Do EEVS treat un-Hendra vaccinated horses?
Hendra Virus is a deadly virus that can kill horses (and humans alike). Vaccination is not mandatory, but your horse, and your own health, is at risk if you don’t. For this reason, we highly recommend vaccinating horses to protect them and yourself.. There are a number of symptoms that we view as suspicious of Hendra virus, and if we’re suspicious, then we’ll require the horse be confirmed Hendra negative before providing medical care:
- Acute onset of illness
- Increased body temperature
- Weight shifting
- Increased respiratory rate
- Nasal discharge
- Head tilting or circling
- Muscle twitching
- Urinary incontinence
Unfortunately there is no way to treat Hendra virus, so if your horse is diagnosed, they must be immediately humanely euthanised. Exclusively Equine Veterinary Services will always attend sick horses whether they are vaccinated or not, however, all invasive procedures may not be performed if your horse is unwell or showing Hendra like symptoms.
Will the Hendra vaccine kill my horse?
Sadly, there is no known treatment for the Hendra virus, and so if your horse is diagnosed with the disease, the only thing to do is to immediately humanely euthanise the horse. It’s important to be aware that you are in extreme risk of contracting the disease yourself if you spend time with a Hendra positive horse. Vets, including EEVS, will be unable to treat the animal for any other condition, as the disease is highly contagious from horse to human.All vaccines come with risks, however, the Hendra vaccine is extremely safe & has very few adverse effects or reactions. Read more on the hendra virus here.
What causes colic in horses?
Colic is a condition that can affect horses of all ages and types, and can vary significantly in severity; from mild and temporary discomfort through to severe pain that requires medical management, or even surgery. Colic shouldn’t be underestimated, as it can and does kill horses every year.
A number of things can cause colic in your horse. Blockage of the intestine, as well as tumours or damage to the gut wall caused by parasites are all common, but a buildup of gas from a change of diet or a lack of roughage might also be a cause (and these are generally less severe cases). Additionally, if the horse is kept on sandy pastures, a buildup of sand and dirt in the gut can cause colic.
What are the symptoms of horse colic?
Symptoms for colic will vary widely depending on how severe the case is. A horse will behave differently if it’s in mild pain compared to something more severe, so keep an eye out for the following common symptoms in your horse:
- Mild abdominal pain
- Loss of interest in food or water
- Playing in the water trough, but not drinking
- Pawing at the ground
- Moderate abdominal pain
- Frequently laying down and getting up
- Kicking at the belly
- Severe abdominal pain
- Excessive sweating around the flanks or
- Continuous rolling
- Getting up and down violently
Naturally mild symptoms can progress to something more severe if the problem goes untreated. Read more on recognising the symptoms of colic here.
How can I treat horse colic?
Because colic is a symptom, rather than a disease, treatments will vary, depending on what the underlying cause of colic is. If your horse is laying down too much, not eating, not defecating, or its pulse is over 50 beats a minute, call your veterinarian immediately. More mild cases might resolve themselves, but if your horse has had a change of diet, be sure to remove that new food source, as it might well be the cause.
How often should horses teeth be looked at?
For younger horses, it’s important to check the teeth more frequently, in order to make sure they’re growing correctly. Schedule an appointment every six months when the horse is under the age of five. Once they’re fully mature, you should schedule a checkup once per year to make sure there aren’t any dental problems or issues with older teeth. As your horse gets older into the late teens, 6 monthly check ups are best.
What are the signs of laminitis?
Laminitis is a serious issue of the hoof that can prove fatal to horses. It’s painful and crippling, and may well require the horse be humanely euthanised if it can no longer be treated.
There are two forms of laminitis to watch for:
- Acute laminitis – has a fast onset and the pain is severe. The horse will show an unwillingness to stand up, and will appear visibly lame when moving on a hard surface. It will probably also shift its weight to its hind feet to relieve pressure on the front.
- Chronic laminitis – this is generally caused by a relapse of previous attacks of laminitis. The hoof will have the appearance of growth rings around the hoof wall. Additionally, the heel will grow faster than the toe, and the white line in the hoof will widen.
How do I treat laminitis?
It’s important to contact a vet immediately if you suspect your horse might be suffering from laminitis. Your vet will give you a treatment plan, which is important to follow closely. You should also move the horse to a smaller pen or stable and bed the area down so that it’s soft, and can mould into the hoof. Remove feed, but ensure there is unlimited fresh water. Your vet will recommend suitable food while treatment is ongoing.
When can I castrate my colt?
