Horse Health

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

Managing Weeds in Kentucky Horse Pastures

What grows in your pasture? Ideally, abundant forage that is nutritious to horses. However, a perusal of most Kentucky horse pastures will uncover 20 plant species, many of which are weeds. The abundance of weedy species depends greatly on pasture management: Overgrazing of pasture grasses and soil compaction are primary causes of weed occurrence.

Veterinarian-Client-Patient Relationship Overview (AAEP 2012)

Establishing and maintaining an active, functional veterinarian-client-patient relationship (VCPR) is the cornerstone to providing the best care for horses, said Richard Lesser, DVM, of Equine Clinic at OakenCroft, in Ravena, N.Y., during a recent veterinarian discussion on ethics. This VCPR is a legal "contract" between the veterinarian and the...

Effects of Soaking on Protein, Mineral Loss in Hay

Providing a diet low in nonstructural carbohydrates (NSC), such as sugars and starch, is key to maintaining horses diagnosed with diseases such as laminitis, hyperkalemic periodic paralysis (HYPP), and polysaccharide storage myopathy (PSSM). Soaking hay not only helps reduce dust, but also NSC, making it a popular option for maintaining horses with these ...

Link Identified between Tree Seed and Seasonal Pasture Myopathy

New research from the University of Minnesota (UM) that was recently published in the Equine Veterinary Journal (EVJ) shows that a toxin from the box elder tree is the likely cause of seasonal pasture myopathy (SPM), the U.S. equivalent of the European disease known as atypical myopathy (AM). Preliminary comparisons of these results with cases of AM in Eu...

Hoof Radiographs' Role In Practical Farriery (AAEP 2012)

Radiographs are an often overlooked but indispensible tool for assessing a horse's feet and developing a hoof care plan that will maximize his soundness. At a recent in-depth seminar titled "The Foot from Every Angle," Randy Eggleston, DVM, of the University of Georgia's School of Veterinary Medicine, described how to optimize use of rad...

Laminitis Research Group Still Recruiting Cases (AAEP 2012)

In a recent survey of American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) members, 65% reported that laminitis is at the top of their list of conditions requiring more research and understanding. In 2000 the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service estimated that 13% of U.S. horse operations deal with horses affected by laminitis annually and that ...

A Forage-Only Diet for Young Horses in Training Evaluated

Research shows that adult performance horses can subsist on a quality forage-only diet, but what about their younger counterparts? Recent study results from a Swedish research team indicate that a high-energy, high-quality forage diet is not only adequate for growing horses, but can also reduce their risk of several health problems associated with a conce...

Study Evaluates Cribbers' Sleeping Habits

Is worrying about your horse's cribbing habit keeping you up at night? It turns out that cribbing might keep your horse up at night, too. New research has revealed that the stereotypy could be related to a lack of certain kinds of sleep. Specifically, British researchers say, horses that crib spend less time in "standing sleep" mode than hor...

Equine Rhinitis Virus Prevalence in Louisiana Racehorses Evaluated

Infectious respiratory diseases such as equine influenza and equine herpesvirus can have a significant welfare and economic effect on the horse industry, and researchers and veterinarians have devoted much time and money to trying to control and prevent outbreaks. Far less is known, however, about another infectious respiratory disease: equine rhinitis vi...

Tiludronate, Shock Wave to Treat Bucked Shins (AAEP 2012)

Rarely has a racehorse practitioner not encountered a case of bucked shins (also called dorsal metacarpal disease, or DMD). This commonly identified racehorse injury has both mechanical and biologic roots, so one veterinarian recently set out to test a new treatment protocol in hopes of getting quicker and better results than current treatment options offer.

Diet Restriction for Equine Weight Loss

Equine obesity is an increasingly common problem, leading many owners to seek safe weight loss solutions for their horse. In most cases veterinarians and nutritionists advise restricting diet and increasing exercise, but with some horses--those suffering from laminitis, for instance--exercise might be contraindicated. This leaves dietary restriction as th...

Advances and Challenges in Equitation Science Technology

Twenty-first century technology brings us into the once-science fiction world described by fantasy writers in the 1950s. We've got retina screens, hybrid vehicles, and a million different apps (not short for "Appaloosas," in this case). We can video chat with people on the other side of the planet in real time, and we can carry 50,000 photog...

Factors Associated with Surviving Potomac Horse Fever (AAEP 2012)

Potomac horse fever (PHF), a somewhat regional rickettsial disease, causes acute diarrhea and leads to death in up to 30% of affected horses. In an effort to understand the disease better, Sandra Taylor, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ACVIM, of Purdue University's school of veterinary medicine, performed a retrospective study in which she and colleagues looked for s...

