Horse Health

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

Optimizing Piroplasmosis Treatment Protocols (AAEP 2012)

The tick-borne protozoal disease equine piroplasmosis (EP) impacts horses worldwide, causing hemolytic anemia (the body's immune system attacks and kills its own red blood cells) and even death. Veterinarians' drug of choice for eliminating the causative parasites, Theileria equi and Babesia caballi, is imidocarb dipropionate, which is effective b...

Using Intra-Articular Corticosteroids (AAEP 2012)

Corticosteroids can be an equine joint's best friend or its worst enemy, depending on the veterinarian's approach: Has he or she made a clear diagnosis of osteoarthritis? How many times has the horse's joint been injected already, and is the horse a high-performance athlete? Which joint is the practitioner targeting, and what's going on wi...

Decoding Small Intestine Problems with Ultrasound (AAEP 2012)

The sooner a veterinarian is able to determine whether a colicking horse requires surgery, the better the horse's chances of survival. Colic originating in the small intestine can be particularly tricky since it is not always easily felt on rectal palpation. Ultrasound examination, commonly used in general equine practices for diagnosing pregnancies a...

Handling Non-Weight Bearing Lameness in the Field (AAEP 2012)

One of the most common calls an ambulatory equine practitioner receives is that from a panicked owner whose horse becomes three-legged lame seemingly overnight, said Ryan Penno, DVM, a practitioner at The Equine Clinic at Oakencroft, in Ravana, N.Y. Whether the cause is a simple abscess or a complex fracture, Penno described how to manage acute-onset, non...

Feeding Orphan Foals (AAEP 2012)

It's an unfortunate reality that at one time or another, most veterinarians and breeders will face caring for an orphan foal. Whether a foal was orphaned because the dam did not survive parturition or because she rejected him, he requires special care from the very beginning. One aspect of his care that requires the most attention is his nutrition.

Metabolic Syndrome Dangerous for Pregnant Mares (AAEP 2012)

Equine metabolic syndrome--defined as obesity, insulin resistance, and high insulin levels circulating in the bloodstream--is a dangerous condition for any horse, but it puts pregnant mares in an especially precarious in situation. Owners and veterinarians should address metabolic syndrome and related conditions (such as laminitis and insulin resistance) ...

Top Medicine Studies of 2012 (AAEP 2012)

Each year equine veterinarians attending the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) Convention flock by the thousands to one of the meeting's headline events: the Kester News Hour. Stephen Reed, DVM, Dipl. ACVIM, of Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital in Lexington, Ky., presented a summary of many recent practical and applicable equine medi...

Two Supplements' Effects on Nonglandular Ulcers (AAEP 2012)

According to several reports, veterinarians have identified equine gastric ulcer syndrome (EGUS) in up to 40% of Quarter Horses and 93% of Thoroughbred racehorses. EGUS can lead to poor body condition, disruptions in training, impaired performance, colic, and other complications, some of them quite severe. While many veterinarians and owners use FDA-appro...

Microbiomes: It's All About Balance

You know the drill: Kill the bacterium that's attacking the immune system then prepare yourself for the relentless fungus to come out and play in its wake. This bug balance upheaval is the reason we reach for yogurt when we go on antibiotics or we pursue a probiotic supplement if we start feeling "off." Some owners apply similar strategies w...

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...

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