Horse Health

Health news, veterinary advice, and educational tools to keep your horse healthy.

Subfertile Mares Need Conscientious Monitoring (AAEP 2012)

Many reproductive losses occur in the very early stages of pregnancy, but veterinarians emphasize that losses late in gestation can happen as well. A Louisiana State University (LSU) reproduction specialist recently described how practitioners can monitor pregnant mares to minimize such losses, particularly those mares difficult to get in foal in the firs...

Helping Pregnant Mares' Final Month be Fruitful (AAEP 2012)

Although a great deal of the literature on breeding pertains to fertility and pregnancy rates, the last month of gestation is equally (if not more) important. Even in seemingly healthy mares, pregnancy can change from heavenly to horrific in the wink of a vulva, as one researcher explained during the 2012 American Association of Equine Practitioners&rsquo...

Biomechanics and Hoof Problems, Treatment (AAEP 2012)

Lameness caused by foot problems is common in the horse, and it can significantly impact how well a horse can perform. Hoof bruising, heel soreness, hoof cracks all create discomfort that alter a horse’s gait and prevent him from giving his utmost to an athletic task. Nearly all equine foot diseases have their root in biomechanics, noted a Universit...

Researchers Study Early Postpartum Breeding in Horses

Covering broodmares during the first month postpartum, often on the first postpartum estrus (termed "foal heat"), is routine practice at many dedicated breeding operations to ensure mares foal at roughly the same time each year. A mare that fails to conceive shortly after foaling continues to have subsequently later foaling dates, eventually mis...

AAEP Vets to Assist Telecasts of 2013 Triple Crown Trail

Media-trained equine veterinarians representing the American Association of Equine Practitioners’ (AAEP) On Call program will support another season of live Thoroughbred racing telecasts when the “Road to the Kentucky Derby” series on the NBC Sports Group kicks off this weekend. The On Call program is designed to deliver accurate veterin...

AHC, AAEP Issue Letter on Equine Disease Outbreaks

The American Horse Council and the American Association of Equine Practitioners issued an open letter to the horse industry March 28 regarding equine disease outbreaks in the United States. In their communication, the organizations outline current horse health issues facing the industry and seek equine community participation in developing a National Equi...

Wobbler Syndrome in Older Horses

The neurologic condition cervical vertebral stenotic myopathy (CVSM, commonly known as wobbler syndrome) is much less common in older horses than it is in young, growing animals. But according to one clinician, this condition should be on all veterinarians' differential diagnoses list when evaluating an aged horse presenting with neurologic signs and/...

Pervious Concrete Reduces Equine Injury, Environmental Risks

Any owner who has ever bathed a horse while standing on a conventional concrete surface knows the soapy runoff can quickly turn that surface into a slick hazard for both animal and human. Stephen Higgins, PhD, director of Environmental Compliance for the Agricultural Experiment Station at the University of Kentucky’s College of Agriculture, says hor...

Researchers Review Equine Sarcoidosis Cases

While still rare, equine sarcoidosis—not to be confused with sarcoid tumors, an unrelated skin condition—can appear in even the healthiest of horses. But don’t be too quick to treat sarcoidosis-associated hair loss, scaly and flaking skin, and crusting with creams, ointments, and lotions. According to Dutch researchers, it’s better...

Triaging Acute Equine Neurologic Emergencies

A horse owner's day can go from great to horrific in a matter of seconds if he or she arrives at the barn to find their charge either staggering around the field or completely unable to rise. A prompt call to the veterinarian is warranted in these scenarios, but what should an owner expect when the veterinarian arrives?

New Test Could Detect Equine Lyme Disease Sooner (AAEP 2012)

Diagnosing Lyme disease in horses is tricky business; not all horses that contract the causative bacterium, Borrellia burgdorferi, from infected ticks develop the debilitating condition, and those that do might not show signs until several months after infection. As with many diseases, early detection can mean swifter resolution, along with better recover...

