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Illnesses in Horses written by Katie O’Thy of Yoma Ltd

Posted on Monday, February 18, 2019 by Heather Dodd

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Illnesses in Horses

written by Katie O’Thy of Yoma Ltd

The recent outbreak of equine flu has been detrimental to our horses, causing huge problems for the racing industry particularly. Only now after 6 days of shutdown, do we see a managed return to racing for trainers – with this return involving just the horses that have been vaccinated against the virus in the last 6 months. Very similar to human flu, the equine flu is highly contagious and is mainly spread through close contact with others with the disease. Affecting the respiratory system, potentially leading to infections, the flu can prove fatal to young or unhealthy horses.

With concern for our horses in mind, this post considers three other common illnesses which can affect their health and livelihood.

Equine Arthritis & Osteoarthritis

Equine Arthritis refers to the inflammation and subsequent permanent damage in horse’s joints. It can be caused by an acute injury or gradually over years of work, and if left untreated can lead to osteoarthritis, where the exposed bone of the joints can grind. Unfortunately, this illness is irreversible, meaning it can only be treated not cured. Common treatments include non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and joint supplements. Without excessively exercising your horse, it is also helpful to keep it moving to promote flexibility and to keep their hooves trimmed.


Horse colic is a condition causing abdominal pain with four main variations differing in severity. The two most common of the four are ‘impaction’ and ‘spasmodic’. Impaction colic occurs where a there is a blockage in the intestine or where the gut is stretched due to dry or course feed. Spasmodic colic refers to increased intestinal contractions caused by the build up of gas. You can treat horse colic with products from Spillers, and although colic can be hard to prevent, some measures can be taken, such as ensuring your horse always has access to fresh, clean water and roughage.


Laminitis is a disease involving the breakdown of the bond between the distal phalanx (coffin bone) and the hoof wall. This illness is common and can be devastating to a horse’s health. It generally affects the front two hooves but can occur in all four. It can be caused by a number of factors, such as diet, Cushing’s disease, trauma to the feet through excessive riding and jumping, or if an injury has been inflicted in one foot, the other may be likely to develop laminitis. If you are concerned that your horse may be suffering, you should call a vet immediately and follow their treatment advice – this will probably involve moving the horse to a smaller bedded stable. To prevent laminitis occurring, a horse’s diet should be monitored, ensuring that a healthy weight is maintained.

Hopefully this article will provide an insight into illnesses to be considered when caring for a horse or pony. If you have any concerns regarding your horse’s health, it is important to seek professional advice as soon as possible, in order to prevent any possible deterioration.


A Calming Influence for Horses…and Dogs!

Posted on Saturday, June 28, 2014 by Heather Dodd

TOPSPECTSM TopSpec Tub-SQ-calmer calm & focused Calmer is designed to be fed to horses and ponies with anxious temperaments, particularly those that cannot cope with stressful situations such as showing, travelling and competing.

Not all horses are anxious for the same reason so TopSpec Calmer has been developed with much more than a ‘single ingredient’ approach.It contains a pure protected yeast, MOS, B vitamins, magnesium, tryptophan and sepiolite clay, which all act in different ways to help calm and relax responsive horses.

TopSpec Calmer is a palatable, caramel-flavoured, additive to be mixed into the feed.  It can be fed daily to stressed or anxious horses or occasionally to help horses cope with stressful situations, for example, competitions, travelling and fireworks. It can help improve performance by improving focus and reducing the effects of stress.  Some ingredients start to work within two hours but maximum effect will be seen within three weeks.

TopSpec also produces a range of canine supplements under its ‘sister’ brand, VetSpec, so if you also own a dog that is struggling with its training, or is over-excitable or nervous, help is also on hand. VetSpec Calm & Focused can help improve your dog’s concentration and obedience, reduce nervousness and fear of loud noises, strangers, travelling, and separation anxiety.

It is specially formulated by experienced nutritionists with scientifically proven ingredients including tryptophan – a natural precursor of serotonin and the yeast products FOS and MOS to help maintain a healthy gut environment, and is wheat gluten free with full traceability of all ingredients

Simply add VetSpec Calm & Focused to your dog’s normal feed. A 500g tub will last a 20kg dog for 12 weeks. Also available in a 200g tub (4 weeks supply for a 20kg dog).

For further information please contact the Multiple Award-Winning Helpline on 01845 565030 or visit or


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