Through membership of XLVets Equine, the practice is able to offer our clients access to XLVets’ database of equine speciﬁc factsheets. Below, you will ﬁnd their complete list of factsheets ordered in alpahabetical order with PDF downloads available for all.
Ultrasound is a non-invasive diagnostic technique that uses high frequency sound waves to image soft tissue structures in the body. The sound waves are translated into a black and white picture. With this technique it is therefore possible from the outside to investigate several disease processes in organs that are in the belly and the chest of the horse. Evaluation usually includes assessment of the location and size of an organ and changes in its tissue structure. In addition, in several organs (e.g. heart and kidney) blood ﬂow can be visualised in a coloured picture using a technique called colour-Doppler ultrasound. Ultrasound can be used as an aid to pinpoint the location and depth of biopsy sites and needles.
Acorns are poisonous to horses. This is because they contain toxic substances called Gallic Acid and Tannic Acid. These acids can cause liver, kidney and intestinal damage to horses eating acorns, oak leaves or branches. Acorn poisoning is rare but can be a particular problem in the autumn for horses allowed to graze near oak trees.
Acupuncture involves the insertion of very narrow solid needles into the body with the purpose of modifying disease and providing pain relief. Acupuncture needles stimulate nerves in skin and muscle and increase the body’s release of natural painkillers – endorphins and serotonin. These chemicals act in the pain pathways of both the brain and spinal cord which can result in exceptional pain relief.
Horses’ eyes are easily damaged as their position on the head means they are at risk when the horse grazes near hedges or brushes past trees.
Horses are not usually aggressive; on the whole herds stay together because they form a hierarchy within the group, allowing them to get on well with each other. When a horse shows aggression, it is generally as a result of a perceived threat from either the environment in which it finds itself or in response to a noxious stimulus from within the animal itself, for example an animal in pain.
An allergic reaction is the excessive response of an individual’s immune system to something that would be relatively harmless to most animals of the same species. The ‘allergen’ is the substance causing the reaction. The most common example in horses in sweet itch, but allergies can also be caused by a number of other factors. Diagnosis of the cause can be difficult, making prevention tricky.