Basic Care

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Clenbuterol's Impact on Horses' Body Fat Percentage

With any medication comes a risk of side effects. For instance, long-term phenylbutazone administration to treat a musculoskeletal issue can result in gastrointestinal problems; pergolide to treat Cushing's disease can cause a decreased appetite; and vaccine administration to protect against disease can cause injection site swelling and muscle sorenes...

The Thoroughbred Racehorse Foot

Foot problems can commonly cause horses to be scratched from a race, lose training days, overload other structures, and have shortened careers. Functionally adapted for speed and efficient use of energy, the Thoroughbred foot is light and lacks the mass for protection commonly seen in heavier boned breeds.

Equine Infectious Disease Outbreak Response 101

From equine herpesvirus and influenza to strangles and coronavirus, infectious diseases can cause quite a stir in the horse industry—quarantines, canceled competitions, and, in some cases, even horse deaths or the threat of human infection. And something all horse owners and veterinarians should know is how to respond in the face of an infectious di...

Can Fecal Albumin Tests Identify Equine Parasite Burdens?

Over the past few years equine parasite control guidelines have been on a roller coaster ride. Many veterinarians now recommend owners focus their attention on horses with the highest parasite burdens, but how can you tell which horses are infected? Researchers recently tested whether a stall-side fecal test could identify horses with high internal parasi...

10 Hot Weather Horse Care Tips

Summer heat can be dangerous for horses, resulting in dehydration, lethargy, and general malaise. Severe heat stress can cause diarrhea, or even colic. But owners can take important steps to keep horses safe and comfortable during the hot days ahead.

What Makes Horses More or Less Likely to Miss Training Days?

The next time your equine athlete is on stall rest, don't ask why his barnmates seem so much sounder than him unless you really want to hear the answer: Researchers recently determined that several factors—from the animal's history to your own training and management techniques—appear to make horses more or less likely to miss training...

Equine Laparoscopic Castration's Success Rates Studied

Researchers and veterinarians constantly seek safer ways to perform common surgical procedures, and the castration of stallions is no exception. In the 1990s, laparoscopic castration, which cuts off the testes' blood supply but leaves them in place, was developed as an alternative to conventional castration methods that removes the testes from the bod...

Diagnosing and Managing Endocrine Disorders in Senior Horses

More than 20% of aged horses are known to suffer from equine Cushing’s disease (also known as pituitary pars intermedia dysfunction, or PPID), a harmful endocrine condition that can carry with it a host of other dangerous health problems. To give our elderly equids their best chance at comfort, one researcher recently described best practices for di...

5 Tips for Feeding Weanlings

Young horses are considered weanlings from the time they're separated from their mothers until one year of age. This is a critical time in the young horse's life, and nutrition plays an important part. Here are five important points to consider when feeding a weanling:

Foaling Horses: 101 to 911

During and after foaling are two of the most critical times in a neonate and his mother's lives. One little thing gone wrong could set off a potentially life-threatening cascade of events for either horse. Rissa Parker, BVSc Pret, from Glen Austin Equine Clinic, in Gauteng, South Africa, has had a special interest in mare and foal care for the past 24...

Study Compares Laparoscopic, Conventional Cryptorchidectomy

Your veterinarian says your horse needs surgery, and there are two options to choose from—a tried-and-true but somewhat invasive procedure or a newer, less invasive method that lets them return to function quicker. While the latter option seems enticing, you might want to stick to tradition, depending on the procedure: Researchers recently learned t...

Managing Equine Cystic Stifle Lesions

Could something even smaller than a pea end a horse's athletic career? If that something is a cystic lesion in the stifle (or femoral condylar cyst), it's entirely possible. Fortunately, specific management approaches can help some horses return to their jobs in the arena or on the track with few, if any, lasting effects.

Diagnosing Unusual Hock Lameness

With six bones articulating in close range and multiple tendons and ligaments controlling extension and flexion, the hock, or the horse equivalent of the human ankle, has many moving and shock-absorbing parts. Add to those the animal’s weight and the fact the joint is almost always in flexion, and you’ve got a recipe for a perplexing number of...

Understanding Immunosenescence in Horses

With more horses living to a ripe old age than in the past, veterinarians have become incredibly well-versed in managing senior equids. But there are still some points that researchers are working to understand. For instance, exactly what impact does aging have on the immune system?

