In this Penbode Equine newsletter you will find:
The chance to win an iPad
Great money savings offers, such as:
20% off flu and/or tetanus vaccinations when your horse's teeth are rasped at the same time
Better than half price Senior Horse Health checks
Half price vaccination and dental visits
FREE visit when 3 or more horses' teeth are rasped at the same time
FREE lab fees for Cushing's disease blood tests, NOW including re-tests!
Our 10% off medicines money saving offer
Exciting and informative talks, including:
'Horses Inside Out' course (Places are very limited, as this is a small group course; please book early to avoid disappointment)
The Penbode Equine Team
Penbode Equine: Equine Atypical Myopathy - What is it?
We have had enquiries from concerned clients regarding cases of Equine Atypical Myopathy in our area. This disease is often fatal, however Penbode Equine has successfully treated the condition. Typical occurrence involves horses ingesting hypoglycin A, a toxin found in sycamore seeds or some ornamental plants. This toxin results in damage to the heart, lungs and postural muscles. In our experience early diagnosis combined with prompt treatment provides your horse with the best chance of recovery. Cases commonly occur in the autumn, when there are most sycamore seeds on the ground and grass may be limited.
Can it be treated?
Prompt treatment is essential. Intensive intravenous fluid administration, pain-killers and anti-oxidants are often administered. Although we have had success, unfortunately, horses often deteriorate rapidly resulting in euthanasia on humane grounds.
What are the clinical signs?
These can resemble those of a horse tying up or colicing. Signs include: weakness, muscle trembling, lethargy, pain, recumbency (lying down), discoloured urine and difficulty when breathing and swallowing.
How can I prevent my horse from suffering with Atypical Myopathy?
If you have any doubts or concerns then please call Penbode Equine immediately on 01409 255549 or 01837 506070. We have successfully treated this condition.
The most effective way to minimise risk to your horse is to reduce ingestion of sycamore seeds. This can be done by; ensuring that they are not grazing in areas where there are sycamore trees dropping seeds on the ground nearby (i.e. fence off areas around sycamore trees), by picking up seeds from the ground, supplying extra hay when pasture is poor, limiting stocking density and reducing turnout time.
If you have any further questions do not hesitate to contact Penbode Equine vets, Holsworthy 01409 255549 / Okehampton 01837 506070 or visit
This week we have received many phone calls from concerned horse owners wanting to discuss the facts about Strangles. If you have any questions please call us on 01409 255549 / 01837 506070. We hope that the following notes may be of assistance. Strangles and other contagious diseases will be discussed at our Equine Contagious disease evening, Wednesday 18th June, 7:00pm, Holsworthy Memorial Hall, (£7 per head which includes a two course meal and an informative booklet). Call the practice to book your place.
What is the causing agent of Strangles?
A bacteria called Streptococcus equi equi.
What is the incubation period?
This is variable. Typically this is 2-21 days.
How is it transmitted?
Typically this is by contact with nasal discharges or burst abscesses. This can be by nose to nose contact of horses or via water troughs and mangers. It is easily spread by contaminated clothing and utensils. Horses can be silent carriers of the bacteria.
What are the clinical signs?
The classical signs are an increased rectal temperature (greater than 38.5 degrees C), loss of appetite, depression, cough, thick creamy nasal discharge, pain, swelling and abscess formation in the lymph nodes under the jaw (sub-mandibular), or throat (parotid) areas. Young animals are most susceptible.
Milder signs of short term fever, dullness, loss of appetite and mild nasal discharge are increasingly common and may be evidence of a previous or ongoing infection.
On rare occasions Strangles can lead to life-threatening conditions:
How is it diagnosed?
Bacteria can be detected by taking: nasopharyngeal swabs, a sample from an abscess or using an endoscope to flush and collect a sample from the guttural pouches in the throat (guttural pouch lavage).
Blood tests can be used to detect raised or rising antibodies.
What is the treatment?
This is based around nursing care and anti-inflammatory medication.
Antibiotic treatment may be appropriate in some cases.
Hot packs can encourage abscess bursting and drainage. Cleaning and flushing will speed the resolution.
Following recovery, a guttural pouch lavage should be performed to confirm complete recovery. Bacteria can be carried silently at this site for months or years.
What is the prevention?
Strict biosecurity policies:
What do you do if an outbreak is confirmed or strongly suspected?
Close the yard to prevent horses leaving or arriving and alert all visitors to the yard.
Speak to Penbode Equine vets to help institute a protocol of barrier nursing and isolation.
Unless the source is clear, investigation should be carried out to identify and treat carriers of the bacteria.
There is a vaccine available in the UK, which may be appropriate in some circumstances after a yard risk assessment has been performed.
In this Penbode Equine Autumn newsletter youll find lots of useful information and advice, including:
Better than 1/2 price checks for senior horses
NEW Penbode Equine Hoof Aid, from only 50p per day
Care of your senior horse talks: Holsworthy Nov 27th and Okehampton Nov 28th. Places limited, call Holsworthy 01409 255 549 or Okehampton 01837 506 070 to book your tickets.
If you would like to receive future Penbode Equine newsletters by post, just call Holsworthy 01409 255 549 or Okehampton 01837 506 070
The Penbode Equine Team