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Over the past five years, vet Stephen Ashdown has written many articles, spoken on equine matters and contributed widely to horse magazines.

Here he reproduces in the form of questions and answers about 100 topics, all of them common problems which afflict horses.

To access Topics click on Vet Advice Menu.

Boost for an anaemic horse
Q.Earlier this year my 25 yar old mare lost a huge amount of weight and body condition - so much so that I thought she would be put down. Veterinary tests showed she was anaemic and could have a worm infestation, even though she's wormed regularly.

She was put on a five day worming course and given a supplement. She's much happier in herself, but has not put on any weight. Can you give me any advice?

A. Your horse's anaemia and weight loss could be caused by worms, but they are not necessarily the main problem. Other causes of anaemia and weight loss are long lasting (chronic) infections, weakness in the immune system, tumours, liver or kidney damage, or specific diseases such as equine infectious anaemia.

It helps to remember that, when an infection has been around for a long time, there are conflicting effects. The low iron levels in the body make the horse anaemic, but also slow the rate of growth of bacteria. So as well as addressing the anaemia issue, you should try and build up the immune and digestive systems. Try one of the immune boosting dietary supplements on the market and add fenugreek and a good multi-mineral formula.

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