At Oakham Veterinary Hospital we are passionate about the promotion of preventative healthcare. Part of this is to make sure your horse’s vaccinations are kept up to date. Horses need to be vaccinated to prevent unnecessary suffering and to promote horse health. The consequences of lapsed vaccinations can be expensive and disruptive.

We have implemented strict protocols for clients bringing horses to the hospital for appointments. We ask that clients please observe the following for the safety of both yourselves and our staff.

1. Our reception team will complete a risk assessment for every hospital appointment. This process is vital to keep everyone safe and will take some extra time to complete so please bear with us.

2. All clients must REMAIN IN THE LORRY PARK. You will not be allowed into any hospital buildings at any time. On arrival please drop your ramp and wait for one our team to greet you. Our staff will discuss the most appropriate way to unload your horse and this must be done whilst observing social distancing.

3. Clients will be given gloves to complete paperwork.

4. Visiting is not allowed except where euthanasia is imminent. In these cases a clear plan will be given as to where the visitor should go and how social distancing will be maintained.

5. For discussing cases post examination/ treatment our vets will do this outside whenever possible, as evidence suggests this greatly reduces the risk of contracting Covid 19.

6. For image viewing we will use computer terminals/ mobile phone technology.

7. You will see our staff wearing gloves and /or masks.

8. Please help by observing signage and maintaining SOCIAL AND PHYSICAL DISTANCING AT ALL TIMES.

We thank you for your patience and understanding. Lets all ''Stay alert, keep our distance, wash our hands think of others and play our part''

We are in the midst of a global pandemic. The British governments position since the introduction of ‘lockdown’ has been very clear and has not changed at the 3-week review. ‘’Stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives”. At OVH Equine we have taken every measure we can to adhere to this advice, whilst maintaining our commitment to equine health and welfare. But we must respect that Covid 19 can infect anyone and every effort must be taken to limit the spread of the infection.

The RCVS, BVA and BEVA updated their position on Friday 10th April and vaccinations are now deemed acceptable in accordance with governing body rules. This means we are able to perform primary vaccination courses and booster vaccinations approaching the end of the vaccination window. We would ask all our clients to carefully consider the timing of their vaccinations. Could it wait another week or two and still fall within the vaccination window? By which time, hopefully we will be in a position where some social restrictions have been eased.

Six month boosters for competition horses or racehorses in training do not necessitate vaccinations at this time. The FEI and BHA rules are such that there is leeway in the vaccine requirements, provided they are vaccinated at least annually.

We will be following the social distancing rules that we have had in place for the last 3 weeks as closely as possible. The rules include:

​•​Our reception team will clarify your Covid 19 status before booking a visit by asking you a series of questions.

​•​Please ensure your horse is tied up ready for the vet. We will liaise by phone to let you know when we are a few minutes away.

​•​Passport must be ready near the horse

​•​If the client must be present there should be one person only and strictly no pets or children

​•​We will not arrange a visit until we can ensure the safety of all involved including vets, clients and members of the general public.

We are committed to providing our services in the most socially responsible way possible. This means we will always be mindful of the following:

​•​to balance the need to maintain animal health and welfare

​•​to work in ways that prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus

​•​to protect ourselves, our colleagues and our clients

​•​to protect the NHS

​•​to keep veterinary and allied businesses working and viable

We are respectful and enormously grateful for the work of all NHS and healthcare professionals and we will do everything we can to continue to follow the directions of the government in order to help control the spread of coronavirus.

We thank for your loyalty to the practice and for assisting us in following these rules.

In an update posted April 2, the British Horseracing Authority(BHA) and the British Equestrian Federation(BEF) have attempted to provide clarification on equine influenza vaccination requirements for horses racing under BHA rules and for horses competing under the BEFmember bodies (BSJA, BD and BE).

The move has been made in order to help riders, owners and vets tackle the significant logistical challenges caused by the coronavirus pandemic, and provide clarity for all.

