Educational Articles

Horses

  • In pregnant mares, unlike most other animals, antibodies do not cross the placenta into the foal's blood stream before birth. Therefore, when a foal is born it has no natural defence mechanisms against infection because it has no antibodies, that are the blood’s special immune proteins, with which to fight infection.

  • It is a well recognized saying ‘no foot no horse’. Caring for your horse’s feet and hooves and ensuring that he is attended to regularly by your farrier will safeguard his long term soundness.

  • Horses and ponies often receive cuts and other wounds particularly on their face and legs. Many require just simple first aid measures, while others require the attention of your veterinarian.

  • The expected birth of a foal from a favorite mare is an exciting but worrying time for many horse owners. Ideally, help and advice should be sought from your veterinarian or someone with experience in foaling mares, in good time before the event.

  • Unfortunately, it is occasionally necessary to try to foster a foal onto a mare that is not its natural mother. This may be for any one of a number of reasons.

  • A fracture is a crack or break in a bone. Just about every bone in the body can be fractured but fractures of the bones of the limbs are of major importance in horses and ponies.

  • A heart murmur is an abnormal sound that originates from the heart valves and can be heard with a stethoscope skillfully placed over the heart valves.

  • Cracks may form in the horse’s hoof wall, usually in a vertical direction, and either originate from the ground surface (sometimes called grass cracks) or, less commonly, from the coronary band (sometimes called sand cracks).

  • Abortion is the delivery of a dead foal and its placenta before an age at which the foal would have been able to survive independently. This is usually taken to be up to day 300-310 of gestation.

  • A keratoma is a rare benign tumor of the inner layer of keratin-producing epidermal hoof wall cells that forms inside a horse’s foot. As the tumor slowly grows, it expands and separates the hoof wall laminae, causing pain and lameness.