A SPECIALIST piece of veterinary equipment will give horse owners around the region a unique view of their animals' ailments and treatment.

Mobile equine vets James and Melissa Emson are taking delivery of a state-of-the-art video endoscope thanks to a £6,250 grant from the North Pennine Dales Leader fund.

It means the husband and wife team will not only be able to carry out their own scoping work, horse owners will be able to see exactly what is going on.

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Mrs Emson explained: “At the moment, people have to look down an eyepiece. The lovely thing about this piece of equipment is the little screen.

“It makes it a lot easier for people to understand what is wrong with their horse.”

The couple, of Ovington, County Durham, have nearly 20 years of equine veterinary experience and set up their mobile practice last year.

Mrs Emson had established a mobile dental service for horses in 2010 but such was the demand for other on-site treatment, she was joined by her husband for the new venture.

And she said the couple were also hoping to add more specialist equipment to further expand their service.

“One is a dental scope. I do an awful lot of equine dentistry and clients can't look into the horse's moth very easily to see ulcers and abnormal teeth,” she said.

The other is a gastroscope, which is a longer version of the endoscope.

“This allows us to look into the airwaves and stomach,” said Mrs Emson.

“A lot of horses suffer from stress – from competition stress or from the stress of being in a stable all winter – and it is very difficult to diagnose ulcers without seeing them.”