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

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

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       

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 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!!

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!

Winter Health Checks

winter-horse-healthcare_clip_image002Milbourn Equine can offer a winter health check for your horse.  This covers a full clinical examination of heart, lungs, skin, eyes and action, a blood sample is taken to test your horse’s internal organs and a faecal sample is also taken and tested for worms. Whilst there, the vet can also take a look inside your horse’s mouth and check to see if any dental work is needed. This is also a great opportunity to discuss any queries you have about your horse’s health or performance.

Our winter health checks are especially useful if you have a veteran horse who may struggle with the changing weather and are also advisable for competition horses to resolve any issues quickly and ensure they are in peak condition ready for the competition season ahead. Only £95.00 including VAT, call now to book an appointment. More details

Wadhurst Fire Station- Rescue Evening

img-20161019-wa0003 img-20161019-wa0004 Many thanks to Wadhurst Fire Station for an excellent evening last month when they provided a demonstration of the use of emergency equipment in a rescue situation. It was a very informative evening. img-20161019-wa0005 img-20161019-wa0006

Equine Flu – Back On Track

BOTDuring November Milbourn Equine are running our successful Back on Track campaign.
If your horses vaccinations have lapsed this is a great opportunity for you to restart them for a discounted price. Call us to book your visit. More details

Equine flu is an infectious disease affecting the upper respiratory tract of horses. It is prevalent in the UK with frequent outbreaks recorded over the last few years.1

Snotty noseA horse with flu needs complete rest and isolation, often putting them out of action for weeks. Crucially, outbreaks can affect competitions of all levels potentially resulting in the cancellation of events in order to control the spread of disease.

Clinical signs usually appear within 1–5 days of exposure and can last for 3–6 weeks. They can include a high temperature, cough, nasal discharge, enlarged glands under the lower jaw, conjunctivitis, depression, loss of appetite and filling of the lower limbs.

If your horse shows any of these clinical signs consult the practice immediately, even if they have been vaccinated. This will allow appropriate tests to be carried out to determine the cause, and ensure that a suitable treatment plan is put in place. Remember to keep the horse isolated from others during this time as flu is highly infectious.


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. Recent outbreaks in the UK are known to be of a strain called Florida Clade 2 (a sublineage of H3N8).1 Current guidelines from the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) recommend that vaccines should contain both Clade 1 and Clade 2 strains of the Florida sublineage.2

Milbourn Equine will be able to provide guidance on vaccines and the correct vaccination schedule for your horse.

Diagnosis and surveillance of equine flu

The Horserace Betting Levy Board (HBLB) Equine Influenza Surveillance Programme at the Animal Health Trust (AHT) provides a laboratory testing service to all vets allowing them to submit swabs taken from horses with suspected flu and confirm not only if flu is present but also which strain is responsible.

How do we stay on top of flu?


Hygiene & Biosecurity

Maintaining good hygiene and biosecurity practices on your yard can also help to prevent the spread of equine flu. This includes isolating new horses, disinfecting vehicles, and ensuring horses have their own haynets, feed bowls and tack etc.

Client Evening – Wednesday 23rd November

hh-client-eveningWe are holding another popular Client Evening on Wednesday 23rd November. The venue is being kindly provided by Sterling Quarter Horses UK Bodiam International Arena, Court Lodge Farm, Bodiam, Robertsbridge, TN32 5UJ.

Topics include:
Equine wounds and their management by Reuben Whittaker BVSc, CertAVP (ESO), MRCVS
Winter Health Checks by Harriet Fairhurst BSc (Hons), BVetMed, MRCVS
Milbourn Equine Healthcare Plan by Howard Newitt BVetMed, CertEP, MRCVS

Tickets are FREE. Please call 01580 752301 to book now!