Foot Balance – How do X-Rays help?

Hoof imbalance is one of the most common problems associated with lameness in a horse’s foot. It can be attributed to a variety of causes including conformation, the type of shoes fitted and how regularly the horse is shod.

Ideally the horse’s foot should strike the ground as a unit, with the entire weight-bearing surface hitting the ground together. In the case of side-to-side imbalance (lateral-medial imbalance) the outside toe strikes the ground before the heel, with the inside heel landing first. This leads to uneven forces across the hoof and uneven loading of the lower limb joints.

Many horses tolerate a large degree of foot balance, remain sound and are able to compete to a high level. Others are more sensitive, with a minimal discrepancy adversely affecting performance.

X-rays are a tool that we are using more and more in conjunction with farriers to evaluate & correct foot balance….. Essentially a side to side (Lateromedial – side view) and front to back (Dorsopalmar – front/back view) x-ray is taken of each foot to show the position of the pedal bone and the rest of the bony column in relation to the external hoof wall. These images can then be used by the farrier to trim to optimise foot conformation and correct any underlying imbalance. Severe imbalance is often evident without an x-ray but mild to moderate imbalance can be present in a “normal” looking foot.

Foot balance x-rays are particularly useful in horses with poor foot shape or sensitive feet as well as those suffering from foot related lameness. Many elite sports horses have this procedure on a regular basis to pre-empt any problems. The stage of the shoeing cycle must be considered when interpreting the images, it is unreasonable to expect the feet to look as good when they are due for re-shoeing as when they are freshly shod.

Foot balance x-rays can be performed at the clinic or on your yard providing there is an area of level concrete under cover and mains electricity.

We are offering a special promotion during MAY & JUNE of £150 (plus callout and sedation if required) for foot balance x-rays of all four feet. We can then email the images to your farrier and discuss the findings to formulate a shoeing plan for your horse.

Remember if your horse is a member of our Equine Healthcare Plan you will also receive an additional 10% discount on the cost of the Foot Balance X-rays.

Back on Track – Save 25%

Milbourn Equine are pleased to be running another Back On Track campaign during Flu Awareness Month in April.

We are offering the opportunity for all eligible horses to receive a discounted restart primary vaccination course, saving you 25%

Why not restart now, taking advantage of this great offer combined with one of our £10 Zone Visits for even better value! Call your local branch now to arrange a visit.

Equine flu is not spread by direct contact alone. It can travel more than 2km in the air and be passed on via tack or equipment, quickly spreading from an individual to the whole yard and beyond. Clinical signs can be subtle, especially in horses with a history of vaccination. Horses presenting with as little as a low-grade cough and/or serous nasal discharge should arouse suspicion.

A horse with flu needs complete rest and isolation, often putting them out of action for weeks. In addition to this, outbreaks can affect competitions at all levels, potentially resulting in the cancellation of events in order to control the spread of disease. The equine flu virus evolves and changes constantly and it is important that its development is monitored in order to ensure vaccines protect against the circulating strains.

Visit www.equinefluawareness.com

VERY IMPORTANT SMALL PRINT – This offer is open to all equines over 12 months of age that have not yet been vaccinated against equine influenza or are overdue a booster. Any visit fee must be borne by the horse owner.

Hawkhurst Evening Talk

Thank you to everyone who came along to our evening talk on the 5th April at Bodiam International Arena and Leisure Club.

 

Juliette from Merial provided a very informative talk on equine flu and the importance of vaccinating.  A horse with flu needs complete rest and isolation, often putting them out of action for weeks. In addition to this, outbreaks can affect competitions at all levels, potentially resulting in the cancellation of events in order to control the spread of disease. The equine flu virus evolves and changes constantly and it is important that its development is monitored in order to ensure vaccines protect against the circulating strains.

Our Back on Track campaign is running throughout April offering a 25% discount if your horse’s flu vaccinations have lapsed. Do call us to take advantage of this special offer.

 

John Haizelden from ESFRS Large Animal Rescue explained more about the important job they do rescuing horses and other large animals!

The ESFRS Large Animal Rescue are also holding an Equine Safety Day informing about the dangers you should be aware of and giving you the opportunity to get your trailer or horsebox safety checked.

 

We also raised £95.20 for The British Horse Society Changing lives through horses campaign from the raffle on the night.

Don’t forget our next talk will be at our Sevington Clinic in Ashford on Gastric Ulcers April 25th so reserve your free place now!

Back On Track – Save 25%

Milbourn Equine are pleased to be running another Back On Track campaign during Flu Awareness Month in April.

We are offering the opportunity for all eligible horses to receive a discounted restart primary vaccination course, saving you 25%

Why not restart now, taking advantage of this great offer combined with one of our £10 Zone Visits for even better value! Call your local branch now to arrange a visit.

