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Horse Health

Skin Conditions: an Overview

December 2012

The skin is the horse’s largest organ and has many important tasks. Its efficient function is vital for health, as it provides protection against the environment, plays an important role in the regulation of body temperature, and carries sensory nerves for the appreciation of temperature, pressure and pain. Conveniently, the skin is the only organ that an owner can examine in its entirety and monitor on a daily basis. This is essential for early detection of problems that may be encountered. Below, is an outline of some of the more commonly-encountered skin diseases.

Painful Eye

October 2012

Your horse is very dependent on vision, not only as a prey animal, but also as an athlete. A painful eye can very easily lead to irreversible damage and vision loss if the appropriate treatment is not administered in a timely manner. This is why it is essential that every horse owner be able to recognise when their horse’s eye is painful and, therefore, when to seek veterinary attention. Normal eye anatomy To better understand a painful eye, it is helpful to first have an understanding of the normal eye anatomy. The cornea is the external most layer of the eyeball.

Inflammatory Airway Disease

August 2012

Inflammatory airway disease is a non-infectious respiratory disease which is associated with exercise intolerance, coughing and an increase in respiratory secretions. The disease commonly affects young athletic horses and it is estimated that 14-50 per cent of young horses could be affected at one time or another in their career. It is known that the disease may develop in a horse because of many potential factors. However, one environmental factor in particular plays an important role - dust. This is important to understand when treating this condition. What are the signs?

'Golden Oldies': Caring for the Geriatric Horse

July 2012

Aging is inevitable. The rate of aging, however, varies between individual horses and depends largely on their health, management, level of use, diet, genetics and environmental factors. Therefore, the horse’s actual chronological age is not necessarily a good indicator as to whether special geriatric care is required.

Equine Metabolic Syndrome

July 2012

Equine Metabolic Syndrome (EMS) is a metabolic disorder that includes a group of symptoms that often occur together, including obesity, abnormal body fat distribution (cresty neck, and excessive fat around the tailhead, sheath, mammary area, above the eyes and abdomen), laminitis, polyphagia (increased appetite), polyuria/polydipsia (increased urination and drinking), lethargy, and often infertile or abnormal cycles in mares.

Building Blood Counts

July 2012

It is very rare for a performance horse to be clinically anaemic - but many may be borderline or in the low normal range. Low normal readings may be normal for individual horses. Others may have a low normal reading because they do not have sufficient building blocks for red blood cells or because they have not been exposed to the right training stimuli to generate extra red blood cell production.

Keep your eye on Uveitis

July 2012

Uveitis describes the inflammation of the uveal tract of the eye and can occur as a response to a number of factors, most commonly trauma and ulceration of the cornea. Repeated bouts are termed Equine Recurrent Uveitis (ERU) a condition which for centuries was known as ‘moon blindness’ as it was erroneously thought its ocurrence was related to the phases of the moon

Periocular Tumours

July 2012

Tumours are surprisingly common around the eye in horses. Around 10% of all tumours in equines affect the eye or periocular structures (i.e. the eyelids, conjunctiva etc.).   Whilst they are common they can be very frustrating and difficult to treat successfully and early diagnosis is essential to maximise the chance of a favourable outcome. Common tumour types The most common type of tumour seen is squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) followed by sarcoids, but there are several other masses which are well recognised in the region including melanoma, lymphosarcoma and papilloma.

Epilepsy in Horses: an Analysis

June 2012

Epilepsy is classed as a chronic neurological condition characterised by reoccurring seizures.     Horses suffer from epilepsy much like humans do, but despite the fact that a great deal of research has gone into both human and small animal (cat and dog) cases, the research and information available in relation to horses is limited.    

Acute Laminitis

November 2010

Laminitis is an emergency. This article aims to give the reader a better understanding of laminitis disease including what signs to look out for, what to do if your horse develops laminitis, and what technology is available to help diagnose and treat your horse.  

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