Special Offer throughout April – £10 Off Dental Rasping

We recommend that all horses undergo a dental examination at least once a year.  Some horses such as those expected to perform at a high level and those with specific dental abnormalities might benefit from more frequent examinations.

Our vets have all received full dentistry training during their time at University and are more than happy to carry out dental treatment on your horse. In addition they can also administer drugs such as sedatives, local anaesthetics and pain killer drugs allowing safer more comfortable treatment. Rasping can also be combined with one of our £10 Zone Visits making us very competitively priced. Why not call us to find out more!

5 Jobs to do before next spring!  

  1. Ensure your horses and ponies are the CORRECT WEIGHT- if they are overweight, now is the ideal time to do something about it. If they are carrying too much weight, they will be prone to laminitis when the spring grass comes through… prevention is better than cure! 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! Please call us to arrange.
  2. Check your WORMING PROGRAMME meets the current recommendations: all horses and ponies should be wormed for encysted redworm yearly and tapeworm twice yearly regardless of their Worm Egg Count results. This is because these worms are not detected by WEC. Equisal Tapeworm saliva test can be used to identify whether your horse has a tapeworm burden and is available from the practice. Worm Egg Counts are run here at Milbourn Equine, with a result, Veterinary Advice on wormers and worm management usually the next day!
  3. Double-check your horse’s VACCINATIONS are up to date before the competition season starts. Remember that ALL horses should be vaccinated for tetanus every two years as this disease lives in the soil and vaccination will offer protection on the occasions when minor wounds could be a problem. Pregnant mares should receive Equine Herpes Virus (EHV) vaccinations at months 5, 7 and 9 of pregnancy as this virus is known to cause abortion.
  4. Take advantage of our competitively priced DENTAL work to ensure your horse’s mouth and teeth are healthy and any problems treated before the Spring. Horses are incredibly good at hiding severe dental pain – so often problems such as tooth infections and fractures are only picked up on routine examinations!
  5. Make sure your FLY RUGS AND FLY MASKS are clean and repaired if necessary, so that they are ready to be used as soon as they are required.

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

Don’t Forget My Teeth! 

Special Offer throughout September and October – £5 Off Dental Rasping

We recommend that all horses undergo a dental examination at least once a year.  Some horses such as those expected to perform at a high level and those with specific dental abnormalities might benefit from more frequent examinations.
Our vets have all received full dentistry training during their time at University and are more than happy to carry out dental treatment on your horse. In addition they can also administer drugs such as sedatives, local anaesthetics and pain killer drugs allowing safer more comfortable treatment. Rasping can also be combined with one of our £10 Zone Visits making us very competitively priced as well as additional discounts if your horse is a member of our Equine Healthcare Plan. Why not call us to find out more!