Tay Valley Vets – Equine Newsletter Spring 2014

In conjunction with British Horse Society Scotland we are hosting an evening on Friday 21st March designed to answer some of the questions you might have if you are thinking of taking your first step into horse ownership or already own a horse but are thinking of buying again.

Among those speaking Helene Mauchlen BHS development officer will discuss the legal responsibilities, Eric McKechnie BHS instructor will discuss selecting the right horse for you and Jamie Gartside will discuss what is involved in a vetting.

The evening is free, presentations will start at about 7:30pm and there will be opportunity to ask questions.

National Equine Data Base

Since central funding was cut in 2012 there has been no national register of horses in the UK compromising identification and traceability and undermining planning for outbreak of infectious diseases. In response to EU requirements DEFRA is now working with the equine sector to correct the situation.

It may be that all horses will have to be micro-chipped rather than just new registrations and Passport Issuing Organisations (PIOs) will come under closer scrutiny to ensure compliance with legislation.

Equine Grass Sickness

This predominantly fatal disease affecting equines at grass has been known in Scotland since 1909. Over the years many theories have been put forward but currently a toxico-infectious form of botulism triggered by a combination of risk factors seems most likely. This has led to hope that vaccination may be possible since the bacteria implicated in EGS is similar to the tetanus causing bacteria. Results of a small scale pilot vaccination trial should be available soon and if successful could lead on to a full scale nationwide study.

Current Common Conditions!

Foot abscesses – very painful – almost fracture lame and can be very sudden onset but usually resolve rapidly when the pus is released – common in the winter months.

Colic – impactions and displacements – common after periods of inactivity and high dry fibre diet – made worse by dehydration i.e frozen water buckets.

Respiratory allergies – repeated exposure to dust and moulds mean the main feature – coughing – gets worse as the winter progresses.

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