Erica Larson, News Editor

Equine Postoperative Ileus Insights

When an owner sends a horse under the knife for colic surgery, he or she is first and foremost hoping the horse survives the operation. But just because he makes it through the procedure doesn't mean he's out of the woods: Many horses develop a dangerous complication called postoperative ileus—a lack of gut motility after surgery.

Equine Collapse Reviewed

There are few things more frightening for an owner than watching their horse collapse without warning or apparent cause. By the same token, unraveling the cause behind an equine collapse often presents veterinarians with a diagnostic challenge, and in many cases the root cause of a horse's collapse can't be determined.

Equine Muscle Matters Reviewed

Most horse owners appreciate the sight of a well-muscled horse, along with the time and effort riders or trainers must commit to helping that animal fill out. But chances are, fewer owners consider the factors within a horse's body that allow him to build—or lose—muscle mass.

Equine Gastrointestinal Health Reviewed

All horses'—from young to old, high-performance to sedentary, rescued to syndicated, and everywhere in between—gastrointestinal (GI) tracts function in the same manner. And owners of all types of horses should take the same steps to help keep their animals' GI systems functioning optimally.

Equine Castration Complications Reviewed

Although castrations are routine procedures for many equine practitioners, the risk for complications remains. And while most complications are generally mild, some have life-threatening implications. To better understand these complications, a University of California, Davis (UC Davis), research team recently took a closer look at their prevalence and ou...

Stabilizing Equine Limb Fractures in the Field (AAEP 2012)

Many fractures once deemed inoperable can now be surgically repaired successfully, but management approaches during the critical post-fracture window can have a major impact on outcomes. One equine practitioner reported that veterinarians must be prepared with the appropriate knowledge and equipment to help save these patients' lives.

Understanding Mare and Foal Behavior (AAEP 2012)

Raising a child takes a village, notes one African proverb; the collective experiences of a community forming the individual person. Similarly, a growing foal takes its cues from his dam, surrounding herd, and handlers, and care approaches become particularly important when the foal is orphaned. One of the key aspects handlers must consider when raising a...

Bandages for Fracture Stabilization Evaluated (AAEP 2012)

Fracture stabilization is one of the most important steps in addressing potentially catastrophic injuries in horses. One of the staples veterinarians use to stabilize equine limb fractures is the Robert Jones bandage, a layered and padded bandage, sometimes used in conjunction with a splint layered inside the wrap, designed to limit limb mobility.

How Horse Wounds Heal

Whether large or small, serious or innocuous, all wounds follow a distinct and complex healing process. During the 2013 Western Veterinary Conference, held Feb. 17-21 in Las Vegas, Nev., one veterinarian reviewed how wounds heal and how owners can help facilitate healing.

AAEP, AHC Partner to Prevent Equine Disease Outbreaks

When a horse contracts a disease, the owner or caretaker usually focuses solely on getting the horse healthy again and protecting others on the farm from illness. But in reality, certain ailments could have community-, region-, and even industry-wide effects. For instance, an equine viral arteritis or contagious equine metritis outbreak could shutter the ...

CFS Classification System Developed (AAEP 2012)

Foals with contracted limbs, which can prevent them from standing or walking normally, often display a variety of other physical abnormalities that veterinarians haven’t directly tied to the contractures. Understanding correlations between these characteristics could help veterinarians build a bank of knowledge to help guide treatment down the most ...

Vestibular Disease in Horses Reviewed

Although they don't tend to garner as much attention as infectious neurologic diseases, vestibular diseases (those that pertain to the balance mechanisms) are common and important causes of neurologic problems in horses. At the 2013 Western Veterinary Conference, held Feb. 17-21, Laurie Beard, DVM, MS, Dipl. ACVIM, associate clinical professor at Kans...

Study Evaluates Effects of Probiotics for Horses

Nutritional supplements containing probiotics are popular purchases for some horse owners, even if not all of these products' label claims are backed by research. But some researchers are working to better understand these probiotics' effects on horses. At the 2013 Western Veterinary Conference, held Feb. 17-21, in Las Vegas, Nev., one veterinaria...

Current Diagnostic Options for PPID

Veterinarians can typically diagnose a horse with late-stage pituitary pars intermedia dysfunction (PPID, or equine Cushing's disease) easily. Diagnosing early stage PPID and, thus, allowing treatment to begin earlier in the course of the disease, remains more challenging. Fortunately, research is ongoing and more reliable diagnostic tests are being d...

Handling Hyperthermia and Hypothermia in Horses

They might be on opposite ends of the spectrum, but hyperthermia and hypothermia in horses are more alike than one might think. At the 2013 Western Veterinary Conference, held Feb. 17-21 in Las Vegas, Nev., Amelia S. Munsterman, DVM, MS, Dipl. ACVS, ACVECC, reviewed these two equine environmental emergencies and how to best manage affected horses.

Equine Field Anesthesia Considerations

Have you ever observed or seen photos of a horse in a hospital undergoing surgery that requires general anesthesia? After he's anesthetized in a padded room he's hoisted onto a table where, while the surgeon takes care of the procedure at hand, numerous assistants monitor the patient's vital signs, ready to spring into action if any problems o...

Sample Handling's Effects on Plasma CO2 Levels (AAEP 2012)

By its very nature the practice of “milkshaking,” or administering bicarbonate or other alkalinizing substances to racehorses as performance enhancers, can be tough to pinpoint—horses metabolize the substances quickly, and testing laboratories must look for elevated blood total carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations as evidence. So to prese...

