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Care of horses and ponies diagnosed with Cushings Disease, tail bandages and warnings about their use, first aid kit for horses and ponies, review of Horselog App...

First Aid Kit for Horses

  • Mobile phone (to call for help)
  • Antiseptic cream/wipes/Sudocreme
  • Bandages
  • Equiwrap/vet wrap/Animal Lintex
  • Dettol
  • Silver spray/Purple spray
  • Cotton wool
  • Ice pack
  • Miracle gel
  • Sterilised water
  • Hoof pick
  • Fly cream/spray
  • Duct tape
  • Penknife or scissors
  • Baling twine
  • Disposable nappy (makes good emergency dressing)

Contributors: Chloe Weiss, Michelle Stewart, Megan Rogers, Tat Tatty, Nicola Scripio, Chloe Anslow, Helena Long and Charity Online Shows.

Cushings Disease

Cushings Disease usually occurs in older equines as the result of a benign tumour of the pituitary gland. Symptoms include long, curly coat which often does not shed in Spring and Summer; sweating; increased thirst, weight loss and laminitis. Cushings is a serious condition and you should contact your vet if you suspect your horse might have it. There is no known cure.

Tips from owners who have had horses and ponies with Cushings

  • Talk to your vet. It is also polite to tell your vet if you intend to use alternative therapies.
  • Ask for advice from equine charities which are used to dealing with Cushings.
  • Clip as often as necessary to keep horse comfortable.
  • Treatments for Cushings can vary as some horses cope better than others. Some can be ridden and live a relatively ‘normal’ life.
  • Pergolide is a medication which can be prescribed in severe cases.
  • Stick to a low calorie diet, low in sugar but high in fibre as starving horses causes other problems.
  • Herbal mixes for Cushings are also recommended by owners, such as Hilton Herbs ‘Cush X’. One owner reported ponies improved on it, shed long hair and a shine returned to their coats.
  • Try worming with ‘Verm X’ chemical free pellets as they act as a liver tonic. www.verm-x.com. This wormer was also recommended by another owner for dogs, rabbits and hens.

Contributors: Mandy Hayes, Annie Worsley, Hayley Carter, Bettina Laity, Barb Mills, Megan Edwards and Nicky Hall.



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Tail bandage warning

I was at a competition and someone else tied my tail bandage. When we took my horse out of the box, he started kicking his belly and rolling (typical colic symptoms) and we were all very worried but luckily a friend came to the rescue and realised that his tail bandage had been done up too tight and cut off the blood circulation therefore giving him tummy ache! I just thought that I should tell you because hardly anyone there knew that this could happen and it could get some of you seriously worried! (Livie Bishop)

It can be very difficult to get tail bandages right so I assume this is why it has become so easy to have a tail guard. People forget as well that if it is cold in the morning and you bandage up the horse then it gets warm and you can get problems when they swell up. It's not a lot but enough to cause problems. Don't be afraid though it is better to lose the bandage than have the consequences, which can be horrific. I find the neoprene wrap guards very easy. You also have the sort that tie onto a roller. Though people still laugh at me, I wrap tails and legs still the old fashioned way for travelling and also esp for xc. Remember that if it's wrapped too tight you can end up with a hairless tail before you get to the ring. I saw this once and promptly bought a guard. (Annie Worsley)

Tail bandages need to be at the correct tension and it takes lots of practice. They are okay for short trips but you’re better off with a tail guard for long ones. (Samantha O'Connor)