are identified early. In most cases routine checks are second nature and often you will perform them subconsciously…

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Ectoparasites in horses

Ectoparasites in horses Flies There are several ‘types’ of fly, which can prove a torment to horses during spring and summer months. Biting flies can pierce the horse’s skin and feed on its blood while nuisance flies lay secretions in and around the horse’s eyes, mouth, nose and other sensitive areas. Aside from the threat…

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Arthritis

Arthritis Arthritis is unfortunately very common in horses, especially in the ageing horse population. It is a degenerative joint disease that causes pain and inflammation. Over time, the inflammation damages the cartilage within a joint beyond repair, leading to chronic pain. Cartilage is the ‘cushioning’ within a joint which allows it to run smoothly. Arthritis…

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Dental Problems

Dental Problems How do I know if my horse has a problem? Many horses will suffer silently from dental disease so it is important to have regular check-ups to ensure their mouth is healthy. Signs that can indicate there is a problem are: Halitosis (bad smelling breath) Quidding – dropping partially chewed food particularly over…

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When to call the Vet

When to call the Vet Knowing when to seek help According to the Equine Industry Welfare Guidelines for Horses, Ponies and Donkeys a veterinary surgeon should be consulted urgently by the owner or person in charge of the horse if there are any signs of: Acute abdominal pain or colic; Serious injury involving deep wounds,…

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Laminitis and Equine Cushing’s Disease

Laminitis and Equine Cushing’s Disease Spring is finally on the way and with it comes sunshine, longer days and lots of foals! It’s a great time of year to be around horses. This last winter has felt long, cold and wet, and I think all of us involved with horses can’t wait for a bit…

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Microchipping and Passport Requirements

Microchipping and Passport Requirements Horse Passports The ‘Horse Passports Regulations 2004’ came into effect in June 2004 and means that every horse must have its own passport whether or not it is expected to travel. The purpose is to make sure that horses, throughout Europe, treated with specific medicines do not enter the food chain.…

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Routine Dental Checks

Routine Dental Checks How often should you have your horse’s teeth checked? How often routine dental checks take place varies according to the individual horse and will depend on age and any pre-existing conditions. A good rule of thumb is that the teeth should be examined at least annually but in some cases checks might…

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Dental Overview

Dental Overview Designed to chew rough fibre for over 18 hours a day, a horse’s teeth are very hard wearing. This diet, together with the horse’s chewing action, wears his teeth down at a rate of approximately 2-3 mm per year. To compensate for this wear a horse’s teeth continue to erupt through the gums…

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Top Tips For Worm Control

Top Tips For Worm Control Effective worm control relies on the correct and responsible use of wormers combined with good pasture management. Use Faecal Worm Egg Counts (FWEC) during the year to assess which horses need worming. Generally treat horses with a worm egg count greater than 200 eggs/g. Target the following worms at the…

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Worming Programmes

Worming Programmes There are four main classes of anthelmintics (wormers). These are: Benzimidazoles: eg. fen/me- bendazole Tetrahydropyrimidines: eg. pyrantel embonate Macrocyclic lactones: eg. Iver/aver -mectins Praziquantel based wormers (tapeworm treatment ONLY) Using the same class of wormer every season will increase the chance of resistance developing.  It is therefore important to rotate the type of…

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