Tag Archives: horse vet in Durham

Test That Crest

Until October of this year Boehringer in conjunction with Liphook are offering free blood tests for equine Cushing’s desease. Because of this we thought it would be a good idea to provide some information on this condition!

Equine Cushing’s typically affects older horses and ponies, usually over the age of 15 or so but there are examples of individuals as young as 8 suffering from the disease. Animals present with a curly, shaggy coat and commonly have excessive fat pads on their rumps, crests and above their eyes.

Overweight and Cresty neck

Overweight and Cresty neck

Despite these, animals can look thin as they also lose muscle and so may have a poor topline or poor muscle mass in general. Other signs include increased thirst and urination, having poor wound healing and suffering from recurrent foot abscesses.

Slow shedding coat and quite thin

Slow shedding coat and quite thin

One of the most concerning things about Equine Cushing’s (and other endocrine diseases such as EMS) is that it predisposes horses and ponies to developing laminitis, which can have devastating consequences if not treated promptly.

The blood test looks for a hormone called ACTH, which is usually elevated in cases of Cushing’s. This hormone encourages the production of steroids within the body, which account for the clinical signs seen. The treatment of Cushing’s aims to decrease the production of ACTH.

If your horse or pony shows any of the signs above then we recommend they have a health check and blood sample to determine the underlying cause.

Please note that charges for taking of the blood sample, postage and any necessary health checks and visit fees will still apply. please ring the Simply Horses Vet Clinic to make an appointment or with any queries

Simply Horses Vets – The benefits of Worm Egg Counts

Simply horses Vets: The Importance of Worm Egg Counts in your worming program

We are rolling out some new worm egg count kits and just wanted to give you a bit more information about why it is important to use them.

We are now seeing widespread resistance to wormers that are frequently used, which means that the wormers are no longer killing the worms. This is occurring everywhere, not just in the North East. As well as this problem, there are no new worming drugs currently being created. This means we need to worm responsibly and try to prevent further resistance developing, so the wormers we are using will remain effective.

It has been found that approximately 80% of the horses in a herd, grazing on the same field, will be producing 20% of the worm eggs on that field. This means the remaining 20% of horses are producing 80% of the worm eggs on the field. It is important to target the 20% and reduce the amount of contamination they are producing. This is done using worm egg counts (WEC).

A faecal sample needs to be collected from all horses on the pasture on the same day. This will then be sent to the laboratory to identify worm eggs. If a horse has a low count of eggs, then they do not need to be treated (saving you money and helping reduce resistance). The horses with high worm egg counts need to be treated.

WECs should be performed 3-4 times a year. Some horses have a low count on one sample, but a high count on subsequent samples. This is because the samples look for eggs that are only produced by mature adult worms. If worms are present that are not mature then the WEC will be low, but once they are mature, they will start producing eggs that are detected in a faecal sample.

To help reduce worm burden in your horse and the amount of wormer that needs to be used, it is important to poo pick your pasture as well. This is especially important when doing WECs. As the eggs are passed in faeces and horses become infected by ingesting these eggs, the pasture needs to poo picked at least twice weekly, but ideally daily, to reduce the egg contamination on the grazing.

Even though you are doing WECs, it is important to worm twice yearly with a tapeworm product. Tapeworm eggs do not show up well on a WEC, so the best way to ensure your horse is protected is to have a blood sample taken or worm regularly for tapeworm.

What to do if you think the worms are resistant to the wormer you are using? In these cases a WEC needs to be done before treatment and then another sample taken 14 days later and compared to the original sample.

The vets at Simply Horses are carrying these new kits in their cars they are £9.50 each and this will reduce to £8.75 if there are 6 or more horses on one yard tested. They are easy to use and have everything you need to send your sample to the lab, the results are back in 24 hours direct to Simply horses where one of our vets will interpret the results and contact you with them and give you the best possible advice on what is the best course of action for your horse.

The EasyShoe a Way To Shoe The Barefoot Horse | Simply Horses Vets

On the 19th February Simply Horses Vet clinic will be hosting the first live demonstration in the UK of the brand new revolutionary Easy Shoe from easy care.
A group of 20 local farriers will be having a practical demonstration on how to nail and glue these innovative shoes. At long last we have a shoe that is flexible and good for the hoof, for those horses we cannot boot or are unable to go totally barefoot for whatever reason.
We will be doing an online webinar / video after the event if anyone is interested.
For more information contact the clinic on easyshoe @ simply-horses.net
A new dawn in shoeing horses, at last a flexible shoe that allows the hoof to move, especially the heels so essential for good hoof function.

Introductory Video

 

Horse insurance – cheapest isn’t always best

Finding the right horse insurance…..Not an easy task!

I have just recently bought a new horse and as he hopefully will keep me going for quite a few years decided that he needed to be insured, so I spent the week leading up to his collection trawling the internet for quotes and this really did open my eyes.

This is despite working or years at equine vets including Simply Horses Vet Clinic and dealing with lots of insurance claims.

The first main thing I found was to “read the small print” and I might add with some companies the small print was VERY small indeed, bring out the magnifying glass. What at first glance seemed a really good deal on further reading really was not! There were lots of exclusions to the policies and I mean lots, some didn’t have fixed excess instead it was a percentage of the claim, which if your horse needed surgery for whatever then I would have ended up with a hefty bill at the end which was the whole point of insuring my horse in the first place, some had limited pay out for diagnostics, some even only paid for the initial vet visit and no follow up treatment what so ever, what good was that?

