We are aware of a post on social media claiming that there has been a confirmed case of Alabama Rot in Stoke Bruerne. This, however, to our knowledge is not the case. The patient in question was treated at Davies Veterinary Referrals who do not believe it was Alabama Rot.
Please be vigilant of other social media posts that are incorrectly informing people of ‘Confirmed Cases’. The only confirmed case in Northamptonshire was one dealt with, by us, over 4 years ago in February 2014.
We are as keen as anyone to inform owners of the updates on research into Alabama Rot and of course any confirmed cases within the local area and will be providing information as and when we receive it.
With much in the news recently about Alabama Rot, we have put some information together about what the disease is thought to be, the symptoms and the advisory precautions to use when you are out and about with your dog.
The cause of Alabama Rot, clinically known as idiopathic cutaneous and renal glomerular vasculopathy (CRGV), is still unknown. It is however thought that it is caused by toxins produced by bacteria such as E.coli often from muddy, woody areas and that it initially enters the body through abrasions and wounds. Recently veterinary experts have also discussed the possibility that it comes from ingesting the cause, but again, this has not been proved.
In all cases skin lesions form on the body. Within one to nine days of the skin lesions appearing, renal shutdown often follows, ultimately leading to death.
Common symptoms include, but are not limited to:
Skin lesions, ulcers, sores or bite marks
Lethargy or a loss of energy
Loss of appetite and a reluctance to eat
Jaundice such as a discolouration in your dog’s eyes, gums or nostrils
Vomiting or gagging have been observed in some cases at later stages
Tests on kidneys from an affected dog under post mortem is the only way to get 100% confirmation of the disease.
Currently there is no known way to prevent a dog from contracting the disease however these advisory precautions and checks should be put in place when out and about with your dog:
Avoid known areas where Alabama rot has been confirmed
Check your dog daily for abrasions, wounds and lumps
Wash mud of your dogs feet when you get home
Try to prevent your dog ingesting anything on a muddy woodland walk
Look for the signs and if your worried contact us immediately.
Although this all seems like pretty alarming information, we don’t want to anyone to panic. If you put the above measures in place, look for the signs and regularly check on our website for news of any further cases reported then you and your dogs should continue enjoying the lovely outdoors as normal.
If you would like more information on the subject or would like to speak to a member of our team please do not hesitate to call us in 01327 350239 (Towcester) or 01327 344999 (Weedon)
The above horse, a 20 year old Cob gelding, presented with acute onset moderate (4/10) left hind lameness, a positive response to flexion testing, and significant effusion of the digital sheath.
Ultrasound showed significant synovitis and synovial proliferation, with no evidence of tendon pathology. The most significant finding was disruption and thickening of annular ligament at 3b, 4.
Synovitis is the injury/ disease of the synovial membranes located in joints. These membranes can come under pressure and when they become compromised they can cause the horse pain, resulting in lameness.
The above ultrasound scan was taken at the time of presentation.
Suspected acute annular ligament / digital sheath desmitis. Initial treatment consisted of bute, cartrophen injections and ice.
Scan 1 month post injury
The horse was medicated with Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP ) 3 months post injury.
This is the scan 6 months post injury.
Following assessment at 6 months, this horse was sound at trot but still positive to flexion. He started an increasing exercise program.
Final assessment at 10 months. There is a reduction in PAL thickness and improved fibre pattern.
The horse was sound at trot and canter and has now returned to full work. Not bad for an old boy!
Equine influenza is a highly contagious respiratory disease to which all horses are susceptible to.
Despite the increased use of vaccines the nature of the disease means that it has the potential to compromise the international movement of equines.
For a number of years the FEI rules have stated that equines must be kept up to date with their annual influenza boosters. However recent research shows that vaccine protection can start to decline after a couple of months. This means that towards the end of the vaccine year your horse may become more susceptible to infection again. These cases may not show signs of the infection and can prove to be particularly dangerous as they can spread the virus without the owners knowing.
Due to the increased risk of spread of equine influenza associated with the annual vaccination intervals, the FEI requires every horse competing in an FEI competition to be vaccinated against the disease every 6 months.
To begin the vaccines the horse must have a primary course; 2 vaccines between 21 and 92 days apart. The optimum time to have the vaccine is 4-6 weeks between the 2 vaccines and it is important to try and stick between these guidelines. The first booster vaccination must be given no more than 6 months and 21 days later. The booster can be given at shorter intervals but must NOT exceed 6 months + 21 days.
The vaccine should be administered in accordance with the manufacturers instructions (eg. intramuscular, injection or intranasal). The FEI will accept intranasal vaccines for both primary and booster doses, however you cannot change the method of administration between the first and second vaccination of the primary course.
