Saturday morning saw us up early and out to see to the horses before setting off for the carers exhibition at St. Mary’s Church in Alsager. Not that I am carer myself but I was anxious to see what was on offer for people who find themselves in that position. The good news is that there is alot of help available but the problem is communicating that fact to those who are actively caring.
The first group we met with were the lovely ladies of St. Luke’s Community Outreach team. Service manager Joyce Key explained that the Outreach team offer assistance to patients and their carers during serious illness and bereavement. They operate a Support Centre, staffed by volunteers, which is open for two days a week. Another important aspect of their work is operating the Community Volunteer Scheme which is ably coordinated by Kath Knight. The Community Volunteers are trained home visitors who help reduce isolation and relieve stress by offering practical support and companionship in the patient’s own home. Patients registered at Alsager Health Centre, Scholar Green or Rode Heath Surgeries may be referred or you can contact the service direct on 01606 555819.
The next group we chatted with were from Demenshare. This innovative group have developed a website for dementia sufferers and their carers which provides lots of information and a message board allowing people to get in touch with others in a similar situation. The project is supported by Cheshire East Council, Age UK Cheshire, Central and Eastern Cheshire PCT and Opportunity Links. Click onto Demenshare.com to access the service and share your experience.
Finally, we chatted with Lucia Scally from Cheshire East Healthwatch about their new service. Healthwatch will give information about health and social care services, listen to peoples views about those services and look at the way those services are provided in the future. Cheshire East Healthwatch are currently consulting residents for their views and have put together a questionnaire to aid them in directing services. If you live in the Cheshire East area and would like to contribute click on the link Healthwatch and complete the questionnaire.
An useful, informative and enjoyable morning all in all with some inspirational people with great innovative ideas! If you would like further information on any aspects of help available for carers and what we do to help here at Keen Pharmacy just click on the link to contact us.
Each year almost 1,900 people return to the UK with malaria following trips abroad. Malaria is avoidable, but it can ba fatal if left untreated. Just a single bite from an infected mosquito can cause malaria and you may not know immediately, it can take weeks or months to appear.
People often mistakenly believe that they are immune to malaria. They may have been a frequent visitor to a malaria hotspot and believe that they have developed immunity over the years. Exposue to malaria builds a limited degree of immunity but this begins to fade six months after leaving the malaria hotspot. Those who have moved away from their home in a malarious country have probably lost any immunity they had and must seek travel health advice before returning to visit friends and family or they run the risk of returning home with the disease.
Not taking antimalarials or not completing the course is another risk factor. In addition to taking antimalarials reducing your chances of being bitten is a prudent thing to do. Use mosquito nets and insect repellents too, keep arms and legs covered and avoid outdoor activities at dusk and dawn when mosquitos are at their most active.
Six to eight weeks before you travel make an appointment with your GP or have a discussion with your pharmacist to investigate what are the current vaccine and antimalarial recommendations – remember they change frequently so get up to date advice. Your GP may give you a private prescription for an antimalarial such as Malarone , Lariam or even Doxycycline. If time has run out and you still need to seek advice check out the current recommendations at www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk or the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s ‘Know Before You Go’ campaign at www.fco.gov.uk . If you find you need antimalarials and don’t have a prescription log on to www.keenpharmacy.co.uk and click on the online doctor banner. We work in conjunction with PharmaDoctor to provide great value private healthcare and you can obtain your antimalarial prescription through us.
To get full protection from your antimalarials you need to complete the course, so keep taking them when you get home as they have been prescribed.
Enjoy your holiday but be careful – it only takes one bite to come home with malaria.
Every horse owner knows how important it is to follow a worming programme, but understanding what wormer to give when can be confusing.
Wormers contain several active ingredients, so it’s usually better not to dose your horse unless he actually needs it. Develop an annual worming strategy, and pay particular attention to the danger periods.
Suggested Annual Worming Strategy – Spring
Spring can be a dangerous time of year, as worms that have been lying dormant over the winter are now coming alive. In spring, you need to take two forms of action:
- Deal with tapeworm. Consider worming for tapeworm if your horse is at high risk of infestation. Give a wormer containing praziquantel, such as Equest Pramox, Equimax or Eqvalan Duo. As an alternative to worming, you can have your horse blood tested by a vet. However, this is sometimes misleading, as horses can show a positive result up to six months after infestation. Tapeworms aren’t particularly resistant to wormers so are easy to control, but they won’t show up on a normal worm egg count. Your horse should have at least one dose of tapeworm-effective wormer a year.
