Erica Larson, News Editor

Acupuncture Use in Equine Reproduction (AAEP 2011)

Breeding season can mean a growth in acupuncture needle inventory for many horse reproduction specialists. Such veterinarians combine strategic insertion of tiny needles with Western veterinary techniques to address subfertility issues in mares--and even stallions. During a presentation at the 2011 American Association of Equine Practitioners convention, ...

The Equine Mind: Top 10 Things to Know

"Why does he do that?" "What is she so scared of … there's nothing there!" Most—if not all—horse owners have been there and asked those questions. Even though we don't always understand equine behavior, there's got to be a reason behind it, right? Absolutely. Horses’ behaviors date back to equine ev...

Complicated Equine Skin Diseases

"The practice of equine dermatology is usually straightforward with clinical examination and diagnostic testing; it is a rare occasion for an equine skin condition to be considered an actual emergency," began Ann Rashmir-Raven, DVM, MS, Dipl. ACVS, associate professor in the department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences at Michigan State Universi...

Equine NSAID Use: Indications and Complications

Many equine caretakers have given or received these suggestions time and time again: "Just give him some Bute," or "a little Banamine should do the trick." While the use of these medications—both non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs—are indicated in some cases, it's not uncommon for the substances to be over...

Local Anesthesia's Effect on MRIs of Horse Feet (AAEP 2011)

Certain things just don't mix: oil and water, or wearing metal during X rays, for instance. But what about diagnostic anesthesia (nerve blocks) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), a combination that sometimes occurs because a horse undergoes an MRI study soon after nerve blocks in a lameness exam? A team of researchers recently examined whether diag...

Managing Inflammatory Airway Disease in Horses (AAEP 2011)

Of the many ailments that can limit an athletic horse’s performance, lower airway inflammation is a top cause, affecting as many as 50% of young equine athletes. The good news about inflammatory airway disease (IAD) is the condition is treatable, and most affected horses can make a full recovery. During a presentation at the 2011 American Assoc...

Equine Motor Neuron Disease: What We Know

There's something not right with your horse. He's sweating, his muscles are twitching, and he can't seem to stand still. He just looks uncomfortable. You call your veterinarian and suggest it could be colic, but at the 2012 Western Veterinary Conference, held Feb. 19-23 in Las Vegas, Nev., one researcher suggested another ailment to consider: ...

MRI to Detect Wobbler Syndrome? (AAEP 2011)

In most cases--if not all--a clearer picture is better. One would be hard-pressed to find a person who would walk into a store and ask for a television with a fuzzy picture. So when it comes to disease diagnosis, such as that for cervical stenotic myelopathy (CSM, also known as cervical vertebral stenotic myelopathy), wouldn't a clearer picture that r...

Horse Vaccines in 2012: Where We Stand

As winter ends and spring begins, most horse owners start thinking about vaccinations. Which ones should my horse receive? How often should he be vaccinated? Does he need any risk-based vaccines? Confused? Don't worry. One equine veterinarian and researcher distilled the broad topic of vaccinations down at the 2012 Western Veterinary Conference, held ...

MRI for Localized Fetlock Lameness Diagnosis

Your performance horse is lame, and while your veterinarian has narrowed the problem down to the animal's fetlock, no abnormalities are visible on radiographs (X rays). Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has long been used as a diagnostic tool for lameness and performance issues in horses, and your vet says that's an option. Could that modality help...

In Depth: Evaluating the Upper Respiratory Tract (AAEP 2011)

Performance horses can develop a host of upper respiratory problems that can cause exercise intolerance, abnormal respiratory sounds, and poor performance. Fortunately, veterinarians have fine-tuned numerous methods for evaluating the upper respiratory tract for abnormalities. An equine surgeon recently reviewed these in a presentation to veterinarians at...

Acupuncture and Managing Pain in Horses (AAEP 2011)

Using acupuncture to manage severe pain in horses and other animals is not a novel concept, but veterinarians have been hard at work lately combing research studies to better understand this complementary therapy's usefulness, efficacy, and safety. During a presentation at the 2011 American Association of Equine Practitioners convention, held Nov. 18-...

Managing Severe Colic in the Field (AAEP 2011)

According to a recent poll on TheHorse.com, nearly 49% of respondents named colic as their most feared horse health emergency, and for a good reason. While some cases resolve without incident, others prove deadly. Colic surgery is an option for owners in some severe colic cases, but what if referral isn't possible?

