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.
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.
From trips across the state to flights around the world, today's horses are regular globetrotters. And while most horses arrive at their destinations happy and healthy, some will arrive with some unwelcome baggage: a fever and possibly even clinical disease.
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 Racing Medication and Testing Consortium believes the majority of racing jurisdictions will have a substantial portion of the National Uniform Medication Program in place by year's end.
Owners at the Thoroughbred Ownership Conference were given a tutorial in proper horse care, common health and physical problems, and what some organizations are doing to improve the quality of life for horses and people.
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...
Delays at the respected Lexington drug-testing laboratory LGC have forced two of its biggest customers, the Indiana Horse Racing Commission and Kentucky Horse Racing Commission, to consider other options.
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.
While there's no definitive cure for recurrent airway obstruction (RAO, commonly known as heaves), veterinarians are well-versed in managing the condition. Many will add a corticosteroid—either systemic or inhaled—to an affected horse's therapeutic regimen, but which type is the better choice?
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...
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...
If your horse tends to colic, it’s probably best to get him out in the field, researchers say. That’s even more important if he has stereotypies like cribbing, windsucking, or weaving.
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?
If your horse is dealing with cataract-associated vision loss, researchers have some good news: Recent study results suggest that more than 25% of horses that undergo a certain type of cataract surgery are still visual two years later.
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).
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?
If you’ve ever had to deal with equine gastric ulcers, you—and your wallet—will likely be happy that researchers have learned that a much lower dose of one omeprazole formulation could be just as effective in treating the condition as the standard dose.
Charles J. Cella, president of Oaklawn Racing & Gaming, announced Sept. 18 that the Arkansas track in 2015 will offer purse bonuses for horses that run and win without furosemide (Salix or commonly called Lasix).
Jockey Club says a recent study's findings challenge long-held opinions in North American racing, including the contention that the use of the diuretic furosemide is necessary to ensure long-term careers of horses.
A study published online this spring found no link between the vast majority of horses who suffer from exercise-induced pulmonary hemorrhage and long-term racing performance.
New York officials are recommending that all horses be vaccinated against Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) after six cases of the deadly virus have been confirmed in the state.
Kentucky Downs has designated its Sept. 24 card as Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation Day in support of a leading source of veterinary research for horses.
When a horse suffers a musculoskeletal injury, the following events typically include a diagnosis, treatment, and return to soundness. To make a full athletic recovery, however, affected horses might benefit from specific forms of rehabilitation that restore function to the back's deep stabilizing muscles.
Tendon boots help protect horses’ front legs from injuries such as hoof strikes or collisions with jumps. Wraps protect this sensitive area during travel or flat work. But Austrian researchers have determined that boots and wraps have definite effects on skin and tendon temperature as well—and those effects are probably not without health cons...
Is that horse lame, or is he exhibiting neurologic signs such as ataxia (incoordination)? For some horse owners, answering this question can be difficult. Recent study results suggest, however, that owners aren't the only ones that find it challenging to evaluate a possibly ataxic horse: Researchers determined that equine health experts have difficult...
In a 12-month period that has seen drug compounders linked to horse deaths at a training center and integrity issues at the track, the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission is researching ways it could add regulatory oversight.
A keen observer of the subtle nuances of movement, balance, and alignment, Carol Seaver takes it all in and tunes into the Thoroughbreds that need her attention. When she works on horses, magic happens.
When it comes to diagnosing a horse's lameness, the veterinarian's eyes are no longer the ultimate diagnostic machine. In fact, in one study (Keegan 2010) only 52% of participating veterinarians agreed on which of a horse's limbs was lame while assessing him visually.
It’s no secret that horses in modern management situations can benefit from slowed forage intake, which mimics feral horses' natural foraging tendencies. But do these slow feeders really work? A group of University of Minnesota researchers recently put two slow-feed haynets—one with medium-sized and one with small-sized openings—to t...
A Lexington pharmacy that makes compound products for horses said it has taken steps to reinforce its safety and quality standards and has cooperated with a federal agency's inquiry into "adverse events earlier this year."
If your horse had strangles, would you be able to tell? He'd probably have those token swollen lymph nodes and maybe a fever, right? It's possible, but researchers recently determined that these signs alone might not be the only ones that should prompt a strangles test. In fact, more than a quarter of the horses in their recent research presented ...
Equine locomotion seems like a sophisticated thing. All those delicate bones, joints, tendons, and muscles must move in tandem to propel the horse's large body forward at varying speeds.
There’s no equine-specific poison control center. But if there were, what would the statistics show?
It started in a diarrheic foal in North Carolina in 1999. A few years later, researchers found it in Japan. Today, scientists have discovered the virus in Europe. And what’s more, they’ve found it in horses' respiratory fluid, whereas before, it’s only been isolated in feces.
Horses can suffer musculoskeletal pain and injuries anywhere along the axial skeleton that comprises the skull, vertebral column, sternum, and ribs. Bringing these horses back to form post-injury can be difficult and time-consuming, but possible thanks to both time-tested mobilization exercises and cutting-edge physical therapy techniques.
Your horse just had a fabulous workout, got really sweaty, and used up a lot of energy. Now what does he want you to do?
Advocates for change in horse racing didn't find much reason for optimism in the National Thoroughbred Racing Association's legislative update held in Saratoga Springs Aug. 7.
Scientists from the University of Liverpool and Queen Mary University of London, both in England, have examined the mechanisms that cause tendon aging in horses, which could open up the possibility of better treatment for both horses and humans in the future.
Before making a formal recommendation of a regulatory testing limit on cobalt, North American racing regulators have decided to consider the results of two scientific research studies.
President Obama has signed into law a bill that makes it legal for veterinarians to provide the care necessary to horses away from their licensed place of practice and across state lines.
The Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance noted Aug. 1 that it is receiving significant and growing support from the sales sector, with participation from buyers, consignors, and sale companies.
If a problem occurs with horse feed, a new collaboration between the U.S. Food & Drug Administration and the Partnership for Food Protection aims to improve reaction time by sharing information about feed-related issues.
While We Are winning a group I race despite suffering from a large ovarian tumor would seemingly serve as the latest of many examples of courage in the Thoroughbred, French officials do not see it that way.
Dr. Robert O'Neil has been named to the newly created position of equine health and safety director in Florida, according to an announcement from The Stronach Group July 30.
Moderate to severe superficial digital flexor (SDF) tendon lesions in Thoroughbred racehorses have typically carried a poor prognosis for a return to racing and a lengthy rehabilitation process for horses that do return. But a team of veterinarians recently took a closer look at a procedure that could help improve the outcome for Thoroughbreds with such i...
A new study finds no difference in the racing career longevity between horses who experience some level of exercise-induced pulmonary hemorrhage and those who never experience EIPH.
Researchers know that exercise-induced pulmonary hemorrhage, or EIPH, can hinder a horse's lung function and athletic performance. What they're still not clear on, however, is which horses will bleed and when. But an Australian research team recently took a step closer to finding the answer.
Are you having trouble getting a mare in foal? Try ensuring she has constant access to forage. Recent study results suggest that broodmares appear to have better fertility levels if allowed to nibble on hay or grass continuously day and night.
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...
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