Kennel Cough

Kennel Cough seems to be doing the rounds at the moment.  
Kennel cough is a highly infectious cough that is spread in a similar way to colds and flu in people- for dogs this includes nose-to nose contact , airbourne spread in kennels and contact with the same objects e.g. people's hands etc.  
Outbreaks tend to occur in situations where dogs come together, the typical situation being Kennels but this can also include dog shows, beating/shooting season, parks etc.  
Kennel cough can be vaccinated for, the vaccination will reduce the severity of the disease and is often a requirement for dogs going into kennels.
If your dog is coughing or sneezing please phone us for an appointment. When you bring your dog please leave them in the car until the vet is ready to call you for the appointment, in some cases we will examine your pet in the car. This is to reduce the chance of bringing kennel cough into the practice, Our nurses do a great job with hygeine and the mop is getting a lot of use at the moment!



Has your horse or pony had laminits? 90% of laminitis cases seen by first opinion vets (i.e. not ponies in a hospital) have an underlying endocrine disorder such as Equine Metabolic Syndrome (EMS) or Equine Cushings Disease (also known as PPID). The lab fee to test for Equine Cushings Disease is free until the end of October for eligible horses and ponies (not previously tested or previously tested inconclusive). Call us to book a blood sample and take advantage of the free lab fee.

Horse Colic

Could you spot if your horse had colic? Autumn is one of the main times of year that we see colic cases. This is partly due to management changes that occur at this time of year.
The BHS have released an informative video that you can access via the link below. 


Video on horse colic.



Monthly disease forecast

One for our farmers today, NADIS publish monthly disease forecasts, you can sign up to have these emailed to you and they also have useful webinars on their website. This months disease forecast predicts Liver Fluke to be a problem in the North West. We recommend usine a Triclabendazole fluke treatment this Autumn on high risk farms.

Website for NADIS


CPD training

Andrew and new vet Rob have been to the British Equine Veterinary Association Congress at the weekend for some CPD (continuing professional development)

Basic Horse Worming

Horse worming is an important part of the routine care of any horse, however is often poorly done with many misconception. Here are some basic tips, however more specific advice should be sort from a vet or otherwise suitably qualified person.

1 - Why worm.

2 - Pasture management.

3 - 20:80 rule.

4 - Target horse and worms.

5 - Egg counts + Tape worm ELISA

6 - Encysted red worms


1 - The aim of worming is to reduce the number of parasites in an individual to a level where it won’t cause disease. Diseases parasites can cause include weight loss, severe diahorrea, colic amongst many other diseases. Treating these diseases can cost many thousands of pounds.

2 - Most parasites come from infected pasture. The best way to reduce parasites in the horse is by controlling the worms on pasture. The most effective way is physically removing the faeces from pasture every 2-3 days in summer, and less frequently when it is cooler. Another method is by cross grazing pasture with other animals such as cattle or sheep.

3 - The 20:80 rule. This is that 80% of the worms are carried in 20% of horses. Knowing this means we can target the high worm burden horses with wormers, rather than worming the whole herd. This saves both cost and also means that we reduce the risk of spreading resistance to wormers. 

4 - Targeting our use of wormers. First we need to select which horses are at risk, and this can be done by using egg counts or tape worm ELISAs. Then we need to select a wormer which targets the parasite. Finally we need to use the correct dose for that weight horse (some wormers need to be double dosed for different parasites)

5 - Faecal egg counts are used to see if an animal has a high worm burden. We normally use a count of 200 eggs/gram as our cut off to treat, if higher we treat, if lower we do not. Tape worm and encysted red worm do not show up on these test, instead we can use a blood sample for tape worm, and every horse should be treated annually for encysted red worm.

6 - Encysted red worm or cyastostomes are an emerging problem. These worms live in the gut wall over winter, and emerge all at once causing severe, sometimes fatal scour in spring. Currently there is no test for them, so every horse should be treated in the autumn after the first frost. The only two wormers which are effective for these are 5 days of a fenbendazole wormer, or a one off dose of moxidectin.

7 - RESISTANCE. Horse parasites are developing resistance to wormers. This means wormers which we commonly use will become useless. Also horses which carry resistant worms can infect pasture, spreading resistance through the herd. We can reduce resistance by rotating wormers, using suitable wormers, targeting high burden horses only, using the correct dose (use a weight tape, it is also better to over dose rather than under dose wormers), and if we suspect we have resistance, to test for it!


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© David Voakes