Chronic lameness can be a frustrating problem for owners of equine athletes. When nerve blocks, radiographs (X rays), and ultrasounds yield no definitive answers, where can a veterinarian turn next? According to recent study results, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) appears to be a beneficial next step for diagnosing some leg lamenesses when a veterinaria...
Horse breeding is a business full of rewards and disappointments. Breeders eagerly await the birth of a healthy foal, but they also understand the risk of abortion or of a mare not conceiving.
People often hop on a treadmill without giving safety a second thought, but putting a horse on a treadmill is a different story. While treadmills aren't uncommon in veterinary hospitals and are gaining popularity in nonclinical settings for exercise or conditioning purposes, some owners, trainers, and veterinarians often question the safety of these i...
When your horse suffers a major injury, such as a severely broken bone in a leg, the last thing you might be thinking about is laminitis. But laminitis should certainly be on your radar, as many horses that suffer serious limb or hoof injuries develop supporting limb laminitis, a condition that can prove fatal even if the original injury is well on its wa...
Ensuring your horse maintains a balanced diet is one of the most important aspects of horse care. In particular, ensuring your horse maintains a balanced calcium and phosphorus ratio in his diet is critical, as horses with calcium or phosphorus deficiencies or toxicities are prone to various disorders, according to Ramiro E. Toribio, DVM, MS, PhD, Dipl. A...
In an equine society dominated by supplements for everything imaginable--from joint health and calmers to antioxidants and vitamins and minerals--some horse owners likely wonder what, if any, feed additives they should provide their horses. Take magnesium for example: Science has shown us that horses require this macromineral to keep their bodies function...
In certain cases of navicular disease, drilling a hole into the navicular bone--a procedure called core decompression that's commonly used to treat human osteonecrosis (bone death caused by poor blood supply to the area)--might provide a new treatment option for veterinarians. According to Carl Kirker-Head, MA, Vet MB, Dipl. ACVS, ECVS, associate prof...
The old saying goes, "Idle hands are the devil's tools," but horse owners know an idle horse's lips can cause just as much mischief. For many owners it can be a daily challenge to keep curious horses occupied when not being ridden or handled. In her recent study, Grete Helen Meisfjord Jørgensen, PhD, of the Norwegian Institute for...
Owners and trainers might be the best resource of information for veterinarians evaluating pain in horses because they are most likely to be familiar with the horse's normal relaxed behavior and mannerisms, according to a researcher from Colorado State University (CSU).
According to Alex Dugdale, MA, VetMB, DVA, Dipl. ECVA, MRCVS, a senior lecturer in the school of veterinary science at the University of Liverpool in England, "obesity (in horses) creeps up on us." When it comes to battling obesity, keeping the horse healthy and happy while still helping him drop weight is of paramount importance.
Mistletoe might be a timeless excuse for stealing a kiss at Christmas, but Swiss researchers have found a more practical and innovative use for the plant: treating equine sarcoids, the most common skin tumors in horses.
Osteoarthritis (OA) is an incurable joint condition that affects horses of all ages and is thought to have a hand in up to 60% of all lameness cases. According to Janny C. de Grauw, DVM, PhD, from the Department of Equine Sciences at Utrecht University in The Netherlands, who recently co-authored a paper on pain in horses with OA, management of the diseas...
A newly discovered virus might be a cause of equine genital cancer, an aggressive type of skin cancer that affects male and female horses of all breeds, according to Tim Scase, BSc, BVM&S, PhD, MRCVS, Dipl. ACVP, director of Bridge Pathology Ltd., a diagnostic immunohistochemistry laboratory in the United Kingdom. Equine genital cancer is thought to b...
A horse that collapses while under saddle is both a hazard to himself and others. What does this mean for his potential as a mount, though? For many horses, suffering an episode of collapse (when a horse falls suddenly with or without recumbency--the inability to stand--or loss of consciousness) is a once-in-a-lifetime occurrence, according to a Scottish ...
The results of a recent study have revealed that a drug commonly used to treat exercise-induced pulmonary hemorrhage (EIPH) is not as effective as veterinarians previously thought.
Pituitary pars intermedia dysfunction (PPID), often called equine Cushing's disease, has been treated with the drug pergolide for years. The main reason pergolide was initially the treatment of choice was largely based on the drug's effectiveness in treating people with Parkinson's disease, a human endocrine disorder, according to Ronette Gehr...
Despite the fact that opioid drugs, such as morphine and methadone, have been known to cause serious side effects in some horses, a researcher from Scotland maintains that they are a good choice for treating severe pain in horses.
Just like people, some horses have a high metabolism and can eat more food without becoming overweight. Therefore, it is important to tailor each horse's feeding program to meet his individual needs, according to the results of a recent study by a team of Icelandic researchers.
A recent study confirms that strains of the methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) bacteria in found in companion animals--including horses--resemble strains found in humans. According to Frances Moore, DVM, veterinary pathologist, and Sanjay Shukla, PhD, molecular microbiologist at Marshfield Labs and Marshfield Clinical Research Foundation i...
The best way to train a horse is to use techniques that "align with the horse's view of the world," according to Paul McGreevy, BVSc, MRCVS, PhD, MACVSc, associate professor of veterinary science at the University of Sydney in Camden, New South Wales, Australia, who recently published a paper on the topic.
A simple blood test to measure plasma D-Dimer concentration in horses with colic might help veterinarians predict severity and outcome of cases, as concentrations are higher in horses with severe gastrointestinal (GI) disease, according to a group of University of Barcelona researchers.
Several New Jersey horse owners have filed a lawsuit against the highway toll collecting company E-Z Pass and the Delaware River Port Authority, claiming the electronic toll collection system has overcharged them repeatedly to cross the Commodore Barry Bridge, which spans the Delaware River and connects New Jersey to Pennsylvania.
