Paul Bittar, chief executive of the British Horseracing Authority (BHA), outlined his hopes yesterday (Oct. 3) ahead of the sessions at the forthcoming International Federation of Horseracing Authorities (IFHA) Conference, when the subject of the use of anabolic steroids in racing will be considered. The conference will take place Oct. 7-8 in Paris, France.
Researchers have confirmed the importance of including exposed mares when conducting surveillance for contagious equine metritis (CEM) in the recent South African outbreak, along with specific stallion sampling and screening methods in that country for the venereal disease.
There are many theories on how to best manage performance horses during periods with no forced exercise (whether after sustaining an injury or just for a rest period), and owners are often left with a dilemma: stall rest or pasture turnout? To find the answer, a team of researchers recently completed a study evaluating how well horses maintain a certain f...
The National Thoroughbred Racing Association's Safety and Integrity Alliance announced that Kentucky Downs has been re-accredited following a complete review of all racing operations at the Franklin, Ky., facility.
The Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association will hold a Thoroughbred Pedigree and Conformation Clinic Oct. 7-8 in Lexington.
When a person or small animal’s kidneys are injured, stressed, or fail, renal replacement therapy can create a life-saving bridge until kidney function recovers (or, in some human cases, a donor organ is secured). In horses similar treatment generally isn’t an option, and renal failure is devastating.
Veterinarians and researchers with interests in equine reproduction gathered Aug. 7-10 in Louisville, Ky., for the 2013 American College of Theriogenology (ACT) Symposia and Conference. On the last day of the event presenters Mary Beth Stanton, DVM, Dipl. ACT, of Equine Veterinary Reproduction Specialists, in Ocala, Fla., and Audrey Kelleman, DVM, Dipl. A...
It seems that people aren't the only ones who've learned to grin and bear it when faced with an unpleasant task: New study results suggest that even if horses act like they don’t mind body clipping, they could still find it to be stressful.
The term "do-it-all-dad" just took on a whole new meaning: Cornell University researchers have recently determined that, in equids at least, it’s the father’s genes that take the lead in developing the mare's placenta.
A suspected case of equine herpesvirus (EHV-1) has caused officials at the Maryland Jockey Club to place a "hold order" on Barn 16 at the Bowie Training Center as a precautionary measure.
Which comes first, the grain or the hay? You might love rewarding that excited nickering with a bucket full of sweet feed, followed by hay for hours of chewing pleasure. But according to recent research, if you’ve got a cribber, you’re probably better off doing the opposite.
Amino acid. Sounds like something leaking from a Spanish battery, rather than a supplement you’d want to give to your horse.
Treating bacterial diseases in horses—or really, in any species—is much easier when the causative agents are sensitive to available antibiotics. But unfortunately, this isn't always the case anymore: antibiotic-resistant bacteria are popping up all over the world.
Times are changing when it comes to equine parasite control: Anthelmintic-resistant parasites have prompted new, more targeted deworming recommendations. Two important classes of horses that fall under this deworming protocol are broodmares and foals. At the 2013 Society for Theriogenology Conference, held Aug. 7-10 in Louisville, Ky., Wendy Vaala, VMD, D...
Four years ago, The Horse reported on research showing that horses are capable of reading subtle human body cues. Today, those researchers are back to tell us that although adult horses have this capacity, young horses do not. And this, they say, fails to support the theory that such a skill is innate in this species.
Because breeding is a business, having a veterinarian evaluate your stallion's semen to determine his fertility (or lack thereof) is a key component of a breeding soundness examination. But semen evaluations are not always black and white, and there are many types of tests your veterinarian can perform. So at the 2013 Society for Theriogenology Confer...
The recently released 2012 Kentucky Equine Survey results don't just reveal important information on the economic impact data of the commonwealth's equine industry, they also open the door for new horse health surveillance and disease mitigating measures.
Scottish researchers have some sweet news in the field of equine wound healing: Honey’s all the buzz in natural wound remedies, and according to recent research, it works with horses, too. Better yet, it’s not just the tried-and-true manuka honey that works, but a wide variety of honeys from different parts of the world.
Having trouble getting your mare pregnant? It might be time to take a good look at her weight and metabolic condition. Some veterinarians now believe that metabolic diseases likely have a negative impact on equine reproduction.
If you’ve ever been confused by the differences between osteochondrosis and osteochondritis dissecans, or wondered whether these are the same as developmental orthopedic disease (DOD) or just examples of it, you’re not alone. For decades, diseases of the bones, joints, and cartilage in young horses have sparked many word-slinging debates among...
If we train our horses correctly, we should sense that they get “lighter” as training progresses. In other words, we should be able to execute cues with less force and get the same result. But until now, measuring that “lightness” has always just been a matter of “feeling,” so to speak: Danish researchers have put the s...
Mares in estrus can be challenging—and even dangerous—to deal with. So some owners seek a veterinarians' help to control their mares' estrous cycles and reduce estrus-related behavior. One of those methods involves placing a marble in the mare's uterus, which essentially keeps the mare from cycling.
Horses are big, sturdy animals capable of carrying hundreds of pounds of weight. They've hauled us around for centuries, across battlefields, farmland, and show rings. But just how do the forces applied by saddle and rider affect a horse's performance and welfare? With advent of electronic pressure-measuring devices, researchers are now able to an...
The latest developments in medical and technological research that may improve the welfare, health, and safety of jockeys will be presented at an international conference to be held at Monmouth Park Sept. 13-14.
Acupuncture services are now available at Penn Vet's New Bolton Center, the the large animal hospital announced Aug. 28.
Hagyard Equine Medical Institute, a state-of-the-art veterinary center in Lexington, has renewed its partnership with the National Thoroughbred Racing Association's Safety and Integrity Alliance.
