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Horse Health

Chronic Diarrhoea in the Adult Horse

March 2014

Diarrhoea is always an abnormal finding in the horse and an indication of a problem that could get much worse. While a sudden and copious onset should be treated as an emergency, in this article Dr Sarah van Dyk from WestVETS Animal Hospital and Equine Reproduction Centre discusses chronic, persistent, low-grade diarrhoea in the adult horse, the type that is often described as “always a bit loose”.

Summer Care for Horses brought to you by Virbac Animal Health

November 2013

During the hot Summer months in Australia horses are under extra stress from heat, humidity, poor feed quality and insect worry. Some horses tolerate the heat well, while others lose coat and body condition, and don’t perform at their best. Dehydration The risk of dehydration and related problems is much higher during the Summer months, particularly for performing horses that are regularly exercised, and lose large amounts of body salts and fluid in sweat. About 75-80 per cent of the energy used by the horse’s body is given off as heat.

Wound Treatment: Part 2

September 2013

Finding your horse with a wound can be a stressful situation, but it is one which all horse owners will inevitably find themselves in at some stage. In the next two articles of this three-part series, Dr Sarah van Dyk from WestVETS discusses deeper wounds.

Anhidrosis in Horses

January 2013

Like the horse pictured, horses rely on sweating for regulating body temperature and avoiding over-heating. 

The Story Of George And How I Learnt About Anhidrosis

January 2013

  George is an 8 year old thoroughbred off the track in the early stages of eventing, although a fit horse, nothing could prepare me for what happened during a training session. I was schooling on the first leg of the cross country course near my property in QLD, we had ridden this course many times and had only gone about 1km. It was early in the day, and the temperature was only about 25 degrees. (In the summer I always ride before 9am or after 4pm to escape the worst heat). 

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.


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