Horse Health

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

  • New Bolton Center Receives TCA Grant

    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.

  • Equine Postoperative Ileus Insights

    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.

  • Osteochondrosis Field Evaluation Protocol Developed

    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...

  • Equine Collapse Reviewed

    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.

  • Snakebite in Horses

    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...

  • Turnout Time's Impact on Grass Consumption and Fecal pH

    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...

  • Study: Some Wobbler-Affected Thoroughbreds Can Race

    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.

  • Equine Pastern Dermatitis: A Pathologist's Perspective

    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.

  • Feed Delivery Methods' Effects on Glucose, Insulin Response

    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...

  • Study: Broodmares on Pasture Don't Always Need Grain

    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&...

  • Management's Impact on Osteochondral Lesion Development

    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.

  • Supplement Reduces Gastric Ulcer Reoccurrence

    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,...

  • Headshaking Supplement Efficacy Tested

    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...

  • Vitamin E Supplementation for Neurologic Disorders

    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.

  • Feed Choices Can Mean Cost Savings for Horse Owners

    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,...

  • Woodbine EHV-1: Some Restrictions Lifted

    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.

  • Study: Post-Training Stress Detrimental to Equine Learning

    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...

  • Digesting Different Hay Forms

    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.

  • Researchers Develop Subjective Equine Personality Test

    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...

  • Effects of High Glycemic Meals on Young Horses' Growth

    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...

  • Balancing Horse Movement and Disease Prevention

    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...

  • Equine Muscle Matters Reviewed

    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.

  • Demystifying Medications Part III (Video)

    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.

  • Shoeing Racehorses

    Dr. Scott Palmer describes some common shoeing techniques for racehorses.

  • Rood and Riddle to Purchase Saratoga Equine

    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.

  • Equine Gastrointestinal Health Reviewed

    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.

  • Airflow's Impact on Thermographic Readings of Horse Legs

    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.

  • Equine Castration Complications Reviewed

    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...

  • Salix (furosemide)

    Study: Salix Can Lead to Calcium Imbalance

    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.

  • 2013 Update on Nocardioform Placentitis in Kentucky Mares

    Approximately 20,000 mares are bred in Kentucky each year, which means that it is literally “raining foals” in the spring, as long as things go as planned. Unfortunately, late-term abortions and even abortion storms can occur, resulting in massive economic and emotional mayhem.

  • Stabilizing Equine Limb Fractures in the Field (AAEP 2012)

    Many fractures once deemed inoperable can now be surgically repaired successfully, but management approaches during the critical post-fracture window can have a major impact on outcomes. One equine practitioner reported that veterinarians must be prepared with the appropriate knowledge and equipment to help save these patients' lives.

  • Understanding Mare and Foal Behavior (AAEP 2012)

    Raising a child takes a village, notes one African proverb; the collective experiences of a community forming the individual person. Similarly, a growing foal takes its cues from his dam, surrounding herd, and handlers, and care approaches become particularly important when the foal is orphaned. One of the key aspects handlers must consider when raising a...

  • Consider Trotting Speed when Diagnosing Subtle Lameness

    Most horse owners are familiar with a typical lameness exam: The veterinarian observes the horse trotting briskly in a straight line, watching for signs of uneven movement. But if the patient is harboring a mild lameness, that brisk trot could be masking clinical signs, according to British researchers, whose recent study results indicate that evaluating ...