When to call the vet for horse concerns

The presentation at Fairmoor Equine Clinic by Euan Hammersley on common equine emergencies, first aid and the point a vet should be called for help.
The presentation at Fairmoor Equine Clinic by Euan Hammersley on common equine emergencies, first aid and the point a vet should be called for help.

Unlike Michael Caine, most horses do not belong to the self-preservation society.

It is for this reason that Fairmoor Equine Clinic held a client evening addressing When To Call The Vet. Over 50 clients attended.

Myself and colleague Euan Hammersley gave a presentation covering common equine emergencies, first aid and the point a vet should be called for help or advice. The recurring theme seemed to be ‘if in doubt, call us out’, with the emphasis that over the phone advice is always free.

Participants were then split into groups and rotated around four practical stations, consisting of the clinical examination of a horse, a ‘when to call the vet’ workshop, anatomy of the leg using cadaver specimens, and a bandaging workshop with plastic legs and a live horse.

The evening was very well received and we hope that all attendees now have the confidence to not only provide important first aid and basic health care, but also to make the important, yet sometimes difficult, decision to get the help of a vet.

We are starting to see a number of horses and ponies that have done a little too well over the mild winter.

As the weather continues to surprise us, it is time to remind owners of the risks of pasture-related laminitis, especially if the horses or ponies are overweight or have a history of laminitis.

At particular risk are animals that may be suffering from metabolic diseases, such as Cushing’s disease or equine metabolic syndrome.

Steps to prevent pasture-related laminitis include the use of starvation paddocks, grazing muzzles, soaking hay for at least 12 hours, and minimising turn-out time during the day.

If you think your horse may be at risk, or is suffering a metabolic disease, call your vet as laminitis is far easier to prevent than to treat.