Horse Health

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

Advances and Challenges in Equitation Science Technology

Twenty-first century technology brings us into the once-science fiction world described by fantasy writers in the 1950s. We've got retina screens, hybrid vehicles, and a million different apps (not short for "Appaloosas," in this case). We can video chat with people on the other side of the planet in real time, and we can carry 50,000 photog...

Factors Associated with Surviving Potomac Horse Fever (AAEP 2012)

Potomac horse fever (PHF), a somewhat regional rickettsial disease, causes acute diarrhea and leads to death in up to 30% of affected horses. In an effort to understand the disease better, Sandra Taylor, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ACVIM, of Purdue University's school of veterinary medicine, performed a retrospective study in which she and colleagues looked for s...

Law, Morals, and Ethics in Equine Practice (AAEP 2012)

"The No. 1 goal of the equine veterinarian is to help the welfare of the horse," reported Rick Lesser, DVM, during a series of sessions focused on ethics, scope of practice, and racing at the 2012 American Association of Equine Practitioners' (AAEP) Convention, held Dec. 1-5, in Anaheim, Calif. "The best way to do this is through a syne...

Laminitis Overview and Anatomy

Laminitis, also referred to as "founder," is an often devastating disease of the hoof that can cripple or kill afflicted horses. It's such an important equine disease that each year veterinarians, farriers, and horse owners from throughout the United States gather at the International Equine Conference of Laminitis and the Equine Foot.

Flunixin Meglumine Doses: More or Less? (AAEP 2012)

Veterinarians use non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to manage equine pain in a variety of situations. Foot pain can often be difficult to control, so Jonathan Foreman, DVM, MS, Dipl. ACVIM, of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and his colleagues examined the possibility that higher-than-standard doses might better alleviate foot...

Female Equine Embryo Survival Studied

Researchers know that many mammals can adjust the ratio of male and female young depending on the surrounding conditions at the time of conception but how precisely this is accomplished remains a matter for debate. A recent study carried out with equine embryos by Christine Aurich, DVM, PhD, and colleagues at the University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna,...

Genetic Basis of Osteochondritis Dissecans Probed

For a Thoroughbred the road to the racetrack is sometimes a rocky one, wrought with physical challenges such as the musculoskeletal condition osteochondrosis (OC). But recently, English researchers have taken a step forward in understanding a potential genetic component of OC.

Common Clinical Signs of Laminitis

Laminitis is a painful disease in horses that is often illustrated by classic clinical signs. Recognizing these signs during early onset and seeking immediate veterinary care can improve the outcome of treatment, said James Orsini, DVM, Dipl. ACVS, director of the Laminitis Institute at the University of Pennsylvania's New Bolton Center.

Identifying Laminitic Changes with MRI

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) might offer evidence of laminitic changes in a horse's hoof before the disease is otherwise identified. Equine radiologist and consultant Alexia McKnight, DVM, Dipl. ACVR, of McKnight Insight, in Chadds Ford, Pa., shared her anecdotal experience identifying laminitic changes via MRI during her presentation "Equine...

Look, Ma--No Shoes!

Just in time for winter--a time when many owners opt to pull their horses' shoes for the season--a team of researchers has released results from a study examining the effects of normal gaits on hoof wear in barefoot horses.

Preventing Fall and Winter Colic

The fall is a time of lovely colors, family get-togethers, and winding down the busy show season. However, fall is often a time of increased colic calls to veterinarians. While not all colic episodes can be prevented, paying attention to equine management can go a long way to decrease the incidence and the suffering of episodes.

Researcher: Work Objectively to Understand Equine Behavior

Think we're getting close to finally figuring horses out completely? Well, we're not. But the good news is that by working entirely objectively, equitation scientists are beginning to enter into a new dimension of understanding equine behavior. And that, according to a leading equitation scientist, will lead us into a "Golden Age" of hor...