Top Medicine Studies of 2011 (AAEP 2011)

Each year, researchers publish hundreds of studies in the field of equine medicine. Steve Reed, DVM, Dipl. ACVIM, an associate at Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital in Lexington, Ky., had the unique (and behemoth) task of deciding which to feature to a veterinarian audience during the Kester News Hour at the 2011 American Association of Equine Practitioner...

Prevalence of L.intracellularis on Farms (AAEP 2011)

If someone had said "equine proliferative enteropathy" 10 years ago, chances are most horse breeders would have shrugged their shoulders and paid little mind. Today, however, many breeders are mindful of this still-emerging young horse disease caused by the Lawsonia intracellularis bacteria. Researchers have made great strides in comprehending m...

Humeral Stress Fractures and Return to Racing (AAEP 2011)

A stress fracture is a stress fracture, regardless of its location, right? Well, not necessarily; in some cases, a fracture's location in a bone could have implications for whether the horse will return to his previous level of work or whether his career will be cut short. A research team recently examined whether the location of a stress fracture wit...

Repairing Jaw Fractures in the Field (AAEP 2011)

Nobody wants to find their horse with a bloody mouth, displaced teeth, and broken, displaced jaw bones. But despite their ghastly appearance most jaw fractures can be repaired relatively easily in a field setting, noted one veterinarian at the recent American Association of Equine Practitioners convention.

Handling Dystocia on the Farm (AAEP 2011)

In an ideal world, every broodmare would foal under veterinary supervision at a clinic with the latest technology at arm's length for correcting any potentially life threatening health emergencies. In reality equine practitioners often have to deal with dystocias--difficult births--in the field.

Monitoring and Preventing EPE on Endemic Farms (AAEP 2011)

Equine proliferative enteropathy (EPE) is an emerging disease of young horses that veterinarians have been diagnosing more frequently over the past few years. This gastrointestinal disease is caused by bacterial organisms known as Lawsonia intracellularis. More and more cases are diagnosed each year, and the disease--which is known to cause significant fi...

Pastern Lucencies' Effect on Racing Performance (AAEP 2011)

Prior to purchasing a yearling racing prospect at a sale, a buyer typically has a veterinarian conduct a thorough examination on the horse to ensure he is in top condition. Most of these exams include a review of radiographs, or X rays, of the horse's limbs. Historically, many veterinarians have considered lucencies (bone cysts) in pastern radiographs...

Dental Health and the Performance Horse

When searching for answers as to why an equine athlete's performance has suddenly declined, many owners and trainers will look for problems from head to toe. But one place they sometimes neglect to check is the horse's mouth, where many dental issues can cause a performance horse to work at a less than optimum level.

Developmental Dental Disorders in Horses

One of the most common aspects people consider when selecting a horse to purchase is the animal's conformation. Are his hocks too straight? Is his back strong? And are his pasterns too long? But some horses that look flawless on the surface could be harboring a developmental dental disorder, some of which could be dangerous and performance-limiting if...

Lecture Discusses NEXT Generation in Equine Tissue Healing

Think the number of innovative new therapies for tissue healing in horses can't get any higher? Think again. Kim A. Sprayberry, DVM, Dipl. ACVIM, an internal medicine specialist at Hagyard Equine Medical Institute in Lexington, Ky., introduced attendees of the Oct. 18-19 National Thoroughbred Racing Association Safety and Integrity Alliance held at Ke...

Turnout's Effects on Stall-Kept Equine Athletes

More often than not, performance horses are kept in stalls for the better portion of the day. Fear of injury is one of the most common reasons these equine athletes are confined, but does a lack of turnout have an effect on the horse's behavior both in a stall and under saddle? According to a group of German researchers, a little turnout time could im...

Keeping the Bitted Horse's Mouth Healthy

Researchers' understanding of how bits and horses' mouths interact is far superior than that of decades ago, but the ideal combination of factors to keep bitted mouths healthy remains just out of reach. According to one equine veterinarian and dentist, however, using gentle hands and bit seats--among other elements--can contribute to a healthy equ...

Strongyle Egg Counts and Race Performance

Regardless of the method of choice, most equestrians have deworming down to a science. For years, horse owners have been told to control the amount of worms in their horses' bodies to keep them feeling and performing their best. But what effect do worms really have on equine performance? A team of researchers recently found that high strongyle eg...

