Leading international equine welfare organization the Brooke has captured 80 years of its veterinary expertise in a pioneering book out this month.

The Working Equid Veterinary Manual is the first of its kind in the veterinary industry. Hundreds of copies are being distributed to vets and para-vets around the world as a reference manual to aid the treatment of working equids. The majority of these animals are subjected to extreme climates and strenuous workloads with limited rest, water or food, making them vulnerable to disease and injury.

The manual offers practical advice on how to provide effective care for working horses, donkeys and mules. It includes case studies, over 200 photographs, and evidence-based information on the best, realistic treatment of the most common conditions seen in working equids, like colic and wounds. The management of infectious diseases such as glanders and epizootic lymphangitis are also described in detail as these ‘exotic’ conditions rarely feature in text books developed for veterinarians in the northern hemisphere.

Tamsin Hirson, the Brooke’s Senior Vet Advisor, explained why it was important for the Brooke to publish a manual of this kind:

“There are 100 million horses, donkeys and mules used by people in the developing world to support themselves and their families. They are vital to alleviate poverty, assure food security and encourage self-reliance. However, more than half of working equids will suffer from exhaustion, dehydration and malnutrition because of excessive workloads and limited health services. We wanted to combine our 80 years of veterinary experience in a book that can be used by people around the world to improve the welfare of working equids,” said Tamsin.

“The Brooke’s wealth of experience is captured in this unique manual, which we also hope will be used as a training aid. It will certainly be a vital resource for us as we move towards more sustainable solutions by training animal health practitioners and improving local systems to deliver high quality healthcare to working horses, donkeys and mules,“ she added.

The manual stresses the importance of equine welfare throughout the clinical decision-making process. The use of suitable evidence to support clinical decision-making is highlighted through the inclusion of research papers that are based on working equids, where available.

The Working Equid Veterinary Manual is available in English but has been written specifically for vets and para-vets in the developing world for whom English is a second language. The books have been shared with key teaching institutions, industry leaders and policy makers in the UK and in more than 25 countries around the world.

The Brooke reaches more than a million working horses, donkeys and mules each year across Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East.

The Working Equine Veterinary Manual is available to purchase on Amazon here.