From the horses mouth
Since our last newsletter there has been a lot of news at Aireworth Vets. Both our Vet Marta Reis-Chapman & Nurse Anna Saul have had safe arrivals of their babies in 2018. Our Vet Carol Cusack took a trip to Australia to work at an Equine practice to further her skills and we are very much looking forward to her return to the team in March 2019. Our team was very sad to see our Vet Amy Clark leave after the New Year to move on to pastures new; we wish her good luck in her new job.
This year Aireworth Vets are part of The British Horse Society Colic Campaign. We will be launching this over Facebook and our website with lots of useful information, tips and client evenings.
Keep an eye on our Facebook & Website for up-to-date information and news.
The Equine Dental Clinic Ltd have visited the practice once again to examine and treat some of our more advanced dental cases.
We also had an exciting Laser Sarcoid Removal Clinic that took place in December for some of our clients and we are currently looking into a gastroscope clinic in the near future.
If you think your horse would benefit from any of the above treatments, or you would like to see a specified specialist clinic here at the practice please speak to one of our vets or the large animal admin team.
Winter Equine Health
As winter is now here many of you will be bracing yourselves for the long nights, cold weather and all the extra work involved with keeping your horse during winter. Here we have some advice and tips to get you prepared for those long winter nights.
Does your horse need a rug?
Many horses can cope well throughout winter without being rugged up as long as they have enough food, shelter and are in good health. Clipped horses and those with little hair will require rugs but be aware to not allow them to overheat, especially during the day. Overweight horses and those at risk of laminitis may benefit from not wearing a rug, this will help them lose weight before the summer comes around again – don’t be afraid to turn them out naked!
Feed for work levels and condition level
Most horses need to eat around 2-2.5% of their body weight a day; most of this should come from good quality forage. Those horses in regular work may require additional concentrate feed but forage should make up at least 75% of the diet in most cases. Monitor their condition regularly during winter months and adjust the feed accordingly. Horses are trickle feeders, therefore if your horse is kept indoors try to feed them in a way that mimics this. Multiple small meals, small hole hay nets and feed balls are a good way and will keep them entertained.
Beware of the ice!
Horses drink at least 25 litres of water a day so plan ahead. Insulate buckets with old tyres or by placing the bucket in another bucket filled with shavings/straw; placing a floating object in the water can also delay the water freezing. Remove the ice and provide fresh water daily where possible.
Look after the older ones
Older horses can struggle at this time of year as the cold weather can aggravate existing health conditions and the cold weather means they require extra energy for warmth. Rugging older horses and providing higher energy nutrition may be required, consider whether or not they are carrying enough condition to see through the winter and monitor them carefully. Routine health checks and dental work may be beneficial to ensure you and your horses are prepared. Please call the practice to arrange a visit or to speak to one of our vets for advice, especially if your horse has ongoing medical issues such as arthritis as there may be additional things you can do to help.
Increased stabling doesn’t equal healthier horses
Decreased turnout and a lack of exercise can predispose horses to colic. Keep the turnout and feeding routine as constant as possible and ensure water is always available to reduce the risk. Frosty grass has not been linked to an increased risk of colic! Ensure that stables are well ventilated, this will help reduce the changes of respiratory issues and keep dust levels to a minimum. Watch out for any runny noses or coughs as horses respiratory tracts are very sensitive.
Watch out for too much mud
If possible, it is good to restrict grazing to allow summer pastures to rested. Creating a hard-standing area around gate holes will also reduce risk. Some horses can be predisposed to ‘mud fever’, this can be difficult to treat in some horses and is particularly common on white legs. Treatment is simple – clean the legs with very dilute hibiscrub, dry them thoroughly and keep out of mud if possible! For particularly stubborn cases, speak to one of our vets who will be able to provide additional information and treatment options.
Please call the practice if you would like discuss any of the above matters or to book a visit on 01535 602988