Currently all competitive disciplines under the BEF umbrella operate a requirement for an annual booster every 12 months after an initial course of two injections and the first booster injection. This will remain the case throughout 2020, which means that any horse who goes beyond their annual renewal date will be required to start again. The initial vaccination intervals for primary and booster vaccinations will also remain in place as normal.

Those member bodies who have rules in place for six monthly booster injections before competing will look to implement a transition period to allow riders to bring vaccinations up to date, once the current suspension of activity is lifted. Each member body will outline their six month booster requirements individually ahead of competition restarting.

The BHA has moved to a 12 month booster vaccination requirement, from their policy of nine months, to cover horses racing in the United Kingdom for the remainder of 2020.

Like all equine vets, OVH Equine are under strict guidance to carry out emergency work only at present – and as booster vaccinations are classified as routine injections, they will not be carried out until further notice.

***OVH Equine Coronavirus policy as of March 17***

With government advice changing on an almost daily basis, OVH Equine would like to update our clients on our current policies regarding the coronavirus outbreak.

We are doing everything we can to limit the spread of the disease, but we do require your assistance and we ask that you read and adhere to the following guidelines.

1. When booking visits reception staff will ask some general questions about the client's Covid 19 status. Are you or any staff on your premises self-isolating? Do you have a persistent cough? Do you have a fever of above 37.8F ? Have you travelled to a high risk Country (as published on GOV.UK recently - in particular Italy, France, Switzerland, Spain. If the answer is YES to any of these questions then can someone else (of lower potential risk) present the animal(s) for examination? Someone who has answered YES to any of the above questions and cannot provide an alternative person to handle the animal will NOT be allowed to enter veterinary premises at this time.

2. We will ask the client to confirm immediately before the appointment their health status in relation to Covid-19 has not changed.

3. There will be no physical contact with clients i.e. hand shaking will be discontinued. We will wear disposable examination gloves at all times.

4. Any horse that requires involved procedures requiring more than a single vet will be asked to come in the hospital if it is fit to travel.

5. We will continue to run appointments at the hospital but we would prefer if your horse can be accompanied by only ONE person for the initial consult. If further evaluation/ diagnostics/ treatment is required we will ask you to leave your horse with us and wait in your horsebox/car. A nurse will return your horse to you upon completion of the appointment.

6. We have hand sanitiser available in reception and in our consult areas and we ask that you make use of this.

7. As recommended by WHO we would appreciate if you could pay with card rather than cash.

8. During your visit you may see staff members cleaning and disinfecting areas of the practice. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause but we believe these preventative measures will help to reduce the risk to both our clients and staff.

9. Please rest assured that we will continue to be open to emergencies AT ALL TIMES and we will deal with these in the same way as we do currently.

Eventing pre-season evaluations

Managing the modern day sport horse involves working in close conjunction with riders, owners, trainers and para-professionals to optimise fitness and performance to enable the horse to perform at a high level. Our vets understand the demands of competition and the desire to peak for specific events.

A pre-season check gives us an opportunity to discuss your horse and your plans for the season without the pressure of impending competitions. A thorough orthopaedic exam enables us to flag up any potential issues that may manifest as injuries later in the year. This will include flexion tests and lunging on a hard and soft surface. We can assess body condition, discuss fitness training and manage the timing of maintenance treatments. The aim of this is to optimise performance to peak for the most important events in your competition schedule whilst conforming to FEI clean sport regulations.

This exam will cost £50 (plus VAT), can be arranged with any of our vets and includes a written report. Any X-rays, scans or blood profile will be charged separately.

Postgraduate Certificate Studentships (Clinical Internship) in Equine Studies

The School of Veterinary Medicine and Science, University of Nottingham and Oakham Veterinary Hospital has developed an exciting 12 month postgraduate certificate (PG Cert) programme for early career veterinary surgeons interested in developing their clinical skills in equine studies combining clinical training with a formal qualification. Two scholarships are available beginning in September 2020 and February 2021. Both positions will be suitable for recent graduates or students currently in their final year.

