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VETERINARY ADVICE

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.

Coffin Joint Changes
Q My TB x Irish Draught is 11 years old and has recently been diagnosed with arthritic changes in his coffin joint. He currently gets two sachets of bute a day which is keeping him sound at the moment but I'm worried about the long-term effects. I have considered using magnetic therapy boots to ease the situation - do you think they would help? A

Continuous use of strong chemicals like bute could make your horse's problem worse over time so you're right to want to avoid it. My normal approach in such situations is to use a joint lubricant along with a pain relief formula. Something to build up the strength of his bones would also be helpful.

Lameness Made Easy
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Companies such as Natural Animal Feeds (NAF) market good joint lubricants and, for pain relief, I usually use NatureBute from Global Herbs

To build gone strength you can use comfrey or Cissus quadrangularis products. I have seen some horses become completely sound after following such regimes but the exact approach depends on your horse's specific problem. If you're interested in the alternative route, you could ask your vet to liaise with a herbal company or homoeopathic vet. Magnetic therapy boots can help a great deal in such situations but they do not address the root of the problem which could be linked to mineral deficiency or trauma.

 

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