Author: Kirstie Pickles

Dr Kirstie Pickles BVMS MSc PgCert(CounsSkills) PhD CertEM(IntMed) DipECEIM MRCVS RCVS RCVS and European Specialist in Equine Internal Medicine Kirstie is a European Specialist in equine medicine and has spent over 20 years working in private equine practice and academia in the UK, USA and New Zealand. She is currently a Clinical Associate Professor in Equine Medicine at Nottingham Veterinary School and is passionate about education at all levels, whether that is horse owners, vet students or practising veterinary surgeons.

‘Equine liver disease’ – a webinar covering signs of liver disease, causes of liver disease and how to manage and treat common causes. The liver plays a vital role in the body and is one of the most active organs. The majority of nutrients are absorbed from the intestines and then processed in the liver. The liver is responsible for the regulation of these nutrients to ensure the body has enough protein, carbohydrates and fats. For example, the liver is responsible for manufacturing many of the proteins essential for life. Other functions of the liver include removing toxins from the…

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Key Points Ragwort is poisonous to the liver and causes irreversible damage.The main threat of ragwort is when it is eaten in hay.Clinical signs of ragwort poisoning are usually not seen until severe damage has already been caused. Many horse owners will have invested hours pulling up this yellow daisy-like plant. Ragwort, also known as Senecio jacobea, contains pyrrolizidine alkaloid toxins which damage the liver irreversibly. Over time (usually many months) this causes a reduction in the amount of functional liver. Signs of liver disease are very vague and by the time clinical signs are recognised, unfortunately, in many cases disease is too…

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Dr Kirstie Pickles discusses and answers questions on the topic of Vaccinations.

Answering questions such as;
Q. Can vaccines cause issues for a horse that suffers with allergies if they are given at the time of year?
Q. Are we over-vaccinating? And are annual boosters really necessary?
Q. Are annual boosters buying in an older retired horse?

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This article is a follow on article to the large Equine Gastric Ulcer Syndrome (EGUS) we hold on the website. This article will discuss the various treatments offered by professionals and vets. Please ensure you read the main EGUS article here please follow the link. Treatment for Equine Squamous Gastric Disease (ESGD) As ESGD is caused by acid splashing onto the squamous mucosa, ESGD is very effectively treated by switching off acid production. Omeprazole is a proton pump inhibitor (often termed a ‘PPI’) available as a licensed oral paste or granules which switches off acid production. Unfortunately, feed lowers the…

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Sarcoids are the most common skin tumour of horses, accounting for 40% of all equine cancers. They affect breeds of all ages and both sexes. Most skin lumps in horses that are non-painful and non-itchy are sarcoids. Sarcoids do not usually self-curing and affected horses often develop multiple sarcoids at once. Sarcoids are skin tumours. They are persistent and progressive skin lumps that occur mainly around the head, in the axilla, and the groin area, as well as developing in wounds where they can be confused with ‘proud flesh’. Sarcoids:- What are sarcoids and do they cause a problem- Types…

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This article reviews stomach ulcers in the horse, their diagnosis, and treatment options. Briefly, horses can get two different types of stomach ulcers which are defined by whether they occur in the top or bottom part of the stomach. Equine gastric ulcer syndrome (EGUS) is a general term describing equine stomach ulcer disease. The syndrome is still not fully understood and is an area of active research interest by equine scientists. Anatomy The stomach of the horse is small, holding only 8-12 L depending on the size of the horse. The inside of the stomach is covered by two different…

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All the latest research and information about Strangles. A truly nasty disease that strikes fear into every horse owner. Dr. Kirstie Pickles will help us to understand Strangles better and discuss what we can do to protect our horses from it.

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Equine First Aid by Dr. Kirstie Pickles. An Overview: 1. Wounds 2. Haemorrhage 3. Non-weight bearing lameness 4. Colic 5. First aid kit 6. Q&A Please be warned – Due to the nature of the topic please be warned that anyone who is worried or upset by graphic images or has very young children present that there are images of wounds, blood, and graphic scenes to animals in this webinar. This webinar was first presented on 7 January 2021. WATCH THE VIDEO BELOW

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Worm control in foals and yearlings Worming your young horse is very important to avoid a worm burden. In this article, Dr Kirstie Pickles discusses worming foals from two months old to yearlings in more detail to support owners of young horses with the first year of worming. If you have any questions about worming please drop us a line in the private Facebook Group. Overview Young foals less than two months of age are primarily exposed to Strongyloides westeri (threadworm) and Parascaris worms (roundworm). The main worm of concern in foals between two months and weaning is Parascaris. Following…

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Avoiding spring laminitis Ninety per cent of laminitis is caused by the underlying metabolic conditions equine metabolic syndrome (EMS) and Cushing’s disease (pars pituitary intermedia dysfunction, PPID). If your pony/horse is at risk of these diseases, you must start thinking about laminitis as soon as spring grass growth occurs. All native breeds and many cob types have some degree of insulin resistance which predisposes them to EMS. PPID is common in older horses with 20% of horses over 16 years of age having a positive blood test for this disease. Testing older horses for PPID and susceptible (overweight and/or cresty…

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