Horse owners are being invited to take advantage of a castration clinic being held by a leading equine vet practice, as well as ensuring their animal is microchipped ahead of new laws which come into force this month.

Milbourn Equine, which has practices in Ashford, Hawkhurst, Canterbury and Rye – and now conducts equine visits to the Isle of Sheppey – will be holding the clinic at their Ashford branch on Monday, October 19, Where the vets are offering both standing and knock down colt castrations at a great price.

Jenny Lawrenson, equine manager at Milbourn, said: “Autumn is the perfect time to consider castration of colts. There are many benefits of castrating your horse, including behavioural and management reasons.

“We have run these clinics for a number of years and they have always been very popular.”

As part of the clinic held at Milbourn’s Ashford practice in Church Road, Sevington, vets will advise on the best procedure for horses, taking into consideration their temperament, size and age.

The vets are also able to carry out microchipping on horses during the clinics, which becomes a legal requirement this month. (October)

In addition, Milbourn will be holding a gastroscope clinic on Tuesday (October 6) at its Ashford practice, in which horse owners are invited to take their animals for investigation.

Milbourn’s Hawkhurst branch is offering their gastroscope clinic day on October 28th in Bodiam.

Gastric ulceration is common among the equine world, with recent studies showing 98 per cent of race horses and 53 per cent of leisure horses affected.

Symptoms to look out for include poor performance, changes in behaviour, weight loss and poor coat condition.

To book colts in on the castration clinic, or for more information about the gastroscope clinic or microchipping horses, call Milbourn Equine on 01233 500 505.

For more information on Milbourn, which is part of Linnaeus, visit: www.milbournequine.co.uk.


World Heart Day – 29 September 2020

We celebrate World Heart Day today on 29 September 2020. This is the world’s biggest awareness-raising platform for cardiovascular disease (CVD) which is accountable for nearly half of all non-communicable disease deaths in humans.

Did you know that heart conditions affect our horses too?

In the first instance, if you have concerns that your horse has symptoms, please contact us for an examination.  Here are some of the signs to look out for…

  • Exercise intolerance and poor performance
  • Difficulty breathing or not being able to catch their breath
  • Coughing, especially during or after exercise or if they’re excited or stressed
  • Fluid accumulation under the skin of the chest, abdomen and limbs
  • Fluid accumulation within the abdomen
  • Weight loss

If you find your horse is showing any of the above symptoms, please make sure you speak to us straight away. Unfortunately, heart disease cannot be cured, however it can be managed. Contact us if you are concerned.

Animal activities to keep your children occupied during the summer holidays

It can be a challenge keeping the kids occupied during the summer holidays, especially if you are opting for a staycation this year, so here are five ideas that may help you out!

Draw a picture

Get the crayons and paper out and encourage your little one to become a budding artist by drawing a picture of your pet or their favourite animal.

Take some photographs

Most mobile phones these days have a pretty good camera, so why not set a photo challenge? Perhaps it’s capturing photographs of butterflies, insects and birds in your garden, or trying to capture the perfect portrait of your pet. Promise to print the best results off for them to put into an album or frame – it will incentivise the children to really make the effort to capture that perfect shot.

Visit a farm

If you’re in the countryside you may see farm animals in fields locally, but city dwellers can often visit urban farms for their fix of the farmyard. Find out more about farming – what the farmer does, what the animals eat and how they’re cared for.

Write a story

Let their imagination run wild – ask them to write a story about your pet and the adventures they have when everyone is asleep. The more exciting, the better!

Make animal facemasks

Use some card as a base, draw an outline, then cut bits out and stick bits on. Paint tiger stripes or a cute pink doggy nose. Use some elastic or ribbon attached at the sides to fit small heads.

Paperless Invoices

In a bid to reduce our carbon footprint and become more environmentally friendly, we have started the process of sending out our invoices by email. For those clients that we do not have email addresses for, we will continue to send paper copies in the post. However, we would like to encourage all of our clients to provide us with an email address for future correspondence.

To update your details, please email your local practice with your name, your horses name and email address.

Sevington: reception@milbournequine.co.uk

Hawkhurst: hawkhurst@milbournequine.co.uk

Canterbury: canterbury@milbournequine.co.uk

Rye: rye@milbournequine.co.uk

Milbourn Equine Vets COVID-19 (Coronavirus) 29th June Update

We can now offer a full range of services for our patients, while still adhering to COVID-19 social distancing rules. Any additional services we can offer will depend on a risk assessment which considers the safety of our clients and teams along with the welfare of your pet.

