Horse Health

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

  • Two More Horses Dead After Receiving Compound

    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration reports the number of Thoroughbreds who died after receiving a compounded drug from Wickliffe Pharmacy in Lexington, Ky. has grown to four, and six others have become ill.

  • KHRC Collecting Corticosteroid Information

    The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission is collecting information on corticosteroid elimination times following specific uses of the medications provided by participating racetrack veterinarians.

  • Treating Suspensory Injuries with Fetlock Support Shoes

    Veterinarians and farriers apply a wide variety of horseshoes to treat the plethora of hoof problems that come our horses’ way, not to mention issues farther up the limb. Injuries to the suspensory ligament (a structure crucial to a horse's limb support system) are notoriously difficult to treat, so veterinarians recently tested a modern version...

  • Compounded Drug Eyed in Thoroughbred Deaths

    A University of Florida veterinarian said a compounded drug from the Wickliffe Pharmacy in Lexington may have led to the deaths of two Thoroughbreds and caused neurological disturbances with six others.

  • Diagnosing and Managing Endocrine Disorders in Senior Horses

    More than 20% of aged horses are known to suffer from equine Cushing’s disease (also known as pituitary pars intermedia dysfunction, or PPID), a harmful endocrine condition that can carry with it a host of other dangerous health problems. To give our elderly equids their best chance at comfort, one researcher recently described best practices for di...

  • Study: Tongue Ties Appear to Benefit Racehorses

    For more than a century, racehorse trainers have tied horses’ tongues to the front and side when they work or race. The purpose, trainers say, is to reduce breathing noises and help the horses perform better. But, until now, researchers have never confirmed that the tongue tie actually has a physical effect on the upper respiratory structures.

  • Graham Motion on Animal Kingdom and Travel

    What kept Kentucky Derby and Dubai World Cup winner Animal Kingdom performing at his best as he traveled the world? His trainer Graham Motion explains.

  • Surgically Treating 'Kissing Spines' in the Standing Horse

    A kiss is typically synonymous with romance and affection. But when it's your horse's spine that's doing the kissing, it's also synonymous with pain and poor performance. "Kissing spines" is traditionally treated surgically under general anesthesia, which carries its own risks, ranging from the dangers of recovery to death. But t...

  • 5 Tips for Feeding Weanlings

    Young horses are considered weanlings from the time they're separated from their mothers until one year of age. This is a critical time in the young horse's life, and nutrition plays an important part. Here are five important points to consider when feeding a weanling:

  • Managing Horses with Excessive Tearing

    "Horse eyes are awesome," began Amber Labelle, DVM, MS, Dipl. ACVO, assistant professor and veterinary ophthalmologist at the University of Illinois Veterinary Teaching Hospital. "But excessive tearing is not awesome."

  • How to Predict When a Mare Will Foal

    For some breeders, the waiting game starts as soon as the mare is inseminated. For others, it starts when she's confirmed in foal. Still for others, it starts when she her belly grows large. Whenever that waiting game starts, all breeders want to know: When will my mare foal?

  • 5 Tips for Feeding Foals

    Proper foal nutrition is critical for adequate growth and development. A foal’s main source of nutrients is his dam’s milk, but in some cases this alone won't meet his high nutritional demands. What should you do?

  • Foaling Horses: 101 to 911

    During and after foaling are two of the most critical times in a neonate and his mother's lives. One little thing gone wrong could set off a potentially life-threatening cascade of events for either horse. Rissa Parker, BVSc Pret, from Glen Austin Equine Clinic, in Gauteng, South Africa, has had a special interest in mare and foal care for the past 24...

  • Starting and Stopping a Mare's Estrous Cycle

    While some breeders are content to let Mother Nature decide when a mare's body is ready for pregnancy, others take a more proactive approach. There are many reasons why an owner might seek closer control over a mare's estrous cycle, ranging from herd synchronization to a desired foaling date to putting a breeding career on hold for a performance c...

  • Health Problems in Newborn Foals

    A foal's birth marks the start of something exciting: a new partner to train, a clean slate with which to begin, and potential just waiting to be tapped. But something exciting can quickly turn to something disappointing if that foal isn't healthy.

