Tag Archives: equine health

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Equine Herpes Virus (EHV) – The Facts

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A recent outbreak of Neurological EHV-1 in Hampshire resulting in four fatalities to date, has led to multiple temporary yard closures in the area. As this disease affects all areas throughout the year, it seemed important to share the facts surrounding the disease. We sought advice from veterinary professionals to provide you with the most up-to-date information on the virus, its symptoms and the precautionary measures to take should you be concerned that your horse may have come into contact with the virus. 

 

Equine Herpes Virus is one of the most commonly diagnosed diseases in horses worldwide. Almost every horse will have been in contact with the virus at some stage in its life with no serious side effects, it can lay dormant in carrier horses without causing any problems. It is not yet understood what causes some infected horses to develop neurological forms which can be fatal. It is a highly contagious disease particularly affecting younger horses and in-foal mares. It is spread through both direct (nose to nose) contact, indirectly through tack, rugs, feed buckets, owners’ hands, through sharing drinking water where it can survive for up to one month, and airborne through coughing and sneezing. It is therefore vital that the correct bio security procedures are followed to prevent further spread. 

 

The Equine Herpes Virus is a family of different viruses that are closely linked to the viruses that cause cold sores, chicken pox and shingles in humans. The two most common species in horses are EHV-1, which can cause sudden abortion in in-foal mares, respiratory disease and occasionally neurologic disease; and EHV-4, which will cause respiratory disease but only rarely cause abortion and neurological disease where the infection has damaged the spinal cord, in the event of this occurring, its is generally advised that the horse is euthanized on a welfare basis.

 

Clinical signs of the disease will depend on the form of the disease but can include:

  • Fever
  • Nasal Discharge 
  • Depression
  • Enlarged lymph nodes
  • Loss of appetite
  • Abortion
  • Loss of bladder and tail function
  • Hind limb paralysis

 

‘If you are concerned that your horse may have come in contact with herpes virus it is extremely important that you place your horse in isolation immediately for 14 days. Stringent bio-security measures are paramount. These include regular disinfection of the surrounding environment and equipment, hand washing, disinfection of boots, removal of outer clothing after seeing your horse and visiting no other horses to avoid direct and indirect contact with other horses. You should notify your vet, who will recommend collection of a blood sample for herpes serum antibody at the beginning and near the end of the isolation period. It can take up to 14 days for a horse to develop antibodies which is why two samples are required for comparison. A nasal swab should also be collected at the end of the isolation period to ensure your horse is not shedding virus. During the isolation period regular monitoring including twice daily rectal temperature recording is essential. A fever is often one of the first signs of herpes infection.’

Beth Robinson

New Forest Equine Vets

 

It is important to let others know that you have a suspected case of EHV, these people include, other horse owners, vets, farriers and anyone likely to have come into contact with the horse.  Only through open communication will we  break the stigma surrounding the virus and help prevent the spread of the disease.

 

Treatment for the virus once confirmed is predominantly supportive care as many antiviral drugs used in humans aren’t effective in horses. The virus is allowed to run its course whilst keeping the horse as comfortable as possible, anti-inflammatory drugs such as bute are often administered and some horses might require intravenous fluids.

 

The best methods of prevention are the EHV-1 vaccination which is effective against the Respiratory form of the disease which prevents abortion and correct bio-security. There are currently no vaccinations that can prevent the Neurological form of infection. The vaccination is considered ‘risk based’ so for more information on the vaccine, seek veterinary advice. It is most commonly used in breeding mares, but it begs the question, should we be vaccinating against this virus as religiously as we do with flu and tetanus?

 

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The British Equestrian Federation has issued the following statement regarding the recent outbreak 

‘The Federation supports the actions of the centre who have ceased all activity, including cancelling shows and hire bookings until further notice. The Animal Health Trust has issued advice stating that all horses who have recently visited the centre are immediately isolated for a period of 14 days and that owners seek veterinary advice regarding clinical monitoring and laboratory test clearance.’