Outcomes of Solar Surface Penetration Injuries Studied

Hoof sole penetration injuries are no small matter, though they might be nearly indiscernible to the eye and affect a small area. It’s more about what’s going on deep inside the hoof, where concealed damage to internal structures can be disastrous; the prognosis for horses injuring these structures to return to their prior athletic level is of...

Researchers Identify EOTRH Risk Factors

As if horses weren't prone to enough injuries and health issues, a new dental disease surfaced in 2004. It's literally a mouthful: equine odontoclastic tooth resorption and hypercementosis (EOTRH). And because it's so recently identified, Ann Pearson, MS, DVM, and her colleagues at Reata Equine Veterinary Group, in Tucson, Ariz., conducted a s...

Managing Racehorse Joints with Strict Medication Regulations

In the face of new racing medication rules, veterinarians are revisiting treatment approaches for injured animals on layup that trainers hope to send back to the track soon. At the American Association of Equine Practitioners' Convention, held Dec. 7-11 in Nashville, Tenn., Wayne McIlwraith, BVSc, PhD, Dipl. ACVS, ACVSMR, described how these restricti...

Study: Not All WNV Vaccines Render Same Immune Response

When it comes to getting shots, a single needle prick might seem like a better idea compared to multiple pokes. But when it comes to your horses' West Nile virus (WNV) vaccinations, multiple injections might be the way to go: Researchers recently tested horses' serologic (blood) response to six WNV vaccination regimens and found some significant d...

Some Vaccines Safe to Administer to Younger Foals

By the time a human infant reaches 4 months of age he or she has likely received a battery of vaccinations, starting shortly after birth. In contrast, four- to six-month-old foals whose dams were vaccinated properly are likely just starting to receive immunizations, as recommended by the American Association of Equine Practitioners' (AAEP) vaccination...

Can Vaccination Protect Horses from Neurologic EHV-1?

In the equine industry three simple letters, when said in order, can silent a room of horsemen, turn a showground into a ghost town, and send shockwaves through barns. They're E, H, and V, and they stand for equine herpesvirus-1, a contagious equine virus that can cause serious neurologic problems in affected horses. Fortunately for owners, veterinari...

Researchers Developing Equine Sweet Itch Test

Your horse is itchy. You find patches of missing hair on his sides and shoulders. There are gaps in his mane, holes in his tail. Sweet itch? It could be. But then again, maybe not. Belgian researchers say the only way to be sure that your horse is affected by sweet itch is to evaluate him using a confirmed diagnostic test for the disease.

Hair Coat Conundrums

Beautiful hair is a widely sought-after commodity. Just look at the millions of dollars people spend on various hair treatments. Britney Spears alone reportedly spends more than $60,000 on personal grooming expenses every year! Horses are similarly pampered and preened, as evidenced by the fact that nutritional supplements marketed for skin and coat are t...

Which Deworming Method is Most Cost-Effective?

One topic horse owners have heard a lot about in the past few years is anthelmintic resistance. And while many veterinarians encourage their clients to change to fecal egg count (FEC) directed deworming from rotational deworming—something many have practiced for years or decades—some are slow to adapt. But new study results from Scotland sugge...

BHA Looks Ahead to IFHA Debate on Anabolic Steroids

Paul Bittar, chief executive of the British Horseracing Authority (BHA), outlined his hopes yesterday (Oct. 3) ahead of the sessions at the forthcoming International Federation of Horseracing Authorities (IFHA) Conference, when the subject of the use of anabolic steroids in racing will be considered. The conference will take place Oct. 7-8 in Paris, France.

Choosing an Antibiotic for Use in Foals

Treating bacterial diseases in horses—or really, in any species—is much easier when the causative agents are sensitive to available antibiotics. But unfortunately, this isn't always the case anymore: antibiotic-resistant bacteria are popping up all over the world.

Parasite Control Recommendations for Mares and Foals

Times are changing when it comes to equine parasite control: Anthelmintic-resistant parasites have prompted new, more targeted deworming recommendations. Two important classes of horses that fall under this deworming protocol are broodmares and foals. At the 2013 Society for Theriogenology Conference, held Aug. 7-10 in Louisville, Ky., Wendy Vaala, VMD, D...

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