Horse owners are being urged to register for the 2015 National Equine Health Survey (NEHS) to help find out more about common diseases in horses.

Last year the number of participants taking part doubled, enabling data to be collected from more than 12,301 horses, ponies, donkeys and mules in the UK.

The survey opens at 9am on 18 May and closes a week later at 9am on 25 May. Owners that have registered will be sent a reminder email just before the survey starts.

“We want to increase the numbers to get an accurate picture of horse health in the UK,” said Gemma Taylor, education officer at Blue Cross.

The charity runs the annual survey in partnership with the British Equine Veterinary Association.

Owners are asked to give feedback about the health of their horses in the designated week so that common diseases can be identified and addressed.

The 2014 survey enabled vets to learn more about the rise of aytpical myopathy in the UK.

Incidences of this fatal disease are being recorded and monitored by vets and further research is being carried out.

The most common syndrome identified in the 2014 survey was — for the second year running — lameness, and an increase in laminitis was recorded compared with previous years.

Other concerns were the growing number of overweight horses, which had had more than doubled since the previous year.

The 2014 survey also showed that one in five owners who had treated for encysted small redworm had used a wormer that was not suitable for treating these potentially lethal encysted parasites (as reported in H&H 11 October 2014).

“Over the past five years NEHS has become a crucial information resource for the equestrian industry. It is helping us to steer awareness, education and research with the sole purpose of safeguarding the future healthcare of our horses,” said Gemma Taylor.

“By giving five minutes of your time to complete the survey you can help to make a lifetime of difference,” she added.

To register visit www.bluecross.org.uk/NEHS or email NEHS@bluecross.org.uk