As a Practice, we have been preparing for how we will work in the ‘new normal’. We will be providing the same high-quality services, with the same friendly, caring people, just delivered in a slightly different way.

We are working in smaller teams to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and therefore lead times for appointments may be a little longer than usual. Please bear with us at this time – we will do our best to make your appointment as smooth as possible.

Guidance for attending your appointment:

To keep everyone safe, a small number of clients may be able to come into the practice. When you book an appointment, we will confirm the arrangement for when you arrive and will advise on how we’re maintaining social distancing.  This will include measures such as:

  • Remaining 2m apart
  • Asking that all clients wear face coverings
  • Asking that all clients use hand sanitiser when entering and leaving the Practice
  • Screens will be positioned at our reception desks and our teams will be wearing masks and visors

We will also be taking payment via remote payment links.

We have made these changes as the health and wellbeing of our patients, clients and staff is our number-one priority.

Thank you for your continued understanding during this time. We remain committed to delivering the best care for your pet and if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

The importance of microchipping your horse

Keeping our horses safe is important to all of us as horse owners. They trust us with their care and protection and, as well as feeding, exercising and TLC, that includes identifying them so that we can be reunited if we are parted.

A microchip literally identifies your horse as belonging to you. It contains your details as an owner, which are stored on a central database. By scanning this microchip, a vet can get you and your horse back together, whatever the circumstances may be. Every horse, pony and donkey must also have a passport which identifies your horse by it’s height and species.

You may be concerned that microchipping is an intrusive process, but the chip is tiny – the size of a grain of rice – and the procedure takes seconds; it doesn’t even require an anaesthetic. It’s usually inserted under the skin in the neck, and once it’s there, you (or your horse) won’t even notice it.

Hopefully you’ll never need to use the microchip, because your horse will live a safe, happy and long life with you. But there may be circumstances where you’ll be glad it’s there.

Your horse is stolen

It’s an unfortunate reality that some horses are stolen to order and resold. Without a microchip you wouldn’t be able to trace them. With a chip your animal can be identified and brought back home.

Things to consider about microchipping

  • It’s a legal requirement for all domesticated horses to be microchipped in England, Wales and Scotland by October 2020.
  • Do remember to keep your details up to date if you move house or change telephone number, so that you can be contacted if necessary.

If you want to know more about getting your pet microchipped, get in touch and we’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have.  

How owning a horse can be good for your mental health

It’s Mental Health Awareness Week here in the UK, so we wanted to explore the connection between horse ownership and mental health. 

Thankfully, in more recent times, the conversation about mental health is more open and honest than ever. Members of the Royal family have spoken out about their own mental health issues and act as patrons to dedicated charities; celebrities and public figures talk about their struggles; and the medical profession is more educated and understanding than ever.

We hear advice on how to keep our mental health strong, and how to deal with negative mental health experiences in terms of physical behaviour but what about external factors? Here, we’re looking at how owning a horse can have a positive effect on your mental health.


A well-known cause of low mood and depression is loneliness. The companionship provided by a horse can help to reduce feelings of loneliness by having ‘someone’ to talk to. In extreme cases, horses have been attributed with saving people’s lives’ by giving them a focus and something to live for. Horses are great listeners and never talk back, grateful for attention and always appreciative when you feed them! They give unconditional love, which can be essential for people who feel alone.


Studies have shown that stroking a pet, such as a dog, can regulate breathing, lower blood pressure, relax muscle tension and slow heart rates; all signs of anxiety and stress. It can release serotonin and dopamine – happy hormones – which relax us and improve our mood. We believe this is true for horses too.

Structure and focus

Horses don’t care if you’re tired, miserable or don’t want to get out of bed – they need feeding, walking, and general looking after. Owning a horse can give the structure needed to get through the day when you’re feeling troubled. Caring for a horse can also remind us that we need to care for ourselves too.

Exercise and fresh air

If exercise is good for mental health, then owning a horse might be the push needed to get out and about. Horses require regular exercise and maintenance, which encourages their owners to exercise them even when they may not themselves feel like it. Owning a horse is a big responsibility, which needs to be thought about before making a commitment, but it’s a great way to stick to regular exercise all year round.

Be more social

Owning a horse can help people become more social too. With multiple horse owners on each yard, there are always plenty of other likeminded people to talk to. But all horses provide a commonality with friends and strangers; it gives us something to talk about and share stories about. With the love of horses on social media, isolated people can develop new friendships and relationships through a shared love of horses by sharing photographs and joining in conversations on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health issues, please reach out to a registered charity or medical professional for help, support and advice.

