Kyle Tindall-Read MRCVS, from Durham Equine Practice, shares the case of a gentle giant with mysterious muzzle trouble.

I first met Danny the Clydesdale when I went to carry out his annual vaccine.

We also carry out a health check with every horse at this annual appointment, and give owners the chance to flag up any concerns.

Danny is a much-loved happy hacker who was bought as a two-year-old in Orkney.

For the past eight years he has resided in County Durham and has been a first-class advocate for the breed’s good temperament.

On examination, Danny’s heart, lungs and coat where all looking good, but I did notice he had a sunburn-type lesion on his nose.

His owner was concerned that it may be some kind of sarcoid or cancer, so I recommended a biopsy to put her mind at rest.

Danny was a wonderful patient. Despite his great height and weight I was able to do three punch biopsies, each 3mm in width, on the middle and margins of his nose.

To make him comfortable and relaxed I used a mild dose of sedation and some local anaesthetic and although his owner was understandably worried, he stood like a rock.

No stitches were needed and the samples were soon winging their way to the lab. The results suggested a chronic dermatitis, with an immune system component – meaning Danny’s immune system was over-stimulated and so aggravating the problem.

The prescription for Danny was a course of oral steroids, followed by a re-examination that showed that the mark had begun to fade. Luckily Danny did not mind eating his tablets – on occasions like this it’s very helpful to have a food-orientated patient!

Good news for Danny and a great example of how a simple health check can tackle problems sooner rather than later.