VETERINARY AND HEALTH

Hoof Abscesses

What is a hoof abscess? A hoof abscess describes a painful build-up of purulent material (pus) within the hoof capsule. It will often be extremely uncomfortable for the horse, causing an obvious lameness at walk. Foot abscesses are caused by bacteria entering the hoof capsule and setting up an infection. The bacteria can enter in…

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Mud fever

Traditionally, mud fever has been associated with the wet muddy conditions we see in the winter. However, it can occur throughout other times of the year. What is mud fever? Mud fever, also known as pastern dermatitis or ‘cracked heels’ is a skin condition generally caused by a bacteria called Dermatophilosis Congolensis. This bug is…

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First aid for wounds

Skin wounds are extremely common in horses, particularly on the limbs or face. Many wounds only require simple first aid in order to treat them, though more serious ones will require veterinary attention. Arming yourself with some basic first aid knowledge and a suitable first aid kit will enable you to treat minor wounds effectively…

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Choke

‘Choke’ can be a very scary experience for owner and horse alike. The name is misleading, as it refers to an obstruction (usually food) in the oesophagus (food pipe) rather than the trachea (wind pipe). The most common sign of choke is sudden coughing, wretching and discomfort immediately after eating. This is often followed by…

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Atypical Myopathy

Atypical Myopathy (Sycamore Poisoning) Atypical myopathy (also known as ‘sycamore poisoning’) is a severe and potentially fatal muscle disorder of horses caused by eating sycamore ‘helicopter’ seeds and, to a lesser extent sycamore leaves, that fall onto pasture in the autumn & winter or sycamore seedlings which grow in the spring. The seeds and seedlings…

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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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Worming: 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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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

This is a highly contagious viral disease of the upper and lower respiratory tracts. There are many different strains of the flu virus but the most common ones seen in this country are H7N7 and H3N8. Whilst equine flu is now endemic within the horse population, the virus strains continually mutate and therefore epidemics or…

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Worming: Worming in autumn/winter

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 to…

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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 every time you…

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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 of an allergic…

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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 The classic ‘laminitic’ pony is a native breed, and carrying a bit of extra weight. There are, however, a huge range of risk factors involved with the disease process. Laminitis literally means inflammation of the laminae, which hold the pedal bone in position within the hoof. It can be extraordinarily painful, and in severe…

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Microchipping and Passport Requirements

If a horse has not been previously issued with a passport it will require a microchip before a passport can be applied for. Foals born since 1st August 2009 must be microchipped and have a passport issued before it is 6 months old or by 31 December in the year it’s born, whichever is later.…

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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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