Registration for the National Equine Health Survey opens

 The survey helps to keep horses up and down the country healthy and happy! 

The survey helps to keep horses up and down the country healthy and happy! 

Horse owners can now register online ahead of the next National Equine Health Survey (NEHS), say the Blue Cross.  

The survey, which is being held from 21-28 May 2018, is run by the Blue Cross in partnership with the British Equine Veterinary Association and is a snapshot of the health of the nation’s horses.

It’s your annual chance to give feedback about the health of your horses, ponies and donkeys so that the most common diseases and problems can be identified, prioritised and addressed.

Over the past seven years, NEHS has developed to become one of the UK’s most important endemic disease monitoring initiatives.

The data is compared year on year to identify trends in horse health. The results are regarded as valuable benchmarks for our general knowledge of horse health and are regularly referenced in leading veterinary and equestrian publications and papers.

As patterns emerge, they steer equine awareness, education and research to keep the nation’s horses healthier.

Last year, 5,235 people in the UK took part in NEHS, returning records for a phenomenal 15,433 horses, ponies, donkeys and mules. The top five disease syndromes recorded in 2017 were:

1. Skin diseases

31.1% compared to 25.5% in 2016. Sweet itch and mud fever were the most frequently reported individual syndromes within this category.

2. Lameness (including laminitis)

23.4% compared to 32.9%in 2016. Overall, as in previous years, if laminitis is excluded from the analysis, lameness due to problems in the limbs proximal to the foot was more common than problems in the foot.

3. Metabolic diseases

8.1% with PPID, accounting for 73.4% of this figure, consistent with previous NEHS findings.

4. Eye problems

7.6% with ocular discharge (weepy eye) accounting for 54.2% of all ocular syndromes recorded.

5. Gastrointestinal problems

7.5% with gastric ulcers accounting for 39% of this figure and 3% all syndromes recorded (2.7% in 2016).

Blue Cross Education Officer Gemma Taylor said: “This year we are determined to encourage even more people to take part in NEHS. We are planning an amazing social media campaign with some of our equestrian celebrity supporters to help motivate horse owners to sign up.

"Please do your bit, not just for your horse now but for all horses in the future.”

Supporters of NEHS include the British Horse Society, Horse Trust, Redwings and the Pony Club. Dodson & Horrell is kindly supporting the initiative by helping Blue Cross cover the costs of running the scheme.

The next survey is planned for 21-28 May 2018.

Visit www.bluecross.org.uk/NEHS or email NEHS@bluecross.org.uk to register.

If you take part you will have the chance to win some superb prizes such as Star Lister Clippers, a Lister Adagio Trimmer and some Burford Ariat boots.

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