Tag Archives: milbourn equine

April Pre Season Foot Balance Package

Hoof imbalance is one of the most common problems associated with lameness. Uneven pressure of
the foot can lead to lameness and could affect your horse’s competition season. Take advantage of our special offer throughout April 
£150 inc VAT for 4 foot X-rays

Foot Balance

World Equestrian Games 2018 – Exciting news!

We are very excited to announce that our Hawkhurst Clinical Director, Howard Newitt has been invited by the FEI to form part of the veterinary commission at the upcoming World Equestrian Games in Tryon, North Carolina (https://tryon2018.com/).

This is a great honour as only a handful of vets are invited from across the globe to be part of the FEI veterinary team who will officiate at the horse inspections (trot-ups) and have overall responsibility for the welfare of the horses at the games. This appointment results from Howard’s 12 years as an FEI vet which includes previous appointments at local eventing & reining competitions, British Young Horse Eventing championships,  Junior European Reining championships & London Paralympic dressage.

Howard will be away for two weeks in September for the games which he is trying to convince everyone is all work and no pleasure!

Weighbridge

Having an accurate weight for your horse is essential so you can worm and feed accurately. Milbourn Equine Vets have a mobile weighbridge that can be brought to your yard if a group wish to have a weigh in! Call us to arrange.

Thinking of Breeding from your Mare?

We are here to help, call us for advice on how to go about breeding from your mare. We can help advise on whether Natural covering or Artificial Insemination is more suitable, what reproductive options are available and when to scan your mare.

Artificial Insemination (A.I) is a technique used to transfer semen from a stallion into the uterus of a mare during the correct stage of her oestrus cycle. A.I has become very popular in stud medicine for the advantages that it offers compare to natural covering (though not allowed in racing thoroughbreds), but, as much as it’s exciting breeding from your own mare, it’s important to understand how it works and the pros and cons before deciding to take this route.

What are the advantages of A.I?

  • You can choose a stallion that is competing without interrupting his schedule
  • Allows you to choose the best stallion for your mare from all around the world and too far away to make natural covering viable
  • You can choose a stallion of which semen was frozen before his death or castration
  • Improve bloodlines for a rare breed also encouraging its geographical spread
  • Reduce risk of breeding injuries to both the mare and the stallion
  • More disease control by preventing skin contact such as in natural service and also by checking the stallion with swabs for Contagious Equine Metritis (CEM) and blood test for Equine Viral Arteritis (EVA) and Equine Infectious Anaemia (EIA) every year before the semen collection
  • Permits use of valuable stallions and mare with breeding problems
  • Allows mares to be bred at the best time for conception
  • Permits evaluation of semen at each collection and immediate recognition of minor changes in seminal quality.

What are the disadvantages of A.I?

  • Cost
  • AI with chilled or frozen semen generally has a lower conception rate (chance of producing an embryo) than natural covering
  • Risk to the mare when performing rectal examinations
  • Like for natural covering, AI does not always result in a live foal the following year.

Semen presentation

Management of the mare and timing of insemination will be determined by which semen is chosen (fresh, chilled or frozen) but it is also very important to check in which of the three ways the semen is preserved best and travels best for the specific stallion.

Fresh semen

Fresh semen is usually used on studs and only lasts outside the horse for short periods of time. It always has the highest fertility but mares and stallions need to be at the same location for insemination. Also fresh semen is usually the least expensive method, because requires no processing and less frequent veterinary checks.

Chilled semen

The semen gets refrigerated immediately after collection and transported in chiller packs either by post or manual collection, staying viable for 2-3 days. The conception rates are greater than for frozen semen. With chilled semen it’s important to find out which days of the week the stud collects from the stallion and how much notice you will have to give for them to collect and send the semen.

Frozen semen

After collection the semen is separated and added to a preservative. It is then frozen and stored below freezing, usually in dry ice. The semen can then be transported great distances in liquid nitrogen container and last for many years as long as it is kept frozen. Once arriving at its destination it can be defrosted, re-awakening the sperm and inseminated into the mare. Compared to chilled semen, the freezing and handling process slightly reduces the viability of the sperm and conception rates, therefore requires mares to be inseminated immediately before or after ovulation. However advantages are that breeders can use stallions which are still competing and the semen can be sent well in advance of the mare being in oestrus, avoiding the last minute delivery of chilled semen, which may not arrive on time.

Pre-breeding check

Prior to embarking on an A.I. program it is important the mare is examined to ensure that she is fit to breed and asses for factors that may reduce fertility. The pre-breeding check, best if  performed safely in stocks, consist of a physical examination to evaluate vulval conformation, a rectal examination to check the cervix for any abnormalities and ultrasound scan to look for uterine cysts and to see at what stage of the cycle the mare is. At this time we will also be able to take clitoral swabs and, if required by the stud, to do blood tests to check your mare is free of venereal disease.

Timing the insemination

Mares cycle between February and October (cycles at the beginning and the end of the season can be very irregular) and have a 21-22 day cycle, with oestrus (the receptive period) lasting 3-6 days. To have a successful insemination resulting in pregnancy it’s important to place the semen in the uterus when the mare cycles regularly and at the correct stage of the cycle, so when she is in season and close to ovulation. Signs of oestrus in the mare include tail raising, opening and closing of the vulva (winking), frequent posturing and urination and some may, also, become anxious, aggressive, sensitive around their flanks and reluctant to work, though can be difficult to detect and irregularly shown. Ultrasound scans of the ovaries and uterus allows detection of the stage of the cycle and, measuring the size of follicle, we can predict when the mare is coming close to ovulation and inject her with drugs that induce it.

The best time to inseminate varies with the type of semen used: for fresh and chilled, AI need to be done within 12-24 hours of ovulation whereas for frozen AI it needs to be done within 6 hours of ovulation, which means a greater number of scans are required both during day and night.

Pregnancy Diagnosis

The most appropriate time to determine the pregnancy is between days 14 and 16 following ovulation through a transrectal ultrasound. At this time it’s very important to check for multiple pregnancies and, if necessary, deal with it before the embryo becomes attached to the lining of the uterus and makes it difficult to “squash” the twin.

 

14-16 days embryonic vesicle

2-3 month pregnancy scan

A further scan around 28 days to check the normal development by identification of the foal’s heartbeat is advised. This also reduces the risk of missing detection of a twin pregnancy. If the mare is not pregnant then she should go back in season again allowing the program to be repeated, hopefully, with a more favourable outcome.

 

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

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.

encysted-small-redworm_zoetis-320x214

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

 

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