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Horses

  • Rain scald is a bacterial infection of the skin that results in the formation of matted scabs usually affecting the back and rump but occasionally the lower limbs.

  • RAO (previously called chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or COPD) is a relatively common cause of coughing and nasal discharge in stabled horses. In long-standing cases the horse may have difficulty in breathing and its chest and abdomen can be easily seen to move, hence the even older name ‘heaves’.

  • Ringworm is a skin infection caused by a dermatophyte (skin ‘loving’) fungus of which there are several different species. The fungi that cause ringworm in horses include the Microsporum and Trichophyton species, that can infect not only horses but other animal species, including humans.

  • This is one of the conditions that affect young foals during their first few days of life. It is potentially life-threatening. Some cases occur when the full urinary bladder wall tears in response to high pressure during delivery whereas others result from incomplete development (closure) of the bladder wall leaving a hole in the wall.

  • Equine sarcoids are the most common tumors seen and account for approximately nine out of every ten skin tumors seen in horses. They are non-malignant (i.e., they do not spread throughout the body) but do grow larger and often spread and multiply locally.

  • Seedy toe is a separation of the horse’s hoof wall from the underlying sensitive laminae at the white line, resulting in a cavity that fills with crumbling dirt, horn and debris and is prone to associated infection.

  • Some horse owners feel that it is necessary to 'clean' a colt or gelding's prepuce (sheath) and penis on a fairly regular basis.

  • Sidebones are a name for a condition that results in ossification of the collateral cartilages of the foot, i.e., the cartilages transform into much harder and less flexible bone.

  • ‘Spavin’ is a common condition in ponies and horses of all ages. There are two forms of spavin – bone spavin and bog spavin. Both affect the hock.

  • Strangles is an infection caused by bacteria called Streptococcus equi. It is highly contagious and the infection can be spread by horse-to-horse contact or by humans, tack, drinking troughs and other environmental factors.