Treating Head Injuries in Horses

Anyone who's ever been inadvertently bumped by their horse's head knows just how heavy and solid these structures are. But horses' heads aren't invincible: They can suffer injuries ranging from harmless scratches to severe bone fractures.

Supplement to Support Post-Surgical Joint Health (AAEP 2012)

A research team from the Nutraceutical Alliance Inc. shared some good news for owners of horses with osteoarthritis at the 2012 American Association of Equine Practitioners convention: A nutritional supplement fed immediately after osteochondral fragment removal surgery could help reduce the amount of post-surgical inflammation in the joint.

Wobbler Syndrome in Older Horses

The neurologic condition cervical vertebral stenotic myopathy (CVSM, commonly known as wobbler syndrome) is much less common in older horses than it is in young, growing animals. But according to one clinician, this condition should be on all veterinarians' differential diagnoses list when evaluating an aged horse presenting with neurologic signs and/...

Blood Collection Tube Size and CO2 Concentration (AAEP 2012)

Veterinarians screen racehorses regularly for evidence of performance enhancers, aiming to use sample collection methods that yield accurate and consistent results. Blood-draw supplies vary among veterinarians, however, and could conceivably impact test results, so a Purdue University research team recently evaluated how such variables impact a common mea...

Triaging Acute Equine Neurologic Emergencies

A horse owner's day can go from great to horrific in a matter of seconds if he or she arrives at the barn to find their charge either staggering around the field or completely unable to rise. A prompt call to the veterinarian is warranted in these scenarios, but what should an owner expect when the veterinarian arrives?

Back to Basics: Equine Dental Terminology and Anatomy

When discussing our dental health, we are familiar with commonly used terms such as plaque, cavity, or root canal. But discussing our horses' teeth can be a bit more confusing: Mesial. Occlusal surface. Interproximal space. What does it all mean? Fortunately, at the 2013 Western Veterinary Conference, held Feb. 17-21 in Las Vegas, Nev., Cleet Griffin,...

Medication Mishaps in Horses (AAEP 2012)

Paracelsus, a 16th century Swiss physician and alchemist, once said, "Poison is in everything, and no thing is without poison. The dosage makes it either a poison or a remedy." Similarly in horses, determining what medication dose is therapeutic vs. detrimental, and knowing which drugs can poison some horses while helping others, are among the c...

Barn Fires: The Veterinarian's Role (AAEP 2012)

A barn engulfed in flames, terrified whinnies coming from within the burning structure. Few scenarios are more frightening to owners of stable-kept horses. Veterinarians, with their regular trips to the barn, are in a unique position to advise horse owners on fire prevention. However, even with the best preventive measures, barn fires do happen, so it'...

CT for Equine Limb Fracture Diagnosis? (AAEP 2012)

A fracture can put a horse's athletic future--sometimes even his life--on the line, and basing treatment on a complete and accurate diagnosis can make a major difference in the horse's recovery. A veterinarian in Belgium believes computed tomography (CT) offers a better option for imaging some lower limb fractures than radiography.

Managing Dehydration, Exhaustion in Horses (AAEP 2012)

Horses can lose up to 15 liters of sweat per hour during strenuous exercise, leaving them in a precarious metabolic balance that cold water hosing alone can't touch. At the 2012 American Association of Equine Practitioners convention, held Dec. 1-5 in Anaheim, Calif., Emma Adam, BVetMed, Dipl. ACVIM, ACVS, an equine practitioner performing research at...

Navicular Bone Fragments' Effect on Lameness (AAEP 2012)

Although researchers have been studying the equine navicular bone for years, many mysteries still surround it. For instance, advanced imaging techniques give veterinarians a clearer picture than ever of irregularities or damage to the navicular bone, but it's not always evident what such pathologies mean for a horse's soundness. Elizabeth Yorke, D...

MRI to Identify Bone Changes in Racehorses (AAEP 2012)

Horses can't describe brewing musculoskeletal discomfort the way human athletes can, so trainers and veterinarians don't know which horses to put on the proverbial bench to prevent career- or even life-ending injuries. But an equine research team has been using MRI to detect bone changes that could indicate a horse is at risk for catastrophic fetl...

Handling Non-Weight Bearing Lameness in the Field (AAEP 2012)

One of the most common calls an ambulatory equine practitioner receives is that from a panicked owner whose horse becomes three-legged lame seemingly overnight, said Ryan Penno, DVM, a practitioner at The Equine Clinic at Oakencroft, in Ravana, N.Y. Whether the cause is a simple abscess or a complex fracture, Penno described how to manage acute-onset, non...

Feeding Orphan Foals (AAEP 2012)

It's an unfortunate reality that at one time or another, most veterinarians and breeders will face caring for an orphan foal. Whether a foal was orphaned because the dam did not survive parturition or because she rejected him, he requires special care from the very beginning. One aspect of his care that requires the most attention is his nutrition.

Tiludronate, Shock Wave to Treat Bucked Shins (AAEP 2012)

Rarely has a racehorse practitioner not encountered a case of bucked shins (also called dorsal metacarpal disease, or DMD). This commonly identified racehorse injury has both mechanical and biologic roots, so one veterinarian recently set out to test a new treatment protocol in hopes of getting quicker and better results than current treatment options offer.

Top Equine Surgery Studies of 2012 (AAEP 2012)

Equine practitioners are undeniably busy individuals, making farm calls, caring for patients, and evaluating test results on a daily basis. To help veterinarians keep up to date on the most recent and relevant research, three veterinarians review the top studies in the fields of surgery, medicine, and reproduction at the annual American Association of Equ...

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