Nancy S. Loving, DVM

Diagnosing and Managing Endocrine Disorders in Senior Horses

More than 20% of aged horses are known to suffer from equine Cushing’s disease (also known as pituitary pars intermedia dysfunction, or PPID), a harmful endocrine condition that can carry with it a host of other dangerous health problems. To give our elderly equids their best chance at comfort, one researcher recently described best practices for di...

Managing Equine Cystic Stifle Lesions

Could something even smaller than a pea end a horse's athletic career? If that something is a cystic lesion in the stifle (or femoral condylar cyst), it's entirely possible. Fortunately, specific management approaches can help some horses return to their jobs in the arena or on the track with few, if any, lasting effects.

Diagnosing Unusual Hock Lameness

With six bones articulating in close range and multiple tendons and ligaments controlling extension and flexion, the hock, or the horse equivalent of the human ankle, has many moving and shock-absorbing parts. Add to those the animal’s weight and the fact the joint is almost always in flexion, and you’ve got a recipe for a perplexing number of...

Equine Metabolic Syndrome: What We Know, Where We're Headed

Easy keepers—horses that remain rotund despite restricted diets and rigid exercise plans—must be managed carefully to prevent or minimize more serious health issues. Equine metabolic syndrome (EMS), one condition associated with obesity, can have a serious negative impact on horses' health. Fortunately, over the past few years, veterinaria...

High-Speed Exercise and Bone Response

Bone was once considered an inert material with its structure defined by genetics. But it turns out there’s a lot more at work, explained Larry Bramlage, DVM, MS, Dipl. ACVS: “Selective breeding dictates the initial skeleton, but adaptive training in response to exercise modifies it further.” He and other racehorse surgeons are striving ...

Melanoma Implications in Prepurchase Exams

A prepurchase exam can provide valuable insight on a horse’s health status, equipping you to make an informed investment decision. And while veterinarians commonly assess copious qualities from soundness to suitability, if it’s a stunning gray you have you have in your sights, it’s also important to consider whether the horse has melanom...

Managing Racehorse Joints with Strict Medication Regulations

In the face of new racing medication rules, veterinarians are revisiting treatment approaches for injured animals on layup that trainers hope to send back to the track soon. At the American Association of Equine Practitioners' Convention, held Dec. 7-11 in Nashville, Tenn., Wayne McIlwraith, BVSc, PhD, Dipl. ACVS, ACVSMR, described how these restricti...

Veterinarians Making Progress on National Equine Health Plan

Equine herpesvirus myeloencephalopathy (EHM) put dozens of show horses at risk for infection after they were exposed to a sick horse at a single competitive event in Utah in 2011. Unaware of the exposures, owners of these horses dispersed the show animals to 19 states and several Canadian provinces, unleashing the potential to infect others in epidemic pr...

Managing Exercise-Induced Pulmonary Hemorrhage in Racehorses

Racehorses must be healthy and at their peak fitness to be successful. One commonly combated health condition—exercise-induced pulmonary hemorrhage, or EIPH—can be performance-limiting and even deadly among these athletes. And as racehorse medication reform has taken center stage in recent years, the racing world has been rife with controversy...

Biomechanics and Hoof Problems, Treatment (AAEP 2012)

Lameness caused by foot problems is common in the horse, and it can significantly impact how well a horse can perform. Hoof bruising, heel soreness, hoof cracks all create discomfort that alter a horse’s gait and prevent him from giving his utmost to an athletic task. Nearly all equine foot diseases have their root in biomechanics, noted a Universit...

New Test Could Detect Equine Lyme Disease Sooner (AAEP 2012)

Diagnosing Lyme disease in horses is tricky business; not all horses that contract the causative bacterium, Borrellia burgdorferi, from infected ticks develop the debilitating condition, and those that do might not show signs until several months after infection. As with many diseases, early detection can mean swifter resolution, along with better recover...

Top Equine Reproduction Studies of 2012 (AAEP 2012)

Veterinary researchers publish scores of scientific papers annually, but if practitioners are out examining and treating patients they don't necessarily have time to brush up on every study's take-home message. The annual Kester News Hour presentation at the American Association of Equine Practitioners' convention gives practitioners a chance ...

