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Spring Roundup: Health risks and tips for horses

Sycamore seeds are the cause of EAM

HEALTH RISKS FOR YOU HORSE IN SPRING

Lice

2014 was a bad year for outbreaks of lice. Warmer winters tend to see greater outbreaks with lice tending to get in the manes, tails, and backs of horses. They proliferate in thick wintry coats and are especially prevalent in native types and horses from sales. Watch out for signs of rubbing, matted body hairs, loss of hair and coats losing their sheen. Clipping helps prevent lice infestation, and treatment no less than once every two weeks will help treat an infected horse.

Equine Atypical Myopathy / Sycamore Poisoning

We reported on several cases of Equine Atypical Myopathy (EAM) in recent months, and the Animal Health Trust announced that last year the UK had reported the highest number of atypical myopathy cases in Europe. Caused by ingestion of a toxin found in sycamore seeds, the risk is aggravated when bad weather conditions increase the seeds’ spread, and it’s advisable to remain vigilant this spring. Find out more about EAM here.

Small redworm

Spring is the time to watch out for small redworm larvae starting to lengthen with the warmer weather. They don’t get picked up in winter and wormers don’t treat the early larval stages, so spring often sees all small larvae emerging from the gut – resulting in weight loss, dehydration and cases of diarrhoea.

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