Stacey Oke, DVM, MSc

Study Evaluates Exercise During Yearling Sales Preparation

In the equine world, the idiom "hit the ground running" is particularly fitting: Multiple studies suggest early exercise helps develop a foal's musculoskeletal system and could even help prevent future injuries. However, the early exercise Thoroughbred yearlings being prepped for sale receive might have little effect on their musculoskeletal...

'Pinch Grafting' for Equine Lower Limb Wounds (AAEP 2011)

We know that time heals wounds, yet when our beloved horses sustain a traumatic wound, we still try to do everything we can to ensure a quick recovery. That can include skin grafting, according to a practitioner who described a practical "pinch grafting" technique that can allow wounds to heal faster at the 2011 American Association of Equine Pr...

A Closer Look at Treating Stifle Disease in Horses

The equine stifle is equivalent to a human knee and, like all limb joints, is prone to injury and disease. Colorado State University (CSU) researchers, for instance, recently examined 458 Western horses intended for cutting, during which routine survey radiographs (X rays) identified "abnormalities" in the stifles of almost half the horses. At t...

Delayed Suturing for Equine Lower Limb Wounds (AAEP 2011)

Just as "there's more than one way to skin a cat," there is more than one way to repair a horse's wound, particularly if it's located on the lower limb. And while many of us might be under the impression that all horse wounds should be stitched closed as soon as possible, this is not always an option. Richard Hackett, DVM, MS, Dipl. ...

Alternative Treatment for "Roaring" in Horses (AAEP 2011)

Most approaches to solving "roaring" in horses--a noisy, performance-limiting condition of the equine airway--involve wielding a scalpel, but a Cornell University-based research team recently examined an alternative, treatment for roarers. Jon Cheetham, VetMB, PhD, Dipl. ACVS, of the College of Veterinary Medicine's Department of Clinical Sc...

Granulation Tissue Management in the Horse (AAEP 2011)

There is a saying that "anything worth doing is worth overdoing." When it comes to healing lower leg wounds, some horses take this advice to heart and essentially "overheal" their injuries, resulting in the production of unsightly granulation (scar) tissue, commonly known as proud flesh. At 2011 American Association of Equine Prac...

New 'Cancer Vaccine' for Horses in the Works (AAEP 2011)

Cancer isn't diagnosed nearly as frequently in horses as it is in humans, but approximately 80% of all white or gray horses will develop melanomas by the time they are 15 years old. Partly because of melanomas' preferred location (near the tail, anus, groin, or salivary glands) and partly because they often aren't diagnosed early enough, there...

Third Eyelid Removal in Horses: Options Compared (AAEP 2011)

Avoiding general anesthesia for surgery in horses, when possible, is not only safer for the horse and surgeons but also more economical for the owner. However, not all surgeries can be performed without anesthesia, partly because the procedure is too uncomfortable for the horse to remain awake (even if sedated and given pain medications) and also because ...

Benefits of Casts for Severe Horse Limb Injuries (AAEP 2011)

Casts are veritable double-edged swords in equine practice: While they play an important role in stabilizing fractures and treating wounds and tendon lacerations, they can cause a variety of complications. Some horses don’t tolerate casts well, casts can cause pressure sores, and many veterinarians prefer to hospitalize horses with casts--an overwhe...

Improved Test for Equine Ovarian Tumor Diagnosis (AAEP 2011)

Just because a particular type of anomaly in a horse is rare doesn't mean it's not important to investigate and understand better: Take granulosa cell tumors (GCTs), for instance. While these only represent about 2.5% of all equine tumors and usually are benign, GCTs are most common neoplasm (tumor) found in the equine reproductive tract; further,...

Standing RLP in Horses Safe, Effective (AAEP 2011)

One approach to dangerous joint infections in the horse involves isolating treatment to the infected limb, a procedure that can be performed while the horse is standing and awake or "sleeping" under general anesthesia. So which is best? A group of researchers in South Africa recently sought to answer this question, and Arnold T. Mahne, BVSc, of ...

New Treatment for Mare Endometritis Examined (AAEP 2011)

We'd all like to think that a mare's womb is a warm, dark, nurturing environment perfect for transforming a small fertilized egg into a healthy foal in 340 days. According to equine reproductive specialists, however, uteri can be lined with bacterial "biofilm" containing millions of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in a glutinous, jellylike...