Law, Morals, and Ethics in Equine Practice (AAEP 2012)

"The No. 1 goal of the equine veterinarian is to help the welfare of the horse," reported Rick Lesser, DVM, during a series of sessions focused on ethics, scope of practice, and racing at the 2012 American Association of Equine Practitioners' (AAEP) Convention, held Dec. 1-5, in Anaheim, Calif. "The best way to do this is through a syne...

Laminitis Overview and Anatomy

Laminitis, also referred to as "founder," is an often devastating disease of the hoof that can cripple or kill afflicted horses. It's such an important equine disease that each year veterinarians, farriers, and horse owners from throughout the United States gather at the International Equine Conference of Laminitis and the Equine Foot.

Flunixin Meglumine Doses: More or Less? (AAEP 2012)

Veterinarians use non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to manage equine pain in a variety of situations. Foot pain can often be difficult to control, so Jonathan Foreman, DVM, MS, Dipl. ACVIM, of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and his colleagues examined the possibility that higher-than-standard doses might better alleviate foot...

Female Equine Embryo Survival Studied

Researchers know that many mammals can adjust the ratio of male and female young depending on the surrounding conditions at the time of conception but how precisely this is accomplished remains a matter for debate. A recent study carried out with equine embryos by Christine Aurich, DVM, PhD, and colleagues at the University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna,...

Genetic Basis of Osteochondritis Dissecans Probed

For a Thoroughbred the road to the racetrack is sometimes a rocky one, wrought with physical challenges such as the musculoskeletal condition osteochondrosis (OC). But recently, English researchers have taken a step forward in understanding a potential genetic component of OC.

Common Clinical Signs of Laminitis

Laminitis is a painful disease in horses that is often illustrated by classic clinical signs. Recognizing these signs during early onset and seeking immediate veterinary care can improve the outcome of treatment, said James Orsini, DVM, Dipl. ACVS, director of the Laminitis Institute at the University of Pennsylvania's New Bolton Center.

Identifying Laminitic Changes with MRI

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) might offer evidence of laminitic changes in a horse's hoof before the disease is otherwise identified. Equine radiologist and consultant Alexia McKnight, DVM, Dipl. ACVR, of McKnight Insight, in Chadds Ford, Pa., shared her anecdotal experience identifying laminitic changes via MRI during her presentation "Equine...

Look, Ma--No Shoes!

Just in time for winter--a time when many owners opt to pull their horses' shoes for the season--a team of researchers has released results from a study examining the effects of normal gaits on hoof wear in barefoot horses.

Preventing Fall and Winter Colic

The fall is a time of lovely colors, family get-togethers, and winding down the busy show season. However, fall is often a time of increased colic calls to veterinarians. While not all colic episodes can be prevented, paying attention to equine management can go a long way to decrease the incidence and the suffering of episodes.

Researcher: Work Objectively to Understand Equine Behavior

Think we're getting close to finally figuring horses out completely? Well, we're not. But the good news is that by working entirely objectively, equitation scientists are beginning to enter into a new dimension of understanding equine behavior. And that, according to a leading equitation scientist, will lead us into a "Golden Age" of hor...

Top Equine Surgery Studies of 2012 (AAEP 2012)

Equine practitioners are undeniably busy individuals, making farm calls, caring for patients, and evaluating test results on a daily basis. To help veterinarians keep up to date on the most recent and relevant research, three veterinarians review the top studies in the fields of surgery, medicine, and reproduction at the annual American Association of Equ...

Comparing the Effects of Two Equine Omega-3 Fatty Acid Supplements

Omega-3 fatty acids have proven to be beneficial for horses with arthritis or other inflammatory conditions, but when it comes to choosing a supplement, which one is best? There are two sources of equine omega-3 fatty acid supplements--one derived from algae and fish oil and the other derived from plants. Recent research performed at Colorado State Univer...

Shock Wave Therapy Table Topic (AAEP 2012)

A group of very interactive veterinarians gathered for the table topic discussion on shock wave therapy at the 2012 American Association of Equine Practitioners Annual Meeting, held Dec. 1-5 in Anaheim, Calif. Susan Johns, DVM, CVA, of Virginia Equine Imaging, and Scott McClure, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ACVS, associate professor of equine surgery at Iowa State Uni...

Simultaneous Ivermectin and Solanum Plant Poisoning in Horses

Ivermectin dewormer is considered safe for horses, even at up to 10 times the recommended dosage. But results of a recent case series documented by researchers at Texas A&M University (TAMU) revealed that horses consuming plants from the toxic Solanum (nightshade) family could be in danger of ivermectin poisoning, even when the anthelmintic is dosed a...

HSUS Launches Safe Stalls Horse Rescue Network

The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) is launching a new program to help horses rescued from cruelty and neglect cases or natural disasters. The HSUS' Safe Stalls Horse Rescue Network will be a nationwide system of horse rescue groups, equine professionals and enthusiasts who can provide emergency care and shelter to horses in need.

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