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  • PROVET HEALTHCARE INFORMATION - Splint Bones and Dew Claws
    leg the tarsus in the hind leg Below this joint were 5 long bones called the metacarpals in the front leg the metatarsals in the hind leg and each of these ended with a joint to a digit A digit a finger or toe would originally consist of up to 3 smaller bones called phalanges The end 3rd phalanx would grow a nail or claw Even ancestors of the modern horse originally had 5 toes but now horses and ponies have evolved to walk and run on one digit the middle or 3rd toe the equivalent of a humans middle finger Below the carpus confusingly now also called the knee joint in horses and below the tarsus there is a large bone which is the 3rd metacarpal or metatarsal bone also called the cannon bones These are some of the strongest bones in the skeleton and to the sides and slightly behind these are two shorter thin long bones which are the rudimentary remnants of the 2nd and 4th metacarpals or metatarsals which are known as the splint bones Modern day dogs have 4 toes on both the front and the hind legs Higher up on the inside of the forelimb adjacent to or below the carpal joint it is common to find remnants of the the first digits called dew claws Front dew claws are usually properly formed with joints and they are tucked in tight to the leg and do not cause the animal many problems However because the nails on the dew claws do not get worn down naturally during exercise they should be trimmed regularly and occasionally they can get caught when the animal exercises in which case the claw may break Hind leg double dew claws on a Pyrenean Mountain Dog Higher up on the

    Original URL path: http://www.provet.co.uk/Petfacts/healthtips/dewsplints.htm (2016-02-08)
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    the bacteria Signs Th e signs associated with strangles include Soft tissue swellings in the neck due to enlargement of the lymph nodes These can burst forming discharging abscesses Fever Nasal discharge initially serous but later mucopurulent Cough General depression Anorexia reluctant to swallow food due to pain Increased respiratory noise during breathing Some horses may not show signs and may be carriers of the disease Occasionally horses develop an allergic reaction to Streptolysin O a toxin produced by the bacteria S equi a condition called purpura haemorrhagica 1 2 months following strangles they develop Stiffness Muscle pain Reluctance to walk or move head Oedema fluid filling of the dependent parts of the body the legs and the underside of the chest abdomen and prepuce in males Weals small lumps over the body Haemorrhages of the visible mucous membranes eg eyes gums vulva prepuce Most horses will recover fully from strangles but death can occur usually as a result of complications Complications The bacteria can survive for long periods of time months in the environment and on objects such as buckets tack drinking troughs and so re infection is likely in stables Although the disease usually affects the upper respiratory system it can progress locally to involve the lungs pneumonia or guttural pouch Chronic recurrent cases and asymptomatic carriers often have infection localised in their guttural pouches In some cases the infection may spread via the lymphatic system to other parts of the body resulting in infection of lymph nodes in the gastrointestinal tract and even other organs including the brain When strangles proves fatal These complications are most likely to occur in young foals with immature immune systems or old debilitated horses Diagnosis Diagnosis can be made from the clinical signs and also from identifying the organism by microbiological

    Original URL path: http://www.provet.co.uk/health/diseases/strangles.htm (2016-02-08)
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    face Speaking personally I always feel uncomfortable travelling backwards and in some vehicles especially trains I can even feel nausea However studies in horses have confirmed that they suffer less travel related stress if they travel facing backwards that is facing away from the direction of travel Significant muscle activity is needed to maintain balance during travel in a moving vehicle and analysis of blood has demonstrated increased concentrations of

    Original URL path: http://www.provet.co.uk/Petfacts/healthtips/horsedirection.htm (2016-02-08)
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  • PROVET HEALTHCARE INFORMATION - Water Requirements of Horses and Ponies
    high protein rations increase water losses in urine Faeces diarrhoea greatly increases water losses by this route and can be life threatening particularly in young foals Sweat sweating is a major way that horses maintain body temperature during exercise In air expelled from the lungs these losses increase during exercise when breathing rate increases From the skin evaporation rate increases in high environmental temperatures Milk in lactating mares During lactation and strenuous exercise a horses water requirements can increase by anything from 20 to 300 Even during trotting a horse may lose over 9kg water and during endurance rides some horses can lose up to 10 of their body weight as water loss In man loss of only 2 body weight can adversely affect performance and water loss is an important component in equine exhaustion syndrome So maintenance of adequate water intake prior to and during endurance exercise is important Some foodstuffs such as hay high in fibre and pelleted foods will bind with water and keep it in the gastrointestinal tract Water intake increases and can even double in horses fed hay I t has been estimated that horses drink 2 3 litres of water kg dry matter of

    Original URL path: http://www.provet.co.uk/horsesponies/horseswater.htm (2016-02-08)
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    the same they work in different ways and some are more effective than others at destroying certain types of microorganism Some are effective against a large number of different organisms these are called broad spectrum antibiotics eg oxytetracycline whereas others are only effective against a few types of organism these are called narrow spectrum antibiotics eg penicillin Some antibiotics are better than others for treating infections in certain locations in the body For example antibiotics such as ampicillin that are excreted in high concentrations in the urine are best for the treatment of urinary tract infections To treat brain infections eg bacterial meningitis some antibiotics eg penicillin can not pass from the blood into the brain so one that can pass through this barrier eg oxytetracycline or chloramphenicol must be used Some antibiotics work by actually killing the microorganisms these are called bactericial and all antibiotics are bacteriostatic ie they stop bacterial cell growth and multiplication which allows the body s natural defense mechanisms immunity to destroy them All antibiotics licensed for use in animals have to undergo strict tests to prove their efficacy and safety However antibiotics will only work properly if they have been stored under the correct environmental conditions and if they are given to the patient by the correct route and at the correct dose rate Storage at extreme temperatures for example will prevent many antibiotics from working and the clinical effect may be inadequate if the owner does not comply with the dosage instructions in terms of the amount to give and the timing of doses Unfortunately many owners stop giving treatment as soon as an animal appears to be better but this is a mistake because certain types of organism in some locations of the body may require a much longer period of medication

