Horse Health

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

New Diagnostic Assay for EPM Developed

Dan Howe, PhD, a molecular parasitologist at the University of Kentucky Gluck Equine Research Center, has developed a new assay to aid in diagnosing equine protozoal myeloencephalitis (EPM). This enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, or ELISA, measures antibodies to the surface antigens (SAGs) SnSAG2, SnSAG3, and SnSAG4 of Sarcocystis neurona, the parasite t...

Surgical Options for Managing Roaring in Horses

You might not be able to see a roarer from a mile away, but you sure can hear them. Horses with recurrent laryngeal neuropathy (RLN, often referred to as roarers due to the sound they make breathing) frequently require surgical intervention to both reduce the noise produced during exercise and to increase the amount of air they can take in while working.

Effects of Selenium Source on Mares and Foals

The micromineral selenium plays a vital role in equine immune function, especially in the mare and foal. Selenium transfer through the placenta and milk has been shown to influence neonatal selenium status in livestock, but it remains unknown if the selenium source affected transmission from mare to foal.

Increased Equine West Nile Virus Activity in 2012

Nearly 700 human cases of West Nile virus (WNV) have been confirmed in the United States thus far in 2012, according to a recent statement from the Center for Disease Control (CDC). So it should come as no surprise that many veterinarians are recommending horse owners ensure their animals are properly vaccinated against the potentially deadly mosquito-bor...

Equine Infectious Anemia Outbreak Hits Western Canada

Saskatchewan and other regions of Western Canada are in the midst of the largest equine infectious anemia (EIA) outbreak the area has seen in years, involving more than 70 horses and 22 different properties thus far in 2012. In response, two veterinarians discussed the importance of disease surveillance in controlling--and possibly even eradicating--the d...

Alternative Fiber Sources for Horses

Much of the country is experiencing drier than normal conditions this summer, so some horses living on pasture might soon have limited forage choices. With decreased forage growth also comes a decrease in hay production. Therefore, owners might want to familiarize themselves with alternative fiber sources that could be used to supplement their horses'...

Creating a Sacrifice Area for Horses

A sacrifice area is a small enclosure, such as a corral, run, pen, turnout, or winter paddock, meant to be your horse's outdoor living quarters. It is called a sacrifice area because you are giving up the use of that small portion of land as a grassy area to benefit the rest of your pasture. Many owners confine their horses to sacrifice areas during t...

Equine Rabies Refresher

Editor's note: This article is part of TheHorse.com's ongoing coverage of topics presented at the 2012 American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine Forum, held May 30 - June 2 in New Orleans, La.

Chondroitin Sulfate, Glucosamine's Effects on Equine OA

Monitoring equine joint disease and determining the effects of nutraceutical agents, such as chondroitin sulfate (CS) and glucosamine (GlcN), is difficult to say the least. However, a group of Brazilian researchers recently determined that analyzing urinary glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) could be helpful, especially in mild osteoarthritis (OA) cases.

Rotational Grazing: Time it Right for Optimal Pastures

You’ve seen it plenty of times: bare pasture grazed down to the nub. Who wouldn’t rather look out of the stable to see happy horses grazing on healthy pastures? One solution lies in rotational grazing, a simple management technique that subdivides pasture areas, which allows forage an opportunity to regrow after it's been grazed. By fencin...

Forage-Only Diet for Performance Horses Evaluated

With countless types of grains and concentrated feed available for performance horses, some horse owners might wish for a simpler approach to feeding their equine athlete. Well here’s some good news for these owners: According to recent study results, a diet devoid of concentrates and entirely based on forage could be suitable for some high-performa...

Drought, Heat Push Horse Feed Costs Skyward

Nationwide, the combination of very hot weather and persistent dry conditions continue to challenge horse owners with parched pastures and high hay and feed prices. Now, with no end to the drought and heat in sight, owners might have to rethink what they feed their horses.

Univ. of Edinburgh Offers Online Equine Nutrition Course

The University of Edinburgh is offering a free online equine nutrition course through coursera.org. The five-week long course will be instructed by Jo-Anne Murray, PhD, PgDip, PgCert, BSc(Hons), BHSII, RNutr, FHEA, senior lecturer in Animal Nutrition and Husbandry at the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies at the university.

Horse Owners Challenged by Heat, Drought

Earlier this summer, triple digit temperatures had horse owners and their animals sweltering. Now owners remain hot under the collar as they worry about hay and feed availability with the persistent heat and ongoing drought.

Keeping Pastured Horses Safe during Drought

Much of the country is experiencing drier than normal conditions this summer and, thus, some horses living on pasture might soon have limited forage choices. Owners must take care to ensure pastures do not contain certain plant and weed species capable of producing toxins during stress conditions such as drought.

Horse-Related Injuries Among Humans Evaluated

Many equestrians consider cuts, bruises, and the occasional broken bone part of the territory when it comes to working with and around horses. However a recent study revealed that a "disproportionately high accident rate" in the horse world as compared to other industries.

Study Shows Omeprazole Prevents Ulcers in Young Racehorses

Gastric ulcers are an occupational hazard for Thoroughbreds, with up to 90% of all active racehorses currently affected. Omeprazole paste is currently licensed for treating and preventing gastric ulcer recurrence in horses, but until now researchers have not studied its efficacy in preventing ulcers from forming in young Thoroughbred racehorses.

Working to Understand Equine Laminitis

Equine laminitis can be a devastating result of many different disease processes in the horse, including sepsis and endocrinopathies. The two primary types of endocrinopathic laminitis are equine metabolic syndrome (EMS, seen most often in the obese horse), and Cushing's syndrome (also known as pituitary pars intermedia disorder) in older horses (char...

Pigeon Fever in Horses: A Re-emerging Disease

Infection in horses caused by the Gram-positive bacterium Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis can assume many forms. Deep intramuscular abscesses in horses caused by C. pseudotuberculosis were first reported in San Mateo County, Calif., in 1915. Since that time, the disease commonly referred to as "pigeon fever" was considered one of the most fre...

Understanding Horses' Water Requirements

Water is one of the essential nutrients a horse needs to perform a number of life-support functions, including digestion and thermoregulation. Especially with the hot summer weather prevalent in much of the country, it's important to ensure horses have access to water at all times.

Study Evaluates Exercise During Yearling Sales Preparation

In the equine world, the idiom "hit the ground running" is particularly fitting: Multiple studies suggest early exercise helps develop a foal's musculoskeletal system and could even help prevent future injuries. However, the early exercise Thoroughbred yearlings being prepped for sale receive might have little effect on their musculoskeletal...

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