Premises - Frame Swift and Partners, The Veterinary Centre, Penrith
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Frame, Swift and Partners
The Veterinary Centre, Carleton, Penrith, Cumbria CA11 8TZ
T: 01768 862454
F: 01768 867163
Delivering excellence in veterinary care throughout Cumbria
Equine > Preventative Medicine
As with all species that our practice look after we a very keen to promote the prevention of disease in our equine patients - it's a cliché but prevention really is better than cure!

Accurate weight checks on the weight bridge Sam performs an extraction of an infected tooth The healthy specimen we aim to maintain! Vaccinations prior to foaling ensure good colostrum for new born foals!

Vaccinations - Horses are very susceptible to tetanus and sadly when they contract it they rarely respond to treatment. Vaccinations for tetanus are effective (and cheap). After the primary course, horses/ponies need a first yearly booster and then every two years after that. Influenza (or flu) is rarely seen these days thanks to vaccination. Flu booster vaccines need to be given at intervals of no greater than one year, or six monthly for horses competing under FEI rules.

Worming - There are so many wormers on the market now that trying to choose "the right one" can be quite daunting. Worming regimes need to be tailored for each horse depending on factors such as age, amount of grazing space, number of other horses sharing the field etc. The best method to determine whether your horse needs worming or not is to do a worm egg count on a droppings sample, or take a blood sample to check for evidence of tapeworms. This will quite often show that your horse does not need worming and therefore results in a saving for you. It also reduces the overuse of wormers, which can eventually lead to worm resistance to these drugs. Please give the surgery a ring for advice.

Dentistry - This is another area that has seen huge advances in knowledge over the last 10-15 years. Routine inspections and rasping are very important to allow your horse to eat comfortably and for the early detection of any oral problems. Yearly inspections at the same time as vaccinations are advised as a minimum.

Routine blood sampling - Most horses don't require routine blood screening, although it can be useful for disease monitoring or for health checks in more elderly patients. We generally use blood samples in cases where a horse is performing poorly or has some sign of disease. In some cases they can be useful to look for diseases that may be developing, for example checking for insulin resistance in overweight ponies or horses.

Weight - Far more horses and ponies are overweight than underweight. This can lead to a range of diseases. The weight of your animal can be estimated with a weigh tape but for accuracy to within 0.5kg the weigh bridge at the practice will weigh any horse up to 1.5 tons. If your horse is on a diet regime to reduce (or gain) weight, regular weight checks can be very encouraging to see that changes are being made, even if the outward appearance of your horse doesn't seem to have changed!