Natalie DeFee Mendik, MA

  • 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...

  • Hoof Kinematics in Mild Lameness Diagnoses

    You know that nagging feeling when your performance horse is just not quite right, yet you can’t pinpoint the problem zone? Here's some good news: By using hoof kinematics, researchers at the Gail Holmes Equine Orthopaedic Research Center at Colorado State University (CSU) are developing a technique to aid in the diagnosis of mild or subclinical...

  • Headshaking Supplement Efficacy Tested

    Sure, many horse owners add feed supplements to their horses' diets to help maintain joints, hooves, and hair coats. But what about to stifle headshaking? Researchers at the University of Liverpool in England recently tested the efficacy of a feed supplement designed to alleviate this behavior in a trial involving 32 horses previously diagnosed with c...

  • Researchers Study Early Postpartum Breeding in Horses

    Covering broodmares during the first month postpartum, often on the first postpartum estrus (termed "foal heat"), is routine practice at many dedicated breeding operations to ensure mares foal at roughly the same time each year. A mare that fails to conceive shortly after foaling continues to have subsequently later foaling dates, eventually mis...

  • Study: Barefoot Trimming Can Impact Hoof Conformation

    A team of researchers at Michigan State University's (MSU) McPhail Equine Performance Center offers hope to horse owners facing underrun heel and flat-footed woes with a 16-month study examining the short-term and long-term effects of a specific barefoot trimming technique on hoof conformation.

  • Study: EHV-1 Not Linked to Headshaking

    A team of researchers from the University of California, Davis (UC Davis), recently tested if idiopathic headshaking in horses could be similar to a condition in humans--trigeminal nerve pain caused by the reactivation of a latent virus.

  • Progesterone Delivery Device Evaluated in Broodmares

    Breeding racing mares as early in the season as possible offers a financial incentive to breeders. Doing so means foals born early in the season, and the physical maturity of larger, early foals is in often in greater demand at yearling sales and in 2-year-old races than their later-born counterparts. Early in the breeding season, however, mares are ...

  • Horse Fencing: Is There a Best Choice?

    Post-and-board, vinyl constructed plank, braided tape, coated high-tensile wire, pipe: Many effective equine fencing options are available. However, there are no hard-and-fast rules as to which is the best choice, explained Bob Coleman, PhD, Equine Extension professor in the University of Kentucky's Department of Animal Sciences.

  • Long-term Clenbuterol Use in Horses Studied

    Clenbuterol, a beta-2-adrenoceptor agonist and the only FDA-approved medication for horses with reversible bronchospasm, is commonly used to treat horses with inflammatory airway disease (IAD) and recurrent airway obstruction (RAO, commonly known as heaves). Although it is often regularly administered to racehorses throughout the racing season, the long-t...

  • Rotational Grazing: Time it Right for Optimal Pastures

    You’ve seen it plenty of times: bare pasture grazed down to the nub. Who wouldn’t rather look out of the stable to see happy horses grazing on healthy pastures? One solution lies in rotational grazing, a simple management technique that subdivides pasture areas, which allows forage an opportunity to regrow after it's been grazed. By fencin...

  • Equine Reproductive Tract Bacteria Studied

    Breeders who utilize live cover can breathe a sigh of relief: While live cover breeding facilities sometimes face pathogenic bacteria outbreaks, results from a study led by University of Kentucky PhD student Katheryn Cerny, MS, demonstrated bacteria on stallions' external genitalia does not affect stallion or mare fertility.

  • Equine Sarcoids Chromosomal Regions Identified

    Equine Sarcoids (ES), a common form of semi-malignant skin tumor, has long been recognized as having a genetic component, but how it's passed to offspring wasn't fully understood. Recently, a team of researchers conducting a whole-genome scan successfully located chromosomal regions associated with ES, bringing us one step closer to understanding ...

  • Vaccination to Control Equine Influenza During an Outbreak

    While vaccination to control equine influenza (EI) in endemic areas is common practice, little is known about the use of early vaccination to eradicate the disease during an outbreak. Researchers recently examined the effect of early vaccination during an outbreak, using the 2007 EI outbreak in Australia, which had previously been free of EI, as a model.

  • New Equine Fetal Sex Determination Technique Studied

    Researchers at the Federal University of Pelotas, Brazil, recently completed a study identifying circulating cell-free fetal DNA (ccffDNA) to determine fetal gender in pregnant mares. While ccffDNA has already been explored in humans, this is the first study to successfully demonstrate its presence ccffDNA--and thus aid in sex determination--in horses.

  • Lawsonia Vaccine Studied

    Cases of equine proliferative enteropathy (EPE), an intestinal disease that principally affects weanlings between four and seven months, have been on the rise in recent years. As Nicola Pusterla, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ACVIM, of the University of California, Davis, explained, EPE, caused by the bacterium Lawsonia intracellularis, is an emerging disease; it remai...

  • Five and 60-Second Flexion Tests Yield Similar Results

    Every horse owner is familiar with the ubiquitous flexion test, which veterinarians regularly employ to exacerbate baseline lameness and reveal unknown internal issues in horses. No standard duration, however, dictates how long veterinarians should hold the limb in the flexed position. Researchers recently tested the results of comparative full hind limb ...

  • Study Examines Safety and Efficacy of Strangles Vaccines

    Owners who keep their horses at boarding facilities or travel to events are likely familiar with their horses' risk of exposure to the respiratory disease strangles. This highly contagious disease is spread by horses shedding the Streptococcus equi bacterium while ill and for up to six weeks after clinical signs dissipate. Some horse owners choose to ...

  • Older Horses: Decreased Thermoregulation During Exercise

    Experience and instinct tell us to condition older horses carefully, keeping a close eye on how they handle their workouts. A team of researchers at Rutgers University confirmed these instincts when they examined senior horses' propensity for developing hyperthermia, or elevated body temperature, when exercising.