Equine flu is not spread by direct contact alone. It can travel more than 2km in the air and be passed on via tack or equipment, quickly spreading from an individual to the whole yard and beyond. Clinical signs can be subtle, especially in horses with a history of vaccination. Horses presenting with as little as a low-grade cough and/or serous nasal discharge should arouse suspicion. Visit www.equinefluawareness.com

VERY IMPORTANT SMALL PRINT – This offer is open to all equines over 12 months of age that have not yet been vaccinated against equine influenza or are overdue a booster. Any visit fee must be borne by the horse owner.

March Is Tapeworm Testing Time For Your Horse

Milbourn Equine recommend worming against tapeworm in March and September. We do strongly advise that we test for tapeworm first to check if worming is required to reduce the development of resistance to the medicines used to treat them.

Testing for tapeworms cannot be done through the standard faecal worm egg count.

Either a blood test or the Equisal Tapeworm saliva test can be used to identify whether your horse has a tapeworm burden.

A blood sample can be taken by your vet to test, a method known as the ELISA or tapeworm antibody test. A horse with a high level of tapeworm infection will produce a large number of antibodies, which can be detected in the blood.

The test indicates a broad level of intensity, rather than tapeworm numbers. The amount of antibodies will indicate whether the burden is low, medium or high.
The Equisal tapeworm saliva test is performed on a swab of saliva taken from the horse’s mouth which is much quicker and less invasive than a blood test. The Equisal test has been shown to have very similar effectiveness as the blood test in detecting the presence of tapeworms.

The procedure is simple and full instructions are provided in the kit which is now available from us.  A swab is inserted into the mouth where the bit normally goes, then placed into a collection tube which is then posted to the laboratory by the owner for analysis. The result is returned to the practice and your vet will contact you with the result and advice for treatment if required.

To find out more and how to join our Equine Healthcare Plan to receive discounts on your worming treatments, tapeworm testing and membership to our worming programme please see www.milbournequine.co.uk

Spring Evening Talk and Demo

Wednesday 5th April 7pm

Bodiam International Arena, Court Lodge Farm TN32 5UJ

Join Milbourn Equine, in association with Merial as part of Flu Awareness Month for talks on Respiratory Diseases and Biosecurity.

There will also be a Horse Rescue Demo and Trailer Safety talk from East Sussex Fire & Rescue. 
Milbourn Equine will be fundraising and donating to the British Horse Society’s (BHS) new programme, ‘Changing lives through Horses’  and we will be holding a raffle during the evening.

Changing Lives through Horses has been designed to help improve the lives of young disengaged people, using horses as the inspiration for change. The equestrian environment provides young people with structure and a sense of responsibility. Horses can help young people connect with society and improve their wellbeing. Key skills are developed by the individual that will serve
them for the rest of their lives. More information can be found at
www.bhs.org.uk/changinglivesthroughhorses

Please call 01580 752301 to book your FREE place now. Remember you don’t need to be a client to come along so bring your friends!

Now is the perfect time to castrate your colts!

Now is the perfect time of year to castrate your colts…

We are holding a castration clinic at our Ashford branch on March 27th.

Take advantage of this great reduced price offer of £172

Please call 01233 500505 to book

 

 

VERY IMPORTANT small print

  • Colts must be 2 years old or under and both testicles must be present and correct!
  • If unsure please book a zone visit and pre-castrate examination (£40) prior to the 27th March just to check
  • Colts must be vaccinated against tetanus. Any colt not covered for tetanus will have tetanus antitoxin administered on the day and this is NOT included in the offer price
  • A £50 non-refundable deposit is required when booking
  • A £30 charge will be added if your horse requires an anaesthetic
  • Most boys will need to go home with a short course of antibiotics and pain relief. These are NOT included in the offer price       
  • PLEASE BOOK EARLY TO AVOID DISAPPOINTMENT

Horse Insurance

Horse insurance provides financial protection for horse owners and can provide re-assurance that funds are available to meet the costs of veterinary treatment should your horse need major treatment or surgery.

 

 

 

 

There are a wide variety of horse insurance policies available to cover against:

• Theft or straying
• Death of the horse
• Veterinary fees
• Loss of use
• Theft of tack
• Public liability

Veterinary fees insurance policy can vary considerably and it is important to check the total sum available as some policies only have a £3,500 limit which may be insufficient for major surgeries. Some policies will offer a higher excess in exchange for a lower premium and many offer cover for complementary therapies.

