Horse Health

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

Foal Loss Outbreak of 1980 Eventually Discounted as 'Artifact Epidemic'

An outbreak of early-term fetal loss in 1980 was eventually discounted by researchers as an "artifact epidemic" caused by earlier than usual examinations. Still, that outbreak now is viewed by many as similar in nature to the current syndrome that many Central Kentucky farms are experiencing. According to experts such as Dr. David Powell of the University of Kentucky Gluck Equine Research Center, the current problem is much more widespread than in 1980.

Epidemiologist Q&A on Excessive Foal Losses

Dr. David Powell, an epidemiologist at the University of Kentucky's Veterinary Science Department in the Gluck Equine Research Center, was interviewed Monday by The Blood-Horse about the unusually high number of early fetal loss and late-term abortions among broodmares at Central Kentucky farms.

University of Kentucky Diagnostic Lab Seeking Answers About Foal Loss

The director and staff of the University of Kentucky's Livestock Disease Diagnostic Laboratory have been working long hours conducting necropsies and running tests in an attempt to find answers to the questions raised during the ongoing losses of fetuses and foals in the state. While there hasn't been time yet to compile official numbers of incoming horses for testing, more than 60 have come on some days. The normal number of incoming abortions per day at this time of year is five to six, with a little higher number per day of dead foals.

Kentucky Farm Managers, Vets To Meet About Foal Loss

The Kentucky Thoroughbred Farm Managers' Club and the Kentucky Association of Equine Practitioners will hold a joint meeting Thursday (May 10) in the Keeneland sales pavilion near Lexington to discuss recent problems with early fetal loss and late term abortions in Central Kentucky. The meeting will begin at 5 p.m. (EDT).

Excessive Foal Loss Great Concern to Central Kentucky Farms

Two "syndromes" that began near the end of the third week of April are causing Central Kentucky farms to lose an excessive number of foals and fetuses due to an as yet unknown cause. The first syndrome results in what mare owners know as "red bag," or premature placenta separation where the placenta comes out before the foal, often causing the foal to suffocate if the birth is unattended. The second syndrome was discovered around May 1 when veterinarians began routine 60-day fetal checks and discovered that many mares either were empty (not pregnant), or were in the process of losing their pregnancies. Some farms have experienced losses ranging from 25-75% of next year's foal crop. And there is no evidence that this problem is slowing down.

Sales Prepping Yearlings

As spring moves into summer, the primary focus of activity on many breeding farms is preparation of yearlings for sale. There isn't much scientific research on exercising horses at that young age, yet many farms are using forced exercise to make these youngsters look like little athletes rather than the gangly teenagers they are. While it is good that ...

Storm Behavior

During thunderstorms, most horses show no noticeable response to either thunder or lightning independent of the severity of the rain and the wind.

The Horse Hosts Free Foot and Mouth Seminar

The Horse magazine will conduct a free seminar for horse owners and industry professionals addressing EPM, West Nile, and Foot and Mouth disease concerns. The April 27 event at the Kentucky Horse Park Visitor's Information Center coincides with the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event at the same location. Speakers will include Dr. Bill Saville, of The Ohio State University, and Dr. Peter Timoney, of the Gluck Equine Research Center, in Lexington.

BHB May Relax Policy on Foot-and-Mouth Restrictions

The British Horseracing Board is set to relax its tough stance of not
racing at courses within 10 kilometers of a foot-and-mouth disease outbreak. BHB directors were to be told at a meeting Wednesday that further disruption to the flat racing season in Britain could occur if the policy isn't changed.

Strangles

Strangles is a highly contagious disease of the upper respiratory system in the horse. It is caused by a bacterium, Streptococcus equi. Symptoms of strangles include inflammation of the throat, nasal discharge, and abscesses in the lymph nodes that are located in the head region.

Proper Techniques for Bandaging

When you bandage a horse's legs, it is important to use proper techniques. If bandages are not applied correctly, they can cause discomfort, restrict blood flow, and damage tendons and other tissues.

