We are a Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) approved equine hospital.
The summer heat can be really dangerous to horses especially when it is made worse by high humidity. Horses can become dehydrated, lethargic and generally reluctant to work. Severe heat stress can cause colic, diarrhoea or collapse, so it is important to keep your horse cool.
Young, old and ill horses are more vunerable and must be monitored carefully. Always think about the causes of over heating which include the obvious, such as very hot weather, but there are also other causes such as:-
Please call BELL on 01622 813 700 if you are at all worried or have any questions.
With the warm weather comes the joy of flies. Here are the worst offenders and some tips on how to make your horses happier in the summer:
Horse Flies emerge in June / July and are most active on warm, calm days especially around woodland. Favourite feeding sites include the horse's underside, legs, neck and withers. These flies will rarely venture into dark areas so stabling can offer some protection.
In general homemade repellents are of little benefit against horse flies as they are persistent creatures who will return even if you swat them away. We recommend insecticides known as synthetic pyrethroids - especially permethrin or cypermethrin (as found in Coopers Fly Repellent, Switch and Deosect) which offer the best solution and can be purchased at BELL or sourced from tack shops or on line as they are not a prescription medicine. With any fly repellent, always spot test on a small are first to check for sensitivity as these chemicals can upset some sensitive skinned animals.
Black flies are small in size (approximately 2mm-5mm) and breed in rapidly moving water. High-risk times are dawn and dusk during spring and early summer - stabling may well be a helpful solution to reduce exposure. These flies commonly feed around the face (particularly inside the ears), the neck and underside of the horse where they can trigger an allergic skin reaction to their saliva and distract the horse
Synthetic pyrethroid fly sprays can act as a deterrent although physical barriers such as fly masks with ears are the best prevention.
Midges (Culicoides) are 1mm-3mm long and hover in swarms at dawn and dusk. Eggs are laid in standing water so try to avoid stagnant areas. Sweet itch is when horses are allergic to these bites and have a hypersensitive reaction to them.
Preventative measures include: