Coronavirus – Clients please read and share

The team at the Sussex Equine Hospital are working hard to maintain a normal 24/7 service to our equine patients and all our clients.  The Covid – 19 virus is a rapidly developing situation, we must balance our patient care with keeping our staff fit and well.

At this time we will be providing a totally normal service out on the road with our ambulatory team of vets. The hospital will also be running as normal admitting both routine and emergency patients for our full range of procedures.

In order to keep our service operating as smoothly as possible we are instigating the following changes to our daily business:

Office staff:

Our offices will be staffed on site with a skeleton team.  However the remainder of the office team will be working from home.  We have an amazing telephone and IT system that allows our staff to function at home as though they are sitting at desks close to each other in the office.  From the outside you will not notice anything different.

Ambulatory and stud vet teams:

Our Ambulatory and stud vets will still be out on the road as normal. Appointments can be made via the normal Practice number (01903 883050). In order to reduce contact between the ambulatory vets and the hospital staff they are being asked to come into the hospital only to restock their cars and drop off lab samples.

Hospital team:

We will continue to provide the full range of diagnostic, surgical and treatment procedures; however we will be admitting and discharging all patients in the car park, clients will not be allowed into the reception or yard until further notice. Please remain by your lorry and wait for a staff member to assist you.  Our gates will be operating on an out of hours setting, please pull up to the gate and press CALL and the gate will be opened for you.


If you need to come to the hospital to collect a prescription, please call in advance to allow us to prepare you drugs for collection. As normal payment will be required at the time of ordering.

Your responsibility:

We request that clients update us on their own health status. If you are unwell, in particular with a cough or elevated temperature, please let us know in advance of your appointment.  Alternative arrangements will need to be made for the handling of your horses, to protect the health of our vets and nurses.

Our responsibility:

We are monitoring the Government guidelines and will respond accordingly.  Our new distancing procedures have been put in place to reduce the risk, not only to our staff but also to our clients.  Any members of staff that become unwell will be isolated appropriately.

We are grateful for our clients’ continued support and will endeavour to maintain the highest standard of care and service during these the virus outbreak. 

We take this opportunity to wish all our clients the best of health in these very challenging times.


Update –

Last week was a relatively quiet one with no new instances of neurological EHV-1 disease at Crofton Manor and still no evidence of cases elsewhere. Recommendations remain as previously stated. All horses at Crofton Manor are to be re-tested later in this coming week and we hope laboratory results will be available before the weekend. Depending on these results it is possible that restrictions could then be lifted although clearly this is not yet certain. For horses that visited Crofton between 20th December and 5th January, ideally they would have been isolated since being notified of the outbreak and have only resumed normal activities after clear laboratory tests, as previously outlined. However, we are aware that some horses may have still not been tested several weeks after possible exposure to the virus, it is recommended that these untested horses should only resume normal activity once the interval since possible exposure exceeds 4 weeks. Horses on yards with no contact with Crofton manor may continue as normal.

As many of our clients will be aware an outbreak of neurological equine herpes virus 1 (EHV-1) has been confirmed at a a large equestrian property in Hampshire, Crofton Manor. All current cases have been at this property but sadly 2 horses have already had to be euthanised from this serious disease.

The most recent information indicates that clinical signs first started around 1st January. Incubation of the virus can occur for around two weeks prior to signs occurring so the risk period extends back in to December. If your horses have been to the venue in the past few weeks then please contact your usual Sussex Equine Hospital Vet to discuss the best course of action. Vaccination for those that have been in contact is not currently recommended.

EHV-1 is a viral disease that is spread by respiratory secretions, in the air and direct contact. In the majority of outbreaks it causes a mild respiratory disease – nasal discharge, cough and fever from which horses quickly recover. However this strain of the virus leads to neurological disease which is characterised by incoordination of the legs, weakness, difficulty passing urine and can progress to recumbency. Unfortunately there is no cure for the disease and the treatment is supportive.

If you horse shows any of the signs mentioned above then please arrange for a vet to examine your horse.

Over the coming week as more horses are tested it will become clearer if the disease has been contained. Please be patient and understand any isolation or protocols put in place are for the safety of your horses and the wider equine community.

If you are at all concerned about your horse or would like some advice please contact the hospital on 01903 883050 or email you can also take a look at the HBLB Codes of Practice for further information –

New Study on hock wounds

Wounds to the point of the hock can be life-threatening to horses. These injuries can involve tendons and joints and ‘bursae’. These bursae are structures similar to tendon sheaths. When the bursa at the point of the hock gets distended, it is commonly referred to as capped-hock.

When wounds occur in the area, infection of the hock bursa and tendon can be life-threatening. A new retrospective study contributing several equine hospitals in the UK has shown good results with those horses that sustained wounds to the point of the hock, involving the hock bursa and treated with key-hole surgery. Our surgeon Luis M. Rubio-Martinez is the senior author of this study. In this link you can read the full paper on the study. Feel free to contact us for further information – 01903 883050

Hock Paper


Gastric ulcers are a common complaint affecting both pleasure, sports and race horses and ponies. Clinical signs can be very variable ranging from dislike of tightening the girth, teeth grinding, dull coat, lack of condition to poor performance and mild-moderate colic. The only way to definitively diagnose gastric ulcers is to pass a video endoscope into the stomach under-standing sedation. The procedure is tolerated very well and takes around 15-20 minutes. If you horse has ulcers then we can advise on the best treatment plans.

On 18th and 19th September 2020, we are running a gastroscopy clinic at Sussex Equine Hospital. For horses booked in on these days only gastroscopy will be half price costing £135 including VAT and routine sedation.

If ulcers are diagnosed treatment would incur additional costs.

To book your horse in please call the clinic on 01903 883050 spaces are limited and you must already be registered as a client of Sussex Equine Hospital.

Insurance Reminder

We would like to take this opportunity to remind our clients that we cannot send invoices to your insurance company automatically. Unfortunately, due to the high volume of claims we submit, we are unable to check records for unclaimed treatment.

We will include all visits billed on our system at the time of submitting your claim form. After this, we do request that you contact our office upon receipt of any further insurance related invoices.

Some Insurance policies do require a continuation form with each invoice submitted. In this instance, please send the claim form into us as soon as possible. If you are unsure, please check with your insurance company.

We recommend that you keep in contact with your insurance company on a regular basis, so you are aware of their progress with your claim. We are unable to chase them on your behalf; it must be the policy holder.

If you have any questions regarding your insurance claim, please do not hesitate to contact our accounts department on 01903 882 384.

Hot Weather

With the temperature increasing by the hour, our internal medicine specialist, Natasha Jocelyn MA, VetMB, MVetMed, Dip ECEIM, MRCVS, has shared the following top tips to help keep your horse cool:

* Turnout at night instead of the day
* Ensure your horse has a shady spot to stand in
* Free choice water ideally from a trough that refills automatically. Horses usually drink around 25L in 24 hours but in hot weather will drink more so have multiple buckets
* Exercise early in morning or late at night and wash off with plenty of cold water afterwards
* Apply sunscreen to pale coloured muzzles or ears
* If you need to travel your horse pick the cooler parts of the day and make sure your box is ventilated
* When arriving at shows unload promptly and offer water straight away