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.

A Galling Problem
Q For a while now my 16hh 1DxTB mare has had a bit of a girth rub just behind each elbow. I use a leather girth.

I have been putting Green Oils healing gel on every day but, although it has helped, the areas are still bare.Recently a horsefly bit my mare right on top of one of these bare patches, causing a large selling. I stopped riding her for a week to allow the lump to go down but when I brought her back into work the skin came off, leaving a red, sore lump. How can I help this lump to heal? .

A.Such large bites can cause real problems, especially on the girth area, but natural creams are available that help heal and soothe sore spots. The main properties of these creams are that they provide some antiseptic action to stop any infection, along with a calming action that aids the natural healing process.

The most simple of plants in such creams is calendula (marigold) which combines well with nettle and St. John's wort. I like to use a more complicated and powerful formula which contains eucalyptus and cedar. You will have to stop riding your horse until the swelling completely goes down and, in future, whenever you get such a bite try putting some calendula tincture on it straight away, and the swelling should go down much more quickly.

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