Stacey Oke, DVM, MSc

  • Consider SDFT Attachment Problems in Lame Horses

    Many veterinarians agree that 90% of equine lamenesses originate in the foot. But if it’s not in the foot, there are many other areas where lameness can hide. One area practitioners should examine if a horse is hind-limb lame is where the superficial digital flexor tendon (SDFT) attaches to the hock, suggests Sue Dyson, MA, Vet MB, PhD, DEO, FRCVS, ...

  • Give Your Horse a Breath of Fresh Air This Winter

    Take a look around your barn, what do you see? Horses in their half-mucked stalls with straw or shavings and a wheelbarrow and pitchfork right outside; the tractor running at the barn door; hay bales piled outside stalls and at the end of the shedrow; a fan on the floor; piles of blankets, coolers, slinkies, bandages, and wraps; dusty shelves covered with...

  • New Year's Resolutions for Maximizing Horse Health in 2015

    As one calendar year draws to a close and another begins, many people resolve to take steps to improve their lives. And while the wisdom of some resolutions remains questionable—such as paying off your credit card in full every month … with another credit card—others likely do have a positive impact on peoples' lives.

  • Can Tiludronate be Used in Horse Joints?

    Early in 2014, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved tiludronate for intravenous administration in horses with navicular disease. Despite being a relatively new drug used in veterinary medicine, some equine practitioners are already prescribing tiludronate for “off-label” use in horses with other conditions, such as osteoarthritis by ...

  • 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...

  • 2013 Update on Nocardioform Placentitis in Kentucky Mares

    Approximately 20,000 mares are bred in Kentucky each year, which means that it is literally “raining foals” in the spring, as long as things go as planned. Unfortunately, late-term abortions and even abortion storms can occur, resulting in massive economic and emotional mayhem.

  • Spring Cleaning? Don't forget Sheath Cleaning

    The coming of spring is, in some ways, a rebirth. It's the time when many horse owners dig out their grooming supplies and clippers and breathe fresh life into their furry charges (aka, the Spring Cleaning Frenzy). Some owners have "The Frenzy" down to a science, but others might forget to clean of one of the darkest—and possibly dirti...

  • Shock Wave Therapy for Lower Leg Wounds on Horses

    Wounds located on a horse’s lower (distal) limb can be extremely challenging to treat due to the small amount of “extra” soft tissue in the area (to suture, for example) and the propensity for excessive proud flesh to form, which prolongs rehabilitation. Over the years, veterinarians have tried multiple techniques to improve tissue heali...

  • Drug Peramivir Could Help Horses Suffering from Flu

    Flu season for horses can be any season. And considering that even horses vaccinated against the equine influenza virus (EIV) can still “catch the flu,” this disease is cause for concern. A group of Japanese researchers, however, recently evaluated a flu inhibitor in horses and found that it could help EIV-infected animals recover more quickly.

  • New Weight Loss Program for EMS Horses a Welcomed Success

    One of the first steps to helping an obese horse drop a few pounds is recognizing that he's overweight in the first place. The next step? Implementing a diet program. But that hasn't always been as easy as it seems, as few tried and true weight loss programs for horses exist. British researchers recently tested a weight loss plan designed specific...

  • Therapeutic Ultrasound Settings for Horses Identified

    Did you know that ultrasound can be used for more than just diagnosing tendon and ligament injuries in horses? Indeed, veterinarians can also use it therapeutically to treat soft tissue injuries, but what settings they should use and how long they should treat an injured horse has, until now, been a bit of a "guesstimation" game.

  • Top Reasons for Early Embryonic Death Described (AAEP 2012)

    Pregnancy loss in the early days of gestation perplex veterinarians and owners perpetually; after taking every measure to protect the embryo visible at Day 15 after ovulation, mares sometimes come up empty. And while scientists have learned volumes about getting mares in foal, there’s plenty left to decipher when it comes to keeping them there in th...