  • Health Zone: 2013 AAEP Wrap-Up

    Equine practitioners get up to speed on a variety of topics at their annual convention Dec. 7-11 in Nashville

  • Managing Axillary Wounds in Horses

    When it comes to equine axillary wounds—those that damage the space between the inside of the upper limb and the body wall—the part you can see on your horse's skin might be the proverbial tip of the iceberg: Apparently minor wounds can cause some serious problems under the horse's skin. And veterinarians need to know what to look for ...

  • Could a Supplement Ease the Effects of Tying Up?

    Tying-up, or exertional rhabdomyolysis, is a frustrating problem that sport and racehorse trainers try diligently to prevent. Fortunately, there's some good news: Japanese researchers recently tested a supplement designed to alleviate both tying-up episodes and the muscle damage, with positive results.

  • Diagnosing the Cloudy Equine Eye

    When clouds start rolling in, it often means a storm is brewing. For horses with cloudy eyes, the source of that storm could be one of many. Fortunately, veterinarians are well-versed in the diagnostic and treatment options for cloudy-eyed horses.

  • Study Compares Laparoscopic, Conventional Cryptorchidectomy

    Your veterinarian says your horse needs surgery, and there are two options to choose from—a tried-and-true but somewhat invasive procedure or a newer, less invasive method that lets them return to function quicker. While the latter option seems enticing, you might want to stick to tradition, depending on the procedure: Researchers recently learned t...

  • Bobby Flay

    Belmont Charity Celebration Set for June 5

    The Belmont Stakes Charity Celebration, which benefits the Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation and the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation (TRF), will return to Chef Bobby Flay's Bar Americain Thursday, June 5.

  • Leishmaniasis: No Longer Just a Foreign Animal Disease

    There's a scary new disease out there that could potentially harm not only horses, but also humans. Less than two years ago a team of Florida-based veterinarians published a report of the first equine cutaneous (affecting the skin) leishmaniasis case diagnosed in the United States in a horse without history of international travel. And recently, Sarah...

  • Study Links Cell Damage to Corticosteroids

    Initial results of a study conducted by the University of Kentucky Gluck Equine Research Center suggest accepted dosage levels for several corticosteroids commonly used in racing should be examined.

  • CHRB Begins Cobalt Testing

    The California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) has started evaluating cobalt levels in racehorses competing at tracks in that state and in certain necropsy scenarios, according to a March 4 memo from CHRB Equine Medical Director Rick Arthur, DVM.

  • Switching Horse Feeds Safely

    Horse owners sometimes find it necessary to change their horse’s feeding program--fluctuations in temperature, season, and performance level are just some of the reasons. But with the known link between diet changes and health conditions such as colic or laminitis, how can owners safely transition their horse’s feed without negatively affectin...

  • Saddle Fit Can be a Problem for Racehorses

    Both sport and pleasure riders know how important saddle fit is to keeping their mounts healthy and comfortable. But what effects could considerably smaller and lighter racing saddles have on horses that are traveling considerably faster than the average reiner or jumper? Turns out these tiny pieces of tack can have a substantial impact.

  • Managing Equine Cystic Stifle Lesions

    Could something even smaller than a pea end a horse's athletic career? If that something is a cystic lesion in the stifle (or femoral condylar cyst), it's entirely possible. Fortunately, specific management approaches can help some horses return to their jobs in the arena or on the track with few, if any, lasting effects.

  • A Better Way to Treat Equine Eyes: Subpalpebral Lavage

    Anyone who's ever managed an equine eye issue knows how challenging it can be to administer treatment. Horses have an uncanny ability to morph into giraffes when they'd rather not have their eyes touched, and an owner's inability to provide appropriate treatment can hinder a horse's recovery. Fortunately, there's an easier way: the sub...

  • Placentitis Could be Detected Early with Hormone Testing

    Equine placentitis is subtle in its onset, often causing the death of its victim—the unborn foal—before veterinarians can detect and treat it. Equipping veterinarians to identify these cases of placental infection early could help them prevent abortions, lost time on the breeding calendar, and the general heartbreak that can come with losing a...