Horse Health

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

  • 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 ...

  • Equine Coronavirus Identified in European Horses

    It started in a diarrheic foal in North Carolina in 1999. A few years later, researchers found it in Japan. Today, scientists have discovered the virus in Europe. And what’s more, they’ve found it in horses' respiratory fluid, whereas before, it’s only been isolated in feces.

  • Rehabilitating Horses with Back Problems

    Horses can suffer musculoskeletal pain and injuries anywhere along the axial skeleton that comprises the skull, vertebral column, sternum, and ribs. Bringing these horses back to form post-injury can be difficult and time-consuming, but possible thanks to both time-tested mobilization exercises and cutting-edge physical therapy techniques.

  • Health Zone: Vaccines

    A behind-the-scenes look at how your horse's immune system is best primed for battle.

  • Effort Aims to Improve Animal Feed Safety

    If a problem occurs with horse feed, a new collaboration between the U.S. Food & Drug Administration and the Partnership for Food Protection aims to improve reaction time by sharing information about feed-related issues.

  • Check Ligament Surgery Helps Racehorses with SDFT Injuries

    Moderate to severe superficial digital flexor (SDF) tendon lesions in Thoroughbred racehorses have typically carried a poor prognosis for a return to racing and a lengthy rehabilitation process for horses that do return. But a team of veterinarians recently took a closer look at a procedure that could help improve the outcome for Thoroughbreds with such i...

  • Risk Factors for EIPH in Australian Racehorses Studied

    Researchers know that exercise-induced pulmonary hemorrhage, or EIPH, can hinder a horse's lung function and athletic performance. What they're still not clear on, however, is which horses will bleed and when. But an Australian research team recently took a step closer to finding the answer.

  • Monitor Mares' Progesterone Levels before Inducing Labor

    Inducing labor in humans might be commonplace, but performing the same procedure in pregnant mares is tricky business. If the timing’s off, the foal isn’t likely to be strong enough to survive. But French researchers say that monitoring mares' progesterone levels—combined with veterinary and breeding experience—could be the key...

  • 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...

  • 2014 Welfare and Safety of the Racehorse Summit.

    No Consensus on Fewer Starts, Shorter Fields

    A panel discussion during the first day of the Welfare and Safety of the Racehorse Summit yielded no consensus on possible reasons for declines in average starts per horse and average field sizes over the past five decades.

  • Doug Byars, D.V.M.

    Kentucky Horses Lose a Friend in Vet Byars

    On the morning of July 8, the word "irreplaceable" kept bouncing around the head of Old Friends founder Michael Blowen as he thought about the previous night's death of Central Kentucky veterinarian Doug Byars, D.V.M.

  • 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...

  • Are Coughing and Nasal Discharge Early Indicators of Heaves?

    Horse owners might dismiss mild coughing or nasal discharge in their horses, but could these two inflammatory airway disease (IAD) signs be linked to a more serious condition? Recent research results from the University of Berne's Swiss Institute of Equine Medicine indicate that, yes, these signs could be early indicators of recurrent airway obstructi...

  • Tests for EHM Come Back Negative at Suffolk

    Bio-security measures and protocols to stop the spread of the contagious disease, which can cause respiratory distress, neurological disease, and death, had been in place since June 9.

  • 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.

  • Jockey Club Urging Potential Salix Study

    The Jockey Club has called on leading industry organizations to come together to conduct a Salix study that would examine the timing of administration on the medication used to prevent exercise-induced pulmonary hemorrhage.

  • 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...

  • Researchers Study the Genetics of Heaves

    Recurrent airway obstruction (RAO, also called heaves) appears to have a genetic basis, but that genetic basis isn’t the same in all horses, Swiss researchers say. While the clinical signs can be the same, the disease's underlying genetic mechanisms can vary from one horse family to another.