All types of vaccine are accepted as long as they registered for use in that country and univalent vaccines are preferred over combined vaccines.
All vaccinations must be administered by a veterinarian and the details of the vaccine, batch number, date and route of administration must be recorded in the equine’s passport.
As previously stated, the booster vaccines can be given at any point up to 6 months and it must not go over 6 months and 21 days. The horse will not be allowed to compete in any FEI competition if they have been vaccinated within the 7 days previous.
If the horse is already being vaccinated annually and it then changes to bi-annually, you do not need to worry about starting a primary course again.
From the 1st January 2006:
As of the above date the FEI have introduced fines for those competitors who fail to comply with the FEI 6 monthly boosters. These are all stated below in Swiss Francs.
Less than one week after the 6 months + 21 day window: CHF 200 (approx. £153)
Less than two weeks after the 6 months + 21 day window: CHF 300 (approx. £229)
Less than four weeks after the 6 months + 21 day window: CHF 400 (approx. £306)
More than four weeks after the 6 months + 21 day window: CHF 500 (approx. £382) and CANCELLATION of the horse’s participation of the event.
There will also be fines relating to the following infringements:
If there is no evidence of a vaccination in the passport, the maximum penalty will be CHF 500. The horse will not be allowed to compete and must be put in to isolation and sent away form the event as soon as possible.
Any infringements of vaccination dates should be noted in in the passport in capital letters; others at future events will depend on the information written in the passport.
No information on the primary vaccination course may not lead to a penalty. As long as there is letter in the passport written by the veterinarian to state that the vaccination history has been checked and is correct.
The certified statement “The vaccination history of this Horse is correct to date. Last vaccination on 00/00/00 date” may be used to summarise a long vaccination history when a new or duplicate Passport is issued.
Towcester Equine Vets is a British Equine Veterinary Association approved centre for Artificial Insemination (AI). We have two clinics, one based in Towcester, Northamptonshire and another at Onley Equestrian near Rugby and we serve a large area incorporating Northamptonshire, Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire, Bedfordshire, Warwickshire, and South Leicestershire. We accommodate a wide range of mares and stallions from pleasure horses through to Thoroughbreds and sports horses. We have two specialist stud vets in the season that can provide assistance from the beginning, undertaking pre breeding checks, all the way through to the foal check. We offer packages for thoroughbreds, fresh, chilled and frozen Artificial Insemination (AI).
Mare breeding soundness examination.
Recommended for all mares that are being used for breeding.
This includes examination of the external and internal reproductive organs for normal conformation and function. Internal examination is performed by rectal palpation and ultrasound.
This allows identification of many problems that may affect fertility. A uterine swab may be taken as part of this examination.
A clitoral swab and a blood sample are strongly advised prior to breeding, to screen for Contagious Equine Metritis (CEM), Equine Viral Arteritis (EVA), and Equine Infectious Anaemia (EIA), particularly if the mare has recently been to Ireland or Europe. These samples should be taken after the 1st January of each breeding season
Management of Thoroughbred mares and mares for natural cover
Pre breeding tests (clitoral CEM swabs, bloods EVA and EIA, endometrial 48 hour culture and endometrial CEM swabs and certification)
Pregnancy scans and monitoring of the late pregnant mare
Post foal checks
Semen from your chosen stallion may be available fresh, chilled or frozen. The type of semen chosen will determine how your mare is managed, the frequency of ultrasound examination, and the stage of oestrus cycle at which she will be inseminated. AI with fresh/ chilled semen can be undertaken on the yard or at either Towcester or Onley clinics. AI with frozen semen is undertaken at the clinic in Towcester.
Used when the mare is in close proximity of the stallion. If rapidly inseminated into the mare can negate the requirement for semen extender which is useful in mares with poor fertility or those that react to semen extender.
The semen is collected, processed and the refrigerated. In this state it remains viable for up to 48 hours, allowing the use of semen from stallions located anywhere in this country and Europe.
Allows for the use of large numbers of stallions internationally and stallions that are competing. Frozen semen can be stored at the clinic whilst awaiting insemination. Once thawed, frozen semen has a much shorter lifespan than its chilled or fresh alternatives. A smaller window for successful fertilisation means insemination must occur as close to ovulation as possible therefore ultrasound examinations are performed every 4-6 hours.
Subfertile mare investigations
As per the breeding soundness examinations this includes a detailed examination of the reproductive tract visually, by palpation and via ultrasound and may include endometrial swabs or lavages to investigate infectious causes of subfertility. Uterine biopsies can be performed if indicated.
Abnormalities that may be detected are poor vulval confirmation, air or urine in the vagina or uterus, uterine infection (endometritis) and glandular degeneration of the uterus (endometrosis).