It is safe to castrate a colt once its testicles have completely descended. For the most part, that means at any stage after six weeks of age. However, many owners opt to castrate much later – one or two years – to allow the colt to mature and develop its characteristics before castration. However, some colt characteristics once learned won’t be removed with the testicles, so consider this when deciding to leave until later. For more information on colt castration, click here.
How do I know if my mare is in foal?
It can be surprisingly difficult to tell if a mare is in foal. Mares need to be cared for from the very outset of pregnancy to ensure the safety of the foal, but they won’t necessary ‘show’, even late into the pregnancy. The best way to determine if a mare is pregnant is to get your vet to conduct one of a number of different tests on them. The vet will know which is the best test to take.
What vaccination does my pregnant mare need?
One of the reasons that it’s important to establish whether your mare is with foal is because they’ll need special treatment, including vaccinations. Four to six weeks before due date, the mare should have a boost to her regular immunisations. Most commonly this will involve an ultrasound per rectum.
Additionally, you should get a special vaccination against Rhinopneumonitis (Rhino) caused by Equine Herpesvirus Type 1 (EHV-1). This infection can cause abortion if your mare catches it, and it is a highly contagious infection. It’s also important that your pregnant mare only be given inactivated vaccines, never live ones. Your vet will be able to provide you with further information with regards to vaccinations, timing, and process.
When can my mare be scanned to see if she is in foal?
It’s a good idea to get ultrasounds done at three stages throughout the pregnancy:
- 14-16 days after insemination; this is when you can determine whether the pregnancy will be for twins, as well.
- At 21-24 days it becomes possible to determine whether the conceptus has been implanted properly into the uterus and that the embryo is developing.
- On day 24-45 of the pregnancy it becomes possible to see the heartbeat on the embryo.
When should I start to worm my foal?
You don’t want to deworm your foal too early. Often owners try and do so too early, but given that it takes around six weeks for a parasite to mature to the stage where it can be killed by a dewormer, to deworm a foal in the first two months simply runs the risk of helping those parasites build a resistance to the dewormer if you don’t worm correctly.
It’s important to consult your vet before embarking on any treatment, however. There are dozens of different types of parasites, and each type needs to be treated differently. Poor treatment can cause additional complications.
When can my foal be vaccinated?
Vaccinating a foal too young will not cause it direct harm. However, doing it too early will also not create the immune response, and will therefore not be as effective as you want it to be. A foal inherits disease immunity from its parent for the first couple of months of age, anyway.
From the three month period you should start to vaccinate the foal for tetanus and strangles. From four months of age, an additional vaccine against Hendra virus is highly recommended, if you live in an at-risk area. Read more on foal vaccination here.
How do I know if my horse has ulcers?
Stomach ulcers are common in horses – up to 60% of performance horses and a whopping 90% of racehorses experience them. Look out for the telltale signs that your horse potentially has ulcers, including:
- Weight loss
- Poor body condition
- Dull coat
- Change in attitude
- Lack of appetite
- Poor performance
If any of these symptoms are pronounced enough to be a change in your horse’s behaviour, then contact your vet immediately. The vet will be able to diagnose whether ulcers are the cause using an endoscopy. Read more on recognising the symptoms of ulcers here.
How soon can I ride my mare after foaling?
Obviously, immediately after giving birth, a mare will need some recovery time before she is ready to be ridden again. The exact length of time will naturally vary from one horse to another, but generally speaking they’ll be ready to be saddled again around six months after foaling. If you’re unsure, have your vet conduct an examination after five weeks to see how the mare has recovered, and determine whether it might need a little longer before riding. Read more on riding your mare after foaling here.
What is the difference between canine and wolf teeth in horses?
Canine teeth usually only appear in male horses, as they’re a tool that the horse uses to fight and compete for mares during breeding season. Only 20% of mares will grow canine teeth, and when they do, they’re very small.
Wolf teeth, meanwhile, appear in all horses, but have stopped providing a purpose from an evolutionary perspective. Horses often experience discomfort and pain from the proximity of the bit used while riding to the wolf teeth. As the teeth are functionally useless, it’s often recommended to remove them. Read more on the difference between canine and wolf teeth here.
How often should I vaccinate my horse?
For a number of diseases, it is important to vaccinate your horse at regular intervals, with the interval varying depending on the disease. For example, Tetanus, and Hendra Virus boosters need to occur annually.
Strangles & Herpes vaccinations, meanwhile, need to happen more frequently – every six months. Read more on vaccination frequencies here.