Horse Health

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

Going Green: Are Equine Diets Environmentally Friendly?

When most caretakers develop a diet for their horses, the environmental impact of the comestibles once they're passed through the horse's body often isn't the first thing they consider. But a team of researchers recently set out to see which forage-based diet is healthiest for both the horse and the environment.

USEA Identifies Horse Killed in Hyperbaric Chamber Explosion

The United States Eventing Association (USEA) has identified the horse killed in the explosion of a hyperbaric oxygen chamber at the Kentucky Equine Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation Center (KESMARC) in Ocala, Fla., on Feb. 10 as Landmark's Legendary Affaire. The 6-year-old Thoroughbred gelding was owned by Jacqueline Mars and ridden by Lauren Kieffe...

New Deslorelin Formula Improves Pregnancy Rates (AAEP 2011)

The goal in a horse breeding program is to maximize pregnancy rates by breeding mares only once per cycle. Because this is easier said than done, veterinarians employ a little help in a product called deslorelin acetate, which induces ovulation at (or near) the time of breeding. Recently the drug became available in the United States in a slow-release for...

Physical Therapy for Stifle Problems in Horses (AAEP 2011)

Many horses struggle with stifle dysfunction due to injury, surgery, immobility, or disease. According to Jennifer H. Brooks, PT, MEd (Masters of Education), of Equine Rehabilitation Services, in Brookline, N.H., the stifle joint (comparable to a human’s knee) is the largest, most complex joint in the horse, and dysfunction left untreated can lead t...

Prevalence of L.intracellularis on Farms (AAEP 2011)

If someone had said "equine proliferative enteropathy" 10 years ago, chances are most horse breeders would have shrugged their shoulders and paid little mind. Today, however, many breeders are mindful of this still-emerging young horse disease caused by the Lawsonia intracellularis bacteria. Researchers have made great strides in comprehending m...

Humeral Stress Fractures and Return to Racing (AAEP 2011)

A stress fracture is a stress fracture, regardless of its location, right? Well, not necessarily; in some cases, a fracture's location in a bone could have implications for whether the horse will return to his previous level of work or whether his career will be cut short. A research team recently examined whether the location of a stress fracture wit...

Regional Limb Perfusion for Distal Limb Injuries (AAEP 2011)

As majestic, beautiful, and graceful as they can be, horses are also flighty and frequently find themselves in hazardous situations. In light of horses’ propensity for lower limb injury, the environment in which they live, and the difficulty and expense associated with treating severe lower limb injuries, many equine practitioners have turned to a t...

Repairing Jaw Fractures in the Field (AAEP 2011)

Nobody wants to find their horse with a bloody mouth, displaced teeth, and broken, displaced jaw bones. But despite their ghastly appearance most jaw fractures can be repaired relatively easily in a field setting, noted one veterinarian at the recent American Association of Equine Practitioners convention.

Proper Use of Antibiotics for Uterine Infections (AAEP 2011)

Treating a broodmare's uterine infection properly can mean the difference between her conceiving or staying empty this season. Proper treatment also can determine whether or not you contribute to antibiotic resistance; development of "superbugs" is a genuine concern in not only the human medical but also the veterinary community. Accomplishi...

Hydrotherapy to Rehabilitate Injuries in Horses (AAEP 2011)

Humans hear it often when it's time to get back in shape after an injury or surgery: "Get in the pool." Doctors know the increased resistance and buoyancy of water makes you do a significant amount of muscular work to move while providing very low impact/stress on bones and joints, so it's an ideal rehabilitation method.

Patella Infections in Foals Require Prompt Care (AAEP 2011)

Call the vet, or wait and see? When concerned about a foal's health--particularly when infections are suspected--waiting is never a good idea. Osteomyelitis in young foals, for instance, requires immediate treatment, as Alastair Kay, BVSc, MS, Dipl. ACVS, MRCVS, equine surgeon at Minister Equine Clinic, in North Yorkshire, U.K., relayed at the 2011 Am...

