Category Archives: News

Keeping you up to date with what is happening at Milbourn Equine…

Encysted Small Redworm Worming Reminder!

Don’t forget now is the time to treat your horse for Encysted Small Redworm (ESRW) if you haven’t done so already this Winter. ESRW are the early stages of the small redworm enveloped within a fibrous capsule in the mucosa of the large intestine.

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Courtesy of Zoetis

There isn’t a definitive test for ESRW and a negative or low faecal worm egg count doesn’t rule out the presence of encysted stages if egg laying adults aren’t present. Mass emergence of encysted larvae, often coinciding with warmer weather in early spring, may cause a condition known as larval cyathostominosis. This can cause diarrhoea and colic.

Every horse should receive an annual treatment to combat ESRW, ideally during November/December and definitely before spring arrives.
Moxidectin is the only licensed ingredient for single-dose control of ESRW and is contained in two products – Equest and Equest Pramox. Please contact Milbourn Equine for more information and advice on worming your horse.

We also offer an Equine Healthcare Plan at Milbourn Equine which includes membership to our annual worming programme. This helps create an individually tailored worming programme for your horse, based on worm egg counts as well as offering discounts on worming products.

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 £97.50 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!

New partnership for Milbourn Equine Vets in 2018

Milbourn Equine are pleased to announce that we have gone into partnership with the Linnaeus group who own veterinary practices nationwide. Three of our Directors (Howard, David & Sharon) are retaining a stake in the business and will remain running the practice as well as continuing to see clients. This partnership will provide long term stability for the practice with opportunities for future investment. The day to day running of the practice will be unchanged and please be assured that it is very much business as usual. We look forward to continuing to provide the excellent service you have come to expect from all of us at Milbourn Equine.

Howard Newitt, David McDonald and Sharon Marsh

 

Petplan Veterinary Awards

Nominations are now open for these awards and can be made online via www.petplan.co.uk/Vetawards . Nominations close 12th January 2018. Categories include Vet, Vet Nurse, Practice Manager and Support Staff, as well as Practice of the Year. If we have exceeded your expectations please don’t hesitate to vote for Milbourn Equine!!

Christmas Opening Times

We sincerely hope you do not require our services over the festive period but if you do need us as always we will be available for any emergencies. Our usual opening hours apply apart from:
25th December – Emergencies only
26th December – Emergencies only
1st January – Emergencies only

Equitop Myoplast Discount Voucher

Take advantage of £10 off your purchase of Equitop Myoplast only available in December

Click here to download your voucher

FREE Milbourn Equine Year Planner

Keep organised in 2018 and pick up your  FREE  Milbourn Equine Year Planner from Reception at our Hawkhurst or Ashford branch or ask your vet when they visit. Only available while stocks last!

Caring For Older Horses

More and more horses and ponies are living for longer and becoming geriatrics (defined as aged 20 years and over). As a horse ages it is important to monitor for certain health problems which are commonly seen in an ageing population.

Dental problems– These are common and may manifest as difficulty with the bit, reduced appetite, weight loss or headshaking. Six monthly dental checks are recommended for horses over 15 years old. Milbourn Equine can check teeth as part of the health check at your horse’s annual vaccination and we are happy to perform any dental work required.

Lameness – Low grade lameness is to be expected as osteoarthritis sets in; this is often put down to ‘stiffness’. Most of these conditions can be improved with treatment after the lameness is localised to a particular joint or area.

PPID/Cushings – Older horses (especially ponies) commonly develop PPID (Pituitary Pars Intermedia Dysfunction) also known as Equine Cushing’s disease. The clinical signs include a curly coat, recurrent laminitis, a ‘pot bellied’ appearance, lethargy and recurrent infections. This condition is treatable once it has been definitively diagnosed with a blood test. More information can be found at www.talkaboutlaminitis.co.uk.

Condition– Many older horses struggle to maintain their condition, especially over the winter months. If weight loss is sudden or dramatic we will investigate to rule out concurrent disease. However often a change in diet is all that is necessary. Horses become less efficient at extracting nutrients from their feed as they age. It is important to maintain fibre content even if the horse is struggling to eat hay or haylage. A hay replacement diet can be created with chaff, sugar beet and soaked pony nuts. We can advise you or put you in touch with nutritionist if you feel your horse would benefit from a dietary change.
Older horses and ponies struggle more with extremes of weather than their younger friends. However they generally benefit from the low grade exercise that turnout provides and would stiffen up if kept indoors for long periods. Therefore we recommend that they remain turned out but with the benefit of good rugs and a field shelter, in all but the most extreme weather conditions.

This time of year you should also be on the lookout for Mud Fever and Colic in horses of any age.

Mud Fever– Is a condition of the skin on the lower legs which typically occurs during wet weather in horses who are turned out. It is a bacterial infection caused by a particular bacteria called Dermatophilus which live within the mud. As with many things, prevention is better than cure! Removing mud from the horse’s legs is important. The best way to remove mud is to allow the legs to dry and then to brush the mud away with a dandy brush. An oil based barrier cream such as Vaseline can be applied to legs before turn out. Checking your horse’s legs on a daily basis can allow you to intervene and instigate treatment of mud fever at the first sign.

Colic-At this time of year colic signs are common, especially when there is snow on the ground and the horses are suddenly exposed to a dramatic change in management. Prevention is not always possible however trying to keep the horses management similar regardless of weather conditions helps. Making a gradual change to hay or haylage in the autumn and maintaining the horse on the same brand or batch of long stem forage is helpful.  If snow curtails your exercise plans be sure to reduce the hard food that you are providing to the horse, continuing on high levels of hard feed when the horse is doing no exercise will often lead to tying up.
Don’t forget Worming! – Every horse should receive a larvicidal dose of roundwormer such as moxidectin in the late autumn/early winter. Most other wormers will not kill encysted roundworms and therefore the horse can colic as a result of encysted larvae despite having received a wormer. Please contact us for advice. Our Equine Healthcare Plan includes our worming programme as standard.

Make sure your horse is in tip top condition this winter. Winter Healthchecks – Only £97.50 inc VAT

What’s on your horse’s Christmas list?

Why not make it our Equine Healthcare Plan. For only £13.50 a month it provides your horse with 2 health checks a year, annual vaccinations and membership to our worming programme. Additional discounts are also available for dental work, worming products and supplements. Our plan allows you the opportunity to spread the cost of your horse’s routine healthcare over the year and will save you money! More info

Hawkhurst Evening Talk

Thank you to everyone who came along to our Milbourn Equine evening talk at Bodiam International Arena last Wednesday.

Merial gave an informative talk about the causes of gastric ulcers, while Dengie Horse Feeds gave an entertaining talk regarding nutrition. Our vet Howard finished off the evening with a brief summary of what you should be keeping stocked up in your first aid kit.

Our raffle also raised £68. We hope you enjoyed it and keep an eye out for details of our next one in the Spring.