New Hyperinsulinemia Screening Test Promising (AAEP 2012)

In a perfect world, veterinarians would be able to detect every horse afflicted with insulin dysregulation before the animal developed the painful and debilitating disease laminitis. Screening for insulin issues is typically cumbersome, because existing tests are time-consuming and involved. A team from the University of Tennessee (UT) led by Nicholas Fra...

Equine Herpesvirus-1 Q&A

Equine Herpesvirus-1 Q&A

Equine herpesvirus-1 (EHV-1) is a highly contagious disease that can cause epidemic abortion in mares and respiratory and/or neurologic disease. The neurologic form is often fatal. Our experts answer your EHV-1 questions.

Back to Basics: Equine Dental Terminology and Anatomy

When discussing our dental health, we are familiar with commonly used terms such as plaque, cavity, or root canal. But discussing our horses' teeth can be a bit more confusing: Mesial. Occlusal surface. Interproximal space. What does it all mean? Fortunately, at the 2013 Western Veterinary Conference, held Feb. 17-21 in Las Vegas, Nev., Cleet Griffin,...

Top Equine Reproduction Studies of 2012 (AAEP 2012)

Veterinary researchers publish scores of scientific papers annually, but if practitioners are out examining and treating patients they don't necessarily have time to brush up on every study's take-home message. The annual Kester News Hour presentation at the American Association of Equine Practitioners' convention gives practitioners a chance ...

Medication Mishaps in Horses (AAEP 2012)

Paracelsus, a 16th century Swiss physician and alchemist, once said, "Poison is in everything, and no thing is without poison. The dosage makes it either a poison or a remedy." Similarly in horses, determining what medication dose is therapeutic vs. detrimental, and knowing which drugs can poison some horses while helping others, are among the c...

Treating Fungal Infections in Mares (AAEP 2012)

Fungal infections of the uterus, due to either yeast or mold, are less common than bacterial infections, but it's important to consider them because untreated infections can lead to fertility problems. In such cases prompt diagnosis and treatment are necessary for a positive outcome. A veterinarian from The Ohio State University recently described app...

Ultrasound for Arytenoid Chondritis Diagnosis? (AAEP 2012)

Veterinarians often choose upper airway endoscopy when working to diagnose equine arytenoid chondritis--an uncommon but problematic respiratory condition--but in some cases a definitive diagnosis lies out of reach. Ultrasonography could offer a valuable adjunct tool for diagnosing this respiratory condition, however, especially in cases lacking a definiti...

Building a Veterinarian-Farrier Relationship (AAEP 2012)

Veterinarians and farriers must work as a team to manage a horse's athletic soundness and performance. The collaborative dynamic between veterinarian and farrier is important to ensuring a horse remains sound and receives the best possible hoof care. William Moyer, DVM, of Texas A&M University's School of Veterinary Medicine, and Harry Werner,...

Researchers Developing Equine Welfare Assessment Protocol

Do you know how to recognize equine welfare issues? While some signs of poor welfare are obvious, others are more subtle and possibly evident right in your own stable. According to Swedish researchers, there's a great need for research-based welfare assessments that take the guesswork out of judging equine well-being. And they've been busy develop...

Tips for Keeping Mares in Foal (AAEP 2012)

Proper and timely intervention can mean the difference between a live foal and a lost one. And while most equine pregnancies proceed without incident, an estimated 12.9% of mares lose their foals between 40 days of gestation and the estimated foaling date. These mares could potentially benefit from such intervention.

Barn Fires: The Veterinarian's Role (AAEP 2012)

A barn engulfed in flames, terrified whinnies coming from within the burning structure. Few scenarios are more frightening to owners of stable-kept horses. Veterinarians, with their regular trips to the barn, are in a unique position to advise horse owners on fire prevention. However, even with the best preventive measures, barn fires do happen, so it'...

GI Drug Could be Useful for Equine Eye Exams (AAEP 2012)

Occasionally veterinarians stumble across a drug side effect that's more useful than detrimental. Take, for example, the antispasmodic N-butylscopolammonium bromide (NBB), marketed in the United States as Buscopan (Boehringer Ingelheim) to treat horses with colic. As it turns out, this drug could be useful for helping veterinarians examine horses'...

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