New Test for Horses with Retained Testicles (AAEP 2011)

Ridgling, crypt, cryptorchid. Call it what you want, but a horse with one or two testes that have not descended into the scrotum can present a diagnostic challenge. Anthony Claes, DVM, Dipl. ACT, a graduate student at the University of Kentucky's Gluck Equine Research Center, discussed a new way to diagnose cryptorchidism during the 2011 American Asso...

Dexamethasone Use in Broodmares at Breeding Time (AAEP 2011)

There are upsides and downsides to administering dexamethasone, just as there are with most drugs. For instance, dexamethasone is a potent anti-inflammatory but can cause life-threatening laminitis in some cases. And while dexamethasone can be used successfully to treat mating-induced inflammation of the uterus (endometritis), some veterinarians believe i...

Suture Techniques for Intestines Compared (AAEP 2011)

Surgeons currently use a number of techniques to suture two pieces of intestine back together during colic surgery, a process referred to as an anastomosis. The seal must be leak-free to avoid complications that can cause future colics or even death, so using the best approach is key. A researcher from Italy recently determined the optimal anastomosis sti...

New Deslorelin Formula Improves Pregnancy Rates (AAEP 2011)

The goal in a horse breeding program is to maximize pregnancy rates by breeding mares only once per cycle. Because this is easier said than done, veterinarians employ a little help in a product called deslorelin acetate, which induces ovulation at (or near) the time of breeding. Recently the drug became available in the United States in a slow-release for...

Regional Limb Perfusion for Distal Limb Injuries (AAEP 2011)

As majestic, beautiful, and graceful as they can be, horses are also flighty and frequently find themselves in hazardous situations. In light of horses’ propensity for lower limb injury, the environment in which they live, and the difficulty and expense associated with treating severe lower limb injuries, many equine practitioners have turned to a t...

Proper Use of Antibiotics for Uterine Infections (AAEP 2011)

Treating a broodmare's uterine infection properly can mean the difference between her conceiving or staying empty this season. Proper treatment also can determine whether or not you contribute to antibiotic resistance; development of "superbugs" is a genuine concern in not only the human medical but also the veterinary community. Accomplishi...

Patella Infections in Foals Require Prompt Care (AAEP 2011)

Call the vet, or wait and see? When concerned about a foal's health--particularly when infections are suspected--waiting is never a good idea. Osteomyelitis in young foals, for instance, requires immediate treatment, as Alastair Kay, BVSc, MS, Dipl. ACVS, MRCVS, equine surgeon at Minister Equine Clinic, in North Yorkshire, U.K., relayed at the 2011 Am...

Managing Neck and Back Pain in Sport Horses

Your horse has neck and/or back pain. The signs are obvious: sensitivity when grooming and saddling, resistance to rider weight, stiffness and pain when manipulating the neck and back, and a notable decrease in performance. But what is causing the pain, and what can you do about it?

Does Equine Hoof Shape Have an Effect on Soundness?

Could it be? A potential predisposing factor for lameness that can be seen with our very eyes? According to one British researcher, this dream could be a reality. A recent study revealed that certain hoof shapes and characteristics can be associated with chronic lameness, while others point to a sound horse.

Controlling Reproductive Behavior in Performance Mares

Imagine this scenario: You are lucky enough to have the horse of your dreams. She's an athletic and beautiful mare, but there’s one problem--she's notorious for displaying "marish" behavior, and it's starting to get in the way of training and competition. What can be done? According to one researcher, there are several options ...

Top 5 Horse Health Resolutions to Keep in 2012

With another holiday season in the bag, wrapped up with the turkey giblets and excessive toy packaging, we can now turn and face the impending New Year. After the ball drops approximately 50% of us will yet again vow to make some important changes in our lives, but will we actually follow through?

Not all Equine Heart Abnormalities are Abnormal

Ever since the death of Olympic Champion Hickstead at a Fédération Equestre Internationale World Cup event on Nov. 5, there has been an increased amount of public interest in the secret lives of horse's hearts. Luckily, not all murmurs or rhythm abnormalities are career- or life-threatening.

