There are many vaccinations available for horses, dependent on you and your horse’s requirement.

Equine Influenza

Influenza is a highly contagious viral respiratory disease causing a high temperature, harsh cough, anorexia, and often a slight nasal discharge. We recommend that any horses coming into contact with different horses are vaccinated against Influenza.

This is particularly important if you are on a busy livery yard, or attending shows. Many associations, from local riding clubs to affiliated bodies will check whether horses competing at their shows are up to date with their influenza vaccines and that they have been given at the correct time intervals. If they are not you are unlikely to be able to compete. The rules as to when these vaccines should be given are issued by the Jockey Club and other regulatory bodies and can be found on our vaccination fact sheet.

Tetanus Vaccination

Tetanus is caused by a bacterium Clostriduim tetanii which can be found in soil and droppings, and enters the body through wounds. Tetanus toxin attacks nerves controlling muscles of the body, causing progressively worsening muscular spasm and stiffness. Vaccination against tetanus is a basic minimum requirement for all equines against a usually fatal disease.

Dentistry

Regular dental care is widely recognised as being of great benefit in all ages and breeds of horse. Horses have continually erupting teeth which grow to replace the ongoing wear that occurs during normal grazing and chewing. The horse has two rows of teeth on the upper jaw which are wider apart than those on the bottom jaw. This means that many horses develop enamel points on the outer edges of the upper cheek teeth and the inner edges of the lower cheek teeth. These enamel points are sharp, and may cause ulcers and cuts in the cheek and tongue, resulting in pain and discomfort.

Dental problems can be prevented or treated easily in most cases, as long as they are identified early enough. An annual dental examination of the horse’s mouth, using a speculum (gag), is essential and this is a service we offer free of charge when combined with seeing your horse for their yearly booster vaccination. Some horses with known problems may need preventative treatments more often than this.

We perform a large amount of routine dentistry for our clients, the majority of this is done by hand rasping, however we have motorised tools should these be required.  We also regularly perform wolf tooth removal  and tooth extraction, and unlike equine dental technicians (EDT’s), Veterinary surgeons are able to use sedative drugs and analgesics. We can also perform dental surgery, molar extractions, sinus surgery and radiography (x ray) of the skull. We are fortunate at Westover Vets Ltd to have veterinary surgeons well trained and interested in equine dentistry. We travel long distances to see dental cases and also see many at the clinic where we have the advantage of stocks, nursing care and specialist equipment.This includes diastema flushing and packing equipment and a rigid endoscope, known as an oroscope to allow us to examine the inside of the horse’s mouth in great detail.