During pregnancy, a broodmare's body and hormones go through many changes: Her belly swells, and her insulin and glucose levels vary. When you consider the association between obesity, insulin resistance, and laminitis, this becomes a health concern beyond just delivering a healthy foal. The endocrine changes associated with pregnancy might actually i...
One reason laminitis is so challenging to study is that it can result from many different primary diseases—from metabolic disorders to black walnut exposure. Researchers might be able to make headway, however, if they take an epidemiological approach to studying the disease. Epidemiologist Noah Cohen, VMD, MPH, PhD, Dipl. ACVIM, a professor in Texas...
If you’ve ever considered your horse to be your “better half,” you’re not alone. Norwegian and American researchers recently found that riders and horses can enter into a unique state of interspecies “co-being” with one other.
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such phenylbutazone, flunixin meglumine, and ketoprofen—these are all common drugs when it comes to managing inflammation in horses. Each has its advantages and disadvantages though, and when trying to block the inflammatory response in horses with laminitis there is no gold standard treatment. But what if a new...
A laminitis diagnosis can be a life-changing event for both a horse and an owner. And when it comes to dietary changes for laminitic horses, owners might not know where to start.
The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) has published the sixth edition of the Health and Safety in the Racing and Breeding Industry guide, commonly known as the "Red Book," the group announced Oct. 31.
If Kentucky is going to join the Mid-Atlantic Uniform Medication Reform's efforts to put uniform medication rules in place in each racing state, it's going to take some work and time.
Equine respiratory disease is no fun for horse or owner, and it can have a significant economic impact on the performance horse industry in both cost of treatment and in training and performance days lost.
The University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine announced that students Lauren Duffee and Emma Gorenberg were each awarded a $6,000 scholarship from the Thoroughbred Education and Research Foundation.
Scientists have long considered obesity to be a primary driver of equine metabolic syndrome (EMS). If this is true the horse industry is facing a very big problem; in a recent study of 300 horses in Virginia, researchers found that 51% of them were obese. That means more than half the country's horse population is at risk of EMS and, thus, laminitis, ...
The risk factors associated with laminitis are many—from grass access to obesity to stall confinement. But which ones are most important for owners to watch for? James Orsini, DVM, Dipl. ACVS, and colleagues from the University of Pennsylvania (UPenn) New Bolton Center got one step closer to answering this question with their retrospective study of ...
The National Animal Health Monitoring System (NAHMS), a nonregulatory division of USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service—Veterinary Services, in collaboration with the National Agricultural Statistics Service, is planning for its third national study of the equine industry. The survey is scheduled to begin in summer 2015.
The training and racing of 2-year-old Thoroughbreds has always been a source of debate in the racing world due to concerns that exerting young skeletons might make horses more likely to injure themselves. But recent study results from Italian researchers suggest that at least one set of bones in Thoroughbreds might not impacted by training as juveniles: t...
Depending on what study you read, laminitis prevalence in horse populations ranges anywhere from 1.5% to 34%. One of the most frequently cited prevalence estimates, from a study of horses in Great Britain, is 7%. But which figure is correct? Claire Wylie, PhD, MSc, BVM&S, a veterinary epidemiologist at Rossdales Equine Hospital, in Newmarket, England,...
When you buy a new horse trailer, chances are you'll also get lots technical information about the “fatigue life” of mechanical parts like the shocks or the clamp to close the hitch. That fatigue life refers to how long these parts can be used—opening and closing, absorbing shock, clamping, or whatever they do—before they break.
Beautiful hair is a widely sought-after commodity. Just look at the millions of dollars people spend on various hair treatments. Britney Spears alone reportedly spends more than $60,000 on personal grooming expenses every year! Horses are similarly pampered and preened, as evidenced by the fact that nutritional supplements marketed for skin and coat are t...
Since it was first identified in 2007, deadly equine multinodular pulmonary fibrosis (EMPF) has been reported in numerous horses across North America and Europe. While still considered a rare disease, EMPF appears to be related to a very common one—equine herpesvirus (EHV)—and early treatment appears to be the main hope for survival.
Equine veterinarians representing the American Association of Equine Practitioners’ (AAEP) On Call program will assist NBC Sports with horse health information during the Nov. 1–2 Breeders’ Cup World Thoroughbred Championships at Santa Anita Park, in Arcadia, Calif.
Ever heard of the horse's third trochanter? It's a part of a bone, and guess what: It can break. While not common, third trochanter fractures can cause almost instant, severe hind limb lameness that can be difficult to diagnose. But the news isn't all bad: French researchers say these fractures probably won’t end a horse's athletic c...
The benefit of horse housing might be obvious during cold winter months, but what about during sun-filled summer days?
We all know that hitting the treadmill once in a while can be beneficial for human health, but recent study results indicate it could be good practice for young racehorses, as well.
One topic horse owners have heard a lot about in the past few years is anthelmintic resistance. And while many veterinarians encourage their clients to change to fecal egg count (FEC) directed deworming from rotational deworming—something many have practiced for years or decades—some are slow to adapt. But new study results from Scotland sugge...
Osteochondral lesions that show up on young horses' radiographs might appear worrisome, but the veterinarian behind a recent research review concluded that surgery isn’t always necessary, or even recommended. And in many cases the worry isn’t necessary either.
Italian researchers believe that a wide number of “healthy” variables—such as breed and geographic location—might impact horses' blood test results. And with the current textbook reference hematology values being based on the Thoroughbred horse in the United Kingdom, the team believes it might be time to develop new reference v...
The Malone Family Foundation, led by media magnate and philanthropist John C. Malone, has donated $6 million to Colorado State University's Orthopaedic Research Center.
Researchers are brightening up the field of monitoring equine tendonitis healing: Recent study results suggest that the colors displayed by Doppler ultrasonography could help veterinarians better follow the healing processes of certain conditions, like tendonitis.
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.
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