Horse Health

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

Equine NSAID Use: Indications and Complications

Many equine caretakers have given or received these suggestions time and time again: "Just give him some Bute," or "a little Banamine should do the trick." While the use of these medications—both non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs—are indicated in some cases, it's not uncommon for the substances to be over...

New Insulin Resistance Test Method for Horses (AAEP 2011)

An obese horse is often—though not always—an insulin-resistant one, and detection methods for insulin resistance can be tricky to time, not to mention labor-intensive. François R. Bertin, DVM, a resident at the Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine Teaching Hospital described a new testing technique that he has found useful f...

Third Eyelid Removal in Horses: Options Compared (AAEP 2011)

Avoiding general anesthesia for surgery in horses, when possible, is not only safer for the horse and surgeons but also more economical for the owner. However, not all surgeries can be performed without anesthesia, partly because the procedure is too uncomfortable for the horse to remain awake (even if sedated and given pain medications) and also because ...

Benefits of Casts for Severe Horse Limb Injuries (AAEP 2011)

Casts are veritable double-edged swords in equine practice: While they play an important role in stabilizing fractures and treating wounds and tendon lacerations, they can cause a variety of complications. Some horses don’t tolerate casts well, casts can cause pressure sores, and many veterinarians prefer to hospitalize horses with casts--an overwhe...

Local Anesthesia's Effect on MRIs of Horse Feet (AAEP 2011)

Certain things just don't mix: oil and water, or wearing metal during X rays, for instance. But what about diagnostic anesthesia (nerve blocks) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), a combination that sometimes occurs because a horse undergoes an MRI study soon after nerve blocks in a lameness exam? A team of researchers recently examined whether diag...

Grayson Foundation Funds Eight New Projects

Grayson Foundation Funds Eight New Projects

The Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation's board of directors has approved funding for eight new research projects on problems that include foal pneumonia, laminitis, vitamin D's role in immunity, and stem cell therapy.

Managing Inflammatory Airway Disease in Horses (AAEP 2011)

Of the many ailments that can limit an athletic horse’s performance, lower airway inflammation is a top cause, affecting as many as 50% of young equine athletes. The good news about inflammatory airway disease (IAD) is the condition is treatable, and most affected horses can make a full recovery. During a presentation at the 2011 American Assoc...

Equine Electrolyte Use and Gastric Emptying (AAEP 2011)

A horse’s prolonged sweating during athletic activity or travel means a need for fluid and electrolyte replacement, and horse owners commonly turn to electrolyte products for this purpose. A team of equine researchers examined one electrolyte supplement’s (ES) effect on fluid replacement and performance, and Michael Lindinger, PhD, associate p...

Improved Test for Equine Ovarian Tumor Diagnosis (AAEP 2011)

Just because a particular type of anomaly in a horse is rare doesn't mean it's not important to investigate and understand better: Take granulosa cell tumors (GCTs), for instance. While these only represent about 2.5% of all equine tumors and usually are benign, GCTs are most common neoplasm (tumor) found in the equine reproductive tract; further,...

Supportive Care for Foals with Pharyngeal Dysfunction

Little is known about what causes pharyngeal dysfunction—a defect in the muscle or nerve functions of the pharynx—in newborn foals. This important area of anatomy, where the paths for air and food or liquids intersect, was the topic of interest recently for a team of researchers who completed a study on the prognosis of foals with dysphagia (d...

Bute and Banamine: Avoid Using Together (AAEP 2011)

A common approach to lameness in the equine athlete is non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) treatments, such as phenylbutazone (PBZ, Bute) or flunixin meglumine (FM, Banamine) alone or sometimes in combination. At the 2011 American Association of Equine Practitioners convention, held Nov. 18-22 in San Antonio, Jonathan Foreman, DVM, MS, Di...

MRI to Detect Wobbler Syndrome? (AAEP 2011)

In most cases--if not all--a clearer picture is better. One would be hard-pressed to find a person who would walk into a store and ask for a television with a fuzzy picture. So when it comes to disease diagnosis, such as that for cervical stenotic myelopathy (CSM, also known as cervical vertebral stenotic myelopathy), wouldn't a clearer picture that r...

