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.

Ligament Damage
Q: My nine-year-old TBx mare has proximal suspensory desmitis (inflammation of the proximal suspensory ligament). As the prognoses was poor if left untreated, my mare underwent an operation, which was successful.

My vet has advised me to start riding again, but how much, and what type of work should I do with her? Also would boots or exercise bandages help when I ride and are there any supplements which will help?

A: Such cases of ligament damage are difficult to treat and it sounds as though you are doing very well. The best person to advise about exercise regimes is your vet, who has seen exactly how bad the damage is.

The objective is really to gradually increase the amount of exercise so there is no sudden shock to the legs, which may make the damage worse. The herbs I like to use for such situations are ginger and prickly ash bark. These increase the circulation to the damaged areas. MSM the sulphur supplement is also very useful. We use a specific formula which combines these ideas.

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