Young horses require specific levels of amino acids, vitamins, and minerals for proper development, and researchers know that zinc, in particular, is vital for growing horses' enzyme and immune function. However, there's been little research done in horses evaluating the relationship between zinc and the equine immune system. So researchers from A...
A strong immune system is crucial to a horse's overall health status, as a weakened immune system can leave the animal at increased disease risk. And although they're uncommon in horses, immunodeficiencies can have serious consequences for affected animals.
Equine insulin resistance—a condition in which cells fail to respond normally to the hormone insulin—requires careful dietary management to prevent laminitis and other complications from developing. So it's no surprise that both veterinarians and horse owners are on the lookout for new ways to help manage this disorder.
Horse training techniques range from positive and negative reinforcement to clicker training, food or scratching rewards, vocal commands, and more. But if you can't get your horse to respond to any of these methods, you might not be taking into consideration how the horse feels.
Tracking emerging and re-emerging equine diseases helps the horse world attempt to stay a step ahead of economically devastating and deadly outbreaks. For that reason, equine veterinarians and industry members gathered on June 14, for Merck Animal Health’s "Equine Emerging and Re-emerging Disease Luncheon" at the 2013 American College of V...
Many horse owners don't think about equine stereotypic behaviors until they own a cribber, a stall walker, a weaver, or a horse that passes his time with any abnormal behavior. But these stereotypies are more important than some might think: They could indicate compromised equine welfare. Recently, Chilean researchers set out to evaluate the prevalenc...
Somewhere between when the birthing process begins and when the long-legged foal takes his first wobbly steps, he transitions from an unconscious fetus to a conscious horse. And while owners might just be happy to see their new arrival waking up to the world, researchers now believe that the fetal consciousness transition could have a significant impact o...
The board of directors of Thoroughbred Charities of America has approved a grant of $7,175 for Penn Vet's New Bolton Center to support scholarship and hospital needs.
When an owner sends a horse under the knife for colic surgery, he or she is first and foremost hoping the horse survives the operation. But just because he makes it through the procedure doesn't mean he's out of the woods: Many horses develop a dangerous complication called postoperative ileus—a lack of gut motility after surgery.
In an ongoing attempt to find easily detectable red flags of overtraining, researchers have learned that certain hormones wave their colors particularly well.
It's common knowledge that osteochondrosis—a developmental orthopedic disease that results from a disruption in the growth of articular cartilage located in specific joints—can cause problems for young horses, but how common is it? How are different breeds affected? Where are the most common lesion sites? And, of course, what’s the m...
There are few things more frightening for an owner than watching their horse collapse without warning or apparent cause. By the same token, unraveling the cause behind an equine collapse often presents veterinarians with a diagnostic challenge, and in many cases the root cause of a horse's collapse can't be determined.
Veterinarians might soon turn to a new, high-tech treatment option for horses with gait-altering fibrotic myopathy: laser surgery.
Several cases of Potomac horse fever (PHF) have been confirmed in central Virginia, prompting the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine (VMRCVM) to release an outbreak alert. The alert was posted on the school's Facebook page on July 13.
With warm weather comes the increased risk of snakebite. The major venomous snakes in the United States are the pit vipers, including rattlesnakes, water moccasins, and copperheads. Pit vipers are named after the heat-detecting holes, or pits, on each side of the head that help the snake locate prey. Pit vipers can be differentiated from other snakes by t...
Many a horse or pony owner has restricted their overweight equid's turnout time in an effort to help him shed pounds. And while researchers know weight loss helps improve horses' overall health, until now they haven't known exactly what impact restricted grazing has on the equine gastrointestinal health or calorie intake. A group of North Caro...
Cervical vertebral malformation (CVM) is considered, by some, a diagnosis that leaves a horse with little hope of an athletic career. But according to recent study results, some carefully managed CVM horses could have a productive future ahead of them, after all.
Inflammatory conditions of the pastern will be appearing with increasing frequency during the summer season. But as a diagnosis, “pastern dermatitis” leaves much to be desired. When this alone is noted on a biopsy report, it leaves the clinician and client with little useful knowledge.
There are a number of ways to help prevent insulin resistance (IR) or associated conditions like laminitis in horses, but did you know that how you feed your horse could be one of them? According to recently published study results, feeding methods that slow horses’ feed consumption rate can also reduce their insulin and glucose responses directly a...
Imagine horses with recurrent airway obstruction (RAO, or more commonly heaves) wearing Darth Vader-like masks and breathing in corticosteroids every day sun, rain, or snow. That was essentially the scene at at the Université de Montréal in Quebec, Canada, during a yearlong study investigating the effect of inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) and ...
Horse owners are continually looking for ways to reduce feed costs without disturbing their horses' health, and a group of French equine nutritionists have some good news in this department: According to recent study results, lactating saddle horse mares on good quality pasture didn’t need to be fed grain to maintain their weight or their foals&...
Do you bed your young horses down in stalls in the winter? How smooth and flat are your pastures? When you’re trying to raise good bones and joints, these questions are worth considering. Because, according to French researchers, how you manage your young stock can have a direct effect on how osteochondral lesions evolve—for better or for worse.
Owners who’ve had horses with gastric ulcers know firsthand how frustrating—and expensive—it is to manage animals with this often chronic condition. And with an estimated 75% of horses suffering from gastric ulcers, it’s no surprise that treatment and prevention of the condition—which is common enough to have its own acronym,...
