Christy West

The Horse's Fetlock Joint: Injury, Disease, and Repair

"The fetlock joint is, arguably, the joint that makes a horse a horse," said Larry Bramlage, DVM, MS, Dipl. ACVS, a partner at Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital in Lexington, Ky., during the 2009 American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) Convention held Dec. 5-9 in Las Vegas, Nev. "Its unique anatomy and physiology allow the high-...

EPM Diagnosis and Treatment Recommendations

Have you ever wished you could pull all the scientific recommendations on equine protozoal myeloencephalitis (EPM) diagnosis and treatment together in one place? Done! At the 2009 American Association of Equine Practitioners Convention, held Dec. 5-9 in Las Vegas, Nev., one practitioner summarized the available literature on EPM diagnosis and treatment fo...

Normal Steroid Levels in Racehorses

Steroid usage in racehorses has received a good deal of attention in the media, perhaps reaching a peak during the 2009 Triple Crown season when Big Brown won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness on the legally administered steroid stanozolol, then flopped in the Belmont without it. While no one could ever prove the steroid helped the horse win or that his lo...

Furosemide Study Discussed at AAEP Convention

Exercise-induced pulmonary hemorrhage (EIPH), or bleeding into the airways, is an "extremely prevalent condition associated with high-intensity exercise in horses," according to Paul S. Morley, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ACVIM, professor of clinical sciences at Colorado State University. At the 2009 American Association of Equine Practitioners Convention, ...

Racing Quarter Horses and Horseshoe Toe Grabs

You've probably heard the old adage from mule fanciers: "Mules is just different." Well, it seems that the same principle holds among racehorses; racing Quarter Horses, it seems, are just different. From racing Thoroughbreds, that is. Researchers presented results from their study of racing Quarter Horse injuries and horseshoe toe grabs at t...

Equine Parasites: 6 Tips on Learning to Live With Worms

If you read the title of this article and said, "WHAT?!?" don't worry--you're not alone! No horse owner wants to think of even a single worm burrowing in their horse's innards. But a goal of zero tolerance for worms is no longer a realistic one; increasing resistance of worms (particularly small strongyles) to common deworming drugs ...

Horses and Veterinarians: How to Get Along

"Veterinarians work under a great handicap when handling horses--almost everything the veterinarian does to a horse is either frightening or painful," began Robert Miller, DVM. However, that doesn't mean there's no way for a veterinarian to work comfortably with a horse, he says. With a bit of patience, time, and understanding of the hor...

Acepromazine for Tranquilizing Male Horses: Pros and Cons

Acepromazine, often called simply Ace, is commonly used to tranquilize horses for veterinary procedures. However, its use in male horses can cause penile prolapse, or an inability to retract the penis back into the sheath. This effect is desired in some instances, such as when acepromazine helps the horse "let down" for sheath cleaning.

Equine Influenza Vaccine Protocols: Boosters are Best

"Equine influenza virus remains the leading cause of viral respiratory disease in the horse," noted Justin D. McCormick, MS, DVM, of Steinbeck Country Equine Clinic in Salinas, Calif., during the 2009 American Association of Equine Practitioners Convention, held Dec. 6-10 in Las Vegas, Nev. "Illness can cause serious setbacks in training, w...

Equine Reproduction Advances Discussed at AAEP

What was the hottest news in equine veterinary medicine in 2009? During the popular Kester News Hour session at the annual American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) Convention, three top veterinarians (who focus on equine reproduction, internal medicine, and lameness/surgery) summarized the top news topics and the most significant research repor...

Equine Multinodular Pulmonary Fibrosis

Pneumonia (lung inflammation) in horses can be quite serious, particularly the recently described form termed equine multinodular pulmonary fibrosis. At the 2009 American Association of Equine Practitioners Convention, held Dec. 5-9 in Las Vegas, Nev., one veterinarian discussed his experiences with the diagnosis and treatment of five cases of the di...

Deworming Drug Efficacy in European Horses

Numerous research papers and presentations over the last several years have noted that internal parasites in horses are growing more resistant to the deworming drugs (anthelmintics) we have available. A study of European horses presented at the 2009 American Association of Equine Practitioners Convention, held Dec. 5-9 in Las Vegas, Nev., provided th...

Reducing Your Horse's Exposure to Dust

Researchers have shown that significant amounts of mucus in a racehorse's airway can negatively affect his performance, and they've theorized that dust in the horse's environment contributes to that mucus. Therefore, the logical next step is to reduce dust in a horse's environment in order to optimize his respiratory health. But how do you...

Accelerated Vaccination Combats Horse Influenza Outbreaks

Equine influenza (the "flu") used to be considered a mere annoyance by many, but major outbreaks such as H1N1/swine flu in humans and the Australian equine influenza outbreak of 2007 have changed our thinking. These days, when a flu outbreak is reported, masks, hand sanitizers, and shots run out faster than bread and milk before a winter storm.

Different West Nile Virus Genetic Lineage Evolving?

It's a variant of Murphy's Law: Anytime you think you have a handle on something, the unexpected happens and you're off balance again. The equine health world might be in this boat now concerning West Nile virus infection in horses. With several different types of vaccines available and in widespread use in the United States over the last seve...

Horse Hoof Trimming Guidelines (AAEP 2009)

One of the biggest troubles with discussing horse hoof trimming and balance is that when it comes to hoof balance, there isn't a set definition. This makes it challenging for everyone to achieve a balanced foot. At the 2009 American Association of Equine Practitioners Convention, held Dec. 5-9 in Las Vegas, Nev., one practitioner discussed guidelines ...

EquiRab Rabies Vaccine Effective in Study (AAEP 2009)

Rabies is one of those diseases you want to avoid at all costs--it's rapidly progressive, fatal, and can be transmitted from your horse (or any other infected animal) to you. While vaccines are available for horses, no data was published on their efficacy in the literature until December 2009.

Severe Laminitis in Horses: Modified Surgical Treatment (AAEP 2009)

When a horse has a severe case of laminitis with marked instability of the coffin bone, cutting the deep digital flexor tendon (DDFT) is a treatment that veterinarians often recommend. This surgical procedure is commonly done halfway down the back of the cannon with the horse standing and sedated, but researchers recently described a modified technique th...

Lower Palmar Digital Nerve Blocks: Concerns in Horses (AAEP 2009)

When a horse becomes lame, one of the first things a veterinarian will do is perform nerve blocks on the affected limb(s) to identify the location of the pain. However, several recent studies have focused on whether these nerve blocks really block the areas we think they do. In some cases, that anesthetic might migrate and numb more structures than expected.

Synthetic Surfaces vs. Dirt and Turf

"Injuries and fatalities are a major problem in the (Thoroughbred) racing industry," said Jacob Setterbo, BS, a graduate student at the University of California, Davis, during the 2008 American Association of Equine Practitioners convention (held Dec. 6-10 in San Diego, Calif.). "There are about two racing-related equine deaths per day due primarily to musculoskeletal injury (in the U.S. and Canada)."

Equine Herpesvirus-1 Outbreak in Oregon

In the last month, 16 of the 19 horses at Brookhill Stables in Goble, Ore., and two horses from a nearby private farm, have showed respiratory and/or neurologic signs consistent with equine herpesvirus type 1 (EHV-1), although not all have been tested for the disease.

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