We are delighted to welcome Charlie Thomas to our team! Charlie is an experienced equine vet who has worked both locally in first opinion practice and in equine referral hospitals over the last 15 years. She was awarded the RCVS Certificate in Equine Practice and holds the status of Advanced Practitioner and has a particular interest in medical cases and untangling the causes of lameness. Charlie is looking forward to bringing her expertise back to the New Forest and Dorset and giving all our horses, ponies and donkeys the individual care that they deserve. Charlie can be contacted directly on 07471 775768 for advice or to book an appointment.
We at 'de Boer and Taylor' are pleased to be supporting Horse Health week this year where the focus is on the small things that can make a difference to your horses Health. This is a great checklist for helping to identify what is normal for your horse.
To download the list as shown below in a PDF format please follow this link http://www.healthyhorses.co.uk/sites/default/files/your_horse_health_checklist.pdf
In Dorset this summer we saw a confirmed case of equine flu and the isolation of two other horses which showed similar symptoms. This is a timely reminder of how important it is to keep up vaccinations to prevent horses from becoming infected. The flu virus can be spread from contact with infected horses and from equipment such as tack, water buckets and grooming utensils. It can also be airborne and amazingly can travel more than 2km. Your horse doesn’t have to necessarily be in the same yard as a horse showing symptoms of Flu to be at risk of contracting the illness. Older horses and foals are especially susceptible to complications from the virus and in some cases these can be fatal. We strongly believe that prevention is the best course of action for all horses and ponies, not just for competition horses where vaccination is compulsory.
This November we are pleased to offer an Equine Flu Vaccination Amnesty. If you have missed a booster vaccine or have never vaccinated your horse or pony we are delighted to be able to offer a second vaccination free of charge when you restart a course*.
To take up this offer or to ask for further advice please contact Helen or Remmer who will be happy to help.
*Please note that visit charges may apply and the first vaccination and any visit charges must be paid in full before the second vaccine can be given for free.
Has your horse or pony ever suffered from laminitis? Is he or she a little hairier than usual or have they recently lost a bit of topline but are still looking a bit fat with a thick crest? Does your more 'mature' equine friend seem to have suddenly grown old? Well all of these are signs that your horse or pony may have developed Cushing's disease. We are all aware of th curly haired pony that has had Cushing's for years but some of the more subtle signs can be more difficult to spot. An increase in drinking and a wetter bed when mucking out, could be caused by Cushing's Disease. What's more, we now realise that this condition doesn't just affect the oldies. Whilst it unusual to diagnose Cushing's in individuals that are under 10 years old, horses in their prime competitve years can be affected
Well the good new is, until the end of October, there is no laboratory fee to have your horse or pony tested for Cushing's. Testing during the autumn is the best time to identify the mild or early cases, allowing us to treat them and get them back on track before the more serious symptoms set in. A simple blood test (there is a small sampling and postage fee) can give peace of mind and help to keep our horses healthy for years to come.
Please contact the practice if you have any concerns that your horse or pony may be suffering from any of the symptoms discussed and we can arrange a quick and easy test.
Horse Health Week is concentrating on nutrition today. Unfortunately many horses and ponies suffer clinical disease from an inappropriate diet. We are all horrified by pictures of neglect cases where the poor individuals have been severley malnourished, but overfeeding can be just as dangerous and we see more and more overweight animals. Obesity and diets high in sugars and starches are linked to the development of the crippling condition laminitis. Overweight animals also put more strain on their feet, joints and hearts. Diets low in fibre increase the risk of gastric ulcers, colic and dental disease so getting nutrition right is really important.
If you would like to download a brochure on nutrition plese follow this link or give Remmer or Helen a call for some advice: http://www.healthyhorses.co.uk/sites/default/files/documents/attachments/rho_nutrition_0.pdf
If you would like more information about the control of internal and external parasites, how and when to worm your horse, please have a look at the link below and download the booklet
Next week is Horse Health Week so we'll be bringing you lots of information on preventative health care in your horse!
AI in horses has been around for a considerable amount of time and has made a huge impact upon the horse breeding industry. Legend has it that in 1322 an Arab chieftain allegedly stole some semen from a prize stallion owned by an adversary. He then used this to inseminate his own mare and bred his own 'super foal'. Thankfully the whole process nowadays is far more professional but the results can still be incredibly rewarding.
Why choose AI for my Mare?
AI provides many advantages over traditional breeding methods. More strenuous disease control can be achieved and there is less risk of injury to the mare. Problem mares can be bred with due to the stringent observation of her cycle and semen can be collected from older or injured stallions who may boast great sports/competition credentials but are unable to serve a mare naturally. AI also opens up a world of opportunity in breeding with stallions worldwide. At 'de Boer &Taylor' we are able to travel to your yard and perform AI with minimal stress to your mare.
Here are our top tips for successful AI.
1.Reproductive health; Ensure your mare is in excellent reproductive health. Check that vaccination records and worming programmes are up to date and that the hooves are well maintained. An ideal weight would be rather too light than too heavy.
2.Stallion choice; Choose the right stallion. You can ask stud farms to provide results from any semen quality test and ask for a percentage of mares that have conceived. Stud farms should also meet all requirements for disease control before shipping.
3.Semen choice; Decide which kind of semen to use. This should depend on the mares age and breeding health. Fresh or chilled semen maximises an older mares chance of conceiving. Fresh semen has the highest fertility rate but must be used almost immediately. Chilled semen has a good viability for 24-30 hours but ordering, shipping and delivery must be well managed. Frozen semen can be shipped from all over the world but it can be expensive and is often least successful. All semen must be accompanied by a veterinary health certificate.
4.Timing; Prepare your mare for AI. She will need regular scanning until one of her ovarian follicles reaches 35mm. At this point an HCG injection will be given to induce ovulation. Semen can then be ordered to arrive the next day by courier.
5.Insemination; The mare will be scanned again to check for ovulation and the semen will be examined to ensure it is active. The mare will then be inseminated.
6.Post insemination; Arrange for a scan after 12–16 days to check for pregnancy and to make sure no twins are present. If successful organise a further scan for the 35th day to check all is proceeding well. Due to hormonal changes it is not unusual for mares to loose the pregnancy up until the 35th day. This year 'de Boer &Taylor' have had a fantastic success rate with AI. Please contact us if you'd like any information about the AI package we provide or if you have any further questions. Congratulations to all our clients whose mares have had successful pregnancies this year . (please see our facebook page for our latest arrival!)
In Dorset a case of Equine Influenza has been confirmed by the AHT. For further information about Equine Influenza please visit www.equiflunet.org.uk Should you be uncertain about your horses vaccination status, please contact Remmer (07717025905) or Helen (07795680108) on their mobiles.
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