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Equine

Further advice on horses is available from the Horsespeak section of this site 

We are pleased to offer in house equine faecal worm egg counts - these are £ 10 per sample.

We strongly recommend having faecal worm egg counts carried out at least 4 times a year before worming. There is a lot of drug resistance emerging in recent years to a lot of the worming products on the market and this is an ongoing problem in the equine industry. Doing faecal worm egg counts prior to worming cuts down on the use of unneccesary worming products. This benefits the horse by reducing the risk of product resistance. It also benefits you, as the owner through cheaper treatment.

Please contact Louise Fallows for any further information.

 

Laminitis: No Foot, no horse.

Mr Ciaran Gobl MRCVS

The old saying, "no foot, no horse" still stands. The entire weight of a horse’s body is loaded onto its 4 feet when standing and onto only one foot when galloping. The foot is made up of multiple components, the deepest of which is the pedal bone (also called the coffin bone, distal phalanx or third phalanx). This bone is suspended within the hoof by 2 layers of sensitive laminae, one attached to the pedal bone (dermal laminae) and the other attached to the inside of the hoof wall (epidermal laminae). These layers are made up of about 600 finger-like projections that interlock with one another maintaining the stability of the pedal bone within the hoof.

Laminitis or "founder" is the term used to describe the disruption of this sensitive connection and the instability it creates. If these sensitive laminae are damaged, the pedal bone can move within the hoof. The pedal bone can move in two ways. It can rotate due to the pull of the deep digital flexor tendon (DDFT) or it can sink towards the sole of the foot under the pressure of all the weight of the horse depending on how severely the laminae are damaged.

Clinical Signs:

Laminitis is extremely painful. Horses with an acute episode of severe laminitis commonly show unwillingness or inability to walk, an increased respiratory rate and often stand with the fore limbs "camped out" in front and the hind limbs under the body in an effort to take weight off the front feet. There is almost always increased digital arterial pulses detectable on both sides of the pastern region and the feet are hot to touch. In very severe cases, the horse will lie down a lot as it is too painful to stand. Commonly, both front feet are affected, but all four feet and even one singular foot can be affected depending on the cause.

In severe chronic cases of laminitis, there may be an obvious depression around the coronary band, evidence of sinking of the pedal bone. In mild chronic cases of laminitis, the clinical signs are similar but less pronounced. These horses are lame, but are still able to walk. There is usually increased digital pulses and mild heat in the affected feet. It is important to remember that damage to the sensitive laminae is irreparable, and horses that have suffered from laminitis previously, have a very high chance of foundering again. Horses that have suffered from laminitis are more likely to suffer from foot abcesses and stone bruises than horses that haven’t.