75th VE Day Anniversary – Animals in War

On this VE Day, it will be 75 years since the guns fell silent at the end of the war in Europe. The 75th anniversary will provide us with an opportunity to reflect on the bravery and sacrifice of people from all walks of life. It is equally important to consider the role animals played and how they were touched by war.

Domestic pets

As they do today, pets played a significant role in people’s lives during the war. When refugees escaped from Europe, sometimes they only managed to escape with their pets. 

With millions of people joining the war effort, charities such as the Blue Cross stepped up by looking after the pets of service members. Despite facing great danger during the war, the charity and volunteers across the UK continued to care for and treat animals. By 1945, they were treating 210,000 animals a year!

Pets also saved countless lives during the war. Here are just a few examples of pets who become heroes:

  • When an incendiary bomb was dropped through the roof of the house in which Juliana, a Great Dane, and her owner lived, the dog stood over the bomb and urinated on it, extinguishing the incendiary device. She was awarded her first Blue Cross medal for her actions. Juliana was celebrated as a hero for a second time in 1944 when she again helped to save the lives of her owners. After a fire started in their shoe shop, she alerted her owners’ family to the imminent danger. For this courageous action, she was awarded a second medal.
  • A little dog by the name of Fluff worked valiantly to save her owners. Fluff was buried with her owners in the rubble of their house after a German bomb landed on it. By continuous scratching, Fluff made a hole big enough to get out, which also acted as an airway for the trapped people. She stood outside the hole and barked until rescuers arrived.
  • The home of Peggy, a ferocious terrier, was blown up by a German bomb. Her female owner and a baby were trapped under the debris of the house. The dog worked furiously with her paws until she had made a hole through which the child could breathe. All three were saved and continued to live a happy life.

Dogs also played a direct role in the war. Dogs were trained to protect, patrol, find land mines, and even parachute behind German lines. Brian, a two-year-old Collie Cross, was one of the most-famous “paradogs” and was awarded the PDSA Dickin Medal for his service. During the D-Day Landings, Brian and several other animals joined the conflict in France and beyond.


Horses have had a long-established role in war. In WWI, nearly a million horses were sent to France between 1914 and 1918, and only 62,000 returned. In WW2, soldiers of the Yeomanry regiments were shipped from Britain to multiple battlefronts with their horses. In 1942, when the Yeomanry were given tanks, the animals became redundant. Thanks to efforts of a charity called Brooke Hospital, now simply known as Brooke, these war horses were provided with a second home. Read more about their work with horses by clicking here.

During the Blitz, citizens and charities worked to save horses impacted by German air force bombing. Among the many stories of heroism during this dark period, volunteers and staff members of the Blue Cross worked to rescue 11 horses trapped in a bombed building in the heart of London. Even though bombs were falling within their vicinity, they managed to save 8 of these horses.

The human-animal bond

The human-animal bond persists through war and peace. Volunteers and charities looked after animals despite a considerable risk of personal harm, and many pets actively safeguarded their owners.

As we look back on VE day, let us be sure to remember and appreciate the important role animals played and continue to play in our life.

Veterinary Nursing Awareness Month

May is Veterinary Nursing Awareness Month. This campaign, led by the British Veterinary Nursing Association (BVNA), aims to raise awareness of the importance of the role of the veterinary nursing profession to the public. 

Veterinary nurses are an integral part of the veterinary team at Milbourn Equine and are vital for the smooth running of any veterinary practice.  As well as providing expert nursing care for poorly animals, veterinary nurses also play a significant role in supporting horse owners in keeping their horses healthy.  They carry out essential clinical work and are skilled in undertaking a range of diagnostic tests, treatments and minor surgical procedures, with veterinary support.  Registered Veterinary Nurses have the technical knowledge and hands-on expertise to care for animals with skill and empathy.

At Milbourn Equine, we are extremely proud of our veterinary nurses. We have an amazing team who are dedicated to supporting our clients and their horses.  Even during this challenging time, some of our nurses are still working in-practice helping to support emergency and urgent cases. 

To find out more about role of RVNs in veterinary practice, or if you are interested in finding out more about a career in veterinary nursing, visit the BVNA website at www.bvna.org.uk/a-career-in-veterinary-nursing/a-career-in-veterinary-nursing.