Newsletter – December 2017

Please click the link to view as a PDF: December 2017

Torch Equine Vets – Newsletter December 2017

We would like to wish all of our clients and patients a very Merry Christmas & Happy New Year. We have had our busiest year yet at Torch Equine Vets and would like to thank you for your continued support.

Vaccination Amnesty 2018

Our vaccination amnesty has been so successful in previous years, we are continuing to offer it as an annual event.  The next amnesty will run throughout January and February 2018 and is available to unvaccinated horses who are over 12 months of age, or those whose vaccination has lapsed by more than 3 months.

We will be offering the amnesty on  the combined Influenza/Tetanus vaccine as well as the Tetanus only, so you can decide which is most appropriate for your horse.

Q Why Vaccinate?

INFLUENZA is a highly infectious viral disease which affects the upper respiratory tract and lungs. It is widespread throughout the equine population and spread by direct horse-to-horse contact, via contaminated people, tack or feed and is airborne spreading up to 5km in favourable conditions.

Following a bout of flu horses will need complete rest for a prolonged period and they may develop secondary complications which require further rest and long term treatment.

TETANUS is an extremely unpleasant disease to witness and is usually fatal.  A horse does not need to leave home to be at risk of picking up tetanus.  A small puncture wound can be all that is required for the bacteria to enter.  In most cases the disease proves fatal, attempted treatment is likely to be intensive, prolonged and extremely costly.

Over the past couple of years we have seen an increased number of Equine Influenza cases being diagnosed in neighbouring counties. We strongly recommend that all passports are checked to ensure your horse’s vaccination status is current.

Amnesty offer:

Influenza & Tetanus combined:

£50.00 for 1st and 2nd injections*

Tetanus only:

£35.00 for 1st and 2nd injections


*The primary Influenza course requires a 3rd injection, approximately 6 months after the second. (This is not included in the offer.)

Please note—Visit fees apply, don’t forget to ask about our discounted Zone Visit fees.


Staff News

Welcome Charlotte and Mette!

In September Charlotte Southcott joined us as our new administrator.  She has settled in amazingly and is a valuable addition to our team.  Charlotte can be contacted at Mullacott Equine Hospital on 01271 879516 for any account queries or general enquiries.

Mette Bang Christensen joined us at the end of September as a welcome addition to our Veterinary team.  Mette holds the Certificate in Advanced Equine Practice (Equine Stud Medicine) and brings a wealth of equine reproductive experience to the South West.  Her travels over the past 10 years have taken her all over the world working for some of the most respected studs and equine hospitals.   Those who have met Mette over the past few weeks will have witnessed her professional, friendly and empathetic approach.

Congratulations Jo! We are delighted to pass on the news and congratulate our receptionist Jo Southcott and partner Lloyd on the safe arrival of their twin girls Hollie and Emily. Mum and babies are doing well!


Winter Worming  

After a mild and wet start to autumn we have now seen some good frosts on the ground.  As we are entering our cold winter months it is vital to consider our horse’s winter worm treatment.   We advise using a wormer containing Moxidectin. for all horses, ponies and donkeys, with the inclusion of cover for  tape worm . The  EquiSal™ saliva test is also available in case you wish to see whether your horse requires the tapeworm treatment by measuring tapeworm burden.

The relevance of giving a treatment at this time of year is to target the encysted stage of the small red worm larvae (Cyathostome) in the gut. This larval stage goes into a state of hibernation over the winter, then can undergo a mass emergence in the spring to carry on and complete their life cycle.  This mass emergence can cause devastating and often fatal disease.  The reason that we cover all equines against this parasite is because the encysted larval stage is not detectable by worm egg count, and so treatment is given on a ‘prevention is better than cure’ basis.


At Torch Equine Vets we are processing over 900 worm egg counts a year!  This is mostly through our Targeted Worming Programme, however individual samples are also welcome.

When planning a worming programme we treat each horse as an individual, considering age, environment and previous clinical history.  Special considerations are also made particularly for youngsters and mares in foal.  An example of a basic year’s worming programme that we recommend would be:


November/December Worm with a Moxidectin product (with/ without Praziquantal for tapeworm cover)
March/April Worm Egg Count (Only treating if roundworm burden is >200 eggs per gram)
June/July Worm Egg Count
September/October Worm Egg Count

Please get in touch if you would like advise on any aspect of worming, or if you are interested in our complete Targeted Worming Programme.


Welcome Back Martin

After 5 days laid-up following a total hip replacement in August I found myself chomping at the bit to get back to work and normality.

The fantastic medical team at Exeter had me up and about and heading home within 24hrs of surgery having  watched my own op live whilst under a spinal anaesthetic. That was quite an experience and very impressive surgery.

I quickly realized how much I miss the  horses that I treat and the daily contact with our fabulous staff and clients. It’s great to be back and the whole experience has reinforced how privileged I am to be an equine vet in such a great Practice surrounded by lovely people.


North Devon Schools Show Jumping League

We are pleased to be supporting the North Devon Schools Show Jumping League this season.

This newly established league is a friendly, local competition encouraging all pupils with ponies to take part.  Representing their respective schools, the results of individual pupils will be tallied across the league tables for the duration of the competition.  Open to all school children from Year 4 upwards, the monthly qualifiers for this unique event started in October, with the Championship taking place in July 2018.

We wish the best of luck to all competitors.

Newsletter – December 2017

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