The internships will be based at Oakham Veterinary Hospital, a clinical associate practice of the School of Veterinary Medicine and Science, where students have an opportunity to experience both first opinion and referral cases during their final year rotations. A team of nine practice veterinary surgeons is assisted by University staff specialising in equine medicine and equine surgery. The hospital provides a diverse case load to support clinical training supported by excellent clinical facilities. Clinical training will be provided in areas such as in-patient care, poor performance examination, diagnostic imaging and anaesthesia. The scholar will be expected to complement the teaching of University of Nottingham veterinary undergraduates.

Each position is offered for twelve months subject to satisfactory progress. Accommodation is provided consisting of a large two-bedroom flat situated on-site shared with the second intern, together with a generous stipend.

Eligibility Applicants from outside the UK/EU/EAA will not normally be considered. Applicants whose first language is not English must present evidence of having achieved an IELTS score of at least 7.5 (with a minimum of 7.0 in each component) alongside initial expression of interest. Graduates must have completed at least 26 weeks of clinical training outside their university. This may include clinical EMS, student externships or post graduate employment.

Application process

Further details can be found at https://www.oakhamvethospital.co.uk/equine-staff/equine-internship-program Expressions of interest comprising a CV and covering letter should be sent to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by 10th January 2020.

Applications must be made formally to the University here ...https://www.nottingham.ac.uk/pgstudy/how-to-apply/taught.aspx

An applicant's day, including an opportunity to meet with both university and practice partners will be held in mid-February.

Postgraduate Certificate Studentships (Clinical Internship) in Equine Studies

The School of Veterinary Medicine and Science, University of Nottingham and Oakham Veterinary Hospital has developed an exciting 12 month postgraduate certificate (PG Cert) programme for early career veterinary surgeons interested in developing their clinical skills in equine studies combining clinical training with a formal qualification. Two scholarships are available beginning in September 2020 and February 2021. Both positions will be suitable for recent graduates or students currently in their final year.

The internships will be based at Oakham Veterinary Hospital, a clinical associate practice of the School of Veterinary Medicine and Science, where students have an opportunity to experience both first opinion and referral cases during their final year rotations. A team of nine practice veterinary surgeons is assisted by University staff specialising in equine medicine and equine surgery. The hospital provides a diverse case load to support clinical training supported by excellent clinical facilities. Clinical training will be provided in areas such as in-patient care, poor performance examination, diagnostic imaging and anaesthesia. The scholar will be expected to complement the teaching of University of Nottingham veterinary undergraduates.

Each position is offered for twelve months subject to satisfactory progress. Accommodation is provided consisting of a large two-bedroom flat situated on-site shared with the second intern, together with a generous stipend.

Eligibility

Applicants from outside the UK/EU/EAA will not normally be considered. Applicants whose first language is not English must present evidence of having achieved an IELTS score of at least 7.5 (with a minimum of 7.0 in each component) alongside initial expression of interest. Graduates must have completed at least 26 weeks of clinical training outside their university. This may include clinical EMS, student externships or post graduate employment.

 Application process

Further details can be found at https://www.oakhamvethospital.co.uk/equine-staff/equine-internship-program

Expressions of interest comprising a CV and covering letter should be sent to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by 10th January 2020

An applicant's day, including an opportunity to meet with both university and practice partners will be held in mid-February. 

As many of you will be aware, outbreaks of equine influenza continue to be reported throughout the UK. The number of individual cases is still growing on a monthly basis and the total number of reported cases in 2019 is now over 200. The majority of cases have been in unvaccinated horses and the British Equestrian Federation (BEF) is calling on owners to maintain their vigilance and ensure vaccinations are up to date. In accordance with current guidance from the BEF and AHT, Oakham Veterinary Hospital Equine continue to strongly recommend booster vaccinations for any horses that have not been vaccinated in the last 6 months. For many of those who responded quickly to the initial outbreak in February 2019, now is the time for a booster.