Equine Motor Neuron Disease: What We Know

There's something not right with your horse. He's sweating, his muscles are twitching, and he can't seem to stand still. He just looks uncomfortable. You call your veterinarian and suggest it could be colic, but at the 2012 Western Veterinary Conference, held Feb. 19-23 in Las Vegas, Nev., one researcher suggested another ailment to consider: ...

Standing RLP in Horses Safe, Effective (AAEP 2011)

One approach to dangerous joint infections in the horse involves isolating treatment to the infected limb, a procedure that can be performed while the horse is standing and awake or "sleeping" under general anesthesia. So which is best? A group of researchers in South Africa recently sought to answer this question, and Arnold T. Mahne, BVSc, of ...

New Treatment for Mare Endometritis Examined (AAEP 2011)

We'd all like to think that a mare's womb is a warm, dark, nurturing environment perfect for transforming a small fertilized egg into a healthy foal in 340 days. According to equine reproductive specialists, however, uteri can be lined with bacterial "biofilm" containing millions of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in a glutinous, jellylike...

New Test for Horses with Retained Testicles (AAEP 2011)

Ridgling, crypt, cryptorchid. Call it what you want, but a horse with one or two testes that have not descended into the scrotum can present a diagnostic challenge. Anthony Claes, DVM, Dipl. ACT, a graduate student at the University of Kentucky's Gluck Equine Research Center, discussed a new way to diagnose cryptorchidism during the 2011 American Asso...

Horse Vaccines in 2012: Where We Stand

As winter ends and spring begins, most horse owners start thinking about vaccinations. Which ones should my horse receive? How often should he be vaccinated? Does he need any risk-based vaccines? Confused? Don't worry. One equine veterinarian and researcher distilled the broad topic of vaccinations down at the 2012 Western Veterinary Conference, held ...

MRI for Localized Fetlock Lameness Diagnosis

Your performance horse is lame, and while your veterinarian has narrowed the problem down to the animal's fetlock, no abnormalities are visible on radiographs (X rays). Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has long been used as a diagnostic tool for lameness and performance issues in horses, and your vet says that's an option. Could that modality help...

Dexamethasone Use in Broodmares at Breeding Time (AAEP 2011)

There are upsides and downsides to administering dexamethasone, just as there are with most drugs. For instance, dexamethasone is a potent anti-inflammatory but can cause life-threatening laminitis in some cases. And while dexamethasone can be used successfully to treat mating-induced inflammation of the uterus (endometritis), some veterinarians believe i...

In Depth: Evaluating the Upper Respiratory Tract (AAEP 2011)

Performance horses can develop a host of upper respiratory problems that can cause exercise intolerance, abnormal respiratory sounds, and poor performance. Fortunately, veterinarians have fine-tuned numerous methods for evaluating the upper respiratory tract for abnormalities. An equine surgeon recently reviewed these in a presentation to veterinarians at...

Western Feed, LLC Recalls Kountry Buffet Horse Feed

Western Feed, LLC, is voluntarily recalling two lots (M718430 and M720280) of Kountry Buffet 14% horse feed because it might contain monensin sodium (Rumensin). The feed is packaged in 50 lb. bags bearing the Payback logo with the attached tag identifying the product as Kountry Buffet 14%. Monensin sodium is a medication approved for use in some live...

New Equine Fetal Sex Determination Technique Studied

Researchers at the Federal University of Pelotas, Brazil, recently completed a study identifying circulating cell-free fetal DNA (ccffDNA) to determine fetal gender in pregnant mares. While ccffDNA has already been explored in humans, this is the first study to successfully demonstrate its presence ccffDNA--and thus aid in sex determination--in horses.