AHC: Connect with Congress on Equine Issues

Despite the low approval ratings for Congress, American equestrians are still interested in what Congress is doing. Why? Because what Congress does--or does not do--impacts the horse industry. This is true regardless of your breed or discipline, whether you are an individual owner, run a track or show, own a horse business, work in the industry as a servi...

Handling Dystocia on the Farm (AAEP 2011)

In an ideal world, every broodmare would foal under veterinary supervision at a clinic with the latest technology at arm's length for correcting any potentially life threatening health emergencies. In reality equine practitioners often have to deal with dystocias--difficult births--in the field.

Equine Rhinitis in Respiratory Infection Cases (AAEP 2011)

When considering viral respiratory infections in horses, a common assumption among veterinarians is animals are infected with either influenza or rhinopneumonitis (a respiratory condition--mostly of young horses--caused by equine herpesvirus). However, another viral infection--equine rhinitis--is commonly responsible for respiratory disease outbreaks. And...

Bone Marrow-Derived Stem Cell Sources Compared (AAEP 2011)

Stem cell source site has been debated among researchers in recent years as stem cells have been gaining popularity in equine medicine. A research group at Colorado State University recently compared the use of bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells from two sites on the horse's body to determine which might be most effective for treating specific...

PRP, Bone Marrow for Tendon/Ligament Injuries (AAEP 2011)

Biologically derived therapies are rapidly gaining popularity, especially for treating equine tendon and ligament injuries, and veterinarians have been hard at work determining the best case and therapy selection, dosage, and frequency of administration for each. To this end, at the 2011 American Association of Equine Practitioners Annual Convention, held...

EHV-1: What We Know and What We Learned (AAEP 2011)

The multistate equine herpesvirus outbreak in May 2011 illustrated the importance of infectious disease control in the equine community. At the 2011 American Association of Equine Practitioners convention, held Nov. 18-22 in San Antonio, Texas, Jerry Black, DVM, summarized the outbreak in a group table topic discussion that he moderated with Josie Traub-D...

Sporting Activity After Colic Surgery in Horses (AAEP 2011)

The decision on whether to take a horse to colic surgery is one that's generally based on both prognosis and financial considerations. Thus, an equine surgeon must be able to counsel horse owners on the expected surgical outcome and required convalescence following hospital discharge so a timely decision can be made. At the 2011 American Association o...

Persimmon Ingestion and Colic: A Retrospective Study

Persimmon trees, commonly found in the southeastern United States, produce a fruit that's often enticing to horses and other equids. Consuming this fruit, however, can be deadly; its fibers and seeds can create an obstruction within the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, resulting in potentially serious impaction colic.

Managing Neck and Back Pain in Sport Horses

Your horse has neck and/or back pain. The signs are obvious: sensitivity when grooming and saddling, resistance to rider weight, stiffness and pain when manipulating the neck and back, and a notable decrease in performance. But what is causing the pain, and what can you do about it?

Does Equine Hoof Shape Have an Effect on Soundness?

Could it be? A potential predisposing factor for lameness that can be seen with our very eyes? According to one British researcher, this dream could be a reality. A recent study revealed that certain hoof shapes and characteristics can be associated with chronic lameness, while others point to a sound horse.

Preparing Horse Farms for Winter Weather Disasters

In 2010, more than half of the United States, from Texas to Maine, was engulfed in a major winter storm. Millions of people were without power, road or highway access, or viable communications. Loss of electricity, impassable roads, and breaks in communications can, however, happen in any climate, at any time, due to floods, straightline winds, tornadoes,...

Controlling Reproductive Behavior in Performance Mares

Imagine this scenario: You are lucky enough to have the horse of your dreams. She's an athletic and beautiful mare, but there’s one problem--she's notorious for displaying "marish" behavior, and it's starting to get in the way of training and competition. What can be done? According to one researcher, there are several options ...

