Isle of Wight gets permanent horse vet

Florus Oskam with his own horse, Billy
Florus Oskam with his own horse, Billy.

Britain’s Isle of Wight now has its own permanent, full-time equine veterinarian.

Endell Veterinary Group Equine Hospital in Wiltshire has relocated Florus Oskam, one of their team of equine vets, to the island.

His presence will ensure that the island’s numerous horses can receive treatment when they need it, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Oskam is able to provide a prompt routine and emergency mobile ambulatory service around the island 24 hours a day, and also has the back up of mainland ambulatory vets who also spend time on the Island.  Appointments with specific vets to visit the island can also be arranged.

Isle of Wight horse owner Marion Wager believes the new service has already helped to save her pony’s life. The mare recently had a bout of colic and needed urgent veterinary attention.

Marion explains: “When I called Endells as an emergency at 7.30am in the morning and they said that Florus would be with me in 15 minutes, it was a massive relief as I knew Teasel needed to see a vet ASAP. Within the hour Teasel had been stabilised and blood tested, Florus was able to check her again later in the day and promised he could be with me within minutes if I needed him during the night.

“It’s such a relief knowing our vet is now so close by, especially for emergency situations like this. With a colic case like Teasel’s a long wait could have been fatal.”

Oskam said the Endell Veterinary Group had been providing a veterinary service on the Isle of Wight for the past 30 years and had a very loyal client base. “For years they have been asking us for a permanent service on the island and we are delighted to be able to provide it at last. Being able to deal so promptly with an emergency colic case such as Teasel’s was very satisfying. The mare is now fully recovered and back in work.”

• Oskam offered the following practical advice when a horse is suspected of having colic:

  • The signs of colic can include a lack of interest in feed, turning to look at the flanks and mild pawing of the ground. In mild colic cases the horse may also roll or lie down for long periods, show restlessness and frequently stand as if wanting to urinate. With severe colic the horse will sweat, continuously roll or be unable to stand, show increased and laboured breathing and there will be no evidence of droppings being passed.

If you suspect your horse may have colic:

  • Call your vet as soon as possible
  • Take away any food or water that is available to your horse
  • Make sure your horse is in an environment where if they decide to roll injury is less likely
  • Do not give your horse any drugs.  The vet needs to make a diagnosis without any symptoms being masked
  • Even if the colic appears mild it could be a serious case, so getting medical treatment as soon as possible is vital for your horse’s care

To reduce the risk of colic:

  • Regularly worm your horse
  • Avoid providing over rich diets
  • Keep grain and pulp feeds locked away out of reach of the horse
  • If feeding horses outside do not feed from the ground in sandy areas as if large volumes of sand are eaten this can cause colic.
  • If changing the horse’s diet, this should be done gradually over 2-3 days


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