 

British Show Jumping stated on 13th January 2020 

‘Following the recent outbreak of EHV-1 it is now a requirement that any horse or pony that has been on site at Crofton Manor, Hampshire since the 20th December 2019 is required to have a negative swab and blood test before competing at any British Showjumping show or organised event.’

 

British Dressage stated on 13th January 2020

In consultation with the Animal Health Trust and on the advice provided in today’s British Equestrian Federation updateBritish Dressage requires members with any horses or ponies who visited Crofton Manor EC between 20 December and 7 January for any reason (training or competition) have them tested by a veterinary surgeon for EHV-1. This is in addition to the originally recommended isolation period of 14 days and daily clinical monitoring. Owners of any horses or ponies who have been to Crofton EC in the specified should liaise directly with their veterinary surgeon on the testing process and advice.’

 

At this stage, there have been no confirmed cases in horses outside of Crofton Manor. It is only with complete transparency and strict bio security procedures that we can control the spread of this awful disease. 

Our thoughts go out to the Centre and the owners of the horses that were sadly euthanised. 

 

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JOSIE MEAD- EQUINE SPORTS AND REMEDIAL MASSAGE THERAPIST

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JOSIE MEAD- EQUINE SPORTS AND REMEDIAL MASSAGE THERAPIST

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“I put a lot of emphasis on after care and stay in contact with the owners and riders regularly”, says Josie Mead, a Hampshire based Equine Massage therapist. And most of us know that the aftercare and long-term management is often as important or more important than the treatment, in helping improve condition and performance in a horse. So to have a therapist, who is genuinely interested in supporting and perhaps reminding us to adhere to exercises, can be a Godsend.

 

Josie always knew she wanted to work with horses and after school, she came out of Sparsholt College with an Extended Diploma in Horse Management, for which she was awarded a Distinction. Whilst she was there, she became particularly interested in the rehabilitation side of horse management. “I liked riding but I enjoyed the management side more and this was an area that particularly interested me”, she explains.

 

Her passion led her to move several hundred miles away to Yorkshire, where she studied for a Degree in Equine Therapy at Bishop Burton College. This is where the plan to focus on massage therapy was formulated “Alongside my degree I trained as an Equine massage therapists. I then did some work for my dissertation on the subject and was practicing alongside my degree.”

 

After her degree Josie came back to Hampshire and attained her Equine Sports and Remedial Massage Practitioner’s Qualification with Distinction. Sheset up on her own as a registered therapist in June 2017. She has already picked up a wealth of regular clients including International Event Team, Eventing Way- ridden by Stephen and Mel Way. “But I do a real mix- sport horses, general riding horses, kids ponies and a lot of ex racehorses” she says.

 

As well as general massage, Josie has a number of other useful tools in her box. She often uses Kinesiology taping, involves taping joints and muscles. This muscles and makes horses aware of their movements. Myofascial Release works on the tissues around structures and muscles and helps circulation as well as freeing off discomfort

 

“I also use Thermal Imaging, with a camera which attached to my phone to pick up hot spots and joints and saddles” she says. “It shows inflamed areas you wouldn’t be able to see with your eye or feel with you hand.”

 

After your horse’s session with Josie, which typically last around 1.5 hours, you will not go home empty-handed “I usually prescribe stretches and ground work”, Josie explains. “I touch base regularly with the owner and make sure they are doing everything right and have no questions for me”

 

Josie covers Hampshire and the surrounding areas and will work any day of the week.

 

Rates are £35 per horse for new customers and there after it is £40 per treatment.

 

For more information see Josie’s Horse Scout profile

 

https://www.horsescout.com/professionals/josie-mead/profile/1607

 

Written by Ellie Kelly

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The Alborada Well Foal Study

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Horse Scouts’ profiled veterinary practice Pinkham Equine is participating in an new research project in conjunction with researchers at the University of Surrey.

