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Equine Health

In this section, you'll find topics of interest in relation to Equine Health

Failure of Passive Transfer or FPT

Foals are born without protective immunity against infectious disease organisms and require “passive transfer” of infection-fighting proteins called antibodies that are found in the mare’s first milk, or colostrum. If a foal does not obtain enough quality colostrum, they will not be protected from viruses and bacteria. This is referred to as failure of passive transfer (F.P.T.) of immunity and approximately 5-20% of newborn foals are diagnosed with F.P.T. and are at risk for developing serious medical conditions.

Find out more about FPT here 

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Why vaccination remains an important part of herd health protection

Infectious diseases are a major cause of concern in both human and veterinary medicine. Both the Covid-19 pandemic in human populations worldwide and the recent EHV-1 (Equine Herpes Virus – 1) neurological outbreak which originated in Valencia, Spain February 2021 have dramatically demonstrated that the introduction of an infectious agent into a susceptible population can have devastating consequences.  A good immunisation program is essential to responsible equine ownership.

Read more about the importance of a having vaccination programme here

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Endocrine Metabolic Disorder (EMS)- early diagnosis is important 

Identifying EMS, and taking steps to manage the disorder can allow a horse/pony to live a healthy and productive life. Early diagnosis is important as the prognosis for those horses or ponies who have suffered multiple previous bouts of laminitis and major structural damage to hoof laminae is less favourable. Vets diagnose EMS on the basis of history, clinical examination and the results of blood tests and radiograph/x-ray evidence of subclinical laminitis. 

Read more about Endocrine Metabolic Disorder (EMS) here

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 Autumn Equine Internal Parasite Control  

The aim of a parasite control programme is not to eradicate or kill all worms but rather to prevent clinical disease, reduce contamination of pasture, and preserve the effectiveness of the anthelmintics which are currently available. There is a growing population of drug-resistant parasites with widespread resistance in small strongyle populations to Fenbendazoles, and Pyrantels, while resistance in ascarid (roundworm) populations to Ivermectin and Moxidectin is common. So we simply must enact effective strategies to control parasites without stimulating more parasites to become resistant or evolve to become resistant.

Read more about Internal Parasite Control here

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Stay alert for Sycamore Seed Poisoning 

Equine atypical myopathy, also known as atypical myogloninuria or seasonal pasture myopathy (SPM), a highly fatal muscle disease, is a condition which can affect grazing horses in the spring or autumn caused by consumption of sycamore tree seeds. Each year in Ireland there have been from 6-12 cases diagnosed with perhaps many more occurring, but not identified.  A typical story is of a horse demonstrating initially stiffness and a reluctance to move.  The muscles suddenly become weak to the point the horse can no longer remain standing.  Then, as quickly as clinical signs set in, the horse dies.   Just 48 hours earlier the horse grazed happily at pasture—an overgrazed field full of seed heads and dead leaves.

Read more about Equine Myopathy here