What is pain? Pain can be defined as: ‘An aversive, sensory experience which represents awareness (by the animal) of damage or threat to the integrity of its tissues’.  Pain can thus be regarded as a sensation resulting in the activation of protective mechanisms.

Emma Hardy, PhD

Until very recently, the equine industry has afforded little clinical attention to conditions of the equine large colon or intestine. Perhaps under-diagnosis of hindgut pathologies has been a result of a long-standing assumption amongst the veterinary community that these conditions do not indeed exist. However, the work of a research team at Glasgow Veterinary School, led by Professor Derek Knottenbelt, is shedding new light on hindgut pathology, and revealing that these conditions are more prevalent than once thought – even in ostensibly normal horses. The team are working hard to further understand aberrations in intestinal pathology, improve methods of diagnosis and explore its clinical significance.  

Pet charity Blue Cross has seen an unprecedented rise in the number of lone foals being found abandoned and fear that irresponsible and unscrupulous breeders may be dumping them because they are considered to have a low value. Blue Cross has recently taken four foals into its horse centre in Burford, Oxfordshire, one of which was pitifully just six-weeks-old and barely alive.

Vicki Nicholls, part of the University of Liverpool’s Veterinary Postgraduate Unit, has been appointed as President of the British Equine Veterinary Association (BEVA) for 2016/17. She takes over the role from Mark Bowen at the end of BEVA Congress 7-10 September 2016. Jonathan Pycock becomes President Elect.

Vicki Nicholls qualified from the Royal Veterinary College in 2001 having previously obtained a zoology degree from the University of Leeds. She enjoyed an internship at the Mid Atlantic Equine Hospital in New Jersey before joining the equine team at Bristol University and developing a keen interest in equine dentistry. Following several years in a busy Wiltshire first and second opinion hospital Vicki joined Wright and Morten in Cheshire and also embarked on a mission of post-graduate qualifications.  

Results from this year’s National Equine Health Survey (NEHS) showed 38% of horses were recorded as suffering from health problems and of these a third (32.9%) were categorised as lame. Consistent with previous surveys lameness was shown to be more likely to be caused by conditions such as osteoarthritis in the limb rather than problems in the foot.

Investigation for, and diagnosis of equine gastric ulcer syndrome (EGUS) has increased considerably  over the past 90 years because of an increased awareness  of the condition due to the prevalence of ulcers noted at post-mortem. 

Reduce inflammation with confidence and convenience with Inflacam Granules, the new meloxicam presentation for horses. This potent anti-inflammatory product alleviates inflammation and relieves pain in both acute and chronic musculoskeletal disorders.

Thanks in part to support from Zoetis, nine intrepid motor biking veterinary specialists from the UK have raised funds to vaccinate hundreds of horses in a remote South African region against African Horse Sickness (AHS). The initiative took place in August as part of the voluntary VETS with HORSEPOWER project, 2016. 

Modern day horses have to cope with many challenges that may affect their lungs and therefore their performance. For example, longer hours in the stable in winter can expose them to the fungal spores and airborne irritants that can be found in hay and bedding. Spring and summer can bring high pollen counts, which may affect a horse’s respiratory tract, too.