Horse Health

Health news, veterinary advice, and educational tools to keep your horse healthy provided by The Horse

EVA Vaccines: What You Need to Know

Some equine diseases come and go with little impact on the horse industry as a whole. Others affect only local or state industries when they rear their ugly heads. But when a disease has the potential to shutter the global horse breeding industry, controlling it becomes crucial. One of those diseases is equine viral arteritis (EVA). Fortunately, veterinar...

Surgical vs. Medical Cecal Impaction Management

When your horse starts displaying signs of colic—decreased manure production, a lack of appetite, or pain—your first call should be to your veterinarian. While some mild colics can pass without much trouble, other types must be diagnosed and treated quickly—medically or surgically—to improve the horse's likelihood of survival. ...

EVA: A European Perspective

An infectious equine disease is bad news no matter what language you speak or which country you call home. But between countries, regulatory bodies, and animal health professionals, there often remains a difference in perspective when it comes to handling these diseases.

Ways to Reduce a Cribber's Colic Risk

Severe and recurring cases of colic are frequently caused by a horse’s environment, diet, and genetics. Study results have also proven a link between cribbing and an increased risk of colic. Researchers are working to better understand the link between the two.

Can Tiludronate be Used in Horse Joints?

Early in 2014, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved tiludronate for intravenous administration in horses with navicular disease. Despite being a relatively new drug used in veterinary medicine, some equine practitioners are already prescribing tiludronate for “off-label” use in horses with other conditions, such as osteoarthritis by ...

Equine Venereal Disease

STDs. They're the kind of thing many people would rather not discuss. Disease transmission through sexual contact or bodily fluids such as semen and blood is still a taboo subject, even in 2012. But the reality is that as long as horse owners continue to breed their mares to stallions hundreds or thousands of miles away--or to stallions who are in the...

Study: Epistaxis Has 'Complex Hereditary Basis'

Researchers have determined that epistaxis—the most severe form of exercise-induced pulmonary hemorrhage (EIPH) in which blood runs from the horse’s nostrils—has a genetic basis. And, according to a group from Australia, a combination of genes as well as exterior influences can lead to epistaxis.

Researchers Examine Fatal Lumbar Vertebral Fractures

When it comes to catastrophic injuries in racehorses, most people immediately think of severe limb fractures. But these athletes sometimes suffer life-threatening fractures beyond the limbs. Lumbar vertebral fractures, for instance, can occur in the loin area near where the rear of the saddle sits.

Colic: To Refer or Not to Refer

Four out of every 100 horses colic each year, making it the most common equine emergency. While most cases do not require surgery, 7-10% of them do involve lesions that are only correctable through surgery.

Carbohydrate Composition and Equine Digestion

Carbohydrates, including starches, sugars, and fiber, provide horses with the energy they need to meet their daily requirements. But what type of carbs should you be feeding? High-starch diets, for instance, can increase the risk of metabolic disease, while high-fiber diets might better support horses' nutritional health.

The Vet Tech's Role in Colic Surgery

Despite veterinary advancements and dramatically improved postoperative survival rates, colic is still a leading cause of death among horses. Colic, by definition, is abdominal pain; this is a clinical sign rather than a disease. A horse can be “colicky” for many reasons—large colon torsions, small intestinal strangulations, spasmodic ep...

Study: Cortisol and Noncribbing Cribbers

Back in 2011 an equine ethicist suggested that cribbers should be allowed to crib. That it could actually do them some good (provided it’s not causing colic or severe dental damage, of course). That cribbing might be a coping mechanism for these horses, faced with stress, and that stopping horses from doing it might even be cruel.

How Do Muzzles Impact Horses' Grass Selection and Intake?

In theory, turning a horse out isn't rocket science: Bring horse to pasture, remove halter and lead rope, close gate behind you. But if you're turning an easy keeper out in a big grassy field that happens to be the only pasture you have access to, turnout can be much more complicated—and hazardous to the horse's health. In situations lik...

Preventing Injuries in Thoroughbred Racehorses

The big names are recognizable: Barbaro, Eight Belles, St Nicholas Abbey. But hundreds of other racehorses have suffered racing or training injuries that ultimately proved fatal, as well. And while everyone would like to see the number of catastrophic injuries that occur on racetracks reduced, finding ways to actually accomplish that is easier said than d...

How to Manage a Collapsed Foal

Foals have seemingly endless energy, darting around their fields, playing with their pasturemates, and recharging with a quick nap and a drink from Mom. But, occasionally, a foal develops a health problem that zaps that energy and leaves him in a collapsed heap, looking sickly and vulnerable. What should you do if this happens to your foal?

What Causes Equine Grass Sickness?

We all know that horses residing at pasture spend the majority of their days grazing. But did you know that, in certain parts of the world, grazing could put a horse at risk for contracting a potentially fatal disease? And what's more, researchers still aren't sure what causes the disease, called equine grass sickness (EGS).

Study Compares Abdominal Bandage Types

It's no secret that leg wraps and bandages applied to horses' lower limbs protect and support the soft tissues within. But what about the abdominal bandages veterinarians wrap around horses' bodies post-colic surgery—do they function in the same way?

Most Popular Stories