Loss of use cover protects against your horse being permanently incapable of the purpose for which it is insured. The policy will usually pay a percentage (50-100%) of the total sum insured when a horse is diagnosed with a condition from which it will not recover. Cover is usually available from 30 days of age and many insurers now offer geriatric horse policies which may have reduced cover. The level of premium will usually vary with the value of the horse, activities for which the horse is used and type of cover desired. If your horse has had previous problems, e.g.: laminitis, then insurers are likely to exclude conditions relating to that pre-existing condition. It is important to remember that if your horse is treated for a condition that this may be excluded from future policies even if the insurers were not notified at the time.

Public liability insurance is often a feature of membership of organisations such as the British Horse Society, Riding Clubs etc. but it is prudent to check the details of this cover as sometimes you are covered only whilst doing riding club activities for example. We do not recommend any specific company and deal with all major insurers. As with all forms of insurance, it is often worthwhile comparing the cover on offer from the various companies to find the one that best meets your needs.

Petplan Veterinary Awards Calling all Milbourn Equine clients!

Petplan Veterinary Awards are now open for nominations and we would love you to nominate team members from Milbourn Equine for these prestigious awards! You can nominate a veterinary surgeon, a veterinary nurse, member of our reception team or the practice as a whole. It would be a huge thank you for the team who work so hard to provide our clients and their horses with great service! Please vote now at petplan.co.uk/vetawards if you have a moment! Voting closes on the 13th January 2017. Thank you.

10 Winter Health Tips

Take advantage of the quieter winter months to give your horse a full health check, make sure your horses vaccines are up to date, get their teeth checked and rasped, review your worming protocol and get any little niggles / concerns checked out before it’s too late.

Milbourn Equine offer a WINTER HEALTH CHECK for £95 which covers a full clinical examination, dental check and blood sample to test your horses internal organs as well as a faecal worm egg count to check for worms and allow us to advise on worming. This a great opportunity to ensure your horse is in peak condition and discuss any concerns with one of our vets.

Other things to check include;

Regularly assess your horse’s weight/condition and feed accordingly
It is important to critically assess your horse’s body condition regularly and this can be neglected in the cold, wet winter months when they are fully rugged the whole time. Despite the lack of good grass at this time of year forage should form the bulk of their ration in the form of hay/haylage. Hard feed should be fed according to workload and body condition not just because someone else is feeding it. Some horses will need nothing other than good hay and a balancer. As work levels increase/decrease keep an eye on condition and again adjust if necessary, then once the spring grass comes through you may need to make further changes.

Regular grooming and hoof care
A thorough daily/weekly groom can help to prevent skin problems and allows you to spot any cuts/scrapes, mud fever or lumps and bumps so you can deal with them straight away. Hairy winter coats can hide things if you aren’t thorough! Pick out your horses feet daily and be on the lookout for thrush which is so common in this wet weather.

Saddle fit
Don’t assume that the saddle you used all last year will still fit; your horse will change shape throughout the year and as they grow and mature. Get a qualified saddler out to check it at least yearly (and more regularly if needed) rather than once the horse has a sore back or is bucking you off! It can also be useful to have your horse checked over regularly by a qualified physiotherapist to keep them in top shape & feeling well.

Turnout regardless of weather
Ideally turn your horses out every day regardless of weather or field conditions. It is good for their health helping prevent respiratory problems and colic, as well as keeping them sane and helping to prevent boredom. If field turnout is totally impossible try turning out in the arena for a few hours, or at the very least ride/lunge them daily.

Stable ventilation
With the inevitable increase in time spent stabled over the winter it is vital to make sure the stable is well ventilated, regularly mucked out and hay and bedding is not dusty. Whilst the thought of a cosy stable with the windows all shut up might appeal to us good ventilation is key to respiratory health and reducing spread of viruses.

Ensure your horse is warm and dry but don’t over rug
Invest in a good waterproof rug and make sure your horse is dry underneath after even the heaviest of rain. Take care that your horse doesn’t become too hot though when the weather is mild, being sweaty under the rug is as bad as being wet and can result in skin problems. Often a waterproof lightweight is enough, especially if your horse isn’t clipped. If your horse is overweight take advantage of the cold weather to allow him to lose some weight!!

Water
It might sound obvious but check your horse has water that is clean, not frozen over and not surrounded by a bottomless sea of mud! Some horses prefer slightly warm water and if they are very fussy it can help to put apples in the buckets to encourage drinking and prevent dehydration and possible impaction colic.

Keep their routine varied
It can be hard with all the wet and icy weather but it is very important to avoid just spending your whole time trotting endless circles in the arena. Incorporate weekly sessions of pole work/jumping and go to the beach or the gallops as much as possible, which not only helps fitness levels but keeps horses fresh and interested.

Personal fitness
As you concentrate on your horse’s fitness don’t forget about your own! Pilates is great for core strength in riders, regular running (or even walking) is very beneficial to make sure that when out riding you don’t end up more tired than your horse!