The “Alborada Well Foal Study” is one of the largest equine projects of its kind. It’s aim is to investigate and characterise foal gut bacterial populations and their role in the development of the foals’ immune system. These are two aspects of foal biology that are likely to be key determinants of lifelong health. In other animals, it has been shown that the colonization of the juvenile gut and the establishment of a stable, functional gut bacterial population is critically important in shaping the animal’s immune system. If the development of immunity is impaired in early life it can result in, increased susceptibility to infectious disease, increased prevalence of allergic conditions and general poorer health for the lifetime of the animal.

The foals that are participating in the study will have 9 faecal samples taken. These will be at 2d, 8d, 14d, 28d, 2 months, 3 months, 6 months, 9 months and 12 months old. Blood samples will be taken at 4 stages during the study at 1, 3, 6 and 9 months old. The samples will be transported to a lab at Surrey University, analysed and then stored in a -80 ° freezer. The rearing methods and husbandry techniques of foals will be recorded e.g. when solid food is introduced, weaning method, vaccination and worming programs. Any veterinary medical history of any illnesses/injuries and antibiotic use will also be recorded

After the recording phase, links between early-life events, their bacterial population of the foal’s guts and aspects of their immune system will be investigated to assess their effect of health and performance of yearlings and two year olds.

For links to Pinkham visit https://www.horsescout.com/professionals/pinkham-equine/profile/1485

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Mud, sweat and germs

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Mud, sweat and germs
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It is time for spring cleaning. That smell of ammonia that has hung around the yard, those bacteria infested stables you have not had time to get on top of. Beyond the bugs and bacteria, even just the grease and grime eating its way into your tack and equipment. Let us introduce you to a new range of products from The Logical Range.

Already these products are being favoured by professional yards. If it is good enough for the prized animals found with an international eventer, a high goal polo player and a top dressage rider in Emily King, Hazel Jackson and Ellie McCarthy, then it must be good enough for the rest of us.

Germ Kill

Did you know, strangles is responsible for 30% of infectious disease in the equine industry worldwide? Furthermore, data from the Animal Health Trust implies that the disease is on the rise in the UK. It is a disease that can impact any yard or equine individual, professionals and happy hackers alike and even those with excellent management. As well as being extremely distressing for both the animal and the owner, this disease causes major economic losses to the industry due to its contagious nature, prolonged course and associated complications, which can be fatal.

The Logical Range’s product ‘Germ Kill’ has been produced to kill 99.9% of germs including Equine Strangles. Not only does it disinfect and keep the dangers of micro-organisms at bay, but it is a product that also cleans. It can be used on stables, yards and horse equipment. It is safe to use for humans and environmentally friendly.

  • Effective against Equine Strangles.
  • Powerful cleaning and disinfection in a single environmentally friendly product.
  • Safe to use around animals and humans.
  • Effective at killing bacteria, viruses, fungi and yeasts.

 

Stable Cleanse

Do you wish you could replace stable smells with a fresh minty aroma? Now you can with Stable Cleanse – the ultimate odour eater for use on stables, yards, horseboxes and trailers.

If you think how that strong smell of a stable yard can take your breath away, imagine what it is doing to your horse’s airways, as well as your stable staff.

This is a product that is safe and effective:

  • Kills the unpleasant odour under rubber matting but without eating into the matting.
  • Can be used with any bedding and on any floor surface.
  • No special handling requirements. Safe for your horse and you.
  • Great value: one five litre lasts up to six months on a standard size stable.
  • Money back guarantee, if you’re not happy.

 

All Rounder

So here is quick and easy to use product that every yard should have – for safe use on all your equipment. Have a bottle on the yard, in the horsebox, even by your kitchen sink. You can stop buying washing up liquid which can eat into fibres and enjoy not having grime embedded in your nails any more. This is a product that will not damage your skin and you will not harm the environment either.

  • Effortlessly removes sweat, grease, grime, mud etc.
  • Can be used on rugs, saddle cloths, clothing, synthetic and leather tack.
  • Safe to use for you and your horse, in the home and on trailers and horseboxes.
  • A highly versatile natural orange cleaner- environmentally friendly.

For more information visit the website:  http://thelogicalrange.co.uk 

 

Written by Ellie Kelly