Treatment can include uterine lavage and intrauterine antibiotics (based on culture and sensitivity) to treat infections, caslicks procedure to correct and account for poor confirmation
Stallion services include
Pre breeding soundness examination
This includes gross examination of external reproductive organs. Swabs for CEM and a blood sample for EVA and EIA. These are health requirements according to HBLB codes of practice and are taken after 1st January each breeding season.
We have a purpose built collection suite at Towcester Equine Vets. The collection suite has a rubber floor, dummy, and a teasing box for a mare at the head of the dummy, should the stallion require it.
We have a dedicated stallion team who are experienced in collecting from a variety of stallions. There are a number of experienced, regular stallions that are collected from at Towcester Equine Vets (a few of which are detailed below) but we are also able to provide dummy training for inexperienced stallions.
Semen evaluation and processing
Thorough semen evaluation is essential for assessing optimal stallion fertility. Immediately following collection the semen will be examined in our laboratory. We assess sperm concentration, motility and morphology. Using this information an appropriate extender is chosen, to optimise motility and longevity, and added to the semen. The extender also supports the sperm throughout the chilling process. Semen can be processed ready for use both fresh and chilled and we offer a semen freezing service.
A few of our regular stallions collecting at Towcester Equine Vets.
Silvester (KWPN), by Carthago Z and BEF Champion Showjumping Sire in successive years and Reserve Champion Eventing Sire. He is a regular at Towcester Equine Vets with exceptionally high fertility and a fantastic temperament. His foals have been graded Elite, Higher first premiums and first premiums at the BEF futurity Evaluations.
Son of Silvester, 16.2hh SHB Graded Stallion. His foals have received Futurity First and Higher First Premiums, and like his father has fantastic fertility and is a pleasure to have at Towcester Equine Vets. He is athletic, light on his feet and is full of presence.
A Carthago Z X Landgraff X Cor De La Bryere Stallion. Cobra has successfully competed up to 1.50m. The Anglo European Stud Book, due to his own results and those of and his offspring all over the world, has recently updated him to Elite status.
Mukhtar Ibn Eternity
Graded Class 1 AHS Premium Performance Sire. He is an in hand and ridden three times HOYS finalist and has successfully competed BE. He has beautiful movements and a wonderful temperament.
Don Dante is definitely a black beauty. He is by the sire Dancier and in 2009 he was reserve champion at the BWBS UK stallion grading. He is a successful dressage stallion and in 2017 he was a winner at Prix St George and Inter 1 at premier League.
Take a look at the brand new rules and regulations for annual vaccines released from the Pony Club. Have a read and don’t hesitate to contact our practice if you are unsure that your horse is adequately vaccinated: 01327 811007.
– must be produced on request at any other time during the Event
Failure to comply with these requirements is a breach of this Rule and the Horse will only be allowed to compete at the PC Steward’s discretion.
2. No Horse may take part in a PC Event (which includes entering competition stables) unless it has a current vaccination against equine influenza which complies with the following conditions:
– Two injections for primary vaccination, not less than 21 days and not more than 92 days apart, are required before being eligible to compete
– A first booster injection must be given not less than 150 days not more than 215 days after the second injection of primary vaccination
– Subsequent booster injections must be given at intervals of not more than one year, commencing after the first booster injection
3. The Record of Vaccination(s) in the horse’s passport must be completed by the appropriate veterinary surgeon in which the record of injection(s) is completed, signed and stamped line by line.
4. Notwithstanding the above, at the discretion of the Event Veterinary Officer, in consultation with the PC Steward and/or the Area Representative in cases where:
– The latest booster vaccination is overdue by no more than 14 days, and/or
– There are other historical discrepancies in a Horse’s vaccination record.
That Horse may nonetheless take part in an Event on such conditions as the Veterinary Officer considers appropriate, but the circumstances must be noted on the certificate. The Horse must be re-vaccinated so as to comply with this Rule and the certificate duly completed before it becomes eligible to compete.
5. No relevant injection may have been given on the day of competition or on any of the 6 days before a competition
6. No horse whose latest booster vaccination is more than 14 days overdue may take part in an Event under any circumstances.
Events that are held at other venues may be subject to additional specific rules. E.g. Any horse entering a Licensed Racecourse Property MUST comply with the Vaccination requirements as set by the BHA.
In addition, if you are intending to compete under FEI Rules you will need to ensure you are compliant with those Rules.
This rule will be strictly enforced at All 2018 Pony Club Championships.
Do you know how much your dog weighs? Is he/she a healthy weight? Would you like to learn ways to keep your dog mentally and physically healthy?
