Joints – Damage, Arthritis, DJD in Horses

Vetpro Joints Article

What is Equine Arthritis & Degenerative Joint Disease 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, common in animals and humans alike usually referred to as DJD, it is often used as an overall definition for all joint disorders, […]

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. First Needs Firstly clean and dry the foal and keep warm, cover if necessary from extreme […]

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; you had followed the check-list […]

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 means it can be stored by the horse. Daily exposure to light (and it doesn’t have to […]

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 that in growing horses, energy and protein are the most important factors in the diet. When horses […]

Kelp – Seaweed for Horse and Dogs Is It Good Them?

What is Seaweed – Algae and Kelp Basically, Algae and Seaweed are the same, – a typically aquatic plant that comes in a diverse range including single cell forms. Kelp is also seaweed but usually refers to the large brown varieties Laminariales. Supplements from seaweed are often called kelp supplements even though they may not […]

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. A healthy horse should pass well formed manure without straining. Soft cow pat manure may indicate […]

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 to unique skeletal adaptations. Compared to […]

Skin Diseases

Horses face showing signs of ringworm

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 become infected by handling infected horses and contaminated tack.  Infection is transmitted […]

Equine Tendon Injuries

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 elastic layer of connective tissue called the paratendon surrounds the […]

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 foetal development, the testicles are located […]

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 prices as high as $500,000. One […]

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 held in place by numerous ligaments […]

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 energy (uses oxygen) creates heat as a by-product. The sun will also create heat on the skin […]

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 laminitis from a dietary cause is the most common and so firstly you need to know that […]

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 situation. A WOUND OF ANY SERIOUS NATURE OR SIZE WILL NEED VET ATTENTION – THESE NOTES […]

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 do? To describe it in simple […]

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 racing and all in-between. What is Energy? The respiratory, cardiovascular and musculoskeletal systems all work together […]

Protein- What, Why, How

What is Protein? 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 horses in-between. Protein is utilised in the tissues of the horse, predominantly the muscle, blood, organs and skeleton, but  also needed for […]

Electrolytes – Why, When, What, How

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 sweat production; in fact efficient muscle function is dependent on it. Sweat is the major route of fluid and electrolyte loss in […]

Copper, Chromium & Selenium – Three Essential Trace Elements

Trace elements are essential for normal body function. They are involved in the enzyme systems that control the many biochemical reactions that take place within the cells. Three trace elements that are particularly important to the performance horse are Copper, Chromium and Selenium. Copper Copper has many functions. It is essential for bone, cartilage and […]

Carbohydrates in Grass – Effects on Behaviour & Performance

The Processes of Grass that Create the Sugar Energy The primary source of feed for most horses is pasture. To understand the horse’s digestion of grass, we have to start with understanding what is happening in the grass. Grass grows by way of a process called photosynthesis and to do this it needs sunlight, warm […]

Equine Coughs Colds and Herpes

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 Herpes And Horses” and “The Coughing […]

Equine Allergies

Vetrpo NZ Allergies

So out of the blue your horse has developed some unusual reactions either on their skin – lumps or itchy areas, or their eyes and nose may have a clear discharge- they may cough or breathing may be noisy. These may be Allergy symptoms. Firstly it is important to assess that they are not the result […]

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