Supporting Limb Laminitis in Casted Horses (AAEP 2011)

“Supporting limb laminitis (laminitis developing in the hoof opposite a severely painful limb) can be one of the most challenging and often times unpredictable complications in horses with severe, unilateral lameness.” began Joanna Virgin, DVM, currently of Oakridge Equine Hospital, in Edmond, Okla., at the 2011 American Association of Equine ...

Evaluating Horse Feet, Legs, and Gaits (AAEP 2011)

“I challenge you to every day to improve your powers of observation,” began Ric Redden, DVM, founder of the International Equine Podiatry Center in Versailles, Ky., during the 2011 American Association of Equine Practitioners convention, held Nov. 18-22 in San Antonio, Texas. “Believe half of what you see and everything you understand.&r...

Intravenous PBZ Dosing in Horses (AAEP 2011)

While phenylbutazone (PBZ), commonly known as "Bute," is one of the oldest and most commonly used non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) in horses, studies about optimal dosage are scarce in the scientific literature. Working to further cumulative veterinary knowledge about Bute dosing, Jonathan Foreman, DVM, MS, Dipl. ACVIM, and his col...

Acupuncture and Managing Pain in Horses (AAEP 2011)

Using acupuncture to manage severe pain in horses and other animals is not a novel concept, but veterinarians have been hard at work lately combing research studies to better understand this complementary therapy's usefulness, efficacy, and safety. During a presentation at the 2011 American Association of Equine Practitioners convention, held Nov. 18-...

Mild Winter Impacts Weed Emergence

The mild winter weather and excellent soil moisture have resulted in rapid growth of many cool-season weeds this year in Kentucky. Weed growth is currently about three to four weeks ahead of "normal" development. This means pasture managers need to scout fields now and be prepared to initiate control tactics sooner than normal. Henbit, purple de...

Effects of Tramadol Use in Horses (AAEP 2011)

Tramadol hydrocholoride is a medication used for pain control in humans due to its opioid effects on the central nervous system. At the current time in the veterinary world, it is used primarily in dogs and cats although not yet labeled for veterinary use. At the 2011 American Association of Equine Practitioners convention, held Nov. 18-22 in San Antonio,...

Suture Techniques for Intestines Compared (AAEP 2011)

Surgeons currently use a number of techniques to suture two pieces of intestine back together during colic surgery, a process referred to as an anastomosis. The seal must be leak-free to avoid complications that can cause future colics or even death, so using the best approach is key. A researcher from Italy recently determined the optimal anastomosis sti...

Steps Taken to Classify Seizures in Horses

Compared to what’s known about seizures in humans and small animals, there’s surprisingly little data about seizures in horses. In addition, veterinarians and owners use many different terms to describe the disorders. To further collective knowledge, a research team recently undertook a study aimed at better defining this relatively rare equin...

2011's Top Equine Surgery/Lameness Studies

Each year, researchers publish hundreds of equine surgery and lameness studies. During the 2011 American Association of Equine Practitioners convention, held Nov. 18-22 in San Antonio, Texas, some of the most clinically relevant surgery and lameness studies were presented during the annual Kester News Hour. Scott E. Palmer, DVM, Dipl. AVBP (Equine Practic...

The State of Stem Cells for Equine Joint Disease (AAEP 2011)

Severe joint injuries can be career-ending for horses, but veterinarians have been using regenerative medicine routinely—specifically, mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs)—to address these injuries in their practices, determining optimal approaches. At the 2011 Convention of the American Association of Equine Practitioners, held Nov. 18-22, in San An...

Manuka Honey for Healing Horse Wounds (AAEP 2011)

With the popularity of natural treatments on the rise, it’s no surprise that manuka honey—which is produced by bees—visiting the manuka bush found exclusively in New Zealand, has gained a good deal of attention. Vendors claim that it has antibacterial wound-healing properties in humans and in experimental animals.

Managing Severe Colic in the Field (AAEP 2011)

According to a recent poll on TheHorse.com, nearly 49% of respondents named colic as their most feared horse health emergency, and for a good reason. While some cases resolve without incident, others prove deadly. Colic surgery is an option for owners in some severe colic cases, but what if referral isn't possible?

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