VACCINATION BACK ON TRACK:
As a practice, we at Liphook Equine Hospital are keen to highlight the benefits of vaccinating your horse(s) against Equine Influenza (Flu). To get you ‘Back on Track®’ with Influenza vaccinatio…n we are pleased to offer you a Influenza vaccine amnesty (only valid for the month of June) kindly sponsored by Merial Animal Health who provide our flu vaccines. We chose this vaccine because it contains the latest flu virus strains which offer your horse the most up to date protection. Any horse that is older than 12 months of age that has not been vaccinated against Influenza or that needs to re-start the vaccination course can now have the second vaccine of the primary course for free.*
Equine Influenza is both extremely infectious and contagious and so the best way of stopping both your horse and other horses from becoming infected is to vaccinate. As a disease the signs of flu can vary from a few days of running a high temperature accompanied by the classic snotty nose and harsh dry cough, to serious life-threatening infections especially in young foals.
“Why should I vaccinate?”. Firstly your horse will feel exactly the same as we do when we have the flu – rotten. Also, in becoming infected your horse stands a real chance of infecting many others with the virus. Finally, as you are all probably aware, to compete your horse you will need an up to date passport demonstrating your horse’s up to date vaccination status.
The benefits of vaccination were demonstrated very publicly during the 2007 Australian Equine Influenza outbreak. The horse population in Australia had never been exposed to equine flu before and as such, no horses had been vaccinated. Some infected horses entered an Australian quarantine station near Sydney and the virus escaped. The infection spread rapidly and a total of 76,000 horses became infected, located on more than 10,000 premises throughout Queensland and New South Wales. Vaccination, along with the restriction of horse movement, stopped this infection in its tracks and prevented the flu virus from spreading all over Australia. We have chosen to stock the same vaccine as the one predominantly used in the outbreak.
To take advantage of Vaccination Back on Track® (only valid for the month of June 2014) please ring the practice on 01428 723594 to book your visit.
*Terms and conditions apply
Atypical myopathy has received a great deal of attention in the equestrian press recently and seems to be causing a great deal of concern out and about. It is a horrible disease but it remains relatively uncommon and though there have been sporadic cases this Spring we are unclear where the current media attention and general level of anxiety has come from. We do not want to spread complacency but it is important that we retain some perspective on potential risks to our horses. We would treat many of the atypical myopathy cases from our area that require hospitalization and have only seen a handful of cases this Spring, no more than in previous years. We also run blood tests for other vets the length and breadth of the UK and have not seen an obvious spike in case numbers. Horse owners should be aware of the signs of the disease and take reasonable precautions to minimise the risks; however atypical myopathy needs to be put in perspective and owners that have not had previous cases shouldn’t be having endless sleepless nights worrying about the condition. Compared to other management-associated diseases, atypical myopathy cases are very rare and owners should consider that the steps they take to avoid this rare condition might inadvertently increase the risks of other far more common conditions such as colic and laminitis. Currently there seems to be a great deal of concern over Sycamore (Acer pseudoplatanus) seedlings that have germinated in large numbers after seeds fell last Autumn. It is know that the seeds (“helicopters”) of Acer pseudoplatanus contain the toxin hypoglycin A responsible for the disease but we do not know whether this toxin remains present as the seedlings germinate and develop. We have seen cases of atypical myopathy from pastures with large numbers of seedlings and samples have been sent to The United States for testing. In the mean time it is sensible to avoid horses grazing areas with seedlings, where possible, but it seems unlikely that they are as “deadly” as some sources are stating. Although it is a distant cousin of the Sycamore, there is thankfully no suggestion that the toxin is present in Acer Campestre (Field Maple), which is a very common constituent of our native hedgerows. It is likely that other environmental factors such as weather, temperature, availability of grazing and horse factors such as age and previous exposure will all influence the risk of disease developing. Further research is needed to determine why disease develops in some horses and not others and for this reason we would urge anyone who is aware of a case of atypical myopathy to report it: http://www.myopathieatypique.fr/en/declarer-un-cas/questionnaire-proprietaire/
Clinical signs: Aytypical myopathy results in muscle damage and affected horses show signs of weakness, muscle trembling, lethargy, pain and may become recumbent. The disease is often confused with colic. The signs can be vague so if you are concerned please phone your vet promptly to at least discuss the signs.
Prevention: Looking ahead to the autumn horse owners can take measures which are thought to reduce the risk of disease: •Hoovering-up/picking up sycamore seeds
•Fencing off areas where sycamore seeds have fallen from trees or there are large numbers of seedlings •Supplying extra forage (hay or haylage) especially where pasture is poor
•Reducing stocking density so there is plenty of palatable grazing for every horse •Turning out horses for only short periods rather than extended periods of the day (ideally <6 hrs)
•Prioritising younger horses which seem to be at greater risk of disease
For more information see www.myopathieatypique.fr.
We recommend that you always seek advice from your veterinary surgeon to verify information provided via chat rooms and other unregulated internet sources and in particular to interpret any such information in the context of your specific circumstances and environment.
Our Gastroscope Clinic on Tuesday 27th May is now full. For future clinics and events please keep an eye on our facebook page of website:
Our long time landlord Graham Thompson has decided to place his entire property, Home Park Estate, on the market. The sale will include the land on which the Liphook Equine Hospital is situated but the Practice is secure in a very long term lease and thus there is no risk to the business nor change of interest in the Partnership itself. Please be assured that it is “business as usual” for the Practice.
The race is a non-stop sailing and fell-running adventure that takes place annually over 3-4 days each May. Teams of five set sail from Oban and (hopefully) cross the finishing line in Troon 160 nautical miles later, having navigated the daunting Corryvrechan and Mull of Kintyre overfalls in the process. Along the way stops at Mull, Jura and Arran deposit the runners to climb and descend 11,500 feet over 60 miles across Ben More, the Paps and Goat Fell respectively.
Storm Force is a team of four vets, including Tim Phillips and Charles Williams from Springfield Veterinary Surgery, Midhurst, competing in this year’s race. As well as the challenge, the purpose is to raise funds for worthy causes and Storm Force are supporting two charities – Canine Partners and For We Are Mad 4 Africa. If anybody would like to donate this would be much appreciated and the relevant links can be found at