Knowing when to seek help
According to the Equine Industry Welfare Guidelines for Horses, Ponies and Donkeys a veterinary surgeon should be consulted urgently by the owner or person in charge of the horse if there are any signs of:
- Acute abdominal pain or colic.
- Serious injury involving deep wounds, severe haemorrhage, suspected bone fractures or damage to the eyes.
- Evidence of straining for more than 30 minutes by a mare due to foal.
- Inability to rise or stand.
- Inability or abnormal reluctance to move.
- Severe diarrhoea.
- Prolonged/ abnormal sweating, high temperature, anxiety, restlessness or loss of appetite.
- Any other signs of acute pain or injury.
- Respiratory distress.
A veterinary surgeon should be consulted within 48 hours of the owner or person in charge becoming aware of the following conditions:
- Marked lameness that has not responded to normal first aid treatment.
- Injury that has not responded to normal first aid treatment.
- Signs suspicious of Strangles or other infectious disease, nasal discharge, raised temperature, enlarged lymph nodes or cough.
- Sustained loss of appetite.
- Persistent weight loss.
- Skin conditions that have not responded to treatment, including saddle sores and girth galls.
- Other sub-acute illness or injury.
Of course there are many other reasons why you will want to call your vet for assistance and you should feel free to do so. This list is a minimum indication of the attention that should be available to animals in distress.
- Advice published on horsehealthprogramme.co.uk