Tower Equine

Veterinary Surgeons


Newsletter - Spring 2011

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Our free visit scheme introduced last Autumn has proved very successful. As a rough guide, Monday's free visit area is east of the A1, covering Grantham, Spalding, Stamford and Peterborough, whilst Thursday's area is west of the A1 and includes Oakham and Melton. We know that in the present tough economic climate owners have to keep their horse costs down and, while free visits do cost the practice money, they allow our vets to work more efficiently. Nor will you be paying higher charges elsewhere - we remain committed to providing veterinary treatment at a competitive price. As with all "free offers", there are conditions attached! Please remember that you have to book at least a couple of days in advance and that it is not possible to specify a particular time or vet.


April is here already and with it all the excitement and sleepless nights of the foaling season! If you are thinking of putting your mare in foal in 2011 we offer a comprehensive service with advice on all options from natural service right through to AI and Embryo Transfer. We are the region's busiest AI practice with over 80 mares inseminated last year with a pregnancy rate in excess of 80%. Much of this work is done at Brackenspa Stud, which in addition offers a high quality foaling scheme, broodmare and stallion livery and stallion semen collection on the dummy mare. For full details of Tower Equine's competitive range of stud packages please see the Fertility Services section of the website.


Free visits are not the only way to cut down on your vet bills. We are always happy for clients to bring their horses in to the clinic at either Grimsthorpe or Somerby for everything from lameness investigation to routine vaccination. If however you prefer the convenience of a home visit, our x-ray machine and scanners are fully portable, with digital technology meaning that the results can still be viewed instantly.


Unfortunately April doesn't just mean Spring grass and playful foals, it also means plenty of hobbling ponies as laminitis rears its ugly head. Correct management is key to prevention, and sadly too many horses and ponies are overweight. Sensible owners will already be preparing their starvation paddocks and dusting off their grazing muzzles, but there are other triggers for laminitis too. Equine Metabolic Syndrome can affect overweight younger animals whilst Cushings Disease is a common cause of laminitis for older horses and ponies. There are now accurate blood tests to help diagnose these conditions and a range of treatments are available. Don't wait until laminitis strikes - if you have a horse or pony at risk speak to one of our vets.


We are pleased to welcome Florus Oskham DVM, MRCVS who joined Tower Equine in March. Florus has worked extensively in equine practice in this country, Australia and New Zealand and has wide experience of all aspects of horse work including lameness investigation and stud work. He has four horses of his own so has plenty of first hand experience of the problems owners face! Florus will be based between Oakham and Melton and, as well as helping to run our branch clinic at Somerby, will be looking after Alice Brown's clients when she starts her maternity leave at the end of May. In the office, we are joined by Clair Shepherd whose banking experience will be invaluable in helping Claire Daly with the practice accounts.


Tower Equine has grown in size over the last year and we currently have four equine vets supported by a similar number of office and nursing staff. Each of our vets has at least six years of purely equine experience and this allows us to offer a full range of clinical services backed up by genuine expertise. Stud work is a particular strength but we deal with medical cases, lameness and we have a small surgical facility for some routine operations.

Despite growing however, we aim to retain our friendly and "hands-on" approach. Large practices often have a more impersonal service and constantly changing staff. Owners tel us they value being able to speak directly to a vet of their choice, and we are keen to maintain this level of service. We certainly aren't perfect however, and the unpredictable nature of vet work means calls do sometimes have to be delayed, but if this happens we will always do our utmost to let you know.


Missed vaccinations probably cause more grief than any other issue. An annual booster needs to be done within 365 days - this means on or before the same day as the previous year. We do send out reminders wherever possible, but these cannot be relied on and the ultimate responsibility has to rest with the owner.

May 2011 is National Vaccination Month and horses that have not been vaccinated before or are more than 3 months out of date may be eligible for a free 2nd vaccination when starting a new course. Please access for more details and to print off a voucher.

All horses being passported are now required by law to be microchipped at the same time. Within a few years, microchips will be the standard means of identification. We would encourage all owners whose horses are not microchipped to have this done at their next vaccination.