In line with Vetpro’s policy of helping horse owners & trainers to understand and improve the management of their animals requirements. We have included this section of useful articles written by Veterinarians and nutritionists. These Articles are offered to provide knowledge but in no way should replace the advice of your own Veterinarian.

Please note: Vetpro can not be held responsible for any actions taken as a result of the information provided in these Articles.



Wound Care

There are different types of wounds that can occur with horses, the correct first aid procedure is essential.  Always [...]

The Older Horse

The Basic Care and Management What is considered old? Some older animals that are sound and still being [...]

Emu Oil

The Properties of Emu Oil Emu oil was discovered by the Aborigines many thousands of years ago. It [...]

  • Vetrpo NZ Allergies

Equine Allergies

Left: Dust and moulds can irritate the eyes. Right: An example of equine hives. So out of [...]

Ulcers in Horses – What, Why, How

What and Why are Ulcers in the Horse An ulcer is a sore in the lining of the stomach wall. The horse’s stomach is divided into two areas: One third is the Oesophageal or Squamous part and is [...]

The Challenges for Overweight

Obese – Laminitic – EMS – Cushing Diseased Horses Complications of Equine Obesity Aside from the obvious physical issues of too much condition affecting movement, respiratory stress, joints etc, the biggest issue on the horses physiology is [...]

Effects of Sun on Equine Skin

The Positive Effects of Sunlight on Horses The physical positive effect of sunlight is the effect it has on the oils in the skin and that is the conversion to Vitamin D. This vitamin is fat soluble which [...]

Developing the Growth of the Young Horse Safely

Nutritional Support of the Young Horse The growth of young horses (particularly between weaning and two years old), has received much attention from the veterinary scientists and some clear results have come from this research. It is accepted [...]

Feeding Fat – Oils and the Omega Balance

The Benefits of Fat in a Horse's Diet Like all good horsemasters know, when feeding horses all aspects of their work, the type of horse, the basic pasture/forage availability, all need to be taken into account. There is [...]

Sixty Signs of a Healthy and Happy Horse

1. Body condition should be not too fat, nor too thin. A horse should display a well rounded rump, the ribs should be well covered but still easily felt and the neck should be firm with no crest. 2. [...]

Horses do get HOT!!

How Hot Can a Horse Get? It doesn’t need to be a hot day for a horse to heat up as the exercise will heat up the horse, especially his feet and his tendons. 80% of aerobically created [...]

Mycotoxins and Binders – Why, What, How

Why Have Toxin Binders Been Developed Mycotoxins are an issue for animals, most particularly swine, poultry and to some degree cattle, with a few that are particular for horses. Large international corporations have large manufacturing plants producing tonnes [...]

Laminitis from Dietary Intake

How Does This Form of Laminitis Happen? There are different forms and triggers of the disease in horses called Laminitis or sometimes called Founder sometimes it takes more than one trigger to create a full blown onset. However [...]

Wound Care

There are different types of wounds that can occur with horses, the correct first aid procedure is essential.  Always have some first aid items on hand in the stable yard or float or truck, keep calm and assess the [...]

Vitamin E Supplement for Horses

What is Vitamin E and When Does a Horse Need It? Normally horses will provide themselves with all the vitamins they need if they have a good basic diet (even if its pasture only) and access to daylight [...]

Joints – Damage, Arthritis, DJD

What is Equine Arthritis & Degenerative Joint Disease Every Step They Take Arthritis means inflammation in the horse’s joints, this inflammation can be from any cause: infection, trauma etc. However Degenerative Joint Disease is a disorder, [...]

The Older Horse

The Basic Care and Management What is considered old? Some older animals that are sound and still being ridden will seem younger than a horse retired and turned out, or one that has some injury or arthritic condition [...]

Energy – What, Where, How

A horse needs strength - stamina - muscular response - for a successful performance. Energy is a necessity for all of these elements of success, whatever equine sport the horse is involved in from amateur to professional, dressage to [...]

Selenium – What, Why, How

What is Selenium? Is it Good for a Horse or is it Toxic? Sign of selenium over supplementation. Selenium is an essential trace mineral and like a lot of essential nutrients, a small amount does a [...]

Care of the Orphan Foal

It is tragic when the mare dies during or soon after foaling. However with veterinary assistance and good care it is possible to successfully raise an orphan foal. Here are some notes that may be of assistance to you. [...]

Protein- What, Why, How

What is Protein? Well muscled horse Protein is a vital requirement for all horses, the demand is greatest for the growing horse and the late trimester mare, and the least for the spelling horse, with performance [...]

