Sweet Itch

Sweet Itch

With summer now well underway, horses across the land will be spending more time than ever out of their stables and into open air, where they can enjoy the sunshine. But while this is a season we might associate with prosperity and optimism, it’s also one that carries a few risks for our horses. Among these risks is an unpleasant phenomenon called Summer Seasonal Recurrent Dermatitis, or Sweet Itch. As you might expect, this condition causes the animal to itch – sometimes to the extent that they cause themselves so much damage that they can’t bear the sensation of tack against their skin.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at this unpleasant condition – and examine how it might be guarded against. Read more

Supplements to Maintain Healthy Skin – Part 2

Supplements to Maintain Healthy Skin – Part 2

Nutritional supplements can play an important role in maintaining the health of a horse’s skin. In the first part of our two-part series on the topic, we looked at the role that the skin plays in fighting off harmful pathogens, and examined some general rules that one should follow in order to keep the horse in good health before resorting to supplements.

In this, the second part of the series, we’ll examine how different nutrients aid the skin in different ways – and why some strategic use of supplements might help to keep your horse’s skin looking great – and functioning well. Read more

THE VETERAN HORSE – Care Through the Winter

THE VETERAN HORSE – Care Through the Winter

As horse owners and equine vets, we have certainly been spoiled by the mild Autumn so far this year! However, the long winter nights are finally drawing in, so this issue our attention turns to caring for older horses. Low temperatures, wet weather and sparse grazing can put significant demands on the veteran horse or pony at grass. Conversely, stabling horses for prolonged periods can result in a different set of problems to contend with.

The lifespan of the average horse is approximately 20 years. However, this varies tremendously between breeds and individuals. Whereas 20 years may be considered a ‘ripe old age’ for a thoroughbred, many ponies are still competing into their late teens and early twenties and live well into their thirties.

Caring for older horses and ponies can be a challenge. This article will discuss how their day-to-day husbandry requirements change with increasing age, and outline several clinical conditions common in veteran horses and ponies. Read more