Horse Health

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

Snakebite in Horses

With warm weather comes the increased risk of snakebite. The major venomous snakes in the United States are the pit vipers, including rattlesnakes, water moccasins, and copperheads. Pit vipers are named after the heat-detecting holes, or pits, on each side of the head that help the snake locate prey. Pit vipers can be differentiated from other snakes by t...

Turnout Time's Impact on Grass Consumption and Fecal pH

Many a horse or pony owner has restricted their overweight equid's turnout time in an effort to help him shed pounds. And while researchers know weight loss helps improve horses' overall health, until now they haven't known exactly what impact restricted grazing has on the equine gastrointestinal health or calorie intake. A group of North Caro...

Feed Delivery Methods' Effects on Glucose, Insulin Response

There are a number of ways to help prevent insulin resistance (IR) or associated conditions like laminitis in horses, but did you know that how you feed your horse could be one of them? According to recently published study results, feeding methods that slow horses’ feed consumption rate can also reduce their insulin and glucose responses directly a...

Study: Broodmares on Pasture Don't Always Need Grain

Horse owners are continually looking for ways to reduce feed costs without disturbing their horses' health, and a group of French equine nutritionists have some good news in this department: According to recent study results, lactating saddle horse mares on good quality pasture didn’t need to be fed grain to maintain their weight or their foals&...

Management's Impact on Osteochondral Lesion Development

Do you bed your young horses down in stalls in the winter? How smooth and flat are your pastures? When you’re trying to raise good bones and joints, these questions are worth considering. Because, according to French researchers, how you manage your young stock can have a direct effect on how osteochondral lesions evolve—for better or for worse.

Headshaking Supplement Efficacy Tested

Sure, many horse owners add feed supplements to their horses' diets to help maintain joints, hooves, and hair coats. But what about to stifle headshaking? Researchers at the University of Liverpool in England recently tested the efficacy of a feed supplement designed to alleviate this behavior in a trial involving 32 horses previously diagnosed with c...

Feed Choices Can Mean Cost Savings for Horse Owners

Few horse owners have remained unchallenged by the intractable recession. Rising fuel and feed costs have pushed horse ownership expenses skyward. And with no end in sight, it's no wonder that horse owners are looking for ways to trim their routine horse-keeping expenses without sacrificing the quality of their animal's care. Bob Coleman, PhD PAS,...

Digesting Different Hay Forms

Many horse owners have their hay-buying ritual down to a science. But from time to time, owners might find themselves rethinking their ritual, possibly due to drought, floods, or other factors that limit the forage supply in their area.

Researchers Develop Subjective Equine Personality Test

It's common knowledge that horses' individual personalities play a role in how they behave. Scientists have even developed various equine personality tests—most of which use objective criteria in a scoring system—to determine personality type. But researchers have recently developed a new subjective personality test designed to help us...

Effects of High Glycemic Meals on Young Horses' Growth

Many horse owners understand the important role nutritional building blocks, such as protein and minerals, play in young horses’ growth, but they might not consider the endocrine or metabolic consequences of their feed choices. In a recent study researchers compared the differences between a low glycemic (LG) and high glycemic (HG) meal’s effe...

Equine Muscle Matters Reviewed

Most horse owners appreciate the sight of a well-muscled horse, along with the time and effort riders or trainers must commit to helping that animal fill out. But chances are, fewer owners consider the factors within a horse's body that allow him to build—or lose—muscle mass.

Equine Gastrointestinal Health Reviewed

All horses'—from young to old, high-performance to sedentary, rescued to syndicated, and everywhere in between—gastrointestinal (GI) tracts function in the same manner. And owners of all types of horses should take the same steps to help keep their animals' GI systems functioning optimally.

Equine Castration Complications Reviewed

Although castrations are routine procedures for many equine practitioners, the risk for complications remains. And while most complications are generally mild, some have life-threatening implications. To better understand these complications, a University of California, Davis (UC Davis), research team recently took a closer look at their prevalence and ou...

Stabilizing Equine Limb Fractures in the Field (AAEP 2012)

Many fractures once deemed inoperable can now be surgically repaired successfully, but management approaches during the critical post-fracture window can have a major impact on outcomes. One equine practitioner reported that veterinarians must be prepared with the appropriate knowledge and equipment to help save these patients' lives.

Understanding Mare and Foal Behavior (AAEP 2012)

Raising a child takes a village, notes one African proverb; the collective experiences of a community forming the individual person. Similarly, a growing foal takes its cues from his dam, surrounding herd, and handlers, and care approaches become particularly important when the foal is orphaned. One of the key aspects handlers must consider when raising a...

Consider Trotting Speed when Diagnosing Subtle Lameness

Most horse owners are familiar with a typical lameness exam: The veterinarian observes the horse trotting briskly in a straight line, watching for signs of uneven movement. But if the patient is harboring a mild lameness, that brisk trot could be masking clinical signs, according to British researchers, whose recent study results indicate that evaluating ...

Spring Cleaning? Don't forget Sheath Cleaning

The coming of spring is, in some ways, a rebirth. It's the time when many horse owners dig out their grooming supplies and clippers and breathe fresh life into their furry charges (aka, the Spring Cleaning Frenzy). Some owners have "The Frenzy" down to a science, but others might forget to clean of one of the darkest—and possibly dirti...

New Method for Scoring Sweat Losses in Horses Proposed

Warm summer weather is just around the corner, which means many owners will be hosing sweaty horses after exercise on a regular basis. But how much sweat are you rinsing down the drain after each ride? The National Research Council and German Society for Nutrition Physiology's current estimation methods depend on the amount of work the horse performs,...

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