- Do a worm egg count (see below). The technician will count the number of strongyle eggs present in the sample, which should be less than 200/gram per horse. No horse will ever be completely worm free, but a normal horse with a healthy immune system should be able to deal with a worm burden below of 200 eggs/g. If your horse’s test comes back with a higher reading, then administer a suitable wormer. Most wormers will tackle redworm, but check on the packet before administration. If you get a low test result, there’s no need to worm separately for redworm.
Worm Egg Counts (WEC)
Worm egg counts are carried out to test for the presence of redworms and are a good alternative to indiscriminate worming. Your vet can often carry out the test for a small charge; alternatively various suppliers offer a postal service. A worm egg count is normally more cost effective than buying wormers.
- Collect a small amount of fresh faeces which has been passed within 12 – 24 hours. If the sample isn’t fresh, the eggs will already have hatched out and won’t be visible.
- Send the sample to your tester immediately.
- At the lab, the sample is prepared with solution and placed under a microscope for the eggs to be counted manually. If your horse has a very high egg count, for example in the 1000s range, seek immediate advice from your vet, who’ll advise a specialist worming program. A horse with a low count need not be wormed for redworm.
- Do a WEC in early summer, around June. If you get a result of over 200 eggs per gram, worm accordingly, otherwise, wait until autumn.
This is the most dangerous season, when your horse is at the highest risk.
- Worm for tapeworm. All horses should be wormed for tapeworm at least annually, preferably in the autumn.
- All horses more than a year old should also be wormed with a larvaecidal wormer such as Equest
- Worm for redworm
You can combine all the above stages by using a ‘blanket’ wormer such as Equest Pramox or Eqvalan Duo, rather than giving three separate doses. This annual dose is particularly important if you have not yet wormed this year due to low WEC results.
Winter is the time of lowest exposure, as the worms start to regain their dormant state in cold weather. If you’ve previously had a high test result earlier in the year, it’s worth getting another WEC done in the winter to be on the safe side.
- Do not worm your horse indiscriminately, as you risk the worms developing a resistance to the wormer. Use a different wormer annually to help prevent this.
- For youngsters under a year old, consult your vet for a tailored worming programme
- Always wait for 8 – 12 weeks after a wormer has been given before doing your next WEC, as the residual effect of the wormer means that any worms should be dead anyway.
- Foals need a dedicated worming programme from 8 weeks of age
- Pregnant mares should be wormed 2 – 3 months prior to foaling
One tapeworm wormer, two egg counts with a low result and one blanket wormer per year will protect your horse.
By Sara Walker
It became apparent that the horse I had loaned, Del, had a problem with mites. It got so bad that he was constanly rubbing and scratching and developed sores on his back legs. A friend told me about Dectomax Injection. Dectomax conatins 1% Doramectin and is licenced for use on cattle to control parasites like roundworm or lungworm. Her vet recommended a course of injections for her cob to control the mite population and hence keep the irritation at bay.
I had a word with my vet and we agreed to give it a try. Del had a course of three injections spaced one week apart. I managed to take advantage of the ‘Free Call Out Friday’ offer that our local vet has in place and just paid for the injections. It was well worth it. My vet also told me to keep Del’s feathers clipped and to use LimePlus Equine Dip to control the mite population.
I have been delighted with results. The mite population seem to be under control. The sores have healed and the swelling that affected poor Del’s hind legs seems to have subsided (a reaction to the biting mites). Apart from using the LimePlus Equine Dip (rather malodourous) every ten days or so and keeping his feathers clipped all seems well.
If your horse suffers similarly, speak to your vet to see if they recommend a similar course of action. It worked for Del !
Welcome to the Keen Pharmacy blog. We’re an online, delivery-only pharmacy, providing a top-quality service directly to your home.
Shop with us online at www.keenpharmacy.co.uk for a wide range of products.
If you would like us to collect your NHS prescription and deliver it to you, take a look at our website www.keenpharmacy.co.uk and see which surgeries we cover. Alternatively, if you live some distance away send us your prescription and we will dispense and post it back out to you free of charge.
If you have a private prescription either from a doctor (for human medication) or from a vet (for animal medication) simply call us for a price and post your prescription to us.
If you would like a private prescription then use our online doctor consultation service, PharmaDoctor and have a precription sent to us and we will then post it out to you.