  • Novel Use of Stems Cells in Horses Reported (AAEP 2012)

    Getting a subfertile mare in foal usually often necessitates repeated veterinary examinations and treatments, such as medications and uterine flushes. Still, success is not always guaranteed. Researchers recently revealed that stem cells and other biologic therapies might also be useful in the quest to promote “sub” mares to fully fertile.

  • Ultrasonography to Diagnose Equine Lung Problems (AAEP 2012)

    Ultrasound is a noninvasive tool veterinarians can use to diagnose myriad medical maladies, including those affecting either the lungs or the space around the lungs. Although practitioners perform thoracic ultrasound exams in referral settings routinely, they can also conduct these efficiently and effectively in an ambulatory setting, explained Virginia B...

  • Beware of Problems up to Two Weeks after Foaling (AAEP 2012)

    Mares can make the entire birthing process look easy; some mares produce a healthy foal in as few as two hours, and most have a foal by their side within five to six hours. But Ahmed Tibary, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ACT, from Washington State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, warns that even though mare and foal might seem fine initially, complica...

  • Limb Positioning for Assessing Joints via X Ray (AAEP 2012)

    Lower limb radiographs can help practitioners uncover valuable information about bones, joints, and joint balance in equine athletes, but Colorado State University (CSU) researchers have determined the usefulness and accuracy of this information depends largely on how the horse stands during X ray capture.

  • Subfertile Mares Need Conscientious Monitoring (AAEP 2012)

    Many reproductive losses occur in the very early stages of pregnancy, but veterinarians emphasize that losses late in gestation can happen as well. A Louisiana State University (LSU) reproduction specialist recently described how practitioners can monitor pregnant mares to minimize such losses, particularly those mares difficult to get in foal in the firs...

  • Helping Pregnant Mares' Final Month be Fruitful (AAEP 2012)

    Although a great deal of the literature on breeding pertains to fertility and pregnancy rates, the last month of gestation is equally (if not more) important. Even in seemingly healthy mares, pregnancy can change from heavenly to horrific in the wink of a vulva, as one researcher explained during the 2012 American Association of Equine Practitioners&rsquo...

  • MRI to Evaluate Suspensory, Sesamoid Injuries (AAEP 2012)

    Since its inception in the 1930s, the inaugural patent in 1974, and the successful construction of the world’s first whole-body scanner by 1977, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has become an indomitable tool in both human and equine medicine. Today, equine practitioners use MRI extensively to help diagnose even the most subtle lameness causes.

  • Study: Acupuncture Doesn't Impact Ovulation (AAEP 2012)

    Often mares have minds of their own, and their ovaries can be just as headstrong. Canadian researchers demonstrated this in a recent study when they showed that you can lead a mare to a stallion, but you can’t necessarily make her ovulate … even with the use of acupuncture.

  • Stem Cell Approach Ineffective for SDFT Injuries (AAEP 2012)

    Musculoskeletal injuries are an all-too common cause of lameness in horses. Thanks to the advent of biologic therapies, including stem cells, tendon injuries aren’t the “death sentence” they once were. Despite the positive results associated with stem cells in equine tendon injuries, however, the “best” way to obtain and use ...

  • Treating Fungal Infections in Mares (AAEP 2012)

    Fungal infections of the uterus, due to either yeast or mold, are less common than bacterial infections, but it's important to consider them because untreated infections can lead to fertility problems. In such cases prompt diagnosis and treatment are necessary for a positive outcome. A veterinarian from The Ohio State University recently described app...

  • Tips for Keeping Mares in Foal (AAEP 2012)

    Proper and timely intervention can mean the difference between a live foal and a lost one. And while most equine pregnancies proceed without incident, an estimated 12.9% of mares lose their foals between 40 days of gestation and the estimated foaling date. These mares could potentially benefit from such intervention.

