***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

Oakham Veterinary Hospital Equine are one of 62 veterinary practices across the UK who have become Vet REACT Colic Champions, in a new scheme coordinated by The British Horse Society and The School of Veterinary Medicine and Science, University of Nottingham. Here at OVH Equine, we will be working closely with both organisations over the next year to share information and advice from the REACT colic campaign on how to recognise and react to signs of colic as quickly as possible to give your horse the best chance of recovering.

Colic is the most common veterinary emergency in the horse. Most cases are mild and can be resolved with simple treatment, but a small percentage are critical or life-threatening. These critical cases will need rapid decision-making by both the vet and owner.

The REACT colic campaign includes a poster of the most common signs of colic, and ten fact sheets on colic ‘essentials’:

1. What is colic?

2. Recognising signs of colic

3. Reducing the risk of colic

4. Emergency decision-making

5. How to take a horse’s temperature, pulse and breathing rate

6. Waiting for the vet to arrive

7. The vet’s examination of the horse

8. Rectal examination

9. Nasogastric intubation

10. What happens at referral?

Over the next year, we will be holding two talks on the key REACT messages, and also sharing information through our website and Facebook page. The free REACT packs and guides will be available in our reception areas and also available at our client evenings, so please drop in and pick up some copies.

 The Nottingham colic project started in 2012, to generate evidence to build the REACT campaign. OVH Equine were involved from the start. Our practice contributed to a large study that generated new information on how often different types of colic occur, and how to recognise critical cases early. We are delighted to be continuing our involvement, and to be part of this new initiative to spread the REACT colic messages.

The REACT campaign provides essential information to help you understand the different causes of colic, how to recognise colic early, and how to plan ahead to make sure you give your horse the best chance of recovering. We look forward to sharing this information with you and making sure you are prepared. 

The final phase of our equine hospital redevelopment is well and truly underway.  The steels are up on the extension which will house our CT scanning room and the internal refit of our surgical areas is in progress.  

The initial expansion started last year with the completion of a purpose-built stud barn offering specialised mare and foal stabling with a self-contained stallion block, teasing room, lab facilities and semen storage area.  This meant we could use existing stabling for the creation of a residential area for the Nottingham Vet School students who are on rotation with us.  It also allowed us to redevelop the first barn into three brand new consult rooms, equine client waiting area, scanning room and x-ray suite complete with a new gantry x-ray which provides better image quality and accessibility.

We hope that Spring 2019 will see the completion of our CT suite, which will be used by both the equine and small animal departments and is a new service that the Partners are very excited to offer.

Thank you to all of our clients for bearing with us through the disruption and inconvenience that the building work has at times caused.  We are finally seeing the benefits from the updated outpatient facilities and will continue to do so over the next few months.

From October 2020 it will be compulsory for all horses, ponies and donkeys in the UK to be microchipped, have a valid passport and be registered on the Central Equine Database.

This extends current legislation which already denotes that any equine born since July 2009 should have an ID chip.  Those older horses now falling into the new legislation will have a two year grace period after which the law can be enforced with a £200 on the spot fine.  This extra time will hopefully allow horse owners to combine microchipping with a routine visit to, or from, their vet, thus minimising the cost.

The aim of the legislation is to prevent abuse and improve welfare across the equine population in this country.  It will be easier to reunite lost or stolen horses with their owners and will provide a completely accurate way of identifying any horse or pony.

We provide a full ID chip and passport service which can be done in the hospital or at your yard, please phone our equine office on 01572 722647 for more information. To find out more about the legislation and its aims please click here.

 

On Wednesday 29th August 2018 OVH Equine held our annual referring vets CPD day at The George Hotel and Business Centre in Stamford.

Nineteen delegates enjoyed a day of talks covering surgery, imaging and medicine.  This was followed by a trip up to Burghley Horse Trials to watch the first horse inspection.  Many thanks to all those that attended, we hope to see you again next year!