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The horse in winter...

The horse in winter...

During the winter your horse may be subject to various inconveniences, frog rot, mud fever or respiratory problems, you will find all the necessary information to fight against these issues.


Fork rot.
This is a very common condition, especially in winter, when horses live in boxes.
The droppings and urine soften the horn of the frog, which will crack and become infected (by anaerobic bacteria = in the absence of oxygen).
The fork is then oozing, soft and deformed, a dirty and foul-smelling liquid escapes in the most serious cases. The horse's gaits are affected, the animal is reluctant to move or limps, the limbs are engorged. The condition is caused by poor hoof maintenance, dirty and damp litter, an accumulation of impurities in the lateral gaps, or a lack of exercise. Indeed, a lack of movement slows down blood circulation. On the other hand, walking exerts pressure on the hoof with each step which allows dirt to be evacuated. All this is lacking in the horse that lives in a box.
Horses with tight hooves and deep gaps are more quickly exposed.
The condition is treatable provided you respect the following “rules”:
*the horse must have dry and clean bedding;
*you must clean and cure your feet daily;
*you must take the horse out as much as possible;
*the marshal must remove the affected horn;
*clogs must be cleaned with a disinfectant such as Equi'soin Fourchette ;
*if you want to use a tar (from Norway) do it after trimming the marshal. The tar closes the gaps and if bacteria remains, we create an ideal climate for them to continue to develop.


Mud itch = cracks :
The name scabies is incorrect because it is not a true scabies. (Scabies being a disease caused by mites).
This is a bacterial inflammation in the pastern fold, caused by:
*the presence of mud, humidity but also dust during periods of drought;
*a dirty box (presence of ammonia) and “overcrowded” meadows overloaded with droppings;
*a lack of exercise (slowed blood circulation in the limbs);
*hypersensitivity to the sun, to certain nutrients such as clover, alfalfa, molasses;
*irritation due to mowing;
*small wounds, caused for example by bells;
*a drop in resistance, including liver problems, unbalanced intestinal flora, stress etc., will contribute to the problem;
*horses with depigmented extremities and those with a dense and long coat (Frisian, Shire) are particularly exposed.

Symptoms :
*wet skin will crack and become infected, the infection will be accompanied by swelling: the skin is swollen and red;
*a scaly, moist eczema then appears;
*then cracks are located in the fold of the pastern, often covered with scabs;
*the horse may present lameness.
If treatment is not undertaken quickly, the disease can spread to the entire limb and affect the flexors and/or the lymphatic system (lymphangitis).

How to treat?
*take the horse out of the mud, into a dry and very clean box;
*you must wash the affected area with a disinfectant shampoo then dry, especially without rubbing. Never brush or scratch the lesions;
*the scabs are a barrier for ointments, if necessary, soften them overnight with vaseline, possibly under a bandage;
*cut excess hair;
*apply the ointment with gloves, make sure the jar remains clean, hygiene is very important!
*if the wounds are raw, apply Equi'baume Tea Tree directly . Keep in mind that an arena or arena with a sand floor will not help matters. Care should be taken to keep the horse's skin clean and dry. Support the general condition with Equi'drink Immunotonic .


The respiratory tracts:

A little anatomy...
The respiratory system begins with the nostrils: the inspired air is heated there, while the nasal mucosa forms a first barrier against air impurities.

In the rib cage, the trachea separates into two main bronchi which then branch into small bronchioles. Each bronchiole ends in an alveolus. Between the alveoli is a soft connective tissue, which contains many blood vessels, lymphatics and nerves. It is in the alveolus that the exchange takes place: the oxygen found in the lungs is absorbed into the bloodstream via the capillaries. The walls of the respiratory tract are, like the nasal cavity, covered with a mucous membrane which constitutes a barrier against dust grains. These pollutants, like dust, are captured by phlegm and transported by vibrating cilia to the throat.
Cough is most often triggered by an inflammatory reaction of the mucous membranes; it can be caused by a virus and/or bacteria, by fungus or by an excess of inhaled dust, causing allergies.