  • GI Drug Could be Useful for Equine Eye Exams (AAEP 2012)

    Occasionally veterinarians stumble across a drug side effect that's more useful than detrimental. Take, for example, the antispasmodic N-butylscopolammonium bromide (NBB), marketed in the United States as Buscopan (Boehringer Ingelheim) to treat horses with colic. As it turns out, this drug could be useful for helping veterinarians examine horses'...

  • Using MRI and Scintigraphy to Diagnose Suspensory Injuries (AAEP 2012)

    The biblical saying, "two are better than one because they have a good return for their work," succinctly describes recommendations Natalie Zdimal, DVM, recently made regarding diagnostic imaging for suspensory-ligament-related injuries. Horses with such injuries generally have discomfort in the back the back of the fore- and hind-limbs near the...

  • Diet's Effect on Broodmare Lactation Described (AAEP 2012)

    Your foal has finally arrived, and he and mom appear healthy and happy. But don't let your guard down just yet: The mare's continued health dictates her milk production and whether the foal will not only grow but also thrive during his first few months. Supporting her overall and nutritional health becomes especially crucial.

  • Five Factors that Impact Gestation, Foaling (AAEP 2012)

    Breeders spend a substantial amount of time contemplating the logistics of breeding, such as choosing the stallion and where and who will be performing the reproductive work. But once a mare is in foal, a number of things can derail the pregnancy if veterinarians and horse owners don't keep a close eye the mare's progress. Sometimes, simply knowin...

  • Stem Cell Preparation and Delivery (AAEP 2012)

    Having stem cells at our disposal for treating tendon and ligament injuries in horses but not knowing exactly how to administer them is like having a million dollars you can't spend. One researcher from Colorado State University (CSU) described stem cell preparation and delivery at the 2012 American Association of Equine Practitioners' Convention,...

  • 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) ...

  • 'Cheap 'n' Easy' Method for Evaluating Stallion Sperm Described (AAEP 2012)

    Veterinarians and breeding farm managers regularly examine stallion semen samples under a microscope to check sperm motility, especially samples from horses with suspected fertility issues. But while they can check sperm for this common fertility measure on the farm or in the average veterinary clinic, evaluating sperm morphology--to ensure the head, midp...

  • 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.

  • Inside the Womb

    It takes one egg, millions of sperm (but only one really lucky one), 11 months, and a host of normal physiologic events to make a mare a mom. Also, on the owner's part, "there is a lot invested, both financially and emotionally, in producing a healthy foal," explains Igor Canisso, DVM, MSc, Dipl. ACT, a theriogenologist PhD candidate in the ...

  • New In-Shoe Sensor Helping Horses Stay Sound

    Laminitis is not only one of the leading causes of disability and death in horses, it's also an important cause of emotional and financial turmoil for owners. And for veterinarians, predicting which cases are likely to resolve or have the potential to become disastrous and how best to treat a given case remains a real challenge.

  • Snakes Linked to Spread of Equine Encephalitis Virus

    A horse, mosquito, and snake walked into a bar. The bartender looks up and says, "Is this some kind of joke?" Turns out, the bartender knows those three animals shouldn't be fraternizing because he read a recent article by Thomas Unnasch, PhD, proving snakes can harbor Eastern equine encephalitis virus (EEEV) and could play an important role...

  • Study: Some Domestic Horses Possibly Too Reliant on Humans

    Horses, like dogs and other domesticated animals, can be extremely affectionate and respond to many human cues, such as pointing and gaze directions. In the first study of its kind, French researchers have learned that horses that are too dependent on humans might have lower cognitive skills, leaving them incapable of solving their own problems.

  • Equine Infectious Anemia Outbreak Hits Western Canada

    Saskatchewan and other regions of Western Canada are in the midst of the largest equine infectious anemia (EIA) outbreak the area has seen in years, involving more than 70 horses and 22 different properties thus far in 2012. In response, two veterinarians discussed the importance of disease surveillance in controlling--and possibly even eradicating--the d...