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Winter Blues: Managing Arthritis in Older Horses

August 2016

Winter is well and truly upon us, and these colder months can be particularly tough on our equine friends. One particular condition that all of us are familiar with is arthritis. It can affect us as well as our pets and the colder weather often exacerbates this condition. In this article, Dr Sarah Van Dyk from WestVETS Animal Hospital and Equine Reproduction Centre gives an overview of how arthritis affects older horses, the signs they may show, its diagnosis and treatment options. What is arthritis?

What is That? Lumps, Bumps and Swelling

August 2016

Finding lumps, bumps and swelling on the skin of horses is a very common problem for owners. In this article, veterinarian Dr Rachel Kent sorts the lumps from the bumps and explains which ones are of concern and require veterinary treatment, versus those which may be left alone. 

Fencing Injuries and How to Prevent Them

April 2016

This month, Dr Adrian Owen, a member of Equine Dental Vets, talks about the common injuries caused by poorly designed or maintained fencing. He encourages every horse owner to consider how they can protect their horses from serious, and even fatal, injuries, with a few simple changes, including electrified fencing.

Tying Up and Inherited Muscle Disorders

March 2016

Tying up is a broad term that describes a wide range of muscle disorders in horses and one of the most frustrating of all problems affecting equine athletes. Ranging from stiffness after exercise to intense pain, and an inability to stand and bear weight, what was once thought of as a single condition is now known to comprise a number of specific disorders, some of which are inherited.  

Swamp Cancer

August 2015

Contrary to what the common name may lead you to believe, swamp cancer is not a cancer, but is caused by an aquatic fungus. The disease is called Pythiosis and is caused by the organism Pythium insidiosum. It is a plant parasite that causes an infection of the skin and can quickly cause large lesions with devastating consequences. It normally lives on water vegetation or organic debris in tropical and sub-tropical climates. Other common names are “summer sores” and “phycomycosis”.

A Case of Thumps

July 2015

We’ve all had a case of the hiccups, but did you know that your horse can actually get the hiccups as well? Equine hiccups are more commonly referred to as ‘Thumps’, but are scientifically known as Synchronous Diaphragmatic Flutter (SDF).  A horse with thumps will typically present with muscle twitching in their flanks, which are caused by abnormal contractions of the diaphragm. These twitches are normally at regular intervals and can even produce a ‘thump’ noise upon contraction, hence the common name. 

Respiratory Disease

July 2015

Horses are elite athletes and peak performance demands an optimally functioning respiratory system. The respiratory tract delivers oxygen to the cells for cellular respiration and energy production, and excretes carbon dioxide - the waste product.

What Your Horse's Blood Tells Us

May 2015

It’s something we do almost every day as veterinarians: collect some blood from one of our patients to try and determine what is going on internally. But, have you ever wondered what we’re looking at? This article aims to give you a brief overview of what tests can be performed on blood and the benefits of running bloods when your horse is unwell. There is an enormous list of tests that can be performed, but the most common reason bloods are taken is to look at the complete blood count (CBC) and biochemistry values.  Complete blood count 

Proud Flesh

March 2015

Lower limb injuries are a common occurrence in horses. Appropriate treatment and management are critical to ensure fast and complete healing. An important phase of wound healing in lower limbs is granulation tissue that develops in the wound between the soft tissue edges and fills the defect. 

Equine Herpes Virus

May 2014

Equine Herpes Virus (EHV) causes horse owners and breeders a large amount of concern due to its potentially devastating effects.  The virus is ever-present in the horse population worldwide and cases of Herpes virus infection are seen sporadically across Australia. It can cause mild to life-threatening disease affecting the respiratory and neurological systems, as well as being responsible for abortions in all ages and breeds of horses and donkeys.


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