Researchers Use Models to Learn Why Equine Bodies Break

Dealing with equine injuries comes with being a horse owner. Some mishaps are more severe than others--such as when Barbaro suffered a catastrophic injury in the 2006 Preakness Stakes--and leave equine enthusiasts asking, "Why?" According to one physical therapist, veterinarians might soon be able to start answering that question thanks to a rel...

Breeding the Newly Retired or Competition Stallion

For some stallion owners, it seems the sun, moon, and stars all need to be perfectly aligned to successfully turn a stallion from a champion athlete into a champion stud. Thankfully, this is not necessarily true, and owners or handlers can take several reasonable steps to ensure a smooth and successful transition from athletic to breeding performance.

Nutraceuticals to Enhance Stallion Fertility?

Do you ever wish you could give your breeding stallion a magic supplement to enhance his fertility? Science isn't there yet, but according to an equine reproduction specialist, some supplements and diet changes might help, as research has shown that some dietary alterations really do have a beneficial effect on semen quality and stallion fertility.

Green-Lipped Mussel Product Beneficial for Horses with OA

Considering their relatively low cost and ease of use, nutritional supplements have become popular products in the equine industry, particularly those for joint health. However with many nutritional supplements, there is a limited amount of science proving their efficacy in horses, a concern that makes some veterinarians and owners skeptical of these prod...

Study: Improved Owner Education Needed for Older Horse Care

Thanks to advances in veterinary medical technology, today's horses are living longer and more comfortable lives than horses in the past. However in order to make use of that technology, owners must first be able to detect when there's something not quite right with their animals--especially with geriatric horses. As a team of British researchers ...

'Map' Airborne Particles in Barns to Minimize Airway Disease

Airway disease is a well-known cause of poor performance in athletic horses, and although many owners and trainers attempt to minimize the dispersion and inhalation of airborne particles, lots equine athletes still develop airway disease. According to a recent study, a new technique called "particle mapping" could help identify when and where ha...

Myostatin Gene in Thoroughbreds: Further Research Completed

Thoroughbred horses are selectively bred to improve both speed and stamina in an attempt to create the perfect racehorse. With the knowledge gleaned from the completion of the equine genome and advanced laboratory techniques available to genetic researchers, it seems this seemingly fleeting feat could be nearly within breeders' grasps.

Shock Wave Therapy and PSGAGs: Effects on Arthritis

We know osteoarthritis (OA) is a painful, degenerative condition that can result in lost training days, poor performance, and early retirement in equine athletes. We also know that there are many different treatments for OA. What we don't know, and what a team of researchers recently investigated, is how certain arthritic joint tissues--such as the su...

Adverse Reactions to Stem Cell Therapy

Stem cell therapy is one of the most discussed regenerative therapies in the horse health community today, and both peer-reviewed and anecdotal evidence indicates that these tiny tools have been relatively successful in assisting injury healing. But as with most therapies, despite some great success things don't always go as planned. At the 2011 North...

Study Examines Stem Cells' Efficacy in Racehorses

Although stem cell therapy continues to increase in popularity for treating horse racing injuries, its use bas been based only on experimental data regarding the treatment modality's efficacy. However, a group of researchers from Great Britain recently published a study examining the effects of stem cell therapy in superficial digital flexor tendons (...

Researchers Explore Treating Arthritis at Molecular Level

"Go small or go home" might be the new catch phrase at the Ohio State University's Comparative Orthopedic Laboratory, where researchers are examining a novel molecular approach to finding the cure for osteoarthritis (OA) in horses. The team recently completed a study using this molecular approach, and the preliminary results they obtained we...

Monitoring and Preventing Equine Proliferative Enteropathy

As with many infectious diseases, it's preferable to prevent equine proliferative enteropathy (EPE) rather than treat it. This emerging disease, which is caused by the bacterium Lawsonia intracellularis and infects foals and weanlings worldwide, has placed significant financial burden on parts of the equine industry, but horse owners and managers can ...

Researchers Evaluate Steps for Diagnosing Cushing's Disease

An earlier diagnosis for a horse often means a better prognosis for his recovery, but the reality with equine Cushing's disease has been that clinical signs are abundant before the diagnostic process begins. A team of researchers recently determined what they believe to be the ideal first step for diagnosing PPID early, however, and this could allow a...

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