    Original URL path: http://www.provet.co.uk/Petfacts/healthtips/antibioticspf.htm (2016-02-08)
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    can expect to see an increase in the occurrence of allergies the main reason for the prescribing of antihistamine drugs Histamine is a chemical that is released from immune cells called mast cells in the body following contact with a foreign substance that the animal has been in contact with before Histamine release is a normal process in the body s immune response and it forms an important part of an inflammatory reaction designed to destroy and remove any foreign material such as an infectious agent eg bacteria that gains access to the body However when excessive histamine release occurs as it does during an allergic reaction it can be a problem and lead to clinical signs such as asthma in cats and skin inflammation with rashes urticaria itching and scratching cats and dogs Antihistamine drugs work by blocking the receptors for histamine in the target organs such as the respiratory tract and skin Massive histamine release can be very serious and even life threatening because it causes an anaphylactic reaction in dogs this results in acute gastrointestinal signs and shock Allergies are more common in the summer months because many have seasonal causes eg pollen allergies flea allergies and

    Original URL path: http://www.provet.co.uk/Petfacts/healthtips/antihistamines.htm (2016-02-08)
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    the joint But this disease is not new fossil evidence tells us that serious joint disease has plagued living creatures for a very long time because it was present in reptiles as long ago as the Mezozoic period but why does it occur There are basically two types of arthritis Primary Deterioration of the cartilage occurs with advancing age Signs occur in older animals Secondary There is an insult on the joint of some type and clinical signs can occur at any age Local insult eg trauma or rupture of a ligament introduction of infection A generalised disease condition which involves the joints eg immune disorders such as SLE There can be both inflammatory and non inflammatory causes of arthritis Inflammatory causes Infections bacteria viruses fungi protozoa Non infectious causes Immunological causes rheumatoid arthritis SLE Non immunological causes bleeding into the joint Non inflammatory causes Trauma Abnormal biomechanics on the joint eg hip dysplasia ruptured ligaments Others eg neoplasia aseptic necrosis eg Legg Calve Perthes disease The signs of arthritis include Lameness Abnormal gait Stiffness for hours after exercise Inability to perform usual activities eg climbing stairs jumping up into the car General reluctance to exercise The joint may show swelling local pain and increased temperature to the touch If the joint is moved grating can sometimes be felt and sometimes there is a loud crack or click With advancing arthritis the range of movement in the joint is reduced The changes that occur within the joint can progress quite rapidly some of the changes being seen only 7 days after injury to a joint Evidence of arthritis can be seen after only 5 weeks on XRays This dog has severe hip dysplasia with secondary arthritic changes some of which are described below A Abnormal square shaped head to the femurs with a broader than normal neck The head ball is not lying properly in the acetabular fossa B There is a lot of new bone around the joints such as this osteophyte lying in front of the acetabulum C There is a loss of cartilage on the surface of the joint resulting in a loss or narrowing of apparent joint space between the head of the femur and the acetabulum D There is an increase in the radiodensity of the bone lying under the acetabulum articular surface This gives the bone a very white colour and is called sclerosis In addition the joint space darker line appears to be wider because the head of the femur is partially lifted out of the socket created by the acetabulum E New bone can be deposited all around the joint including along the neck of the femoral head There is no cure for arthritis although there are hopes for new treatments such as gene therapy Treatment is aimed at Reducing inflammation Removing pain Slowing progression of the disease Assisting repair of damaged tissues Maintain joint function Treatment usually involves the long term administration of drugs and in some cases surgery to correct

    Original URL path: http://www.provet.co.uk/Petfacts/healthtips/arthritis.htm (2016-02-08)
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    following surgical repair of an orthopaedic problem It is important that the external support is looked after properly otherwise Healing may be delayed Healing may not occur Blood supply to the leg can be cut off Owners should ensure the following The support is kept dry a plastic bag can be tied over the support to protect it when the animal goes outside The support is kept clean again a plastic bag is useful to protect it when the animal goes outside Exercise should be restricted to a cage run or lead walks until the injury has healed properly otherwise excess movement may delay healing The support should be protected from damage eg chewing by the animal an elizabethan collar may be needed for this The support should be checked 6 times a day every 4 hours to make sure that it has not loosened and slipped If the top of the support rubs on the skin talcum powder can be used to help prevent friction sores The following abnormal signs should be looked for and reported to your veterinarian immediately Swelling of the leg above the support Swelling of the toes Pinch the toes the animal should pull back

    Original URL path: http://www.provet.co.uk/Petfacts/healthtips/castssplints.htm (2016-02-08)
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web-archive-uk.com, 2016-10-22