Building a Veterinarian-Farrier Relationship (AAEP 2012)

Veterinarians and farriers must work as a team to manage a horse's athletic soundness and performance. The collaborative dynamic between veterinarian and farrier is important to ensuring a horse remains sound and receives the best possible hoof care. William Moyer, DVM, of Texas A&M University's School of Veterinary Medicine, and Harry Werner,...

Selecting the Best Joint Therapy Approach (AAEP 2012)

A puffy fetlock. A knee that's warm to the touch. A hock that feels just a bit sticky in the trot. All are common performance problems pointing to the possible onset of osteoarthritis (OA). Equine joint therapy is often used to treat these types of OA-inflammation related issues while potentially modulating disease.

Hind-Limb Flexion Test Times Compared (AAEP 2012)

"A thorough lameness exam usually includes limb flexion tests to evaluate for gait changes when joints are stressed in a flexed position," remarked Amy Armentrout, DVM, MS, Dipl. ACVS, of Burleson Equine Hospital, in Texas. Holding the hind limb up for a protracted time can be tough on the practitioner's body, and horses aren't always co...

Optimizing Piroplasmosis Treatment Protocols (AAEP 2012)

The tick-borne protozoal disease equine piroplasmosis (EP) impacts horses worldwide, causing hemolytic anemia (the body's immune system attacks and kills its own red blood cells) and even death. Veterinarians' drug of choice for eliminating the causative parasites, Theileria equi and Babesia caballi, is imidocarb dipropionate, which is effective b...

Using Intra-Articular Corticosteroids (AAEP 2012)

Corticosteroids can be an equine joint's best friend or its worst enemy, depending on the veterinarian's approach: Has he or she made a clear diagnosis of osteoarthritis? How many times has the horse's joint been injected already, and is the horse a high-performance athlete? Which joint is the practitioner targeting, and what's going on wi...

Top Medicine Studies of 2012 (AAEP 2012)

Each year equine veterinarians attending the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) Convention flock by the thousands to one of the meeting's headline events: the Kester News Hour. Stephen Reed, DVM, Dipl. ACVIM, of Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital in Lexington, Ky., presented a summary of many recent practical and applicable equine medi...

Two Supplements' Effects on Nonglandular Ulcers (AAEP 2012)

According to several reports, veterinarians have identified equine gastric ulcer syndrome (EGUS) in up to 40% of Quarter Horses and 93% of Thoroughbred racehorses. EGUS can lead to poor body condition, disruptions in training, impaired performance, colic, and other complications, some of them quite severe. While many veterinarians and owners use FDA-appro...

Veterinarian-Client-Patient Relationship Overview (AAEP 2012)

Establishing and maintaining an active, functional veterinarian-client-patient relationship (VCPR) is the cornerstone to providing the best care for horses, said Richard Lesser, DVM, of Equine Clinic at OakenCroft, in Ravena, N.Y., during a recent veterinarian discussion on ethics. This VCPR is a legal "contract" between the veterinarian and the...

Hoof Radiographs' Role In Practical Farriery (AAEP 2012)

Radiographs are an often overlooked but indispensible tool for assessing a horse's feet and developing a hoof care plan that will maximize his soundness. At a recent in-depth seminar titled "The Foot from Every Angle," Randy Eggleston, DVM, of the University of Georgia's School of Veterinary Medicine, described how to optimize use of rad...

Laminitis Research Group Still Recruiting Cases (AAEP 2012)

In a recent survey of American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) members, 65% reported that laminitis is at the top of their list of conditions requiring more research and understanding. In 2000 the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service estimated that 13% of U.S. horse operations deal with horses affected by laminitis annually and that ...

Factors Associated with Surviving Potomac Horse Fever (AAEP 2012)

Potomac horse fever (PHF), a somewhat regional rickettsial disease, causes acute diarrhea and leads to death in up to 30% of affected horses. In an effort to understand the disease better, Sandra Taylor, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ACVIM, of Purdue University's school of veterinary medicine, performed a retrospective study in which she and colleagues looked for s...

