Horse Health

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

Monitor Mares' Progesterone Levels before Inducing Labor

Inducing labor in humans might be commonplace, but performing the same procedure in pregnant mares is tricky business. If the timing’s off, the foal isn’t likely to be strong enough to survive. But French researchers say that monitoring mares' progesterone levels—combined with veterinary and breeding experience—could be the key...

Clenbuterol's Impact on Horses' Body Fat Percentage

With any medication comes a risk of side effects. For instance, long-term phenylbutazone administration to treat a musculoskeletal issue can result in gastrointestinal problems; pergolide to treat Cushing's disease can cause a decreased appetite; and vaccine administration to protect against disease can cause injection site swelling and muscle sorenes...

The Thoroughbred Racehorse Foot

Foot problems can commonly cause horses to be scratched from a race, lose training days, overload other structures, and have shortened careers. Functionally adapted for speed and efficient use of energy, the Thoroughbred foot is light and lacks the mass for protection commonly seen in heavier boned breeds.

Equine Infectious Disease Outbreak Response 101

From equine herpesvirus and influenza to strangles and coronavirus, infectious diseases can cause quite a stir in the horse industry—quarantines, canceled competitions, and, in some cases, even horse deaths or the threat of human infection. And something all horse owners and veterinarians should know is how to respond in the face of an infectious di...

Can Fecal Albumin Tests Identify Equine Parasite Burdens?

Over the past few years equine parasite control guidelines have been on a roller coaster ride. Many veterinarians now recommend owners focus their attention on horses with the highest parasite burdens, but how can you tell which horses are infected? Researchers recently tested whether a stall-side fecal test could identify horses with high internal parasi...

Are Coughing and Nasal Discharge Early Indicators of Heaves?

Horse owners might dismiss mild coughing or nasal discharge in their horses, but could these two inflammatory airway disease (IAD) signs be linked to a more serious condition? Recent research results from the University of Berne's Swiss Institute of Equine Medicine indicate that, yes, these signs could be early indicators of recurrent airway obstructi...

10 Hot Weather Horse Care Tips

Summer heat can be dangerous for horses, resulting in dehydration, lethargy, and general malaise. Severe heat stress can cause diarrhea, or even colic. But owners can take important steps to keep horses safe and comfortable during the hot days ahead.

What Makes Horses More or Less Likely to Miss Training Days?

The next time your equine athlete is on stall rest, don't ask why his barnmates seem so much sounder than him unless you really want to hear the answer: Researchers recently determined that several factors—from the animal's history to your own training and management techniques—appear to make horses more or less likely to miss training...

Researchers Study the Genetics of Heaves

Recurrent airway obstruction (RAO, also called heaves) appears to have a genetic basis, but that genetic basis isn’t the same in all horses, Swiss researchers say. While the clinical signs can be the same, the disease's underlying genetic mechanisms can vary from one horse family to another.

Opening Windows for Equine Social Interaction

As social relationships between horses become a greater equine welfare focus, scientists are seeking ways to allow social interactions for animals housed in traditionally isolating box stall settings. But don't tear your barn and stalls down just yet: French researchers recently tested another solution—windows between stalls—with positive ...

Equine Laparoscopic Castration's Success Rates Studied

Researchers and veterinarians constantly seek safer ways to perform common surgical procedures, and the castration of stallions is no exception. In the 1990s, laparoscopic castration, which cuts off the testes' blood supply but leaves them in place, was developed as an alternative to conventional castration methods that removes the testes from the bod...

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...

5 Tips for Feeding Weanlings

Young horses are considered weanlings from the time they're separated from their mothers until one year of age. This is a critical time in the young horse's life, and nutrition plays an important part. Here are five important points to consider when feeding a weanling:

How to Predict When a Mare Will Foal

For some breeders, the waiting game starts as soon as the mare is inseminated. For others, it starts when she's confirmed in foal. Still for others, it starts when she her belly grows large. Whenever that waiting game starts, all breeders want to know: When will my mare foal?

5 Tips for Feeding Foals

Proper foal nutrition is critical for adequate growth and development. A foal’s main source of nutrients is his dam’s milk, but in some cases this alone won't meet his high nutritional demands. What should you do?

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