What are the issues involved in who performs the equine dental; the technician or the vet? where can training for equine dentistry be obtained? why is the aging of a horse by its teeth an inexact science… but what are the key things to look for when aging the horse by its teeth? Colic Abdominal pain=colic. Colic is often, but not always, associated with the GI tract.
Gastrointestinal causes are numerous as noted in readings.
It can occur at any age.
Some conditions are more likely at certain ages, eg Foals – may be retained meconium, atresia coli or uroperitoneum. Older foals – ascarid impaction, intussussception, volvulus, enteritis, foreign body; Middle aged horses – caecal impaction or twisted colon; Old horses – pedunculated lipoma or mesocolic rupture. Mares – twisted colon, ruptured caecum, ruptured uterus, post-foaling haemorrhage. History taking for suspected colic cases Horses are often very valuable animals and their owners will be concerned and demanding if the horse is in pain and they know that the situation may be life-threatening.
It is vital to collect a detailed history.
The following details may be useful Duration of signs, Nature of the pain, Frequency and duration of the episodes Appetite, Faeces – nature, quality and when was it last passed.
Urination – how much, how often, nature, and any difficulty, Parasite control – products used, how much and when, Previous medical history, Fitness status, When last exercised, How housed. Protocol options Speak to the vet, if possible, to decide on the level of urgency in order to either Divert the vet immediately from another, less urgent call Instruct owner to bring the case in to the clinic immediately Refer the case to a specialist equine centre, or seek their advice Advise the owner to contact a neighbouring practice — Oxygen – check lines, nasal catheter, check lines Body position – sternal, body position change regularly, physiotherapy Bedding – foals and dams, foals alone Umbilicus – treat with iodine and inspect daily Eyes – ulcers/artificial tears Rest Common diseases of foals 1.
Meconium Impaction Meconium is the first faeces passed, and is usually seen within 3 hours of birth.
It is made up of digested amniotic fluid, glandular secretions, mucous bile and epithelial cells.
It is dark green-brown in colour, and usually tarry in consistency, and is all passed within the first 4 to 96 hours of life.
Sometimes hard meconium pellets may impact in the colon or rectum, more commonly in males. Clinical Signs: Straining to defecate and urinate, Abdominal pain., Reluctance to suck Diagnosis – is usually made by inserting a well-lubricated finger into the rectum.
Should be suspicious if there is no passage of lighter coloured faeces within 36 hours and the animal is painful.
Can use x-rays and barium enemas as well. Treatment is aimed at softening the impacted meconium, either orally or by enema.
If an enema is to be given a tube is placed gently in the rectum and no more than 500 mls of solution given slowly (gravity flow is best). Prognosis – High meconium retention’s often require mineral oil orally, IV fluids and pain relief.
A small number of cases require surgery. 2.
Patent Urachus The urachus is the normal communication pathway between the foetal bladder and the allantois during pregnancy.
At the time of foaling the umbilical cord ruptures and the urachus may stay open, or it may re-open several days later. Clinical Signs Dampness of the umbilical area.
May dribble urine from the umbilical area.
Foal usually clinically normal unless infection develops. Treatment is usually antibiotics and regular cleaning of the area.
Cauterisation of the area may be useful.
Surgery is reserved for non-responsive cases. 3.
Neonatal Isoerythrolysis An immune mediated haemolytic disorder of foals due to the absorption of colostral immunoglobulins, which contain antiRBC antibodies against RBC from the stallion.
Most commonly seen in Aa or Qa negative mares due to sensitisation of the blood group during pregnancy of blood transfusion. Clinical signs – Foal will be normal at birth then develop signs after ingestion of colostrum.
Signs include anaemia, jaundice, depression and death.
If severe signs within 12 hours, milder forms 2-3 days — Joint Ill and septicaemia Pneumonia Contracted tendons Angular Limb Deformities Foal heat diarrhoea Alimentary diseases of the foal What is a retained meconium? One sentence for signs treatment and prognosis. What are 5 broad categories for causes of diarrhoea? One or two sentences of most important examples. Orphan foal rearing Give 3 rearing methods If you decide to bottle feed what would you feed how often and at what rate for a 70kg foal?
Read more about Meconium : Some conditions are more likely at certain ages eg Foals….: