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.

Baby blues
Q: When I lost my mare I had to find a foster mum for her three-day-old foal. The foster mare brought mange to the yard and promptly infected all the other horses.

I'm finding it very difficult to treat this effectively and to add to my worries the foster mare is starting to loose her milk. Id also like to know whether there are any remedies available to help my foal deal with the stress of losing his foster mum when she eventually has to leave.

Q: Treatment for mange is often difficult , but I have had considerable success with herbal liquids containing cedar extracts and neem (an Asian and African Tree). Mite problems that I have treated with this formula clear up within a few days of application. Any products used need to be repeated every 10 days to tackle eggs that hatch out in the intervening period.

The formula can also be used to treat mite infestations in the feathering of heavy horses, and it is commonly used and as a fly repellent in the summer. For improving the milk production in mares I would advise that you try using fennel or fenugreek in the feed as both these plants help to increase milk production.

Many different calming formulas can be used for a stressed foal but the one I have used most successfully is a water-soluble sachet of herbal extracts. Again this is an Ayurvedic formula but any of the valerian-based formulas could also be tried.

If your question has not been covered adequately in the Vet Advice Topic Section, please feel free to start a thread in the Forum, and - time permitting - Stephen will endeavour to answer your question.