Horse Health

Health news, veterinary advice, and educational tools to keep your horse healthy provided by The Horse

Horse Owners Urged to Prepare for Active Wildfire Season

While firefighters work to contain a massive wildfire in New Mexico, the blaze has forced few horse evacuations, according to agricultural authorities in that state. But national authorities believe 2012 could see an increase in wildfire frequency and have cautioned horse owners to prepare for fires before they occur.

Researchers Evaluate Surgical Outcomes for Headshakers

While headshaking can be a purely behavioral problem in many horses, it can also result from severe facial pain or irritation, possibly due to a nerve disorder. Some headshakers with nerve disorders are euthanized while others undergo a surgical procedure called caudal compression of the infraorbital nerve to relieve the pain. The procedure involves placi...

Hurricane Season Resources for Horse Owners

As today (June 1) marks the official start of the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season, the staff at TheHorse.com took a look through our archives to find some important horse care articles, downloads, and videos that can help you prepare yourself, your horse, and your farm for the storm season.

Digital Radiographs Beat Analog for Enterolith Detection

Veterinarians have known for many years that analog radiography is an efficient means of diagnosing enteroliths in adult horses, but computed, or digital, radiography has since replaced many analog machines. Researchers at the University of California, Davis (UC Davis) recently put the newer technology to the test and found it outperformed its predecessor...

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 ...

Health Conditions in Older Foals

Growing foals can suffer a range of potentially life-threatening illnesses and conditions, such as pneumonia, colic, and ulcers. At a recent veterinary convention, one practitioner stressed the importance of recognizing these conditions and their clinical signs, as prompt veterinary attention often gives the patient the best chance for survival.

Selenium and Vitamin E to Alleviate Signs of Tying Up

Exertional rhabdomyolysis, otherwise known as "tying up," is a term used to describe a variety of muscle disorders in the equine athlete. Horses affected by tying up have varying degrees of muscle cramping or muscle soreness, with the more severe cases accompanied by elevated respiratory and heart rates, dark colored urine, and reluctance to mov...

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.

Effects of Exercise on Young Thoroughbreds' Knees

According to an ongoing international study led by a New Zealand-based researcher, exercising Thoroughbreds younger than 18 months of age doesn't seem create make more--or fewer--cartilage defects in the intercarpal (knee) joints. It also doesn't make them more or less severe, and it doesn't change the sites on the joint where they show up. In...

NETRC Accepts 100th Retired Racehorse

The New England Thoroughbred Retirement Center (NETRC) in Deerfield, N.H., has announced the arrival of its 100th retired racehorse, Alex's Hope. A five-year-old Thoroughbred gelding, standing 17 hands tall, Alex's Hope last raced at Penn National Racecourse in Grantville, Pa., on January 12. He is by the 2002 stallion Afleet Alex and out of the S...

Study Evaluates Injectable Treatment for Tendon Injuries

Research shows a new treatment modality for tendon injuries could improve healing time in horses and help prevent reinjury. Tom Hedman, PhD, a research associate professor at the University of Kentucky's Center for Biomedical Engineering Coldstream Research Campus' Soft-Tissue Matrix Modification Research Laboratory, introduced to the audience an ...

The Latest in Diagnostic Imaging Modalities for Horses

An accurate diagnosis is imperative to pinpointing and treating lameness in horses. Fortunately, veterinarians today have more sound and accurate options for identifying specific issues than they did just 10 years ago, said Kent Allen, DVM, owner of Virginia Equine Imaging, a specialty sports imaging practice in The Plains, who presented April 26 at a Uni...

Understanding Hay Analysis Results

For most horses, hay is a primary source of nutrients and essential fiber for hindgut health. Performing a hay analysis can help you balance the rest of your horse's diet and potentially reduce feed costs. These test results can provide a copious amount of information, but here are some important aspects to understand:

Equine Gait Abnormalities as a Diagnostic Tool

Some gait abnormalities are obvious, while others are hardly noticeable. Either way, they can indicate a variety of equine disorders. At the 2012 Western Veterinary Conference, held Feb. 19-23 in Las Vegas, Nev., one veterinarian discussed how some gait abnormalities can point to specific health problems.

