Horse Health

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

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...

Grazing Management During Drought

Much of Kentucky has been behind on rainfall since spring began, but the drought has been exceptional in Western Kentucky with some cities 8 and 9 inches below normal rainfall totals. With some of the state's historically driest months ahead, good pasture management is critical for livestock producers, said forage extension specialists from the Univer...

Equine Reproductive Tract Bacteria Studied

Breeders who utilize live cover can breathe a sigh of relief: While live cover breeding facilities sometimes face pathogenic bacteria outbreaks, results from a study led by University of Kentucky PhD student Katheryn Cerny, MS, demonstrated bacteria on stallions' external genitalia does not affect stallion or mare fertility.

Equine Ration Balancer Pellets Explained

As research has advanced our understanding of equine nutrition, we now know more about how best to meet our horse's nutritional needs. One feed option that owners may notice on the shelves of their local feed store is a ration balancer. This pelleted feed option might have a place in your horse's diet, so let's explain how it is used.

Horse Owners Urged to Prepare for Active Wildfire Season

While firefighters work to contain a massive wildfire in New Mexico, the blaze has forced few horse evacuations, according to agricultural authorities in that state. But national authorities believe 2012 could see an increase in wildfire frequency and have cautioned horse owners to prepare for fires before they occur.

Researchers Evaluate Surgical Outcomes for Headshakers

While headshaking can be a purely behavioral problem in many horses, it can also result from severe facial pain or irritation, possibly due to a nerve disorder. Some headshakers with nerve disorders are euthanized while others undergo a surgical procedure called caudal compression of the infraorbital nerve to relieve the pain. The procedure involves placi...

Hurricane Season Resources for Horse Owners

As today (June 1) marks the official start of the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season, the staff at TheHorse.com took a look through our archives to find some important horse care articles, downloads, and videos that can help you prepare yourself, your horse, and your farm for the storm season.

Digital Radiographs Beat Analog for Enterolith Detection

Veterinarians have known for many years that analog radiography is an efficient means of diagnosing enteroliths in adult horses, but computed, or digital, radiography has since replaced many analog machines. Researchers at the University of California, Davis (UC Davis) recently put the newer technology to the test and found it outperformed its predecessor...

Equine Sarcoids Chromosomal Regions Identified

Equine Sarcoids (ES), a common form of semi-malignant skin tumor, has long been recognized as having a genetic component, but how it's passed to offspring wasn't fully understood. Recently, a team of researchers conducting a whole-genome scan successfully located chromosomal regions associated with ES, bringing us one step closer to understanding ...

Health Conditions in Older Foals

Growing foals can suffer a range of potentially life-threatening illnesses and conditions, such as pneumonia, colic, and ulcers. At a recent veterinary convention, one practitioner stressed the importance of recognizing these conditions and their clinical signs, as prompt veterinary attention often gives the patient the best chance for survival.

Selenium and Vitamin E to Alleviate Signs of Tying Up

Exertional rhabdomyolysis, otherwise known as "tying up," is a term used to describe a variety of muscle disorders in the equine athlete. Horses affected by tying up have varying degrees of muscle cramping or muscle soreness, with the more severe cases accompanied by elevated respiratory and heart rates, dark colored urine, and reluctance to mov...

Vaccination to Control Equine Influenza During an Outbreak

While vaccination to control equine influenza (EI) in endemic areas is common practice, little is known about the use of early vaccination to eradicate the disease during an outbreak. Researchers recently examined the effect of early vaccination during an outbreak, using the 2007 EI outbreak in Australia, which had previously been free of EI, as a model.

Effects of Exercise on Young Thoroughbreds' Knees

According to an ongoing international study led by a New Zealand-based researcher, exercising Thoroughbreds younger than 18 months of age doesn't seem create make more--or fewer--cartilage defects in the intercarpal (knee) joints. It also doesn't make them more or less severe, and it doesn't change the sites on the joint where they show up. In...

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