Prompt care is crucial for horse conditions

It’s continued to be really busy on the equine side of things and Lesley organised two successful events.

Sunday, 12th May 2019, 13:28 pm
Members of the Morpeth Hunt Pony Club who attended the recent talk given by Ewan Macaulay.

One was for racecourse staff, vets and doctors on how to deal with emergency situations, such as entrapment of jockeys and horses. This was run at Newcastle Racecourse and was the first of its kind.

The other course was the popular CPD day for vets, farriers and physiotherapists that is run every year.

Our clinical work has been increasingly busy. The good weather has brought a spate of horses and ponies suffering from laminitis. This is a very painful condition in which the attachment between hoof and underlying bone becomes inflamed.

It can be due to obesity, hormonal conditions, severe lameness or when the body is fighting infection. Signs include rocking back onto the heels, shifting weight between feet, pain on turning, hot feet and increased strength of pulse to the feet.

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These horses require immediate intervention to provide pain relief, remove causes and treat underlying conditions. Often, dietary management is required, as is rest. If you suspect your horse has laminitis, contact your vet immediately.

I gave a talk to Morpeth Hunt Pony Club about laminitis – its causes, signs and treatments, and a nutritionist discussed nutritional management.

Other conditions to look out for at this time of year include atypical myopathy and grass sickness.

In grass sickness horses can develop colicky signs. Others include depression, inappetence, muscle tremors, patchy sweating and drooping of the eyelids.

Atypical myopathy is a painful condition of the muscles, caused by eating sycamore seeds or seedlings. Signs include stiffness, dark urine and pain in the hindquarters. Both conditions require prompt treatment.