It is thought that the continuing high number of positive diagnoses is due to the increased movement and mixing of horses that typically occurs during this time of year, with these horses then returning to their home yards and mixing with unvaccinated individuals.

At Oakham Veterinary Hospital Equine, we recognise that we have a large number of clients competing in many different disciplines and each governing body has different vaccination rules in place. In light of that, please find below a guide to each governing bodies current guidelines.

FEI – Horses must have been vaccinated within 6 months + 21 days of arriving at the event. Horses must not have been vaccinated within 7 days of arriving at an event venue.

British Eventing – Horses must have had a booster within 6 months of the event. Vaccinations must not have been given on the day of the event, but the day before is allowed.

British Dressage – Boosters no more than 1 year apart, no vaccine within 7 days of competing. Six monthly boosters are strongly recommended.

British Showjumping – Boosters must be no more than 1 year apart.

Pony Club – For all competitions at area level and above – Boosters must be no more than 1 year apart but 6 monthly boosters are recommended. Rallies/Camp/training – vaccination policy specific to venue.

Riding Club – Boosters no more than 1 year apart. Vaccinations are not permitted within 7 days prior to competition.

British Horseracing Authority – Horses must have been vaccinated within the last 8 months. There is currently a one month grace period but this will be removed as of January 1, 2020.

*** Please note, these guidelines are correct as of June 1, 2019 and are subject to change. Please check with your regulatory body before competition. ***

If you would like to make an appointment or book a visit for a 6 monthly booster, please contact our reception team.

Please see the attachments below for the latest ''mini articles'' from the REACT to colic campaign. There are a total of 9 articles, the first 3 of which are produced here and the rest will follow over the next two months.

Attachments:
Download this file (Article 1 'What is colic' FINAL.pdf)Article 1 'What is colic' FINAL.pdf[Article 1 - What is Colic]461 kB
Download this file (Article 2 'Types of colic' FINAL.pdf)Article 2 'Types of colic' FINAL.pdf[Article 2 - Types of Colic]468 kB
Download this file (Article 3 'Recognising colic' FINAL.pdf)Article 3 'Recognising colic' FINAL.pdf[Article 3 - Recognising Colic]1008 kB

Congratulations to Julia Dubuc who yesterday received news that she has passed her exams and is now a board certified surgeon with American College of Veterinary Surgeons. This means she is a recognised specialist in large animal surgery. A huge amount of hard work has gone into achieving this goal and our whole team are very proud of her accomplishment.

In accordance with current guidance from the AHT, Oakham Veterinary Hospital Equine are recommending booster vaccinations for any horses that have not been vaccinated in the last 6 months.

We strongly encourage owners to be extremely vigilant and aware of the clinical signs of flu which include harsh, dry coughing, nasal discharge, lethargy and an increase in temperature (>38.5°c). These clinical signs may be mild and not all horses will present with all of these. If you are concerned please isolate the horse immediately and contact us as soon as possible. We can visit the horse and take a swab and blood sample and send it for testing, free of laboratory charges, to the Animal Health Trust’s equine influenza surveillance scheme which is funded by the Horserace Betting Levy Board.

Equine flu is a highly contagious respiratory disease caused by the equine influenza virus. The virus is spread from horse to horse via respiratory droplets by direct contact as well as coughing and via indirect contact where appropriate biosecurity is not being followed. The virus relies on this transmission to new horses to survive and one of the most notable features of flu is the very quick spread of clinical signs in groups of horses and its ability to spread large distances in the air. We encourage owners to consider existing biosecurity arrangements in your yard. Horses that have been vaccinated recently should not be travelled/ compete for at least 7 days, as this is when your horses immunity is at its strongest. It is important to note that some vaccinated horses have still tested positive for flu but vaccinations ensure that the symptoms are mild. Our advice is that any horse that has a raised temperature (>38.5°c) has a at least a week’s rest for every day they have a temperature.

Please see the factsheet below for further details.

Attachments:
Download this file (What to do with equine flu.pdf)Equine Flu factsheet[ ]414 kB