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Equine Diseases

Equine Navel Ill


Navel Ill ,or omphalophlebitis - a collective name for any infection of the equine umbilical stump,  is a horrible equine disease causing a huge health risk to new born foals from birth to about four months old.  Navel ill, is caused by infections which travel up the umbilical stump and enter the bloodstream leading to equine septicaemia, (particularly in the joints where it then becomes knows as joint-ill, causing damage to the cartilidge and joints), liver, kidney and lung damage.
The danger time for development of equine navel ill is just after birth before the umbilical cord has dried. It is at this stage that bacteria can easily enter blood vessels and spread, causing mortal danger to the foal in the form of equine navel ill.
Navel ill is highly dangerous to foals whose immune systems are not strong enough to fight organisms not previously encountered.  It is vital to be vigilant in mare and foal management.  If your foal is born in a clean environment, it will not get equine navel ill.  The best place for a foal to be born and avoid the possibility of equine navel ill, is on a clean, grassy pasture uncontaminated by other horses. Failing that, good equine stable management is your best weapon in the war against equine navel ill.

Symptoms of equine Navel ill
A swollen, painful navel which does not dry
An abscess may develop from which pus may ooze
A high temperature

Causes of equine Navel ill
Lack of cleanliness during foaling causes equine navel ill. Simple.

Prevention of equine Navel Ill
Make sure your equine friend’s stall is clean fresh and disinfected before foaling.     Replace wet bedding with fresh, dry bedding to ensure the foal is not exposed to environmental bacteria causing navel ill. 
Ensure enough colostrum is taken in by the foal in the first few hours of nursing. Colostrum is the first line of defence against navel ill providing all necessary elements to fight equine navel ill.   If the foal is not up and nursing within three to six hours, call the vet otherwise the digestive tract is exposed to bacteria and equine navel ill.
Some owners like to dip their foal’s navel in a form of disinfectant.   Check this with your vet first as type of product and correct dilution ratios are very important. Chlorhexidine, seems to be the most highly respected solution.

Treatment of equine Navel Ill
Have the foal seen to by the vet immediately you suspect equine navel ill.  Treatment will involve large doses of powerful equine antibiotics.  Admission to a dedicated equine hospital is the best course of action. Treatment may be long-term and joint lavage may also be required.  You must move quickly to get treatment for equine navel ill.
CLEANLINESS – the terminator of equine navel ill.





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