As always we are still operating a 24 hour a day emergency service over all of the festive period. Emergency visits can still be arranged using our normal number 08458 330034.
CALLING US OUT
It may not always be you that will be ringing in to call us out to your horse. In an emergency our first priority will be to get a vet out to your horse as soon as possible, but it saves a lot of wasted calls if we know that the person who has rung in has your authority to do so. It means the vet can get to your horse and start treatment as quickly as possible. It saves a lot of time if we have a note on your account of anyone who is authorised to call us on your behalf. As holiday season approaches this becomes even more relevant. Please take a moment to contact us with the name(s) of anyone you have given permission to contact us on your behalf. You can do this by ringing the office or emailing
Winter is definitely here and with the colder weather lots of horses are being brought into stables for longer periods. While this is often a good thing to protect fields, keep horses clean and allow legs to dry. It also helps us continue to ride and enjoy our horses with the dark nights and muddy fields. It can however raise problems in some horses.The other condition that can occur more frequently in stabled horses is gastric ulcers. Horses develop ulcers for several reasons but often occur when horses are not eating constantly or are exercised before eating. This is due to food forming a fibrous mat on top of the stomach contents this mat prevents acid splashing onto the upper part of the stomach which has less protection from acid. So, regular feeding of roughage is important in stabled horses with the aim to continue a trickle feeding system similar to a grazing horse. There are other reasons for ulcers developing and any horse showing symptoms such as reluctance to exercise, resenting girthing, poor performance and weight loss should be investigated. Gastric ulcers are diagnosed by examining the stomach with a fibre-optic camera called a gastroscope. If you have any questions about this contact the equine team on 08458330034.
With stabling we see more horses with Recurrent Airway obstruction (RAO) this used to be called COPD.
This is an allergic reaction to dust and spores in the air when they are inhaled. Stabled horses are exposed to more dust and spore especially when they are in stables eating dry hay, bedded on straw and have less ventilation than in a field. All of this can irritate the airways and cause an allergic inflammation.
Horses often start coughing have nasal discharge and can struggle to exercise at their best. The inflammation narrows the airways and combined with increase in mucus this can make breathing harder for the horse. Management is really important so if your horse has any history of RAO its best to use dust extracted bedding such as shavings, Soak or steam all hay and make sure stables have good airflow through them.
All of this can help reduce dust and spore and hopefully prevent any symptoms. But if the symptoms do not disappear or coughing is affecting exercise its best to get them treated and there are several treatments to help horses with RAO.
Colic is also more frequent this time of year with the changes in weather and management. Spasmodic colics are often associated with a change in management as horses intestines are slow to adapt to changes. Horses being stabled can also develop impactions as they are eating more dry food such as hay which can cause a blockage. To help prevent this always make sure you horse has access to fresh water and ideally make any changes gradually especially changes in diet.
FARM AND EQUINE The Barn, Holly Tree Farm, Holmes Chapel Road, Lower Withington, Macclesfield, Cheshire, SK11 9DT