Posted on November 15th, 2021

Keep your horse safe from Atypical Myopathy

The British Equine Veterinary Association (BEVA) is reminding horse owners to take steps to minimise the risks of Atypical Myopathy. Bare fields and gusty autumn weather can heighten the chances of horses contracting this fatal disease, which is caused by the ingestion of sycamore seeds.

Horses do not typically choose to eat sycamore seeds, however when pastures are bare, there is a greater tendency for them to be ingested as the animals forage for every last blade of grass. Wind can also cause seeds to spread faster and further, potentially reaching fields where there are in fact no sycamore trees.

Atypical myopathy is caused by the toxin hypoglyxin A. In the UK, the most common source of the toxin is the Sycamore tree (Acer pseudoplatanus), a member of the maple tree family. The Box Elder (Acer negundo) is the most common tree to cause the disease in North America. Both trees share the typical helicopter shaped fruit that help to distribute their seeds over long distances, typically several hundred metres, but reportedly up to 4km.

The ‘toxic dose’ of sycamore seeds can vary from less than 100 to several thousand single seeds. With each tree potentially shedding more than 20,000 double seeded ‘helicopters’, the amount on pasture can be considerable. In the spring, seedlings represent a risk to horses and can affect hay made from contaminated pasture. Seedlings at the edge of watercourses can also contaminate water supplies, especially when trampled as horses walk across them.

Horse owners are advised to take practical steps to prevent the disease by limiting access to sycamore seeds:

Identify trees both around grazed fields as well as those in close proximity. Trees are often easiest to identify in the summer when in full leaf, rather than in the autumn, when leaves have largely fallen. The characteristic maple leaf shape is easy to spot, although if in doubt a test is available from the Royal Veterinary College as a result of work funded by The Horse Trust.

Collect seeds or exclude horses from affected areas using electric fencing or stabling.

Feed supplementary hay to try and prevent horses from excessive foraging for short blades of grass and inadvertent ingestion of seeds. But ensure that hay does not become contaminated by seeds.

Don’t rashly fell trees when laden with seeds as this can cause a sudden and massive contamination of the pasture. Consider local regulations, tree protection orders and tree ownership if felling is the only option.

Monitor horses carefully even after they have been moved from affected pasture as disease can occur up to four days after exposure.

The most consistent clinical sign of atypical myopathy is the passing of dark brown urine (myoglobinuria) as a result of muscle breakdown. Horses usually become weak and reluctant to move and may lay down, but usually have a normal or increased appetite. In the most severe cases the horse will develop very severe colic-like signs due to significant pain. In some horses the severity of muscle pain leads to euthanasia on welfare grounds. These signs occur as a result of the active toxin which prevents muscles from undergoing normal energy metabolism. It can affect all muscles in the body including the respiratory muscles and heart.

“It’s imperative to contact your vet as a matter of urgency if you are concerned your horse may be suffering from Atypical Myopathy,” said BEVA President Huw Griffiths. “We can use a special blood test, thanks to research funding from The Horse Trust, to diagnose and measure exposure to the toxin. The earlier we are able to intervene the more likely a favourable outcome for the horse.”


Posted on November 1st, 2021

November/December 2021 Absorbine

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Posted on November 1st, 2021

November/December 2021 Aniwell

 

 

 

 

 

 

** ONLY ONE ENTRY PER HOUSEHOLD – UK RESIDENTS ONLY **


Posted on November 1st, 2021

November/December 2021 Hawkins Organic

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Posted on November 1st, 2021

November/December 2021 Annabel Brocks

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Posted on October 29th, 2021

How to keep horses safe this Bonfire Night

Bonfire night and fireworks displays are usually a time of fun and excitement. However, for many animals and their owners, the 5th November can be a nerve-wracking experience. Explosions, fire and flashing lights are all things most animals find pretty terrifying and can prove challenging for those with animal companions.

That’s why Bransby Horses, an equine rescue and welfare charity in Lincolnshire, has written a handy guide to make sure horses, their owners and event organisers have a happy and relaxed bonfire night.

Why do horses act so erratically around bonfire night and fireworks? Understanding this, and why they become so frightened, is key to creating a safe and stress-free environment for horses. All horses, ponies, donkeys and mules are flight animals which means they can be easily scared by the loud noises and bright lights of fireworks. This can result in unusual or erratic behaviour, making horses stressed and unpredictable. When horses panic, they go into flight mode; this is when they are most likely to cause injury to themselves and others.

How can owners keep their horses safe?

1) All horses thrive on routine and any change in this can lead to anxiety and stress. By providing a safe, secure environment and keeping to the same management routine, this can help reassure horses during this period.

2) If a horse is being stabled, it can be a good idea to leave the lights on and play the radio to help drown out the effects of the fireworks. This routine should be introduced in advanced and radio licensing laws will need to be considered by commercial yards or businesses.

3) Plan for unforeseen circumstances:

  • Fire – create an evacuation plan to ensure both horses and humans can safely escape a fire.
  • Escape – if a horse escapes, contact the police and obtain an incident number. Keep a recent photo and horse identification documents to hand for this purpose.
  • Injury – ensure first aid kit and materials are fully stocked. Keep emergency vet details so they are easy to access.
  • Accident/damage – most horse owners already have third party and liability insurance. It is advisable to purchase as it will protect both owner and horse should a horse cause an accident or damage to property of others. The British Horse Society has launched a new app where horse related incidents and accidents can be logged, find out more here.
  • Check locally for scheduled displays – contact the organisers to see if the displays can be directed away from the horse’s environment. The organisers will also be able to advise of the timetable so you know when to be on alert.
  • If a horse is exceptionally sensitive to fireworks and associated stress, contact a vet and seek advice on the use of sedatives.

