Horse Health

Health news, veterinary advice, and educational tools to keep your horse healthy.

  • TAA to Join Equine Practitioners Convention

    The Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance will participate in the upcoming American Association of Equine Practitioners Convention and Trade Show in Salt Lake City, UT Dec. 6-10, the TAA announced Dec. 5.

  • Ways to Reduce a Cribber's Colic Risk

    Severe and recurring cases of colic are frequently caused by a horse’s environment, diet, and genetics. Historically, researchers have proven cribbing contributes to an increased risk of colic. Now scientists in the U.K. are working to better understand the link between the two

  • 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 ...

  • Equine Venereal Disease

    STDs. They're the kind of thing many people would rather not discuss. Disease transmission through sexual contact or bodily fluids such as semen and blood is still a taboo subject, even in 2012. But the reality is that as long as horse owners continue to breed their mares to stallions hundreds or thousands of miles away--or to stallions who are in the...

  • UC-Davis Seeks Horse Management Survey Input

    The Center for Equine Health at the University of California-Davis is seeking input from horse owners, trainers, riders, and veterinarians for an online survey on the management practices of all performance horse disciplines.

  • Study: Epistaxis Has 'Complex Hereditary Basis'

    Researchers have determined that epistaxis—the most severe form of exercise-induced pulmonary hemorrhage (EIPH) in which blood runs from the horse’s nostrils—has a genetic basis. And, according to a group from Australia, a combination of genes as well as exterior influences can lead to epistaxis.

  • Jockeys' Guild Assembly Set for January

    Improving race safety will be at the forefront of discussions when the Jockeys' Guild Assembly returns to Hollywood, Fla., Jan. 19-20, 2015. The assembly is taking place following the Eclipse Award ceremonies.

  • Researchers Examine Fatal Lumbar Vertebral Fractures

    When it comes to catastrophic injuries in racehorses, most people immediately think of severe limb fractures. But these athletes sometimes suffer life-threatening fractures beyond the limbs. Lumbar vertebral fractures, for instance, can occur in the loin area near where the rear of the saddle sits.

  • Colic: To Refer or Not to Refer

    Four out of every 100 horses colic each year, making it the most common equine emergency. While most cases do not require surgery, 7-10% of them do involve lesions that are only correctable through surgery.

  • Carbohydrate Composition and Equine Digestion

    Carbohydrates, including starches, sugars, and fiber, provide horses with the energy they need to meet their daily requirements. But what type of carbs should you be feeding? High-starch diets, for instance, can increase the risk of metabolic disease, while high-fiber diets might better support horses' nutritional health.

  • Dr. Larry Bramlage

    Owners Schooled on Horse Health, Care Issues

    Owners at the Thoroughbred Ownership Conference were given a tutorial in proper horse care, common health and physical problems, and what some organizations are doing to improve the quality of life for horses and people.

  • The Vet Tech's Role in Colic Surgery

    Despite veterinary advancements and dramatically improved postoperative survival rates, colic is still a leading cause of death among horses. Colic, by definition, is abdominal pain; this is a clinical sign rather than a disease. A horse can be “colicky” for many reasons—large colon torsions, small intestinal strangulations, spasmodic ep...

  • Drug Testing Delays Mount, States Eye Options

    Delays at the respected Lexington drug-testing laboratory LGC have forced two of its biggest customers, the Indiana Horse Racing Commission and Kentucky Horse Racing Commission, to consider other options.

  • Study: Cortisol and Noncribbing Cribbers

    Back in 2011 an equine ethicist suggested that cribbers should be allowed to crib. That it could actually do them some good (provided it’s not causing colic or severe dental damage, of course). That cribbing might be a coping mechanism for these horses, faced with stress, and that stopping horses from doing it might even be cruel.

  • Choosing Corticosteroids for RAO: Systemic or Inhaled?

    While there's no definitive cure for recurrent airway obstruction (RAO, commonly known as heaves), veterinarians are well-versed in managing the condition. Many will add a corticosteroid—either systemic or inhaled—to an affected horse's therapeutic regimen, but which type is the better choice?

  • How Do Muzzles Impact Horses' Grass Selection and Intake?

