The primary role of ligaments is to keep bones in alignment and provide support to joints. Vet Hetty Hill explains what can go wrong and how ligament injuries are treated.Read More
It can sometimes be tricky to identify where lameness is coming from. Alan Davies, head groom to Carl Hester, explains how to work it out.Read More
Our understanding of endocrinopathic laminitis has grown substantially in recent years. Vet Claire Dixon MRCVS explains how this knowledge can aid diagnosis and treatmentRead More
Sweet itch is caused by an allergic reaction to the saliva of the Culicoides biting midge. Equine vet Leona Bramall discusses preventative measures and treatment.Read More
Dealing with open wounds effectively helps prevent infection and ensures they heal correctly. Supergroom Alan Davies discusses how best to treat them.Read More
Without healthy teeth horses can have difficulty eating, so ensuring they’re in good condition is vital.
Horses have evolved to be grazing herbivores, munching on grasses and forage for up to 18 hours a day.
It’s important that they chew and grind their food properly to allow the gut to perform at top efficiency during the digestion process.
By maximising surface area to volume ratio, the gut can use digestive enzymes and bacterial fermentation to maximise the nutrients gained from each mouthful.
The daily grind
The rate of wear in horse’s teeth is influenced by diet, with incisors wearing faster than cheek teeth due to different types and strengths of enamel.
On average a horse’s teeth will wear between 2mm and 3mm a year.
The chewing cycle is a complicated process and, as such, any dental disease that may interrupt the cycle is significant and should be addressed as early as possible.
Failures in the chewing cycle due to dental pain can cause weight loss, choke, colic and diarrhoea.
Signs of dental trouble
Quidding (dropping food)
Refusing to eat
Hamster-like pouching of food in cheeks
Discharge and/or smell from the nostrils
Halitosis (smelly breath)
Resistance to the bridle, evading the bit and refusal to go forward
Changes in behaviour due to pain (for example, grumpiness, bucking, rearing or napping when ridden)
Remarkably, despite severe dental disease some horses may show none of the above signs. Therefore, it is important horses receive a dental examination at least annually, performed by a suitable professional.
The focus of the routine dental check-up is on general health, hygiene and prevention – aiming to spot potential problems early and deal with them.
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Shivers or shivering is a rare neuromuscular disorder of the limbs resulting in trembling of the hindlimb muscles, abnormal lifting of the limbs and mild gait abnormalitiesRead More
We find out more about the different types of allergies in horses and their treatmentsRead More
Colin Mitchell MRCVS explains about liver diseases, and why it’s essential that you remove ragwort from your horse’s paddockRead More
Find out about how thermal imaging can help you and your horseRead More
Spotting hindleg lameness can be tricky. Here’s what to look out for plus strategies to help prevent it in the first placeRead More
If your horse has colic, you’ll want to call your vet straight away. Here’s what you can do while you wait for him to arrive.Read More
If you suspect your horse is lame, these seven steps will make him comfortable and help you get the best advice when you need it mostRead More
Vet Katherine Wright, from Minister Equine Veterinary Clinic in York, explains how to recognise and prevent the condition choke.Read More
When the horse is on all four legs he may appear perfectly normal, but each case is different and it’s the vet’s job to work with the owner to develop ways to manage the condition.Read More
Is your horse feeling a bit itchy? Here are four reasons why he might want to scratch…Read More
It’s hot, hot, hot at the moment, so if you’re riding in the heat then please be aware of the signs of heat stress.Read More
The equine influenza (flu) virus is specific to horses and causes a multitude of symptoms including a raised temperature, lethargy and coughing. Here, vet Ricky Farr MRCVS answers seven common questions about equine flu.Read More
During the healing process, it's important to manage the wound to limit the degree of scarring.Read More
Here, we've asked Dr Patrick Pollock, a vet from Dick Vet Equine, Georgie Holls, the founder of the Veterinary Wound Library, and Bandaging Angels, for their wound care do's and don'ts.Read More