By Horse & Hound

Blue Cross and the British Equine Veterinary Association is set to conduct the annual National Equine Health Survey (NEHS) next week.

The survey, which takes place from May 18-25, asks horse owners to provide information about common equine diseases to help in their identification and treatment. Equine and veterinary colleges and universities use the data as primary source material for research, training and education.

Last year’s survey showed an increase in laminitis compared with results from 2013.

In 2014, 7.1% of horses were affected with the crippling disease compared to 4.4% the previous year. Of these, 43% were recorded as first outbreaks, compared to 25% in 2013.

Lameness was identified as the most common syndrome for the second consecutive year.

Nearly one in five (18.5%) of horses were found to be suffering from lameness due to joint disease or other non-foot related problems.

Other notable highlights were the doubling of the number of overweight horses and ponies since the previous year.

“NEHS is helping us to steer awareness, education and research with the sole purpose of safeguarding the future healthcare of our horses. By giving five minutes of your time to complete the survey you can help make a lifetime of difference,” says Gemma Taylor, education officer at Blue Cross.

The NESA was first launched by The Blue Cross and BEVA in November 2010.

It is the only project of its kind enabling horse owners to give anonymous feedback about the health of their horses, ponies and donkeys.

British horse owners can take part in the survey by visiting or email to register.

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