Horse Health

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

Can You Breed for Speed or Stamina?

For centuries, horsemen have tried to breed for speed and endurance and found that the greatest genetic potential can yield disappointment as easily as reward. Consider the indomitable Secretariat, who sired a string of mostly unremarkable racers, or the supremely talented John Henry, who sprang from an unheralded sire and dam. These are not isolated i...

West Nile Research

Scientists at Fort Dodge Animal Health's laboratories in Kansas City, Mo., are working to develop a vaccine against West Nile virus (WNV).

Ovarian Tumors

Ovarian tumors can cause severe behavioral changes in a mare. They also can limit a mare's reproductive career by damaging her internal organs, writes Dr. Christina S. Cable in the March edition of The Horse.

West Nile Virus Update

The National Veterinary Services Laboratory recently confirmed two additional equine clinical cases of West Nile virus (WNV), one in New Jersey and the other in New York. The New Jersey case involved a 4-month-old colt, the youngest horse ever known to have developed clinical illness due to WNV in the U.S.

Safe Delivery Tips

Most equine births are uneventful, but there are some steps you can take to make sure your mare's labor and delivery are safe and successful.

Strangles Cases Move Time, Site of 'Repo' Horse Sale

"Just when you think it can't get much worse, it got worse," said Boyd Browning, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Fasig-Tipton, on Feb. 5. Browning was discussing complications involving the pending sale of 89 horses repossessed by Fasig-Tipton and Keeneland from the Maryland mystery buyer, Bernice L. Givens Sykes, who signed tickets for nearly $700,000 for 134 horses at the Keeneland November and Fasig-Tipton Midlantic December mixed sale and then failed to pay for them.

Yearling Radiographic Studies

Radiographs of a yearling’s legs offer a unique glance into the horse’s athletic future, according to Albert Kane, DVM, MPVM, PhD, Post-Doctoral Fellow in Biomedical Sciences in the College of Veterinary Medicine at Colorado State University (CSU). At the American Association of Equine Practitioners’ recent convention, Kane presented findings of a land...

Morris Grants Fund New Research

The Morris Animal Foundation is funding 14 new equine health studies during its 2001 fiscal year that will focus on colic, digestive tract disorders, foal diseases, genetics, infectious diseases, musculoskeletal disorders, pain management, and surgery.

Supplement Use Complicated

Different workloads, stages of growth, pregnancy, and lactation require different dietary configurations for the horse. To meet those needs, horse owners often want to use supplements. However, you should realize that supplements could cause more problems than they solve, writes Dr. Joseph J. Bertone in the February edition of The Horse.

Equine Health Issues Expressed to New Administration

Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has encouraged Ann Veneman, Secretary of Agriculture within the Bush administration, to pay special attention to horses, characterizing them as "Kentucky's number one agriculture moneymaker." Recommending to Veneman that there be more research into causes and cures of equine diseases, McConnell noted that the health of domestic horses and the ability of Americans to import and export horses are vital to the industry.

Flehmen Response in Horses

Most of us, at one time or another, have seen a horse tilt up his head and curl his upper lip in a "horse laugh." Although the expression is amusing, it actually has a practical purpose.

The Impact of Early Training on Thoroughbreds

The economics of Thoroughbred racing are such that most owners and trainers aim to have their horses ready for racing as 2-year-olds. On the other hand, we know that lameness problems are the most important reason for wastage in Thoroughbred racehorses, and some perceive that these injuries are due, in large part, to the training and racing of horses too early in life.

Breakthrough Made on EPM Research

The most recent Journal of Parasitology contained an article that opens the door for battling equine protozoal myeloencephalitis (EPM). Researchers and others found they could use the common domestic cat as the experimental intermediate host for the life cycle of the causative protozoal parasite.

Hay Cubes Have Benefits, Dangers

Hay cubes are favored by many trainers of Thoroughbred and Standardbred racehorses because they tend to be highly digestible and less "bulky" in the gut than long-stemmed hay. But that very digestibility -- the ease and speed with which they are chewed and swallowed -- can be a potential problem.

Imprinting Controversy

If imprinting is done correctly, a foal will be much less likely to resist such things as shoeing and having its ears clipped. However, there are some equine behaviorists and veterinarians who aren't convinced that the procedure is a good idea in theory, or in practice.

Young Horses in Training and Injury Risks

Everyone involved in the racing industry knows that one of the major problems in training horses is keeping them free from injury. Bones, joints, tendons, and ligaments are placed under considerable strain during training and racing, and it seems inevitable that, at one time or another, all horses will suffer some kind of musculoskeletal injury. "Was...

West Nile Virus Update

Researchers at the United States Geological Survey's National Wildlife Health Center in Madison, Wis., recently discovered that West Nile virus can be passed from bird to bird in a laboratory setting without the bite of a mosquito.

Suspensory Disease Common in Equine Athletes

Proximal suspensory desmitis is a common injury in equine athletes. It can affect both the front limbs and the hindlimbs, but it is most often seen in the front legs of Thoroughbred racehorses, according to Dr. Rick Arthur, a veterinarian who practices at Southern California tracks.

Baffert to Vets: 'We Need Medication'

Race-day medication is a necessity, but there should be limits on the use of therapeutic drugs to treat horses that are competing, Eclipse Award-winning trainer Bob Baffert told the American Association of Equine Practitioners on Sunday. Baffert was the keynote speaker for the organization's annual convention in San Antonio, Texas.

AAEP Preview

The results of a landmark, three-year study on radiographic changes in Thoroughbred yearlings will be presented during the American Association of Equine Practitioners annual convention.

Most Adoption Programs Unite Under One Umbrella

Through a joint effort involving input from Thoroughbred adoption and retirement groups across the country, the Thoroughbred Adoption and Retirement Association has been established. TARA will be based in Lexington, Ky., with initial support provided by California Equine Retirement Foundation, Days End Farm Horse Rescue, and ReRun.

Internal Bleeding Claims Life of Spanish Fern

Juddmonte Farms' Spanish Fern died Saturday evening from internal bleeding that resulted from a fractured pelvis, suffered at the start of the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf (gr. IT) at Churchill Downs. The 5-year-old daughter of El Gran Senor pulled herself up shortly after the break, noticeably favoring her left hind leg.

Not All Horses Benefit from Going Barefoot

In a well-conformed, well-built horse, the barefoot state is the most natural situation and probably the healthiest, depending on the work the horse is asked to do. But taking the shoes off a horse and leaving them off is not a good idea for every animal.

Wind Soundness Exam Studies

Thoroughbred yearlings sold at public auction here and abroad often are subject to endoscopic examination of their upper respiratory tracts. Veterinarians and potential buyers are looking for evidence of deformities that could affect the ability of that young horse to breathe normally when it reaches adulthood as a trained athlete. Since some people bu...

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