Horse Health

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

Opening Windows for Equine Social Interaction

As social relationships between horses become a greater equine welfare focus, scientists are seeking ways to allow social interactions for animals housed in traditionally isolating box stall settings. But don't tear your barn and stalls down just yet: French researchers recently tested another solution—windows between stalls—with positive ...

Equine Laparoscopic Castration's Success Rates Studied

Researchers and veterinarians constantly seek safer ways to perform common surgical procedures, and the castration of stallions is no exception. In the 1990s, laparoscopic castration, which cuts off the testes' blood supply but leaves them in place, was developed as an alternative to conventional castration methods that removes the testes from the bod...

Diagnosing and Managing Endocrine Disorders in Senior Horses

More than 20% of aged horses are known to suffer from equine Cushing’s disease (also known as pituitary pars intermedia dysfunction, or PPID), a harmful endocrine condition that can carry with it a host of other dangerous health problems. To give our elderly equids their best chance at comfort, one researcher recently described best practices for di...

5 Tips for Feeding Weanlings

Young horses are considered weanlings from the time they're separated from their mothers until one year of age. This is a critical time in the young horse's life, and nutrition plays an important part. Here are five important points to consider when feeding a weanling:

How to Predict When a Mare Will Foal

For some breeders, the waiting game starts as soon as the mare is inseminated. For others, it starts when she's confirmed in foal. Still for others, it starts when she her belly grows large. Whenever that waiting game starts, all breeders want to know: When will my mare foal?

5 Tips for Feeding Foals

Proper foal nutrition is critical for adequate growth and development. A foal’s main source of nutrients is his dam’s milk, but in some cases this alone won't meet his high nutritional demands. What should you do?

Foaling Horses: 101 to 911

During and after foaling are two of the most critical times in a neonate and his mother's lives. One little thing gone wrong could set off a potentially life-threatening cascade of events for either horse. Rissa Parker, BVSc Pret, from Glen Austin Equine Clinic, in Gauteng, South Africa, has had a special interest in mare and foal care for the past 24...

Starting and Stopping a Mare's Estrous Cycle

While some breeders are content to let Mother Nature decide when a mare's body is ready for pregnancy, others take a more proactive approach. There are many reasons why an owner might seek closer control over a mare's estrous cycle, ranging from herd synchronization to a desired foaling date to putting a breeding career on hold for a performance c...

Health Problems in Newborn Foals

A foal's birth marks the start of something exciting: a new partner to train, a clean slate with which to begin, and potential just waiting to be tapped. But something exciting can quickly turn to something disappointing if that foal isn't healthy.

Managing Axillary Wounds in Horses

When it comes to equine axillary wounds—those that damage the space between the inside of the upper limb and the body wall—the part you can see on your horse's skin might be the proverbial tip of the iceberg: Apparently minor wounds can cause some serious problems under the horse's skin. And veterinarians need to know what to look for ...

Could a Supplement Ease the Effects of Tying Up?

Tying-up, or exertional rhabdomyolysis, is a frustrating problem that sport and racehorse trainers try diligently to prevent. Fortunately, there's some good news: Japanese researchers recently tested a supplement designed to alleviate both tying-up episodes and the muscle damage, with positive results.

Diagnosing the Cloudy Equine Eye

When clouds start rolling in, it often means a storm is brewing. For horses with cloudy eyes, the source of that storm could be one of many. Fortunately, veterinarians are well-versed in the diagnostic and treatment options for cloudy-eyed horses.

Study Compares Laparoscopic, Conventional Cryptorchidectomy

Your veterinarian says your horse needs surgery, and there are two options to choose from—a tried-and-true but somewhat invasive procedure or a newer, less invasive method that lets them return to function quicker. While the latter option seems enticing, you might want to stick to tradition, depending on the procedure: Researchers recently learned t...

Leishmaniasis: No Longer Just a Foreign Animal Disease

There's a scary new disease out there that could potentially harm not only horses, but also humans. Less than two years ago a team of Florida-based veterinarians published a report of the first equine cutaneous (affecting the skin) leishmaniasis case diagnosed in the United States in a horse without history of international travel. And recently, Sarah...

CHRB Begins Cobalt Testing

The California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) has started evaluating cobalt levels in racehorses competing at tracks in that state and in certain necropsy scenarios, according to a March 4 memo from CHRB Equine Medical Director Rick Arthur, DVM.

Switching Horse Feeds Safely

Horse owners sometimes find it necessary to change their horse’s feeding program--fluctuations in temperature, season, and performance level are just some of the reasons. But with the known link between diet changes and health conditions such as colic or laminitis, how can owners safely transition their horse’s feed without negatively affectin...

Saddle Fit Can be a Problem for Racehorses

Both sport and pleasure riders know how important saddle fit is to keeping their mounts healthy and comfortable. But what effects could considerably smaller and lighter racing saddles have on horses that are traveling considerably faster than the average reiner or jumper? Turns out these tiny pieces of tack can have a substantial impact.

Managing Equine Cystic Stifle Lesions

Could something even smaller than a pea end a horse's athletic career? If that something is a cystic lesion in the stifle (or femoral condylar cyst), it's entirely possible. Fortunately, specific management approaches can help some horses return to their jobs in the arena or on the track with few, if any, lasting effects.

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