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Study highlights impact of COVID-19 on equine laminitis management
The study revealed that lockdown-associated factors had the potential to compromose the welfare of horses and ponies at risk of obesity and laminitis.

Researchers call for collaborative approach to new care guidelines.

A new study has highlighted the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the management of horses and ponies susceptible to obesity and laminitis.

The findings, published in the journal PLOS One, underscore the need for guidelines on the care of horses and ponies susceptible to these conditions, particularly during any future lockdowns. 

In the study, researchers set out to identify the challenges faced in implementing COVID-19-based guidance and ascertain the areas of decision making that could be improved in a future pandemic.

Lead author Ashley Ward, a PhD student at Scotand's Rural College (SRUC), said: “We discovered that lockdown-associated factors had the potential to compromise the welfare of horses and ponies at risk of obesity and laminitis. These included: disparate information and guidance, difficulties enacting public health measures in yard environments, and horses having reduced exercise during the pandemic.

“Our conclusion was that guidelines should be developed for the care of horses and ponies at risk through collaborative input from veterinary and welfare experts. This would help to reduce the negative impacts of future lockdown events in the UK.”

Scientists hope their findings will inform future discussions on public health measures that may impact equine welfare in the UK. The team recommends that policymakers should include an appreciation of the interaction between the time of year and equine welfare during any future lockdown events.

The research was conducted by Scotland’s Rural College in collaboration with the Waltham Science Institute.

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Prestigious veterinary awards open for nominations

News Story 1
 Nominations for the prestigious PetPlan Veterinary Awards 2022 are now open, with five accolades up for grabs including: Practice of the Year; Vet of the Year, Vet Nurse of the Year, Practice Manager of the Year and Practice Support Staff.

Anyone can nominate an outstanding veterinary professional or practice for an award, from colleagues to pet owners, friends and family. Nominations remain anonymous, and Petplan will send everyone who receives a nomination a certificate to display in their practice.

Nominations can be made at and remain open until Monday 10 January. 

Click here for more...
News Shorts
New online CPD otitis podcast created

A new 15 minute podcast on treating animals with otitis has been created by Dechra Veterinary Products. Featuring general practice vet Carolyn Kyte and veterinary dermatology specialist Natalie Barnard, the two vets will discuss their experiences treating otitis, and why owners are significant in successful treatment.

Dechra Brand Manager Carol Morgan commented: "What Carolyn and Natalie bring to the table with their new podcast for the Dechra Academy is a light and insightful discussion about communication and education being the keystone for better otitis outcomes and how vets can improve on their consultation skills to handle cases better."`

The podcast, called 'Think Differently about Otitis', is available to access for free on the Dechra Academy on-demand learning platform here.