How can firework / bonfire organisers help?

  1. Clearly advertise the event. If possible, try letting local horse owners know when the displays are scheduled. This can be really helpful as it allows the owners to make plans to ensure their animal is kept safe and stress-free.
  2. Think about directing the displays away from known homes with horses.  This can potentially reduce the impact of the noise and light pollution.

How can everyone help?

  1. Attend organised events rather than creating your own display. If you are planning to have a display try to use low noise fireworks – those that create a visual effect but are quieter or produce no bang.
  2. If planning a display, let any local horse owners know what day and time the display is so they can make preparations to settle their equines.
  3. If a horse in distress is discovered, it is not advisable to approach it. They can be unpredictable and could cause an accident or injuries. Wherever possible contact the owner and allow them to manage the situation. If a horse has escaped and is loose on the road, please contact the police for assistance.

Love horses? Pay Bransby Horses a visit!

Bransby Horses rescues, rehabilitates and rehomes approximately 100 equines each year. Their 600-acre site is the perfect place to bring the family for a day out. Entry is free and visitors can learn more about the charity’s rescue and rehabilitation work, as well meeting the horses, ponies, donkeys and mules. Take a stroll through the beautiful countryside walkways and then enjoy the Café, Gift Shop or Donated Goods Shop. There really is something for everyone at Bransby Horses!

www.bransbyhorses.co.uk


Posted on October 28th, 2021

November 2021 / December 2021

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Posted on October 1st, 2021

HOUSEHOLD CAVALRY LEAD THE CHARGE FOR THE LONDON INTERNATIONAL HORSE SHOW

The London International Horse Show, taking place at ExCeL London from 16th-20st December 2021, will host performances from the Musical Ride of the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment as part of the spectacular schedule of equestrian action across the five-day Show.

Organisers have confirmed the attendance of the much-loved Musical Ride of the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment, made up of 28 horses and 36 personnel, adding to the diverse range of equestrian activity already planned. As the only mounted ceremonial soldiers who also serve as fighting soldiers, the Musical Ride of The Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment is unique globally as it demonstrates exceptional horsemanship and the very best of British tradition. The drills, which are based on movements mounted soldiers would have historically used in battle, will be carried out to music and performed in a routine that is strongly focused on precise timing and coordination.

The Musical Ride of the Household Cavalry will join the roster for each performance, which also includes scintillating action from The Shetland Pony Grand National and The Kennel Club Dog Agility.

In addition to the breath-taking display acts, spectators will be treated to world-class competitive action, including FEI World Cup competitions in three disciplines; Dressage, Driving and Show Jumping. The traditional crowd favourites, The Puissance and The London International Horse Show Grand Prix will also take their place at ExCeL London, featuring the world’s best show jumping horse and rider combinations, with the next generation of riders set to star in The Mini Stakes and The U25 British Championship.

Show Director Simon Brooks‐Ward said: “We are delighted to be welcoming The Musical Ride of the Household Cavalry to The London International Horse Show 2021. They are always a firm favourite amongst the crowd, and we can’t wait to see what they have in store this year.”

Captain William Long of The Life Guards, said: “The Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment is thrilled to be returning to the London International Horse Show. It will be very exciting to perform at the Show’s new venue, the ExCeL, this year.  It is always a privilege to take part in the show and truly does signal the start of the festive period.”

www.londonhorseshow.com


Posted on September 30th, 2021

STRAIGHT FROM THE HORSE’S MOUTH – REDWINGS LAUNCHES NEW PODCAST

Redwings Horse Sanctuary has launched a brand-new podcast to share stories of their rescued horses and donkeys, and conversations with their expert rescuers and carers.

This #InternationalPodcastDay on 30th September, the charity is celebrating by announcing its podcast series, called Sounds of the Sanctuary.

The weekly podcast takes listeners on a journey through the Sanctuary, with a spotlight each week on a rescued resident and their care, plus conversations with the vets, nurses, carers and support teams who make it possible.

Listeners can expect to go behind-the-scenes and discover more about Redwings’ facilities normally closed to the public, such as its specialist Reception Centre for new arrivals, Horse Hospital, Behaviour Centre and Rehoming Centres.

The charity has also produced a sister podcast, called Field Notes, involving sit down chats with Redwings’ experienced team, delving deeper into the equine care and welfare issues they frequently encounter and sharing their top tips along the way, from worming to land management, basic training to creating the perfect paddock.

The first three episodes of Sounds of the Sanctuary and Field Notes are already available to download from all major streaming platforms, including Apple Podcasts and Spotify. The most recent episode features an update on Phoenix, the foal who was left with life-threatening burns after an arson attack, as his vet shares the latest news on his progress.

New episodes of Sounds of the Sanctuary will be released on Mondays, and Field Notes on Wednesdays. Listeners can also subscribe to the series to ensure they never miss an episode.

Redwings Communications Manager, Stephanie Callen, said: “We’re so excited to share this project with everyone. The Redwings podcast presents a chance to hear directly from our hard-working equine welfare teams and meet our rescued residents – so it’s straight from the horse’s mouth so to speak!

“From the vets and nurses who help our rescued horses back onto their hooves, to the carers and maintenance teams who tend to their daily care, and the rehoming teams who find them loving new homes – this podcast brings a unique insight into life at the Sanctuary which we hope will be enjoyable to Redwings fans, new supporters and horse owners alike!”

To find out more about Redwings’ new podcast and the Sanctuary’s work, please visit www.redwings.org.uk


Posted on August 26th, 2021

September 2021/October 2021

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