Sure, many horse owners add feed supplements to their horses' diets to help maintain joints, hooves, and hair coats. But what about to stifle headshaking? Researchers at the University of Liverpool in England recently tested the efficacy of a feed supplement designed to alleviate this behavior in a trial involving 32 horses previously diagnosed with c...
Twenty-two years after a prominent equine veterinary researcher declared it a primary research focus, osteochondrosis—together with other orthopedic disorders of juvenile horses—is now the central topic of a special issue of the Veterinary Journal.
Veterinarians frequently suggest supplementing the diets of horses with certain neurologic disorders with vitamin E. But why? What disorders does it help? And which of the eight types of vitamin E supplement is most beneficial? Fortunately, it's not quite as complicated as it might seem.
No two lungs are exactly alike—especially when it comes to equine airway disease. According to French researchers, when investigating lung conditions using bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL), ensure you’re checking both lungs in the process.
Few horse owners have remained unchallenged by the intractable recession. Rising fuel and feed costs have pushed horse ownership expenses skyward. And with no end in sight, it's no wonder that horse owners are looking for ways to trim their routine horse-keeping expenses without sacrificing the quality of their animal's care. Bob Coleman, PhD PAS,...
The Ontario Racing Commission (ORC) has lifted restrictions placed on horses residing in Barn 3 at Woodbine Racetrack, and horses not stabled in Barn 1 are now permitted to leave the property, said ORC Manager of Veterinary Services Adam Chambers, BVMS.
Many riders suspect that horses training in stressful situations don’t always retain what they’ve learned. But researchers have recently found that the same is true when the stress comes after the training session. Recent studies by French behavior scientists have revealed that when it comes to helping your horse retain what he learns during t...
Some veterinarians hypothesize that overactive immune responses in mares can cause early pregnancy loss, and new research results show that a reduction in a certain kind of immune system cell could be a red flag for diagnosing equine miscarriage.
Many horse owners have their hay-buying ritual down to a science. But from time to time, owners might find themselves rethinking their ritual, possibly due to drought, floods, or other factors that limit the forage supply in their area.
It's common knowledge that horses' individual personalities play a role in how they behave. Scientists have even developed various equine personality tests—most of which use objective criteria in a scoring system—to determine personality type. But researchers have recently developed a new subjective personality test designed to help us...
The Ontario Racing Commission (ORC) announced June 12 that there have been five confirmed reports of the neurologic equine herpesvirus-1 (EHV-1) in Thoroughbreds residing in Barn 1 at Woodbine Racetrack in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Many horse owners understand the important role nutritional building blocks, such as protein and minerals, play in young horses’ growth, but they might not consider the endocrine or metabolic consequences of their feed choices. In a recent study researchers compared the differences between a low glycemic (LG) and high glycemic (HG) meal’s effe...
In today’s world of increasing national and international equine events and breeding opportunities, one of the big issues practitioners and governing bodies face is maintaining a balance between facilitating horse movement and mitigating disease risk. At the 2012 International Conference on Equine Infectious Disease, held Oct. 22-26 in Lexington, Ky...
In the ongoing hunt to explain the relationship between cribbing and colic, researchers have discovered that cribbing causes increased intra-abdominal pressure.
Dr. Scott Palmer explains how vital signs are used to monitor racehorses during and after training. Watch Video
Most horse owners appreciate the sight of a well-muscled horse, along with the time and effort riders or trainers must commit to helping that animal fill out. But chances are, fewer owners consider the factors within a horse's body that allow him to build—or lose—muscle mass.
In theory, weight management—for both people and horses—is simple, said Tania Cubitt, PhD: Eat less, exercise more, and lose weight.
Osteochondrosis—one of the most common forms of developmental orthopedic disease—in young Thoroughbreds can be directly linked to racing performance later in life, according to recent study results from a team of French equine orthopedics authorities.
In part III of this series, correspondent Natalie Voss discusses Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories and bronchodilators with Dr. Peter Morresey of Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital and trainer Dale Romans. Watch Video
Dr. Scott Palmer describes some common shoeing techniques for racehorses. watch video
Newmarket-based trainer Gerard Butler will soon be charged by the British Horseracing Authority over his use of the drug Sungate, which contains the banned anabolic steroid stanozolol.
Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital is purchasing Saratoga Equine Veterinary Service in New York and will service increasing number of clients that are expanding into the Empire State.
All horses'—from young to old, high-performance to sedentary, rescued to syndicated, and everywhere in between—gastrointestinal (GI) tracts function in the same manner. And owners of all types of horses should take the same steps to help keep their animals' GI systems functioning optimally.
Many people employ aromatherapy as a natural stress reliever, but could the same approach be used to calm stressed or nervous horses? According to study results from one research team, aromatherapy might have a place in the barn, after all.
Considering thermography to evaluate a horse's legs? Better move that patient inside and shut the doors. Austrian researchers recently learned that wind and air drafts can affect themographic readings of horses’ front legs—very quickly, in fact—potentially leading to false positive or negative results.
Although castrations are routine procedures for many equine practitioners, the risk for complications remains. And while most complications are generally mild, some have life-threatening implications. To better understand these complications, a University of California, Davis (UC Davis), research team recently took a closer look at their prevalence and ou...
A study conducted at Kentucky Equine Research indicates that 72 hours after being administered Salix (furosemide, also commonly called Lasix), active horses had difficulty replenishing calcium levels.
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