Rash of Positives for Human Drug Clonidine Reported in Nebraska

A human drug used to treat high blood pressure, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, and addictive behavior has been detected in at least 10 post-race samples of horses racing in Nebraska recently, and sources say the number of positive tests could double in the coming weeks. Seven trainers have been notified by the Nebraska Racing Commission that their horses tested positive for Clonidine, which drug testing experts say can have both a calming and analgesic effect on horses and is closely related to Romifidine and Guanabenz, two drugs suspected by racing officials as being used illegally on horses.

Oxley's Triple Crown Contenders to Race for Equine Research

John C. Oxley, who with wife Debby has a pair of Triple Crown candidates in Florida Derby (gr. I) winner Monarchos and graded stakes-placed Hero's Tribute, announced that 1% of money either colt wins through victories in grade I races through the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) will be earmarked for the Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation. The donations are retroactive to the Florida Derby, in which Monarchos earned $600,000 (which provided $6,000 to the foundation).

Castration

Castration usually rids a horse of unwanted stallion-like behavior, including screaming at and fighting with other horses and potentially aggressive behavior toward humans.

Choke

Choke is the most common disorder involving the esophagus in horses. Horses can become choked on many different substances, most commonly grain or hay, but also beet pulp, corn cobs, and apples.

Bathing Advice

Bathing can be one of the most challenging barn chores, especially if you are dealing with a young, scared, or impatient horse.

Queen Expresses Concern Over Racing's Return Despite Disease

The Mail On Sundaynewspaper in Britain reported the Queen, who owns and breeds horses and has her own racecourse, Ascot, thinks that the sport should be suspended while the foot and mouth outbreak continues. The British Horseracing Board confirmed that the Queen has expressed her concern. Tristram Ricketts, secretary general of the BHB, said: "Last week Her Majesty the Queen expressed her concern that racing should consider its response to the foot and mouth outbreak very carefully, but has not asked for horseracing to stop.

Australia Denies Ban is Political

Australia Quarantine and Inspection Service media officer Carson Creagh denied AQIS was succumbing to political pressure with its import ban and denied that the decision was not based on scientific motivation, a charge levelled by Quentin Wallace and John Messara , the CEOs of International Racehorse Transport and Arrowfield Stud.

Australia Expands Ban to All of Europe

Australian quarantine officials reacted quickly to the confirmed case of Foot and Mouth disease in France by expanding its horse ban to the whole European Union. Australia's Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS) stated the import ban would also apply to any other country in which foot- and-mouth disease is endemic, or in which there is an outbreak. This means Argentina was an immediate and automatic inclusion to those 'temporarily suspended'.

Dubai World Cup Issues Foot and Mouth Statement

Dubai World Cup officials issued the following statement Thursday regarding foot and mouth disease in the country and its affect on runners in the Dubai World Cup Day races:
International representatives in Dubai for the Dubai World Cup meeting at Nad Al Sheba on March 24 are under no risk, with officials for the Ministry of Agriculture in the United Arab Emirates moving quickly to dispel fears of a possible outbreak of foot and mouth disease in the country.

Horse Council Advisory: Horses Allowed Into U.S.

The American Horse Council has learned that recent reports saying horses are not permitted entry into the U.S. from the European Union are erroneous. Some of the misunderstanding results from a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) press release from March 13, 2001, which said that "all animals and animal products are temporarily prohibited entry from the European Union".

Dealing with Twins

Twins occur a little more commonly in the Thoroughbred than in other breeds. Approximately 20% of ovulations in Thoroughbred mares are double ovulations.

Bleeding

Scientists at the University of California-Davis have uncovered new information that might explain why horses bleed internally when they exercise.

AAEP To Hold Medication Summit

The next Symposium on Racing will include an all-day meeting on medication to be conducted by the American Association of Equine Practitioners. The Dec. 4 "summit" will look at the administration of therapeutic medications and discuss the standards and policies the industry should employ when treating horses for racing.

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