Top 5 Horse Health Resolutions to Keep in 2012

With another holiday season in the bag, wrapped up with the turkey giblets and excessive toy packaging, we can now turn and face the impending New Year. After the ball drops approximately 50% of us will yet again vow to make some important changes in our lives, but will we actually follow through?

Hormone Therapy Table Topic (AAEP 2011)

At the 2011 American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) Annual Meeting, held Nov. 18-22 in San Antonio, Texas, approximately 75 equine practitioners from around the country as well as abroad actively debated a list of issues related to hormone use in mares. The discussion centered on topics selected by the audience: Induction of ovulation, estrus ...

Monitoring and Preventing EPE on Endemic Farms (AAEP 2011)

Equine proliferative enteropathy (EPE) is an emerging disease of young horses that veterinarians have been diagnosing more frequently over the past few years. This gastrointestinal disease is caused by bacterial organisms known as Lawsonia intracellularis. More and more cases are diagnosed each year, and the disease--which is known to cause significant fi...

Pastern Lucencies' Effect on Racing Performance (AAEP 2011)

Prior to purchasing a yearling racing prospect at a sale, a buyer typically has a veterinarian conduct a thorough examination on the horse to ensure he is in top condition. Most of these exams include a review of radiographs, or X rays, of the horse's limbs. Historically, many veterinarians have considered lucencies (bone cysts) in pastern radiographs...

Not all Equine Heart Abnormalities are Abnormal

Ever since the death of Olympic Champion Hickstead at a Fédération Equestre Internationale World Cup event on Nov. 5, there has been an increased amount of public interest in the secret lives of horse's hearts. Luckily, not all murmurs or rhythm abnormalities are career- or life-threatening.

Efficacy of High-Intensity Training for Racehorses

An effective training regimen is crucial for all equine athletes. One program used with racehorses, for instance, is high-intensity intermittent training (HIIT), where horses run at near top speed for short periods and then are given rest periods between sprints. How exactly trainers should implement HIIT, however, can be tricky business.

Mare and Foal Care: Free Webinar

Broodmare and stallion owners invest a great deal of effort, time, and money in producing foals. To provide the best possible care for mare and foal and get the most out of this investment, breeders must work closely with their veterinarians, carefully monitor and manage the health of mares and foals, offer any help that's needed during foaling, and p...

The Toe Crena: A Laminitic Link?

Have you ever noticed that mysterious notch at mid-toe in the white line region (the connection between the hoof wall and sole that has no nerves or blood vessels) of your horse's foot and wondered what it is? This shallow notch comes in different shapes, sizes, and textures and might or might not extend to the outer hoof wall or up to the coffin bone...

Lameness in the Racehorse Table Topic (AAEP 2011)

Malcolm J. Borthwick, VMD, practiced on Standardbreds in New Jersey and Pennsylvania for 30 years, and in his retirement continues to enjoy owning and driving racehorses. In his introduction to the Lameness in the Racehorse Table Topic presented at the 2011 American Association of Equine Practitioners Annual Meeting, held Nov. 18-22 in San Antonio, Texas,...

Treating Laminitis with Acupuncture

Acupuncture is a relatively simple treatment option veterinarians and horse owners consider for a variety of equine ailments, but little scientific evidence of its efficacy exists--particularly in regards to treating laminitis. Lisa Lancaster, MSc, PhD, DVM, of Lancaster Veterinary Services, in Denver, Colo., explored how this complementary therapy can be...

Researchers Evaluate Endocrinopathic Laminitis Prevalence

Laminitis has long been known as a condition in horses that can result from carbohydrate overload, among other causes, but it can also result from endocrine gland dysfunction; this is known as endocrinopathic laminitis. Equine Cushing's disease (also known as pituitary pars intermedia dysfunction, or PPID) and equine metabolic syndrome (EMS) are two c...

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