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Temperature ranges to monitor horse health ‘may be inaccurate’
The aim is to repeat the study on a number of other equine yards across the UK to review the overall normal range.
Study suggests traditional ranges may need reviewing

Temperature ranges that are traditionally used to monitor horse health may be inaccurate, new research suggests.

Rectal temperature is vital for monitoring equine wellness and allows for early detection of infections and assessment of disorders including colic.

Whilst books and other sources have provided ‘normal’ temperature ranges for many years, there has been no recent published work to determine whether these values are representative of healthy horses.

Researchers from Nottingham Trent University (NTU), working with the Royal Agricultural University, investigated the normal body temperature of 41 horses on the NTU yard, using more than 600 measurements.

Findings show that the upper limit of the ‘normal’ range published previously (38.5ºC), is typically 0.5ºC higher than the results from clinically normal horses in this study. Researchers found the normal temperature range for horses on this yard to be 36-38ºC.

The study, which has been published in the Journal of Equine Veterinary Science, suggests that the temperature ranges cited in textbooks may need reviewing and updating. The aim is to repeat the study on a number of other equine yards across the UK to review the overall normal range.

Lead author and veterinary surgeon Emily Hall said: "Due to factors such as antibiotic resistance, climate change, and ever-increasing movement of horses, it is increasingly important that early signs of ill-health or disease are picked up as early as possible.

“By establishing a reference range specific to the yard at NTU, we can now be more confident in identifying horses that are too hot, or too cold, and take appropriate action.”

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Public urged to provide homes for swifts

News Story 1
 The RSPB is calling on the public to help provide new homes for swifts, as figures show the birds' numbers have fallen to less than half what they were 20 years ago.

Swifts arrive in the UK late April-May and can spend up to three months in the country. The RSPB attributes the birds’ decline to modern buildings, which lack the nooks and crannies they need to build nests.

While some house builders have agreed to integrate swift homes into new buildings, the RSPB believes more can be done to help this incredible bird. 'Just, 1,000 additional new nest boxes could make a difference’, the charity said.  

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News Shorts
Detection time for omeprazole reduced to 48 hours in racehorses

The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) has announced that the detection time for omeprazole has been reduced from 72 hours to 48 hours. This is effective from 1 February 2019.

Omeprazole can be prescribed for the management of gastric ulcers in racehorses; however, studies have recently become available that show no direct effect of omeprazole on performance.

Tim Morris, the Authority’s Director of Equine Science and Welfare, commented: “Medication control in horse racing is essential to allow treatment for good welfare but also to ensure fair racing by medication withdrawal before racing. Trainers have asked for more information, especially on anti-ulcer medications, and we have used existing information to make a harmonised detection time for omeprazole available as soon as we could.”