Horse Health

Health news, veterinary advice, and educational tools to keep your horse healthy.

New Horse Owners Learn About Breeding Process

If there's one thing the horse industry needs, its new blood to fuel the sport. The Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders' Association (TOBA) works each year to accomplish just that through its new owner seminars and breeding clinics, the most recent of which took place at Robert N. Clay's Three Chimneys Farm near Midway, Ky., May 29. The three-day clinic will...

Belmont Stakes Home Track Receives Accreditation

The National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) announced the Thoroughbred racetrack Belmont Park, home of the Belmont Stakes, has been fully accredited by the NTRA Safety and Integrity Alliance following a complete review of all racing operations at the facility. The Elmont, N.Y., racetrack is the third racing facility to be so designated by the Alli...

Friesan Fire Sidelined

Vinery Stables' and Fox Hill Farm's Friesan Fire, who was made the favorite for this year's Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) after three consecutive graded stakes wins this spring, has been sidelined for a couple of months due to an injury.

FBR Wins Telly Award for Equine Reseach Film

The Foundation for Biomedical Research announced its feature film Majestic has won a Telly Award in the 30th Annual Telly Awards competition. Founded in 1978, the Telly Awards is the premier award honoring outstanding local, regional, and cable TV commercials and programs, the finest video and film productions, and online film and video.

It's a Bird Positive After Oaklawn Handicap

It's a Bird, winner of the Lone Star Handicap (gr. III) on Memorial Day, could lose the purse from his April 4 victory in the Oaklawn Handicap (gr. II) as the result of a positive test for the prohibited substance naproxen, an anti-inflammatory medication.

HealthWatch: Update on EPM

EPM remains a rare cause of neurologic disease in horses -- less than 0.5% of horses are diagnosed with EPM annually in the United States. However, if you do the math, 0.5% of all the horses residing in the United States still amounts to several thousand horses diagnosed with EPM each year.

Laminitis: Cold Treatment in the Real World

From a layman's perspective, cryotherapy (use of cold for treatment) for horses at risk of or just beginning the acute phase of laminitis just makes sense. The laminae are inflamed, the hooves are hot to the touch, so let's cool them down and keep them cold. Researchers get that, too. But there are still some questions on how this method works, and there are some issues when it comes to real-world applications.

Kentucky Reports MRLS Cases

Kentucky Reports MRLS Cases

The University of Kentucky Livestock Disease Diagnostic Center (LDDC) reported today (May 13) that two fetal necropsy cases had findings consistent with mare reproductive loss syndrome (MRLS), the disease that in 2001-2002 in Kentucky caused an estimated $336 in cumulative losses in all breeds of horses.

Improving Bone Chip Rehabilitation

If there is one thing most horsemen know well, it is the way things have always been done. The conventional paths to feeding, shoeing, training, and rehabilitating horses are processes that came to be tried-and-true for a reason: they usually accomplished the end goal. Today, the combination of research, technology, and, to some extent, an entrepreneurial...

Pennsylvania Racing to Regulate Corticosteroids

The Pennsylvania Horse Racing Commission has adopted a policy whereby administration of corticosteroids in horses must be stopped seven days prior race day.

The regulation takes effect June 1, according to a policy directive signed May 4. The PHRC unanimously voted for the regulation April 15.

Injury to Scratched Derby Favorite I Want Revenge More Serious

The injury that kept I Want Revenge out of the May 2 Kentucky Derby will keep him from racing for months and threaten his career if he doesn't respond well to therapy, the horse's veterinarian said May 5.

Foster Northrop, DVM, said swelling in I Want Revenge's right front ankle, once considered only mild, progressed over the weekend, and an ultras...

Hoof Wall Separations and Quarter Cracks

Farrier Ian McKinlay, who received some notoriety in 2008 for his work patching Big Brown's feet, discussed his experiences with patching wall separations and quarter cracks so high-performance horses can go on with their work at the 2008 American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) convention, held Dec. 6-10 in San Diego, Calif.

Racehorse Stormalory Euthanized After Leg Fractures

Stormalory, a 3-year-old Thoroughbred colt, was euthanized after breaking down during the Crown Royal American Turf Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Churchill Downs May 1.     Stormalory, trained by Bill Mott and owned by Sheik Mohammed of Dubai's Darley Stable, was the favorite in the 1 1/16-mile race. He broke slowly under jockey Julien Lep...

Keeping Venezuelan Equine Encephalomyelitis 'Foreign'

Most horse owners are familiar with Eastern and Western equine encephalomyelitis, if only through the statement they receive from their veterinarian following their horses' annual vaccinations. But there's another "EE" that, while long absent from the United States, should not be forgotten: Venezuelan equine encephalomyelitis, or VEE.

...

Pfizer Assists With Paragallo Horses

The National Thoroughbred Racing Association Safety and Integrity Alliance announced April 21 that Pfizer Animal Health has pledged to donate equine health care supplies to aid the 170 horses suffering from malnourishment at Center Brook Farm in Climax, N.Y.

Surface Safety Laboratory Coming Soon

A racing surfaces testing laboratory designed to enhance surface safety for horses and riders is being launched with the financial support of a broad industry coalition, it was announced April 17 by the laboratory's coordinators Mick Peterson, MS, PhD, and Wayne McIlwraith, BVSc, FRCVS, PhD, Dipl. ACVS, ECVS.

Based in Orono, Maine, the laboratory ...

Technology Aids in Surface/Impact Study

Technology Aids in Surface/Impact Study

What type of impact do various terrains actually have on the health of a horse's hooves and legs? French researchers are using a highly sensitive 3-D dynamometric shoe and other instruments to give unprecedented insight into the biomechanical effects of diverse surfaces on not only a horse's limbs, but his entire musculoskeletal system.