As veterinary fees have risen there has been an increase in “budget” insurance policies which seem to give the minimum cover, so although the premiums are cheaper this may not be cost effective in the long run.

Most of the larger insurance companies that specialise in equine cover had very easy to navigate sites and I was able to tailor my cover to my needs, what activities I was going to use this new horse for, did I want remedial shoeing covered, complementary treatments and the extra cost of bedding if he had to be on box rest this all went into the mix and of course public liability is included on most of the larger companies which is peace of mind when out hacking if you end up in the awful situation of damaging a vehicle.

Another good pointer is speak to your horsey friends and ask who they use and what it covers, also ask your vet for advise although they are not allowed to “push” a specific company they will tell you the names of companies that offer good cover. There are discounts to pick up too if you make a one off payment instead of monthly, I managed a bit more discount as I already had my vehicle and trailer insured with them there is no harm asking what discounts are to be had.

Happy Simply horses clients, confident with their insurance

Happy Simply horses clients, confident with their insurance

 

So in a nutshell

• Can you afford not to insure your horse?
• Cheaper isn’t always best
• Insure for your needs
• Read the small print
• Go with an equine specialist

I learnt a lot from my hours spent looking but it was time well spent, I know I have the best cover for my horse for the activities I intend to do.

Simply horses find out about farriery in Italy

How the Italians do it!

As an Italian vet working in the UK there are many similarities with how farriery works.  In Italy a farrier is called a Maniscalco (which is derived from the words ‘mare’ as in horse and ‘shall’ meaning duty/responsibility).  Incidentially, the English word ‘marshal’ derives from the German words ‘marah’ (horse) and schalh (servant) – meaning who is responsible for taking care of horses.

In Italy farriers can train at local level or train via military farrier colleges which are now open to the public rather than just military.  It takes 2-3 years of both theory and practical work (apprenticeship) before an Italian farrier is qualified to European standards.    However, there are other shorter courses for farriers in Italy but these do not give qualifications for working outside Italy.  Unfortunately, there are also people who call themselves farriers, who have learnt the ‘skills’ from their fathers, ie family businesses carried down.  Whilst they may have experience they have no recognised qualification.

 

Recently, in Italy barefoot farriery has become popular resulting in the craft of farriery gaining new impetus.  Obviously, barefoot farriery requires learning new techniques and farriers have had to adapt and learn these new techniques.

 

 


As in the UK Italian farriers work closely with owners (who know the type of work the horse is required to do) and vets (who, for example, will ensure the appropriate measures are undertaken when a horse has joint problems, etc).

 

At equestrian sporting events in Italy a farrier would be present, along with vets and first aid personnel for people.

November Equine Flu Outbreak in Tyne and Wear

We have received news of another Outbreak of Equine Flu in the North East.

 

Simply Horses vet clinic  advises that any horse that hasn’t had a flu booster vaccination in the last six months should get a booster vaccination done as soon as possible. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us at Simply Horses. This is especially important if your horse is old, very young or competing regularly.

Horse Terminology

Event Prospect = Big Fast Lively Horse
Dressage Prospect = Big Slow Horse
Hack Prospect = Pretty Colour
Endurance Prospect = Fast Horse which will turn sometimes
Has raced = Not very fast
Flashy = White Socks
Attractive = Pretty colour
15.2hh = 14.3hhh
16.2hh = 15.3hh
To Loving Home = Very Expensive
To Show Home Only = Extremely Expensive
Needs Experienced Rider = Potentially Lethal
Elegant = Thin
In Good Condition = Fat
Free Moving = Bolts
Quiet = Lame in Both Front Legs
Dead Quiet = Lame in All Four Legs
Good in Traffic (Bombproof) = Lame all Round, Deaf and Blind
Loves Children = Kicks and Bites
Pony Type = Small and Hairy
Arab Type = Looks startled and Flighty
TB Type = Looks Terrified
Warmblood Type = Big and built like a bodybuilder
Draught Type = Big and Exceedingly Hairy
Easy to Catch = Very Old
Must Sell = Wife has left home and taken kids
All Offers Considered = I am in Traction for 6 months

Nine Ways To Get In Shape To Own A Horse

  1. Drop a heavy steel object on your foot. Don't pick it up right away. Shout “Get off,stupid! Get off!”
  2. Leap out of a moving vehicle and practice “Relaxing into the fall”. Roll lithely into a ball, and spring to your feet!
  3. Learn to grab your cheque book out of your purse/pocket and write out a £100 cheque without even looking down.
  4. Jog long distances carrying a head collar and holding out a carrot. Go ahead and tell the neighbours what you're doing. Panama . They might as well know now.
  5. Fix a pair of reins to a moving freight train and practice pulling it to a halt. And smile as if you are really having fun.
  6. Hone your fibbing skills. “See darling moving hay bales is fun!” and ” I'm glad your lucky performance and multi-million pound horse won you first place – I'm just thankful that my hard work and actual ability won me second place”.
  7. Practice dialing your chiropractors number with both arms paralyzed to the shoulder, and one foot anchoring the lead rope of a frisky horse.
  8. Lie face down in the mud in your most expensive riding clothes and repeat to yourself: “This is a learning experience, this is a learning experience…”
  9. Marry Money!