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Dr Susanna Ballinger MRCVS
Shetland Pony enjoying lush, sugar-rich grazing. Laminitis risk.
The unusually mild and very wet winter has finally receded and with the arrival of warmth and sunshine, grass in paddocks is now growing rapidly. For horses and ponies the new growth is irresistible and they love the lush grazing. But, the plentiful availability of sugary grass is not suitable for all horses and ponies....
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Dig up ragwort rosettes before they develop into flowers
Later this summer we may expect to see the bright yellow flowers of the common ragwort (Senecio jacobaea) and, knowing how toxic it is to horses and ponies we will need to remove it from pasture. But waiting for ragwort to flower before getting rid of it is a mistake and it is much better...
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Quarantine measures and good biosecurity help limit the spread of Equine Herpes Virus
Worldwide, there are nine identified equine herpes viruses (EHV) with five strains causing disease in the UK horse population. The two most common types are EHV-1 which causes respiratory infection; abortion; neonatal death and neurological disease (Equine Herpes Myeloencephalopathy or EHM) and EHV-4 which usually only causes low grade respiratory infection but occasionally can cause...
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Dr Susanna Ballinger and Dr Eleanor Kigozi undertaking a gastroscopy
Ballinger Equine is holding an autumn gastroscopy clinic for horse and pony owners who wish to establish whether their animals are suffering with gastric ulceration. The clinic offers a special discounted rate to those participating. Winter is almost upon us, the mornings are already icy and pasture is deteriorating. Turnout typically diminishes with the winter...
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Horses and ponies are flight animals and naturally tend to run from fire
It is the time of year again when bonfires are set alight and pyrotechnics are launched into the night sky. Whilst many people enjoy organised displays and back garden sparklers accompanied by hotdogs, burgers and smoky corn-on-the-cob, our horses and ponies find the evening’s proceedings worrying and often terrifying. Horses and ponies run from fire...
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Sycamore seedlings cause Atypical Myopathy when ingested by horses.
Atypical myopathy (sycamore poisoning or seasonal pasture myopathy) is a disease caused by the ingestion of sycamore seeds (‘helicopters’), seedlings or leaves and is often fatal. During autumn the seeds fall onto pasture and the subsequent green seedlings appear in Spring. Sycamore poisoning can be fatal Hypoglycin A (HGA) toxin found within the seeds and...
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Cooling your horse in a heatwave.
We are experiencing record temperatures this summer. It is essential to know how to recognise the early signs of heat stroke or heat exhaustion in your horse or pony as, just like their human owners, horses are much healthier in cool shade than being out, unprotected in full sun. Taking care of horses in a...
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Equine Influenza vaccine
In February this year we reported on the confirmed outbreaks of equine influenza across Europe, and in particular an outbreak of equine influenza (EI) in Essex. We are now aware of new, current cases of EI in our practice area and wish to again alert horse-owners and yard managers of the disease and the risk...
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Ragwort must not be left to flourish in neighbouring fields
Most horse owners recognise the bright yellow flowers of the common ragwort (Senecio jacobaea) and know that it is toxic to horses and ponies. The weed is prolific and self-seeding so it is essential to remove all traces of it from pasture and neighbouring fields to help stop it spreading. Act before the flowers appear...
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Annual vaccinations Equine Influenza
To date in 2019 there have been several confirmed outbreaks of equine influenza across Europe. And as many horse and pony owners in our region will already be aware, there is currently an outbreak of equine influenza (EI) in Essex. Essex lies within our practice area and we want to raise awareness of the disease...
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