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Common Winter Illnesses in Horses to Watch out for

Winter can be a particularly rough time for horses if they are not cared for adequately, in this pdf we examine some of the ways these issues can be anticipated and in most cases prevented. Visit https://www.wormers.co.uk

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Common Winter Illnesses in Horses to Watch out for

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  1. Common Winter Illnesses in Horses to Watch out for www.wormers.co.uk

  2. It causes the tiny channels in the lung to contract, making it more difficult for the animal to breathe. Often, this will result in a lack of energy – which may be particularly apparent when the horse is being exercised. For horses, winter is a particularly tough time of the year. They don’t have the comfort of a heated living room to retreat to, and must instead contend with a draughty stable. And it’s not just that the freezing conditions can cause discomfort; winter is also a time where horses are at risk from many threatening diseases. Let’s examine some of the ways in which these diseases might be anticipated and fought against. During winter, the most likely responsible allergen are the fungal spores found in hay, and the dust that collects on a stable floor. Consequently, it’s thought that stabling the animal during winter will heighten the risk of an allergic reaction occurring. Mud Fever In order to diagnose COPD, an endoscope must often be passed through the horse’s mouth, and a small amount of fluid collected from the lungs. In particularly severe cases it might be necessary for the horse to be medicated – but it’s mostly sufficient to simply remove potential allergens by clearing the stable of cobwebs and dust with a vacuum cleaner, and making the switch to vacuum- packed hay and straw that’s less prone to harbouring allergens. This is a condition that’s often known as ‘greasy (or cracked) heels’. It affects the skin around a horse’s feet, and is brought about by a specific sort of bacteria which thrives in muddy, wet conditions. Since these conditions are more prevalent during winter, so too is mud fever. When the skin remains wet for a prolonged period, spores of this bacteria will have time to germinate and grow tentacles which burrow into the skin, producing an inflammatory response. This is usually quite easy to recognise – there will be matted hair, scabs, discharge and fissures on the skin around the feet. The horse might even eventually go lame. Arthritis Older horses are at an increased risk of arthritis, a degenerative disease which causes the cartilage surrounding the horse’s joints to wear down. While there are many different forms of arthritis, they all share one common feature: they make it more difficult for a horse to move around. The condition can be treated by moving the affected horse into a clean and dry environment, and applying lotions or bandages to the infected area. The area will need to be thoroughly washed and dried – and full recovery might take weeks. It’s best then to avoid the problem in the first place by keeping your horse’s feet clean after they’ve been grazing on wet ground. This is especially troublesome during winter, when a horse might need to move around to keep warm. In the case of older horses, then, you might wish to give them a blanket during the winter to help keep warm. This should be used sparingly, since there are many skin conditions which prolonged blanket use can heighten – as you’ll be creating a pocket of warmth and moisture in which bacteria can thrive. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Chronic Obstructure Pulmonary Disease (or COPD or ‘heaves’) is an allergic reaction of the lung. www.wormers.co.uk

  3. While we can’t say for sure, it’s likely that arthritis pain is worse for horses during winter – as many arthritic humans have reported that their symptoms get worse when the weather gets cold. Since it’s important for an arthritic horse to remain as active as possible, you might therefore apply anti-inflammatory medication, in order that the pain be bearable enough for the horse to move around. Cushing’s Disease If your horse begins to develop a shaggy coat and an insatiable thirst, then the chances are high that they’ve developed Cushing’s disease. This condition is caused by a tumour growing on the pituitary gland, which, as it grow, will upset the balance of the hormones in the body. The most troubling of these hormones is cortisol, a stress hormone which in excess can bring about a number of damaging effects. Cushing’s disease is more likely to develop in ponies than it is horses, and it mostly effects older animals. It can cause weight loss, ulcers and laminitis, to name but a few symptoms. Affected horses will require careful management if they’re to get through the winter unscathed. Beeston Animal Health Ltd., Whitchurch Road, Beeston Castle, Tarporley, Cheshire, CW6 9NJ www.wormers.co.uk

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