Law, Morals, and Ethics in Equine Practice (AAEP 2012)

"The No. 1 goal of the equine veterinarian is to help the welfare of the horse," reported Rick Lesser, DVM, during a series of sessions focused on ethics, scope of practice, and racing at the 2012 American Association of Equine Practitioners' (AAEP) Convention, held Dec. 1-5, in Anaheim, Calif. "The best way to do this is through a syne...

Flunixin Meglumine Doses: More or Less? (AAEP 2012)

Veterinarians use non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to manage equine pain in a variety of situations. Foot pain can often be difficult to control, so Jonathan Foreman, DVM, MS, Dipl. ACVIM, of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and his colleagues examined the possibility that higher-than-standard doses might better alleviate foot...

Gallium Nitrate and R. Equi Shedding (AAEP 2011)

Rhodococcus equi, a normal soil organism, can be damaging for a foal--if not now, then later. Affected foals develop fever, nasal discharge, and cough, and they become lethargic. While some succumb to subsequent pneumonia and pulmonary abscesses, survivors can experience significant performance-limiting problems later in life. Ben Buchanan, DVM, Dipl. ACV...

Effects of Behavior-Modifying Drug Investigated (AAEP 2011)

"If only he'd stand still and keep quiet!" Many situations faced by horse owners and trainers would be far easier to manage if a temperamental horse would do this, and it might be tempting to initiate long-term sedation when confinement, stall rest, and tractability are necessary. But one veterinarian explained that sometimes the drawbacks o...

Equine Head Flexion and Airway Inflammation (AAEP 2011)

Sure, you can watch an exercising horse’s airways with an endoscope while he’s on a treadmill, but this technique does not account for travel over varying terrain or for the influences of rider intervention on his respiratory efficiency. At the 2011 American Association of Equine Practitioners convention, held Nov. 18-22 in San Antonio, Texas,...

New Insulin Resistance Test Method for Horses (AAEP 2011)

An obese horse is often—though not always—an insulin-resistant one, and detection methods for insulin resistance can be tricky to time, not to mention labor-intensive. François R. Bertin, DVM, a resident at the Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine Teaching Hospital described a new testing technique that he has found useful f...

Equine Electrolyte Use and Gastric Emptying (AAEP 2011)

A horse’s prolonged sweating during athletic activity or travel means a need for fluid and electrolyte replacement, and horse owners commonly turn to electrolyte products for this purpose. A team of equine researchers examined one electrolyte supplement’s (ES) effect on fluid replacement and performance, and Michael Lindinger, PhD, associate p...

Bute and Banamine: Avoid Using Together (AAEP 2011)

A common approach to lameness in the equine athlete is non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) treatments, such as phenylbutazone (PBZ, Bute) or flunixin meglumine (FM, Banamine) alone or sometimes in combination. At the 2011 American Association of Equine Practitioners convention, held Nov. 18-22 in San Antonio, Jonathan Foreman, DVM, MS, Di...

Effects of Tramadol Use in Horses (AAEP 2011)

Tramadol hydrocholoride is a medication used for pain control in humans due to its opioid effects on the central nervous system. At the current time in the veterinary world, it is used primarily in dogs and cats although not yet labeled for veterinary use. At the 2011 American Association of Equine Practitioners convention, held Nov. 18-22 in San Antonio,...

Resolving Horse Choke with an Antispasmodic Drug (AAEP 2011)

Esophageal obstruction, or "choke," is a common occurrence in horses that veterinarians approach with a number of treatments from passing a nasogastric tube to sedation and other drug approaches. At the 2011 American Association of Equine Practitioners convention, held Nov. 18-22 in San Antonio, Texas, Joe Bertone, DVM, MS, Dipl. ACVIM, presente...

Equine Rhinitis in Respiratory Infection Cases (AAEP 2011)

When considering viral respiratory infections in horses, a common assumption among veterinarians is animals are infected with either influenza or rhinopneumonitis (a respiratory condition--mostly of young horses--caused by equine herpesvirus). However, another viral infection--equine rhinitis--is commonly responsible for respiratory disease outbreaks. And...