We have teamed up with Laura Wyllie Dog Training, Jackador and Active Pet Physio to offer this FREE and informative afternoon which is being held on Saturday 3rd March at Dodford Village Hall from 2-5pm.
This event is aimed at dogs of all ages from puppies to seniors. So, whether your dog is just starting out in life, or is starting to slow down with old age this event will give you all the information you need to help them navigate this stage in their life.
The experts attending will be advising you on all manner of subjects including training, enrichment ideas, behaviour, weight management, body condition scoring, preventative health care, physiotherapy and more!
Charlotte from Hogans Pet Hampers will also be attending with goodies to buy and donations on the day will be taken for the charity Dogs for Good. We look forward to seeing you all there!
If you have an questions or would like more information on the event please dont hesitate to contact us on 01327 350239 (Towcester) or 01327 344999 (Weedon)
English beef and dairy farmers can have their Bovine Viral Diarrhoea (BVD) test results uploaded to the national BVDFree database without charge until the end of March*.
The offer is open to all farmers who are registered with the BVDFree England scheme and is available for all results uploaded by the following labs: APHA, Biobest, CIS and NML. Farmers can register with the scheme at bvdfree.org.uk. The aim is to grow the number of searchable BVD statuses on the existing 65,000 strong database.
Farmers don’t need to wait for the outcome of existing testing as they’re able to have any results from the previous 12 months uploaded.
Bill Mellor, BVDFree Chairman, said: “We can only eliminate BVD from the national herd if farmers test their animals and load their results onto the central database. By removing the cost, we hope this is the final encouragement farmers need to take part in this crucial scheme.
“With the busy spring sale period approaching, farmers can often command an additional premium for animals known to be BVD free as well as giving buyers confidence in the status of purchased animals.”
Farmers whose results are on the database can sell their animals with a known BVD status, which is especially important for those in the North of England as Scottish buyers require English animals to be tested for BVD.
To help avoid the potentially lethal condition laminitis, make sure you take a read of our following tips to help protect your horse.
Obesity or high sugar diets can lead to and complicate laminitis, insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome. It has been shown that high sugar diets lead to an increase in inflammatory markers which can negatively impact health including laminitis and arthritis.
It is important to remember there are different types of laminitis: supporting limb laminitis (when they weight bear more on one leg, for example if they have a fracture of one forelimb), inflammatory (secondary to retained placenta or sepsis) and endocrinopathic laminitis (caused by high insulin levels) Endocrinopathic laminitis accounts for 90% of cases, where underlying diseases including Equine Metabolic Syndrome (EMS), Cushing’s (PPID) and use of corticosteroids leads to insulin resistance.
Don’t let them get overweight
Horses’ daily intake should be 2% of their body weight in dry matter (hay/haylage/grass) OR 1.5% of their body weight in dry matter and 0.5% in concentrates.
e.g.500kg horse should eat 10kg of hay and grass over a 24 hour period
If you are trying to promote weight loss, this can safely be reduced to 1.5% (or lower under veterinary direction). Make sure you make changes in diet slowly.
Provide regular exercise
Exercise has many benefits including helping to keep glucose and insulin levels in check, as well as burning calories!
Check bodyweight regularly
Using a weigh tape is a simple and easy way to monitor your horse’s weight; although not 100% accurate, if used in the same way every week they are a great way to track weight changes. You can also Body Condition Score (BCS) your horse to ensure that they are at the correct weight. The British Horse Society and several feed companies have BCS scaling systems and explanations on how to assess your horse online. Alternatively, you can ask your vet to body condition score your horse at any visit or bring your horse to the clinic to use our weigh bridge.
Restrict intake by using a muzzle or strip grazing when on grass and slow-feed hay nets
Horses, and especially ponies, are very good at eating as much as they can when they have the opportunity – they can eat up to 70% of their daily intake of grass in just 3 hours. Having a muzzle on for half a day can help restrict their intake but probably isn’t enough if you are struggling to keep on top of their weight.
Turn your horse out at night when the grass contains less fructan (the storage form of sugar) and avoid turning your horse out on sunny, frosty mornings, when the grass may contain high levels of fructan
Fructan levels increase when grass photosynthesises but can’t grow e.g. cold weather. Levels are highest at the start and end of growing season, making Spring and Autumn high risk periods. Topping the grass or keeping it regularly grazed can reduce fructan levels, as they are mostly produced in the newest leaves.
Feed a low sugar, low starch diet
Soaking hay for 1 hour in cold water or 30 minutes in warm water will reduce the sugar content without stripping the hay of important nutrients and avoid cereal-based feeds. These feeds have a high carbohydrate content which can lead to insulin spikes and if gorged on, can cause inflammatory laminitis.
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