Top Equine Surgery Studies of 2012 (AAEP 2012)

Equine practitioners are undeniably busy individuals, making farm calls, caring for patients, and evaluating test results on a daily basis. To help veterinarians keep up to date on the most recent and relevant research, three veterinarians review the top studies in the fields of surgery, medicine, and reproduction at the annual American Association of Equ...

Comparing the Effects of Two Equine Omega-3 Fatty Acid Supplements

Omega-3 fatty acids have proven to be beneficial for horses with arthritis or other inflammatory conditions, but when it comes to choosing a supplement, which one is best? There are two sources of equine omega-3 fatty acid supplements--one derived from algae and fish oil and the other derived from plants. Recent research performed at Colorado State Univer...

Shock Wave Therapy Table Topic (AAEP 2012)

A group of very interactive veterinarians gathered for the table topic discussion on shock wave therapy at the 2012 American Association of Equine Practitioners Annual Meeting, held Dec. 1-5 in Anaheim, Calif. Susan Johns, DVM, CVA, of Virginia Equine Imaging, and Scott McClure, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ACVS, associate professor of equine surgery at Iowa State Uni...

Simultaneous Ivermectin and Solanum Plant Poisoning in Horses

Ivermectin dewormer is considered safe for horses, even at up to 10 times the recommended dosage. But results of a recent case series documented by researchers at Texas A&M University (TAMU) revealed that horses consuming plants from the toxic Solanum (nightshade) family could be in danger of ivermectin poisoning, even when the anthelmintic is dosed a...

HSUS Launches Safe Stalls Horse Rescue Network

The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) is launching a new program to help horses rescued from cruelty and neglect cases or natural disasters. The HSUS' Safe Stalls Horse Rescue Network will be a nationwide system of horse rescue groups, equine professionals and enthusiasts who can provide emergency care and shelter to horses in need.

Supporting a Foundered Foot with a W-Shoe

Foundered hooves often require extra support to help them heal and grow while also offering the horse pain relief. But, rarely is the hoof undamaged and easy to shoe after a laminitic episode, said Chris Gregory, MS, CJF, FWCF, of Heartland Horseshoeing School in Lamar, Mo. For these cases Gregory employs a W-shoe custom made for the individual horse and ...

Udder Issues for the Mare

A few days after weaning your foal, you notice his dam's udder is hot and tender. While this veteran broodmare's udder has been quite large at weaning time before, she's never been so grumpy about having it touched. A veterinary examination confirms your suspicions: The mare has mastitis. Udder problems such as this are not terribly common, bu...

Inside the Womb

It takes one egg, millions of sperm (but only one really lucky one), 11 months, and a host of normal physiologic events to make a mare a mom. Also, on the owner's part, "there is a lot invested, both financially and emotionally, in producing a healthy foal," explains Igor Canisso, DVM, MSc, Dipl. ACT, a theriogenologist PhD candidate in the ...

BHA Equine Science, Welfare Director to Depart

The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) announced Nov. 19 that Tim Morris, DVM, PhD, director of equine science and welfare, will leave the organization in January. His departure forms part of the ongoing restructure of BHA services, led by chief executive Paul Bittar.

Suppressing Estrus in Mares

Even the quietest of mares can turn into a proverbial fire-breathing dragon during her estrous cycle, which can make riding, training, competing, or handling these horses a challenge for any equestrian. Fortunately, veterinarians have effective methods by which to prevent or lessen the effects of estrus in mares while still allowing them to have a second ...

Pre- and Probiotics for Horses

Feed digestion in horses is largely accomplished by microbial fermentation in the hindgut. The cecum and colon provide an environment that promotes the digestion and absorption of nutrients from fibrous products such as hay and beet pulp. Disrupting the microbe balance, due to mismanaged feeding practices or illness, can have detrimental effects on the ho...

Study Examines Osteoarthritis Formation after Fetlock Injury

A recent study carried out by a team of equine orthopedic researchers at the University of Guelph Comparative Orthopedic Research Laboratory took a closer look at post-traumatic osteoarthritis in horses. Specifically, the team evaluated whether or not single impact injury to the fetlock could progress to post-traumatic osteoarthritis or osteochondral dise...

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