Nutrition for Brood Mares

When Grass is Never Enough and a Foal Needs a Good Start in Life What Does the Pregnant Mare Need? A foal needs a good nutritional start in life from three months before it is born! Without [...]

Emu Oil

The Properties of Emu Oil Emu oil was discovered by the Aborigines many thousands of years ago. It has been utilised in Aboriginal culture as an antiseptic, analgesic and nutrient. Emu oil was used for joint aches and [...]

Electrolytes – Why, When, What, How

Why do Horses Need Electrolytes When horses are  working  the muscular activity associated with training and competition results in a rapid increase in body temperature. The only way for horses to lose this excess body heat is via [...]

Equine Allergies

Left: Dust and moulds can irritate the eyes. Right: An example of equine hives. So out of the blue your horse has developed some unusual reactions either on their skin - lumps or itchy areas, or their [...]

Mud Fever – Symptoms and Solutions

What is Mud Fever in Horses It is not really a fever, and has several different names:  greasy heel, scratches, pastern dermatitis or dermatophilosis infection. It is actually a skin infection caused by Dermatophilus congolensis, a micro-organism that [...]


Improving Bone Density

Dr Peter Gillespie. BVSc MACVS. Fifty five million years of evolution has seen the horse develop from a small, dog sized creature with four toes on each leg into the tall, elegant, fleet-footed animal we know today. The requirement for speed as a means of eluding predators has lead [...]

Skin Diseases

Annabel Ensor BVSc. Ringworm Ringworm is a common contagious skin disease of horses. It is caused by a fungal infection. Trichophyton equinum, Trichophyton mentagrophytes, Microsporum gypseum, and Microsporum canis are the most frequently isolated organisms. It is important to note that humans can [...]

Equine Tendon Injuries

Fig.1 Structure Think of a tendon like a telephone cable consisting of parallel bundles of collagen fibres, arranged longitudinally (Fig 1). Cells called fibroblasts are interspersed between the collagen fibres; their job is to produce new collagen. Collagen has high tensile strength, but limited elasticity. An [...]

The Rig – Cryptorchid Horse

Dr Peter Gillespie. BVSc MACVS. A cryptorchid horse, or rig, as it is commonly known, has one or both of its testicles retained in its inguinal canal or abdominal cavity (Fig 1). Often the condition goes unnoticed until the time comes for the horse to be castrated. During early [...]

Pre-purchase – The Vet Examination

Dr Peter Gillespie. BVSc MACVS. The horse industry, be it racing, eventing, showjumping or dressage, both for business and pleasure, relies on the buying and selling of horses for its existence. Every year in New Zealand, thousands of horses change ownership, some for as little as $500, others for [...]

The Equine Hock Joint

Dr Peter Gillespie. BVSc MACVS. Situated midway between the stifle joint and the foot in the hind limb, is the hock, one of the hardest working joints in the equine body. It is also one of the most complex – comprising six bones making up four individual joints, all [...]

The Equine Suspensory Ligament

Dr Peter Gillespie. BVSc MACVS. Injuries to the suspensory ligament are a common occurrence in athletic horses. They can occur in both the fore and hind legs and have the potential to bring a horse’s competitive career to an end. Where is the suspensory ligament and what does it [...]

Tye-Up Muscle Myopathy

Dr Peter Gillespie. BVSc MACVS. Tye-up or Exertional Myopathies are the terms given to a group of muscular conditions that commonly affect performance horses.. The common assumption that all cases of tye-up are feed related has led to confusion with regard to treatment. There are in fact a number [...]

Preparation for Birth- Who gives the signal

Eleven months, eleven days have passed quickly. It didn’t seem long ago that the stud master had phoned to say that your mare had been served. Nor did it seem that long since you paid the vet’s bill for the 42 day pregnancy scan. The time had passed quickly alright; [...]

Herpes in Horses

Dr Peter Gillespie. BVSc MACVS. Viral respiratory disease is the most common reasons for coughs and colds and for poor performance in competition horses in New Zealand. The early recognition of infections is important to ensure recovery is quick and uncomplicated. The following two articles entitled "The Truth About [...]

30 Facts You Should Know About Your Horses Feet

Dr Peter Gillespie BVSc MACVS The term foot and hoof are often used synonymously. By definition the hoof  is the integument of the foot and the foot is the part of the distal limb encased by the hoof. The size of the foot is relative to the size of [...]