Uterine Therapy Options in Broodmares

Managing a subfertile mare is a challenging and frustrating problem for breeders, especially when the exact problem remains unknown. But rest assured--researchers are working to improve equine fertility and develop new uterine therapy options. At the 2012 Western Veterinary Conference, held Feb. 19-23 in Las Vegas, Nev., one veterinarian reviewed current ...

Managing Equine Foot Problems

Managing horses goes hand in hand with managing ailments. While some horse health problems are relatively quick and simple to treat, others are more difficult and tedious. Often, foot problems fall into the latter category. At the 2012 Western Veterinary Conference, held Feb. 19-23 in Las Vegas, Nev., one veterinarian gave some helpful tips on how to best...

Bladder, Urachus, and Umbilicus Problems in Neonatal Foals

Neonatal foals are small in stature, but they can develop big problems needing immediate veterinary attention. Several of these issues center on the bladder, urachus, and umbilicus, and some are possibly life-threatening if not diagnosed and treated promptly. Robert L. Linford, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ACVS, a professor in the Department of Clinical Sciences at th...

Study: Nanoparticles to Deliver Therapy for Heaves in Horses

Scientists at Ludwig Maximilians University’s Department of Veterinary Medicine in Munich, Germany, are applying nanoscale molecule research in human allergy suppression to horses. In a recent study the team designed and administered a nanoparticleto deliver CpG-ODN (an immunostimulating DNA that has been shown to suppress a...

Domestic Equids Can Still 'Chill' Like Their Ancestors

While today's domestic horses rely on humans for many of their survival needs, a recent study by researchers in Germany demonstrated that domestication has not removed all their "wild" abilities. The results of the study, led by Lea Brinkmann, MSc, and colleagues at the University of Göttingen in Germany, indicate horses can still slow ...

Understanding Breeding Soundness Exams for Stallions

Before breeding a stallion, there's one crucial step that should be performed: the breeding soundness examination. According to one veterinarian, this relatively simple evaluation can give stallion managers a good look at an animal's breeding potential before he even hits the breeding shed. Unfortunately, he added, this step is often overlooked.&n...

Feed Tags: Four Components to Evaluate

Every bag of horse feed includes a feed tag. The information it contains allows horse owners and managers to choose a feed with the proper nutrition at the best price for their individual horse. But with so much information on such a small tag, it can be easy to get overwhelmed. Here are four key things to look at on a feed tag and understand about the fe...

Genomic Research for Equine Performance Indicators

There's been a lot of excitement about equine genomic research over the past couple years, but horse buyers and breeders are still waiting for practical performance applications. The good news is that a team of French researchers might be hot on the trail to genomic evaluation of performance--even if that trail seems slow and winding--one researcher s...

Evidence-Based Equine Sarcoid Treatments Reviewed

Despite the numerous treatment choices available for equine sarcoids, no modality is 100% effective in producing a cure. So which of the numerous treatment options should veterinarians use to treat this common equine tumor? The answer depends on a number of factors, and at the 2012 Western Veterinary Conference, held Feb. 19-23 in Las Vegas, Nev., one res...

Understanding Breeding Soundness Exams for Mares

Making an informed decision to breed a mare is an exciting time in an owner's life. There are so many things to do: pick a stallion, prepare a foaling location, and dream big about the foal's potential, to name a few. But the first thing on the list should be to have a veterinarian perform a breeding soundness examination on the mare.

Ultrasound Beats X Rays for Identifying Articular Lesions

When a horse is lame, computed and digital radiographs (X rays) have, for years, allowed veterinarians to easily visualize bone and joint problems that aren't always visible to the naked eye. But when dealing with abnormalities on joint surfaces, it now appears that ultrasonographic imaging could be the tool of choice, according to one researcher team...

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