Horse Health

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

Consider SDFT Attachment Problems in Lame Horses

Many veterinarians agree that 90% of equine lamenesses originate in the foot. But if it’s not in the foot, there are many other areas where lameness can hide. One area practitioners should examine if a horse is hind-limb lame is where the superficial digital flexor tendon (SDFT) attaches to the hock, suggests Sue Dyson, MA, Vet MB, PhD, DEO, FRCVS, ...

Complications Related to Intrauterine Marbles

While breeders might try anything to get their mares into heat, some other mare owners will try anything to keep their mares out of heat. From aggressive behavior to performance problems, some mares can turn into different animals when they're in estrus. Fortunately, veterinarians have many options by which to keep mares out of heat. One common techni...

Mending Tendon and Joint Injuries with PRP

What makes recommendations for regenerative therapies such as platelet-rich plasma (PRP) inexact is that these approaches are based in biology, not chemistry, said Lisa A. Fortier, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ACVS, of Cornell. Each preparation is just as variable and unique as one horse is to the next. Recognizing this can go a long way in setting clients’ expe...

Give Your Horse a Breath of Fresh Air This Winter

Take a look around your barn, what do you see? Horses in their half-mucked stalls with straw or shavings and a wheelbarrow and pitchfork right outside; the tractor running at the barn door; hay bales piled outside stalls and at the end of the shedrow; a fan on the floor; piles of blankets, coolers, slinkies, bandages, and wraps; dusty shelves covered with...

Eye Problems in Neonatal Foals

Just because your hours-old newborn foal hasn't had time to stick a piece of hay in his eye or find something to slice his eyelid on doesn't mean he's immune to ophthalmic problems. In fact, eye problems are quite prevalent in neonates, and at the 2014 American Association of Equine Practitioners Convention, held Dec. 6-10 in Salt Lake City, U...

How to Build an Automatic Milking Device for Orphan Foals

The old adage says that when the going gets tough, the tough get going. So when the sister of an employee at Waller Equine Hospital, in Texas, found herself with an orphaned foal, unable to secure a nurse mare and unable to easily provide the frequent feedings the foal needed to thrive due to a busy schedule, the clinic staff got going.

Managing Foal Rejection

Your long-awaited foal is almost here. You can't wait to watch your mare lick her youngster dry, gently nuzzle his rump as he nurses, and graze next to him in the pasture. But when he makes his entrance into the world, your mare wants nothing to do with him. She pins her ears, tosses her head, and moves away as he wobbles towards her. She's reject...

Hearing Loss in Adult Horses

Have you ever strained to hear your trainer over a blustery wind, pattering rain on an arena roof, or a crowded warmup arena at a competition? Guess what—you might not have been the only one. Although not often reported, horses can have a hard time hearing, as well.

Superficial Digital Flexor Tendon Rupture in Older Horses

Older horses can be at risk of sustaining an uncommon injury: acute rupture of the proximal (upper) superficial digital flexor tendon (SDFT) where the cannon bone meets the carpus (knee). This is because as horses age, the SDFT stiffens and becomes less elastic, decreasing its resistance to cyclic loading to the point that it can potentially tear.

Measuring Horses' Skin Temperature Changes Underwater

Water treadmill workouts are gaining in popularity, especially for rehabilitating injuries. Compared with swimming pool exercises, water treadmill therapy allows the horse to maintain correct posture and gives a handler the ability to control the speed, incline, water height, and resistance of the workout.

Subjective vs. Objective Lameness Identification Methods

Lameness evaluations can be extremely subjective. When examining a horse with a mild lameness, in particular, veterinarians often don’t agree on a diagnosis—some are prone to seeing a more sound horse, others a more lame one. To overcome such disparities, practitioners have turned to objective methods such as force plates and inertial sensor s...

Which Cryotherapy Method Works Best for Cooling Hooves?

Continuous cooling of the hoof and its blood supply (cryotherapy) has been shown to prevent laminitis in at-risk horses. But which cooling method is most effective? Australian researchers recently evaluated several commonly used hoof-cooling methods to see how they compared.

New Year's Resolutions for Maximizing Horse Health in 2015

As one calendar year draws to a close and another begins, many people resolve to take steps to improve their lives. And while the wisdom of some resolutions remains questionable—such as paying off your credit card in full every month … with another credit card—others likely do have a positive impact on peoples' lives.

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.

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