Jockey Club Offers Free Thoroughbred Identification Service

The Jockey Club has established a free service to help owners identify tattooed but unidentified Thoroughbreds in their possession.

For legible tattoos, an owner can use a free tattoo lookup feature available from The Jockey Club's Web site and the

Task Force Sought on Humane Treatment

The New York Thoroughbred Breeders, Inc. is proposing a task force for the purpose of broadening programs that assist Thoroughbred owners forced with selling their horses while developing a policy that punishes any owner, breeder or trainer that either directly or indirectly contributes to an outcome where a horse is knowingly sent to slaughter.

KHRC Panel Approves Helmet Regulation

A committee of the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission has approved a proposed regulation that would mandate safety helmets be worn by all licensed personnel--including exercise riders and trainers during morning training times--at all of the state's tracks.

International Equine Disease Report, Fourth Quarter 2008

The International Collating Centre, Newmarket, England, and other sources reported the following disease outbreaks:

Two cases of contagious equine metritis (CEM) were confirmed in non-Thoroughbred horses in France. As of Feb. 23 the USDA reported 11 non-Thoroughbred stallions positive for (CEM) during the recent outbreak--four in Kentucky, three in I...

Michigan Bans Racehorse Steroids

Michigan Horse Racing Commissioner Christine C. White April 1 gave notice to the state's horse racing industry that effective immediately, the presence of anabolic steroids will be prohibited in all horses entered to race at any pari-mutuel track in Michigan.

"Integrity remains our priority," said White. "By incorporating a testing program for ana...

Stress Busters

Our horses' lifestyles, career demands, and the way we manage them can cause more stress than we might expect.

Sue McDonnell, PhD, Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist, was preparing a horse for long-distance transport. Getting the horse from her home base at the University of Pennsylvania's New Bolton Center to his final destina...

Stem-Cell Research: Potential Benefits

Harvesting a horse's stem cells at birth through the umbilical cord or as a young horse may give it an advantage later if it develops health problems. Researchers from the University of California-Davis spoke to a group of owners and breeders March 22 at the California Thoroughbred Breeders Association office about stem-cell research they are performing, and the future of stem-cell therapy.

Synthetic Surfaces vs. Dirt and Turf

"Injuries and fatalities are a major problem in the (Thoroughbred) racing industry," said Jacob Setterbo, BS, a graduate student at the University of California, Davis, during the 2008 American Association of Equine Practitioners convention (held Dec. 6-10 in San Diego, Calif.). "There are about two racing-related equine deaths per day due primarily to musculoskeletal injury (in the U.S. and Canada)."

Catastrophic Injuries Spike at Turfway

After going a month with no fatalities, Turfway Park in Northern Kentucky was the site of five catastrophic injuries during an eight-day period in February, according to state veterinarian Bryce Peckham, DVM.

During his monthly report March 10 to the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission, Peckham said the fatalities occurred between Feb. 13 and Feb. 21...

Churchill Downs Implements Safety and Welfare Plan

Churchill Downs Incorporated has announced a series of new rules and policies designed to enhance the safety and welfare of jockeys and horses. The measures will be in place at Churchill Downs racetrack in advance of the this year's Kentucky Derby and will include standardized third-party testing of track surfaces and comprehensive testing of all winni...

Anhidrosis: Altered Thyroid Function a Potential Contributor

Despite the fact that 20% of racehorses in the southern United States are affected by anhidrosis--the inability or decreased ability to sweat--the underlying causes of this medical condition remain unknown.

Sweating is the primary means by which exercising horses dissipate heat. Anhidrotic horses are typically exercise intolerant, have an inc...

KY Puts Restrictions on WI Stallions

Kentucky veterinary officials are now requiring that stallions coming from Wisconsin be tested for contagious equine metritis (CEM) prior to entering the state. The order, issued today by state veterinarian Robert C. Stout, stems from Kentucky's investigation into cases of CEM, which were first discovered in the state in December. This is the first official interstate movement restriction to result from the nationwide investigation, which includes 614 horses in 45 states.

FTBOA Awarded $2.5 Million Grant

FTBOA  Awarded $2.5 Million Grant

The Florida Thoroughbred Breeders' and Owners' Association announced Feb. 25 that it, along with partner MaxWest Environmental Systems, has received a grant award in the amount of $2.5 million from the Florida Energy and Climate Commission for a green energy project.

AAEP Releases Racing Safety and Welfare Recommendations

The American Association of Equine Practitioners today issued guidelines for protecting the health of the Thoroughbred racehorse. The white paper, "Putting the Horse First: Veterinary Recommendations for the Safety and Welfare of the Thoroughbred Racehorse," provides veterinary guidance on many issues challenging the racing industry and the care of the...

Protocol for Racehorse Steroids Testing Progresses

The Racing Medication and Testing Consortium (RMTC) board of directors Feb. 6 received an update on an anabolic steroids study, results of which will be used to set thresholds for testing in plasma.

The RMTC board, which met in Las Vegas, Nev., also discussed upcoming studies on therapeutic medication, development of best practices for drug-testin...

Prevent CEM, Other Infectious Diseases Through Strict Hygiene

Strict hygiene guidelines should be followed whenever handling breeding mares or stallions to prevent reproductive infectious diseases, including contagious equine metritis (CEM).

CEM is spread between horses primarily by breeding, either by natural service or artificial insemination (AI). Grooms, handlers, and breeding technicians or veterinary p...

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