Horse Health

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

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,...

Caring for the Disciplines: Racing

When more than 50,000 people cheered Zenyatta to victory in the 2009 Breeders' Cup Classic, they were responding to the mare's personality and charisma as well as the sheer athletic prowess with which she defeated rivals repeatedly.

PPID Risk Factors in Horses Studied

Veterinarians and scientists have made great strides in understanding, diagnosing, and treating pituitary pars intermedia dysfunction (PPID, often referred to as equine Cushing's disease)—a neuro-degenerative disorder of aged horses, in which dopamine production of the pituitary gland decreases. However, questions about the disease still abound....

Shock Wave Therapy for Lower Leg Wounds on Horses

Wounds located on a horse’s lower (distal) limb can be extremely challenging to treat due to the small amount of “extra” soft tissue in the area (to suture, for example) and the propensity for excessive proud flesh to form, which prolongs rehabilitation. Over the years, veterinarians have tried multiple techniques to improve tissue heali...

Bandages for Fracture Stabilization Evaluated (AAEP 2012)

Fracture stabilization is one of the most important steps in addressing potentially catastrophic injuries in horses. One of the staples veterinarians use to stabilize equine limb fractures is the Robert Jones bandage, a layered and padded bandage, sometimes used in conjunction with a splint layered inside the wrap, designed to limit limb mobility.

Drug Peramivir Could Help Horses Suffering from Flu

Flu season for horses can be any season. And considering that even horses vaccinated against the equine influenza virus (EIV) can still “catch the flu,” this disease is cause for concern. A group of Japanese researchers, however, recently evaluated a flu inhibitor in horses and found that it could help EIV-infected animals recover more quickly.

How Horse Wounds Heal

Whether large or small, serious or innocuous, all wounds follow a distinct and complex healing process. During the 2013 Western Veterinary Conference, held Feb. 17-21 in Las Vegas, Nev., one veterinarian reviewed how wounds heal and how owners can help facilitate healing.

AAEP, AHC Partner to Prevent Equine Disease Outbreaks

When a horse contracts a disease, the owner or caretaker usually focuses solely on getting the horse healthy again and protecting others on the farm from illness. But in reality, certain ailments could have community-, region-, and even industry-wide effects. For instance, an equine viral arteritis or contagious equine metritis outbreak could shutter the ...

New Weight Loss Program for EMS Horses a Welcomed Success

One of the first steps to helping an obese horse drop a few pounds is recognizing that he's overweight in the first place. The next step? Implementing a diet program. But that hasn't always been as easy as it seems, as few tried and true weight loss programs for horses exist. British researchers recently tested a weight loss plan designed specific...

Therapeutic Ultrasound Settings for Horses Identified

Did you know that ultrasound can be used for more than just diagnosing tendon and ligament injuries in horses? Indeed, veterinarians can also use it therapeutically to treat soft tissue injuries, but what settings they should use and how long they should treat an injured horse has, until now, been a bit of a "guesstimation" game.

CFS Classification System Developed (AAEP 2012)

Foals with contracted limbs, which can prevent them from standing or walking normally, often display a variety of other physical abnormalities that veterinarians haven’t directly tied to the contractures. Understanding correlations between these characteristics could help veterinarians build a bank of knowledge to help guide treatment down the most ...

Vestibular Disease in Horses Reviewed

Although they don't tend to garner as much attention as infectious neurologic diseases, vestibular diseases (those that pertain to the balance mechanisms) are common and important causes of neurologic problems in horses. At the 2013 Western Veterinary Conference, held Feb. 17-21, Laurie Beard, DVM, MS, Dipl. ACVIM, associate clinical professor at Kans...

Study Evaluates Effects of Probiotics for Horses

Nutritional supplements containing probiotics are popular purchases for some horse owners, even if not all of these products' label claims are backed by research. But some researchers are working to better understand these probiotics' effects on horses. At the 2013 Western Veterinary Conference, held Feb. 17-21, in Las Vegas, Nev., one veterinaria...

Most Popular Stories