Fact Sheets

At Communities For Horses we believe that Education can make a massive difference to horses and their owners. We have some experts on out team who are happy to share their knowledge and expertise with you.

If you own or manage horses we encourage you to download and read our fact sheets and share them with others.

Equine Influenza

Equine influenza is a highly contagious viral respiratory disease which is spread via saliva and respiratory secretions from infected horses. In addition, a horse’s cough can spread the influenza virus more than 40 feet and it can be carried on equipment and people’s hands and clothes.

Fact sheet - Equine Influenza (pdf)

Strangles

Strangles is a bacterial respiratory infection caused by the bacterium Streptococcus equi (S. equi). It is one of the most contagious diseases of horses and can be transmitted via fomites as well as direct contact with infected horses. It can also remain in the environment on fences and gate posts for up to 3 days depending upon the temperature and humidity.

Fact sheet - Strangles (pdf)

Canker

Canker is a serious bacterial infection that affects the frog, bars and sole of the horse’s foot.

Fact sheet - Canker (pdf)

Complications of castration

You horse will need careful monitoring after castration. This useful fact sheet tells you everything you need to watch out for and what to do if you see problem.

Fact sheet - Castration Post Op Complications (pdf)

Equine intestinal parasites

Intestinal parasites can cause severe disease in horses and can even lead to the death if the burden is overwhelming. Therefore, it is essential all horse care providers understand about equine intestinal parasites and how to manage them appropriately.

Fact sheet - Equine Intestinal Parasites (pdf)

Feather mites & lice

The pesky parasites can make life miserable for your horse. Read our useful guide for help in identifying them and understanding how to treat them.

Factsheet - Feather Mites And Lice (pdf)

Mud fever

Mud fever is a common problem for horses over the winter. It is caused by the bacterium Dermatophilus congolensis which is the same bacterium responsible for causing rain scald. The bacterium is always present in the environment however prolonged wetting of the skin and hair enables the bacterium to invade into the skin and cause infection.

Fact sheet - Mud Fever (pdf)

Poisonous plants

Sadly, it is not uncommon for horses to ingest poisonous plants with fatal results or long-term negative impact on their health and wellbeing. Read our guide to the most common culprits. Remember, if you own or manage a horse then you are responsible for keeping it in a safe environment.

Fact sheet - Poisonous Plants (pdf)

Sweet itch

Sweet itch is one of the most common dermatological conditions seen in horses and can be difficult to control. It is caused by an allergic reaction to the saliva of biting Culicoides midges. The midges are found from March to October in the UK which is when most cases are seen and the midges are most active around dusk and dawn.

Fact sheet - Sweet Itch (pdf)

Thrush

Thrush can be a common occurrence during the winter season for both horses living out in muddy wet fields and for those standing in stables for long periods of time. This is because it is caused by a bacterium, Fusobacterium necrophorum, that thrives in conditions with low oxygen

Fact sheet - Thrush (pdf)

Gastric ulcers

To help understand why equine gastric ulcers develop first we need understand the physiology of the horse’s stomach. The horses stomach produces stomach acid 24 hours a day, unlike humans who only produce acid on demand. This is fine for a horse in its normal habitat where it will be grazing between 17-22 hours a day and therefore creating saliva to reduce the pH of the stomach acid. However, any activities that decrease the time spent chewing and producing saliva increase the stomach acid pH resulting in stomach ulcers and acid related pain, which can be seen as performance and behavioural issues. A horse’s stomach is lined by two different mucosal tissues; the top 1/3 is lined by squamous mucosa and the bottom 2/3 by glandular mucosa and both layers can ulcerate.

Factsheet - Gastric Ulcers (pdf)

Cellulitis

Cellulitis is caused by a bacterial infection occurring via a skin defect which can sometimes be very small and difficult to detect. Often horses get limb cellulitis from abrasions and wounds on their legs.

Factsheet - Cellulitis (pdf)