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.

Q. My Arab mare, who is in her late teens, has been diagnosed with Lyme disease. What is this and are there any complementary treatments?

A. Lyme disease is a condition caused by infection with a bacteria-like organism called Borrelia burgdorferi. The disease is carried by ticks and mostly affects people and dogs. Horses are rarely affected and so must be quite resistant to the organism. If your horse is affected, it is likely that her immune system is quite weak. Signs of the disease might include general weakness, a temperature and stiffness or lameness. Treatment of this condition is usually carried out by a vet, using the right kind or antibiotics as quickly as possible. I would also recommend that you use an immune-boosting herbal formula to try to improve the action of the antibiotics and strengthen your horse's overall recovery. A good quality Echinacea-based product will help considerably.

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