Strangles Testing – 20% Discount During August

A survey commissioned by the Redwings Horse Sanctuary found that only 13% of yards test for Strangles on arrival of a new horse, but also that 78% of owners would welcome screening of new arrivals.

Strangles is a highly contagious bacterial respiratory infection that is commonly seen in the equine world. It is spread by direct contact with an infected horse or by sharing equipment e.g. buckets. The signs of infection are a thick nasal discharge, swollen glands and high temperature. The disease can, although rare, be fatal. Affected yards are recommended to cease movement on and off until the infection has cleared which can take several weeks. A small percentage of horses that contract Strangles can become carriers whereby they show no external symptoms but still harbour the bacteria.

A blood test is available to detect antibodies against Strangles which are made when the body encounters the Strangles bacteria. The main use of this blood test is to screen new arrivals to a yard for Strangles before they come onto the yard. The results will either come back as negative, borderline or positive.

A negative result means the horse is sfae to move but should still be kept in isolation for 2 weeks as the blood test does not detect horses who have been exposed to Strangles within the previous 14 days.

A borderline result would want re-testing in approximately 14 days to see if the result becomes either positive or negative.

A positive result means that the horse has been exposed to Strangles within the past 6 months although it may not be showing clinical symptoms. A horse with a borderline or positive result should not be accepted on to a yard without further investigation. If a horse has a positive result, then this horse should ideally receive an endoscopy to perform a gutteral pouch wash. This samples the back of the throat to check for the Strangles bacteria and is usually found in carrier horses. Carrier horses would require further specialised treatment over several weeks.

We would encourage all yard owners to consider instigating a policy to test new arrivals for strangles on the above basis.

More information  Strangles Leaflet

Throughout August we are offering a 20% discount on the cost of Strangles blood testing. This can be done on a Zone Visit and results typically take 2-3 working days to come back.

Special Discount – Equitop Myoplast

Take advantage of £10 off your purchase of Equitop Myoplast only available in June. Download Voucher

Equitop Myoplast® is a unique and natural supplement for horses, packed with 18 key amino acids including 9 essential amino acids. The blend of amino acids in Equitop Myoplast provides the
building blocks for efficient lean muscle growth without horses becoming ‘fizzy’ or bulking up on fats and oils. www.equitop-myoplast.co.uk

Foot Balance – How do X-Rays help?

Hoof imbalance is one of the most common problems associated with lameness in a horse’s foot. It can be attributed to a variety of causes including conformation, the type of shoes fitted and how regularly the horse is shod.

Ideally the horse’s foot should strike the ground as a unit, with the entire weight-bearing surface hitting the ground together. In the case of side-to-side imbalance (lateral-medial imbalance) the outside toe strikes the ground before the heel, with the inside heel landing first. This leads to uneven forces across the hoof and uneven loading of the lower limb joints.

Many horses tolerate a large degree of foot balance, remain sound and are able to compete to a high level. Others are more sensitive, with a minimal discrepancy adversely affecting performance.

X-rays are a tool that we are using more and more in conjunction with farriers to evaluate & correct foot balance….. Essentially a side to side (Lateromedial – side view) and front to back (Dorsopalmar – front/back view) x-ray is taken of each foot to show the position of the pedal bone and the rest of the bony column in relation to the external hoof wall. These images can then be used by the farrier to trim to optimise foot conformation and correct any underlying imbalance. Severe imbalance is often evident without an x-ray but mild to moderate imbalance can be present in a “normal” looking foot.

Foot balance x-rays are particularly useful in horses with poor foot shape or sensitive feet as well as those suffering from foot related lameness. Many elite sports horses have this procedure on a regular basis to pre-empt any problems. The stage of the shoeing cycle must be considered when interpreting the images, it is unreasonable to expect the feet to look as good when they are due for re-shoeing as when they are freshly shod.

Foot balance x-rays can be performed at the clinic or on your yard providing there is an area of level concrete under cover and mains electricity.

We are offering a special promotion during MAY & JUNE of £150 (plus callout and sedation if required) for foot balance x-rays of all four feet. We can then email the images to your farrier and discuss the findings to formulate a shoeing plan for your horse.

Remember if your horse is a member of our Equine Healthcare Plan you will also receive an additional 10% discount on the cost of the Foot Balance X-rays.