Just because turned-out horses might not use run-in sheds often does not mean these structures are not an important part of husbandry, says Camie R. Heleski, MS, PhD, a Michigan State University instructor and researcher with an interest in studying horse behavior and welfare . Heleski and her colleagues recently completed a study in which they examined d...
When it comes to horse management, "experience is the best teacher." According to a recent study by Swedish researchers, experienced staff might help protect your horse against orthopedic injuries.
What makes a winner? Just about every breeder and owner has asked and debated this question. Certainly genetics must play a role, or why else breed a winning stallion or mare?
Each year there are about 100,000 unwanted horses in the United States, too many for the registered equine rescue and sanctuary groups to handle, according to a recent survey by researchers at the University of California, Davis. They found that the 236 registered rescue and sanctuary organizations could only help about 13,400 horses a year.
Horses shipped from overseas normally travel in jet stalls, specially made containers that house three adult horses or five foals.
Researchers measured the way muscle genes are switched on and off when a Thoroughbred exercises and found that these genes work together to adapt to exercise training.
With the economy the way it is, many neonatal foals are being managed on the farm rather than being sent to a clinic, according to Kelsey A. Hart, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ACVIM, of the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine, at the recent American Veterinary Medical Association meeting in Atlanta.
A person who practices defensive horsemanship is less likely to be hurt while handling a horse, Robert M. Miller, DVM, of Thousand Oaks, Calif., said at the recent American Veterinary Medical Association meeting July 31-Aug. 3 in Atlanta, Ga.
Giving procaine penicillin before and after castration reduces the levels of inflammatory markers on a horse's blood test, which suggest that this approach might reduce bacteria in the surgical wounds, according to a Danish study.
Racehorses and other performance horses occasionally succumb to cardiac death during or after exertion, and in most cases equine researchers are at a loss as to why.
Foals have a better chance of surviving dystocia if the mare is taken to an equine hospital as soon as the prolonged delivery is recognized, said Katherine Cole MacGillivray, VMD, Dipl. ACVIM, of Haygard Equine Medical Institute in Lexington, Ky., at the ACVIM Forum 2010 veterinary meeting held in Anaheim, Calif.
Costas Georgakopoulos, PhD, and his colleagues in Greece are working to create technologies that enable officials to quickly discover whether athletes--animals or people--are using illegal substances or exceeding the allowable levels of legal medications.
With their large, exposed eyes, horses are at risk for diseases of the cornea, the clear outer layer of the eye, said Elizabeth A. Giuliano, DVM, MS, Dipl. ACVO, associate professor of veterinary medicine and surgery at the University of Missouri, at the 2010 Western Veterinary Conference, held Feb. 14-18 in Las Vegas, Nev.
A live-attenuated strangles vaccine already in use in Europe has proven safe and effective in pregnant mares, according to a recent study.
Veterinarians might be able to prevent abortions in some pregnant mares that show premature mammary development, Dietrich H. Volkmann, BVSc, MMedVet (Gyn), Dipl. ACT, told equine veterinarians at the 2010 Western Veterinary Conference, held Feb. 14-18 in Las Vegas, Nev.
Because navicular problems might affect soft tissue as well as bone, MRI is a better diagnostic tool than X ray in these cases, said Robert K. Schneider, DVM, MS, professor at Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine, and part owner of MREquine, a mobile MRI unit.
Adding a local analgesic to the systemic pain medications used during castration relieved pain in colts, researchers recently reported.
About 30% of lameness in horses is associated with foot problems, yet little research focuses on the biomechanics and function of the equine hoof. Researchers recently found slight differences in horses' hooves following exercise.
Diagnostic pathologists at the Animal Health Trust (AHT), Newmarket recently published the first report of equine abortions in England caused by leptospirosis.
Once a horse is infected with equine herpesvirus-1 (EHV-1), the dormant virus resides in the horse's nervous system, where it can reactivate when the horse's immune system is compromised by stress or illness.
Veterinarians in Argentina recently tried to use versions of the topical NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug) diclofenac made for human pain management on horses, but found horses' skin does not absorb those formulations of the drug as well as human skin does. M. Fabiana Landoni, DVM, PhD, of the Universidad Nacional de La Plata, and colleague...
Low-intensity exercise over long periods was an effective approach to conditioning horses, as indicated by blood lactate levels measured in a new study.
A diarrhea treatment might also be useful for preventing diarrhea in horses recovering from colic surgery, said researchers in a new study.
Equine herpesvirus-5, which had previously been reported in horses in the United States, is also present in the European horse population, researchers recently reported. They found the virus in horses without any signs of disease (known as subclinical infection) and those with various respiratory signs or fatigue.
Horse owners' selection and preparation of their animals' feed has a greater influence on concentrations of dust and endotoxin in the stable than the type of bedding used, researchers recently reported.
Many medical procedures are performed while the horse is under standing chemical restraint, but anesthesia in horses can be risky. One study cites an almost 2% mortality rate for equine patients within seven days of receiving general anesthesia.
"It may be especially difficult to correctly dose sedative drugs in very old or debilitated patien...
Recent research comparing biomarkers in horses' blood with X rays showed these tests might be useful for predicting whether an animal is at risk of developing a bone or joint disorder, such as arthritis, said the study authors.
Training mature racehorses produces a decrease in the protraction (extension) time of the forelimb and might reduce the risk of training-induced injuries, according to Marta Ferrari, DrMedVet, PhD, MRCVS, of Park Veterinary Centre in Watford, UK, and colleagues at London's Royal Veterinary College in a new study.
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