Equine Genetics 101: Genetic Concepts and Applications

Even for the most knowledgeable horseman, equine genetics can be a confusing topic to grasp. Trying to conceptualize how genetics can be applied to equine performance can be even more confusing. But the attendees at the 2011 Thoroughbred Pedigree, Genetics, and Performance Conference, held Sept. 7-8 in Lexington, Ky., were in luck as Jamie MacLeod, VMD, P...

New Research into R. equi Vaccine Completed

Researchers in the Netherlands have completed further research into developing an effective vaccine for the bacteria Rhodococcus equi, which is known to cause pneumonia and other sometimes fatal infections in young foals. A press release from Merck Animal Health indicated that a research team based at the Groningen Biomolecular Sciences and Biotechnology ...

Weaning Stress and Nutritional Influences

One of the most stressful times in a horse's life is weaning, when a foal is separated from his dam and asked to adjust to life on his own. But according to Amanda Adams, PhD, a postdoctoral scholar at the University of Kentucky's Gluck Equine Research Center, certain types of nutritional support could reduce the stresses and health challenges tha...

Study: Horses Prefer Nonacidic Water

If you've been around horses long enough, you're bound to have experienced the picky drinker. Horses that are selective in their water consumption can not only be frustrating for owners, but could also be a danger to themselves, as dehydration can be a serious problem. A team of Canadian researchers, however, recently revealed that horses tend to ...

Evaluating the Colicky Foal

Although foals might look like mini versions of their adult counterparts, when it comes to treating them for health issues veterinarians often take a different approach than they would for a mature animal. Take colic for example. Most horse owners have an idea what they and veterinarians look for when dealing with a colicky horse, but what special conside...

Chronic Colic in Horses: What to Consider

A horse that colics on a relatively regular basis is a frustrating problem for owners and veterinarians alike. Often these bouts of colic pop up unexpectedly with no obvious cause, resulting in lost training time, substantial veterinarian bills, mental anguish for the owner, and frustration for the veterinarian trying to diagnose the problem.

Colic in Horses: When is Surgery Necessary?

When a horse is in the midst of a bout of colic, many owners wonder if their animal will need surgery to fix the problem. For those owners who have never experienced a referral to an emergency medical clinic for surgery or intensive care, understanding their veterinarian's decision on how and where to treat the colic can be confusing.

Wobbler Syndrome in Horses: An Overview

There are few things more enjoyable than watching a herd of young horses frolic around a pasture. But when one of the foals looks shaky, incoordinated, and almost wobbly on his feet, this could be a sign of a serious--and sometimes fatal--neurologic problem: cervical vertebral stenotic myelopathy, or wobbler syndrome. At the 2011 Western Veterinary Confer...

Neurologic EHV-1: An Overview

The neurologic form of equine herpesvirus-1 (EHV-1, also called myeloencephalopathy) is highly contagious and multiplies within its host very rapidly, making early detection and prompt treatment paramount goals in disease control. During a presentation at the 2011 Western Veterinary Conference, held Feb. 20-24 in Las Vegas, Nev., Steve Reed, DVM, Dipl. AC...

Equine Protozoal Myeloencephalitis: Past and Present

Equine protozoal myeloencephalitis (EPM) continues to frustrate North American horse owners and veterinarians as one of the most common neurologic diseases in horses--and one of the most challenging to diagnose and treat. At the 2011 Western Veterinary Conference, held Feb. 20-24 in Las Vegas, Nev., Steve Reed, DVM, Dipl. ACVIM, of Rood & Riddle Equin...

Synovial Fluid's Effect on Stem Cells

For years horse owners have turned to traditional joint therapies to help manage their animals' painful joint diseases, such as arthritis, so they might remain comfortable and usable despite their medical conditions. Today, some owners are exploring a relatively new type of joint therapy: intra-articular stem cell injections. While many initial anecdo...

Adipose-Derived Stem Cells: A Review

Imagine a veterinarian harvesting stem cells from a horse: He or she inserts a needle into the horse's sternum or hip, and thick red bone marrow fills the syringe. But can you picture a veterinarian harvesting less commonly used adipose-, or fat-, derived stem cells? And how effective are they? Joseph Yocum, DVM, Dipl. AVBP, owner of Green Tree Veteri...

Using Nutrition to Prevent and Manage Equine Disease

While you can't necessarily prevent or squelch every equine ailment by adjusting his diet, what a horse consumes can impact certain maladies. According to Meri Stratton-Phelps, DVM, MPVM, Dipl. ACVIM, ACVN, owner of All Creatures Veterinary Nutrition Consulting, in Fairfield, Calif., veterinarians and owners can use certain dietary ingredients to redu...

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