"He has a great temperament." You might have heard an owner or trainer say these words when describing a horse, but how do we really define temperament?
A broodmare battling chronic laminitis, a stallion with recurrent uveitis, and a maiden mare with persistent tendinitis: While these horses and their conditions are each distinct, the animals do share the potential for exhibiting pain-related fertility problems. A University of Florida (UF) veterinarian described how equine pain might influence reproducti...
If you've ever come across a particularly big-eyed, dish-faced horse, maybe you've thought to yourself, "He has such a baby face." We see these physical manifestations of youth in many adult species (think of dogs bred to retain a puppylike appearance), but in horses this retention of juvenile traits in adulthood might also be evident in...
Researchers around the world are always working to better understand a bevy of horse health problems. And while moving forward is the ultimate goal, sometimes it pays to look back at what previous research has revealed.
When many breeders consider mare fertility issues, most don't consider that the oviduct—the slender channel through which eggs travel from ovary to uterus—could be causing problems. While oviduct-related fertility issues are rare in horses, breeders should be aware of what can go wrong with this important structure.
A gelding’s gonads are gone, but he’s still susceptible to problems developing in his reproductive tract, particularly abnormal growths in the accessory sex glands. Take, for example, prostatic tumors, which can cause difficulty urinating or blood to show up in the urine. When a gelding has signs of discomfort associated with the urogenital tr...
California Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill into law Aug. 17 that changes the requirement for a negative Coggin's test for horses coming into the state from six months to one year.
Breeders always appreciate ways to help improve their mares' chances of becoming pregnant, and one way veterinarians can help is by administering prostaglandins. At the 2013 Society for Theriogenology Conference, held Aug. 7-10 in Louisville, Ky., Carlos R. F. Pinto, MedVet, PhD, Dipl. ACT, presented a lecture on using prostaglandin F2? (PGF) to contr...
What's the most common cause of late-term abortion in horses and remains challenging for veterinarians to diagnose and treat, despite ongoing research? If you said placentitis, you're right. To bring attendees of the 2013 Society for Theriogenology Conference, held Aug. 7-10 in Louisville, Ky., up to speed on the latest research on the complex top...
As the concept of positive reinforcement gains popularity, researchers are trying to confirm its effectiveness at a more baseline level. According to a group of Midwestern equitation scientists, training young horses to load into a trailer is equally effective and stressful whether they’re trained using positive or negative reinforcement.
Even though they're small in stature, foals can have some big health problems. And researchers around the world are continually working to better understand these health problems and find more effective ways to treat them. At the 2013 Society for Theriogenology Conference, held Aug. 7-10 in Louisville, Ky., Chris Sanchez, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ACVIM, associ...
Have a young foal with osteochondrosis? Don't panic or put him under the corrective surgery knife just yet. A new study has shown that up to two-thirds of all radiographic findings in weanlings can change—usually for the better—within a year.
Rising hay prices and the financial crunch caused by 2009's Great Recession drove many horse owners to seek less expensive forage sources, including large round bales, haylage, and silage. But according to Amy Johnson, DVM, Dipl. ACVIM, compromising on hay quality and feeding from half-ton bales led to a larger problem: an uptick in reported cases of ...
A stall-side blood test designed to alert veterinarians to health concerns in horses before clinical signs develop is officially being debuted today (Aug. 9) at the Dublin Horse Show, in Ireland.
The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) announced Aug. 7 the conclusion of the investigation into the use of "Sungate," a veterinary product which contains stanozolol, an anabolic steroid and, therefore, a prohibited substance under the authority's rules of racing.
Most everyone—even our horses—loves a good massage, right? But results from a new study by Italian researchers suggest that horses might like the Tellington method—termed “T-Touch”—even more.
Eric Mitchell, editorial director and editor-in-chief of The Blood-Horse, shares his thoughts on the recent Texas ruling about registration of cloned foals for the American Quarter Horse Association and how that might impact the Thoroughbred industry.
Young horses require specific levels of amino acids, vitamins, and minerals for proper development, and researchers know that zinc, in particular, is vital for growing horses' enzyme and immune function. However, there's been little research done in horses evaluating the relationship between zinc and the equine immune system. So researchers from A...
A strong immune system is crucial to a horse's overall health status, as a weakened immune system can leave the animal at increased disease risk. And although they're uncommon in horses, immunodeficiencies can have serious consequences for affected animals.
Equine insulin resistance—a condition in which cells fail to respond normally to the hormone insulin—requires careful dietary management to prevent laminitis and other complications from developing. So it's no surprise that both veterinarians and horse owners are on the lookout for new ways to help manage this disorder.
Horse training techniques range from positive and negative reinforcement to clicker training, food or scratching rewards, vocal commands, and more. But if you can't get your horse to respond to any of these methods, you might not be taking into consideration how the horse feels.
Tracking emerging and re-emerging equine diseases helps the horse world attempt to stay a step ahead of economically devastating and deadly outbreaks. For that reason, equine veterinarians and industry members gathered on June 14, for Merck Animal Health’s "Equine Emerging and Re-emerging Disease Luncheon" at the 2013 American College of V...
Many horse owners don't think about equine stereotypic behaviors until they own a cribber, a stall walker, a weaver, or a horse that passes his time with any abnormal behavior. But these stereotypies are more important than some might think: They could indicate compromised equine welfare. Recently, Chilean researchers set out to evaluate the prevalenc...
Somewhere between when the birthing process begins and when the long-legged foal takes his first wobbly steps, he transitions from an unconscious fetus to a conscious horse. And while owners might just be happy to see their new arrival waking up to the world, researchers now believe that the fetal consciousness transition could have a significant impact o...
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