…and physiology
The final result of a horse's training depends above all on one important factor: the supply of oxygen to the tissues. Oxygen is essential for efficient energy production and therefore for muscle contractions. A lack of oxygen immediately causes a reduction in effort. It is especially sports horses that are exposed to a danger of infection: they are often - or always - in the stable, they travel a lot, and the coming and going of horses in the stables brings a great risk of contagion...
During inflammation, mucus secretions increase, they become more viscous and are no longer evacuated correctly. By increasing its respiratory activity, the horse will try to mobilize its mucus, which can cause tingling of the throat. Coughing is an elimination reflex; this must absolutely not be repressed, on the contrary. The question should be asked: 'what is the cause of the cough and what can we do about it?
A dry cough is painful, non-productive and serves no purpose. We must fight it as quickly as possible.
A wet, wet cough is productive and useful, it evacuates secretions from the bronchi. It is important not to suppress it, but rather to administer expectorants.

Infections :
Most often in cases of acute inflammation, we will be in the presence of viruses: we note a clear nasal discharge, cough, a fever which will persist for a few days and a drop in appetite. Generally, improvement is seen after 3 to 4 days.
The best known viruses are influenza and rhinopneumonia. Allow 3 to 4 weeks of rest after a viral infection. In the event of influenza, a longer convalescence will be expected, this very pathogenic virus can lead to damage to organs such as the heart. Hence the importance of rigorous vaccination.
Keep the horse in the pasture as much as possible; it needs plenty of clean air. Give him wet hay and no straw. Promote recovery by providing products that will thin bronchial secretions and increase the animal's resistance. A good combination combines Iodamine Equine with a mixture of plant substances such as Equi'drink Respiratoire or Equi'mélange Respiratoire .
A viral infection depresses immunity and alters the respiratory mucous membranes which predisposes to a secondary bacterial infection; the fever increases again, the horse seems even sicker, it loses its appetite, the cough becomes more severe. Marked dyspnea will be noted; It is urgent to consult the veterinarian to institute vigorous treatment in order to avoid chronic bronchitis.

Allergy :
If your horse is (hyper)sensitive to fungal elements present in hay or straw, it is better to leave him outside. If this is not possible, at least house him in a clean, dry and well-ventilated stable and spray his hay and straw with Equi'vap Respiratoire . The horse's hypersensitivity to dust is not necessarily constitutional; it can also come from prolonged exposure to ammonia vapors, polluted air, dust or be the result of an infection.
Horses also experience “hay fever” - hypersensitivity to pollen - we notice: nasal discharge, cough associated or not with incense.
Due to a hypersensitivity reaction, the small muscles surrounding the bronchioles can contract, so that the passage of air into the lungs is severely slowed. The exchange of respiratory gases having already been made more difficult due to the excess production of mucus, the horse is continually out of breath, he wheezes and has a wet, dull cough. Most often, inspiration accelerates, while expiration occurs in two stages (biphasic expiration).
A horse exhibiting these signs should be fed complete, concentrated forage or grass silage. He must be isolated during an acute illness because the simple act of moving hay or straw along his box can already trigger a reaction. You can help your horse by giving him plants and food supplements active on the fluidity of bronchial secretions, on the reduction of inflammation and capable of increasing the body's resistance ( Equi'drink Immunotonic ).
A horse suffering from hypersensitivity in the respiratory tract will never get rid of this condition, but you can avoid the worst through good hygiene, good nutrition and appropriate additives.
Recent research has shown that the allergic horse has a higher than normal need for antioxidants. For this, NAF has developed Respirator ***** , a product whose natural ingredients have been selected for their very powerful antioxidant properties.

1 comment

  • Claire d’Albis

    Hyper interessant… très explicite. Merci

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