    In theory, turning a horse out isn't rocket science: Bring horse to pasture, remove halter and lead rope, close gate behind you. But if you're turning an easy keeper out in a big grassy field that happens to be the only pasture you have access to, turnout can be much more complicated—and hazardous to the horse's health. In situations lik...

  • Preventing Injuries in Thoroughbred Racehorses

    The big names are recognizable: Barbaro, Eight Belles, St Nicholas Abbey. But hundreds of other racehorses have suffered racing or training injuries that ultimately proved fatal, as well. And while everyone would like to see the number of catastrophic injuries that occur on racetracks reduced, finding ways to actually accomplish that is easier said than d...

  • How to Manage a Collapsed Foal

    Foals have seemingly endless energy, darting around their fields, playing with their pasturemates, and recharging with a quick nap and a drink from Mom. But, occasionally, a foal develops a health problem that zaps that energy and leaves him in a collapsed heap, looking sickly and vulnerable. What should you do if this happens to your foal?

  • What Causes Equine Grass Sickness?

    We all know that horses residing at pasture spend the majority of their days grazing. But did you know that, in certain parts of the world, grazing could put a horse at risk for contracting a potentially fatal disease? And what's more, researchers still aren't sure what causes the disease, called equine grass sickness (EGS).

  • Study Compares Abdominal Bandage Types

    It's no secret that leg wraps and bandages applied to horses' lower limbs protect and support the soft tissues within. But what about the abdominal bandages veterinarians wrap around horses' bodies post-colic surgery—do they function in the same way?

  • Study: Low-Dose Omeprazole and Gastric Ulcers

    If you’ve ever had to deal with equine gastric ulcers, you—and your wallet—will likely be happy that researchers have learned that a much lower dose of one omeprazole formulation could be just as effective in treating the condition as the standard dose.

  • Oaklawn to Offer Bonuses for Lasix-Free Wins

    Charles J. Cella, president of Oaklawn Racing & Gaming, announced Sept. 18 that the Arkansas track in 2015 will offer purse bonuses for horses that run and win without furosemide (Salix or commonly called Lasix).

  • Jockey Club: Study Shows Lasix Not Needed

    Jockey Club says a recent study's findings challenge long-held opinions in North American racing, including the contention that the use of the diuretic furosemide is necessary to ensure long-term careers of horses.

  • Study: Boots, Wraps Increase Leg Heat During Exercise

    Tendon boots help protect horses’ front legs from injuries such as hoof strikes or collisions with jumps. Wraps protect this sensitive area during travel or flat work. But Austrian researchers have determined that boots and wraps have definite effects on skin and tendon temperature as well—and those effects are probably not without health cons...

  • Study: Vets Disagree on Equine Neurologic Assessments

    Is that horse lame, or is he exhibiting neurologic signs such as ataxia (incoordination)? For some horse owners, answering this question can be difficult. Recent study results suggest, however, that owners aren't the only ones that find it challenging to evaluate a possibly ataxic horse: Researchers determined that equine health experts have difficult...

  • Kentucky to Tackle Drug Compounder Concerns

    In a 12-month period that has seen drug compounders linked to horse deaths at a training center and integrity issues at the track, the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission is researching ways it could add regulatory oversight.

  • My Miss Sophia blisses out as Carol Seaver works her magic.

    Magic Touch: Human Therapist Helps Racehorses

    A keen observer of the subtle nuances of movement, balance, and alignment, Carol Seaver takes it all in and tunes into the Thoroughbreds that need her attention. When she works on horses, magic happens.

  • Haynet Design and Forage Consumption Rates Studied

    It’s no secret that horses in modern management situations can benefit from slowed forage intake, which mimics feral horses' natural foraging tendencies. But do these slow feeders really work? A group of University of Minnesota researchers recently put two slow-feed haynets—one with medium-sized and one with small-sized openings—to t...

  • Compound Pharmacy Reinforces Safety Standards

    A Lexington pharmacy that makes compound products for horses said it has taken steps to reinforce its safety and quality standards and has cooperated with a federal agency's inquiry into "adverse events earlier this year."

  • Strangles Signs, Risk Factors, and Complications Evaluated

    If your horse had strangles, would you be able to tell? He'd probably have those token swollen lymph nodes and maybe a fever, right? It's possible, but researchers recently determined that these signs alone might not be the only ones that should prompt a strangles test. In fact, more than a quarter of the horses in their recent research presented ...