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Horse Health

Learn to Recognise the Subtle Signs of Pain

February 2019

Horses are instinctively ‘stoic’, they do their best to mask all signs of pain in an effort to keep-up and blend-in with the rest of their herd. By the time your horse shows clear signs of lameness or injury, it is likely a lot of damage has already been done. Although they may not scream it loud and clear, horses do display subtle signs they are in pain and/or discomfort.

Respiratory Conditions

March 2019

Many horses are expected to perform like elite athletes, where peak performance demands an optimally functioning respiratory system. In this article, Dr Deryck Tan from Valley Equine Veterinary Centre gives an overview of the anatomy of the respiratory tract and the most common respiratory conditions that compromise its optimum performance. Diseases affecting the respiratory tract

Ethmoid Hematoma

March 2019

When a horse presents with persistend or intermittent haemorrhagic nasal discharge (bleeding from the nostrils) your vet may investigate for an uncommon but problematic ethmoid haematoma. So what is it? what causes it? and how can it be treated? WestVETS veterinarian Sarah Van Dyk explains... Anatomy


March 2019

The material causing the blockage is normally foodstuff, but in isolated cases may consist of plastic, rocks, timber or other foreign materials. The blockage may be partial or complete. In most cases, choke is not an immediate emergency, but if the problem does not resolve quickly, then horses can become dehydrated, and the oesophagus can become irreversibly damaged. There is also a risk of the horse developing pneumonia. In severe cases, the condition can be life threatening. Signs of choke

Joint Disease

February 2019

Lameness is one of the top three areas of equine veterinary medicine, along with colic and reproduction. Joint disease is the most common cause of lameness and results from pain during movement. The onset of pain can be sudden or long-term, and may result in an obvious lameness or the horse ‘just not being right’. Osteoarthritis, commonly shortened to arthritis, can result from a range of factors, but all result in joint inflammation and degradation. We’ll take a look at how this happens and what we can do about it.   Let’s get technical, technical!

Diagnosing Skin Conditions

December 2018

The skin is the largest organ of the body, It protects from the environment, helps maintain body temperature, allows sensory perception and plays a role in the immune system. Skin consists of a superficial layer, the epidermis, and a deep layer of connective tissue, the dermis. Hence, dermatology is the branch of medicine dealing with the skin. Underneath the dermis is a fat layer, which acts as a shock absorber and provides insulation, while muscle fibres within the fatty tissue allow the skin to move, for example, when shivering.

The Science Behind Melbourne Cup Winners

November 2018

It’s the race that stops a nation … and is worth a cool A$6.2 million. So what goes into the raceday preparation for the equine stars of the show? Thoroughbred racehorses have unique anatomy and physiology that suits them well for racing at high speeds. There are very few 3,200m Thoroughbred races in Australia, and the horses that make it to the final 24 in the Melbourne Cup are truly elite equine athletes.

Heart Disease in Horses

November 2018

From mild problems that are well tolerated and allow the horse to perform normally, to diseases causing poor performance or, in severe cases, resulting in collapse or even death, heart disease in horses is more common than people realise. In this article, Dr Katharyn Mitchell, a senior clinician in Equine Cardiology at the University of Zurich, Switzerland, explains the most common heart conditions and how they will affect the horse.

Veterinary Costs: Where Does Your Money Go?

October 2018

We love our horses. We love the companionship, the lessons they teach us, the ability to compete and the joy of new foals. There is a universal appreciation of the horse shared by all horse people, and even those that just like to watch them in a pasture, racing, or in the show ring.

Queensland Itch Vaccine Trial

July 2018

The type of allergic dermatitis known as Queensland Itch, Summer or Sweet Itch has so far proven impossible to cure and difficult to manage, but a new study suggests a vaccine may soon be available to provide the relief horses and their owners are looking for.


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