EHV-1: What We Know and What We Learned (AAEP 2011)

The multistate equine herpesvirus outbreak in May 2011 illustrated the importance of infectious disease control in the equine community. At the 2011 American Association of Equine Practitioners convention, held Nov. 18-22 in San Antonio, Texas, Jerry Black, DVM, summarized the outbreak in a group table topic discussion that he moderated with Josie Traub-D...

Sporting Activity After Colic Surgery in Horses (AAEP 2011)

The decision on whether to take a horse to colic surgery is one that's generally based on both prognosis and financial considerations. Thus, an equine surgeon must be able to counsel horse owners on the expected surgical outcome and required convalescence following hospital discharge so a timely decision can be made. At the 2011 American Association o...

Nutritional Support for Horse Hooves

The versatile equine athlete depends on strong hooves to be fleet of foot and agile in motion, to negotiate quick turns and abrupt stops, and to absorb impacts sustained by all maneuvers. And the equine hoof--with its complex arrangement of connective tissues, nerves, cartilage, bone, and blood supply--relies on important nutritional building blocks for s...

Pigeon Fever in Horses: Manifestations and Complications

Though it has many aliases--including pigeon fever, dryland distemper, and false strangles--and can look gruesome on the surface, a normal Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis infection is relatively easy to treat. Treating an infection that's developed complications, however, is a more challenging task for veterinarians. At the 2011 American ...

Enteric Bacteria: Can Healthy Horses be Carriers?

Many horse owners will agree that keeping their charges safe from disease risk is a top priority. But could a healthy horse in one's own backyard be a disease risk for other horses? At the 2011 American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine Forum, held June 15-18 in Denver, Colo., Angelika Schoster, DVM, a DVSc candidate at the University of Guelph&...

Wobbler Syndrome in Thoroughbreds: Racing Prognosis Examined

Near the end of his long and storied life, one of the greatest Thoroughbred racehorses of all times, 1978 Triple Crown winner Seattle Slew, was diagnosed with cervical vertebral malformation (CVM, commonly known as wobbler syndrome). He underwent two surgeries to correct the problem and continued his job as a breeding stallion until he died in 2002.

Beta-Agonist Drugs: Effect on Respiratory Function in Horses

Horses in intense exercise, such as racing or three-day eventing, need full lung capacity to perform to the top of their abilities. Hoping to give their horse every advantage, some racehorse trainers medicate with beta-agonist drugs, like clenbuterol (a drug commonly used to treat chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), in an attempt to improve airway fun...

Shipping Fever: Prevention is Key

Imagine the scenario: You've been training for the big competition all year. Your horse has never looked better, he's stayed healthy, and he's performing to the best of his abilities. You load him in the trailer for the cross-country commute in hopes of bringing home the blue ribbon and set off on your journey. When you unload your horse at yo...

Antibiotic Resistance in Horses: Is There a Problem?

While parasite resistance is currently a hot topic in the equine community, another form of resistance is taking its toll on horses worldwide: antimicrobial resistance. According to Imogen Johns, BVSc, MRCVS, Dipl. ACVIM, lecturer in equine medicine at the United Kingdom's Royal Veterinary College in Hertfordshire, the amount of bacteria that has deve...

Clostridium difficile: Advancements in Understanding

It might be difficult to imagine that a few tiny organisms can proliferate and cause an infection so serious it could result in the death or euthanasia of the host horse. For instance, one of the most dangerous organisms that can sicken horses is the bacterium Clostridium difficile. Scott Weese, DVM, DVSc, Dipl. ACVIM, associate professor at the Universit...

Advancements in Understanding Airway Diseases

Breathe in, breathe out. One of the main functions that keep us (and the horses we love) alive is also one of the easiest and mindless tasks we carry out on a daily basis. But for horses with airway diseases, breathing is more difficult than it seems. Recently, researchers have made strides in understanding these diseases and what helps (or does not help)...

What's New With Equine Protozoal Myeloencephalitis?

It's dangerous. It's debilitating. And sometimes it's deadly. It's equine protozoal myeloencephalitis (EPM), and researchers have been studying this neurologic disease for years to try to understand it better. Scientists have made great strides in their comprehension of how the causative agents work, what they do to the body, and how to pr...

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