Horse Health

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

  • Calcium and Phosphorus Ratios in Equine Diets

    Ensuring your horse maintains a balanced diet is one of the most important aspects of horse care. In particular, ensuring your horse maintains a balanced calcium and phosphorus ratio in his diet is critical, as horses with calcium or phosphorus deficiencies or toxicities are prone to various disorders, according to Ramiro E. Toribio, DVM, MS, PhD, Dipl. A...

  • Adverse Reactions to Stem Cell Therapy

    Stem cell therapy is one of the most discussed regenerative therapies in the horse health community today, and both peer-reviewed and anecdotal evidence indicates that these tiny tools have been relatively successful in assisting injury healing. But as with most therapies, despite some great success things don't always go as planned. At the 2011 North...

  • Beta-Agonist Drugs: Effect on Respiratory Function in Horses

    Horses in intense exercise, such as racing or three-day eventing, need full lung capacity to perform to the top of their abilities. Hoping to give their horse every advantage, some racehorse trainers medicate with beta-agonist drugs, like clenbuterol (a drug commonly used to treat chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), in an attempt to improve airway fun...

  • Shipping Fever: Prevention is Key

    Imagine the scenario: You've been training for the big competition all year. Your horse has never looked better, he's stayed healthy, and he's performing to the best of his abilities. You load him in the trailer for the cross-country commute in hopes of bringing home the blue ribbon and set off on your journey. When you unload your horse at yo...

  • Antibiotic Resistance in Horses: Is There a Problem?

    While parasite resistance is currently a hot topic in the equine community, another form of resistance is taking its toll on horses worldwide: antimicrobial resistance. According to Imogen Johns, BVSc, MRCVS, Dipl. ACVIM, lecturer in equine medicine at the United Kingdom's Royal Veterinary College in Hertfordshire, the amount of bacteria that has deve...

  • Trailer Smart for Safer Hauling

    We've all been there. A truck that isn't quite large enough to haul that heavily loaded bumper pull gets pushed around when the horses bicker over the hay bag. The old trailer doesn't have any brakes or tail lights, but it's only a few miles down the road. Your brakes lock, but it's only on one wheel and you're a good driver, so wh...

  • Clostridium difficile: Advancements in Understanding

    It might be difficult to imagine that a few tiny organisms can proliferate and cause an infection so serious it could result in the death or euthanasia of the host horse. For instance, one of the most dangerous organisms that can sicken horses is the bacterium Clostridium difficile. Scott Weese, DVM, DVSc, Dipl. ACVIM, associate professor at the Universit...

  • Advancements in Understanding Airway Diseases

    Breathe in, breathe out. One of the main functions that keep us (and the horses we love) alive is also one of the easiest and mindless tasks we carry out on a daily basis. But for horses with airway diseases, breathing is more difficult than it seems. Recently, researchers have made strides in understanding these diseases and what helps (or does not help)...

  • What's New With Equine Protozoal Myeloencephalitis?

    It's dangerous. It's debilitating. And sometimes it's deadly. It's equine protozoal myeloencephalitis (EPM), and researchers have been studying this neurologic disease for years to try to understand it better. Scientists have made great strides in their comprehension of how the causative agents work, what they do to the body, and how to pr...

  • Recumbent Horses: Factors Associated With Survival

    Finding a horse recumbent (unable to rise after lying down) is a nightmare no horse owner wants to experience. Once a horse is recumbent, veterinarians often offer a poor prognosis. But according to Laramie Winfield, DVM, of the University of California (UC), Davis, College of Veterinary Medicine, owners and their veterinarians should evaluate several fac...

  • Sorting Out IRAP, PRP, and Stem Cells

    Today's wealth of scientific advancements can make it difficult to keep track of all the different treatment options available for injured horses. A flexor tendon injury, for example, that once had a relatively standard treatment protocol can now be aided by traditional methods as well as relatively new therapies such as stem cell, platelet-rich plasm...

  • Magnesium Supplementation: Is It Necessary?

    In an equine society dominated by supplements for everything imaginable--from joint health and calmers to antioxidants and vitamins and minerals--some horse owners likely wonder what, if any, feed additives they should provide their horses. Take magnesium for example: Science has shown us that horses require this macromineral to keep their bodies function...

  • Study Examines Stem Cells' Efficacy in Racehorses

    Although stem cell therapy continues to increase in popularity for treating horse racing injuries, its use bas been based only on experimental data regarding the treatment modality's efficacy. However, a group of researchers from Great Britain recently published a study examining the effects of stem cell therapy in superficial digital flexor tendons (...

  • Preparing the Next Generation: Initial Vaccinations for Foal

    With the foaling season in full swing, new foals are enjoying life at farms, ranches, and breeding facilities around the country. While most foals are protected from common equine diseases by maternal antibodies in the mare's colostrum (the mare's first milk that antibodies that help protect the foal's immune system) for the first few months o...

  • Digestive Health Through the Seasons

    A horse's digestion is closely tied to his overall health and well-being. Although people might be able to get away with a junk food-based diet for a while, a horse cannot, and food-associated diseases such as colic and founder will become an issue if a good diet is absent. And as seasons change, a horse's nutritional needs require a little tweaki...

  • Stem Cells and Tissue Healing in Horses

    Mesenchymal cells. Aspirates. Autologous versus allogenic. What does it all mean? If you're a bit confused about stem cell therapy--an emerging treatment option for injuries in horses--you're not alone. These tiny treatment tools are complicated business and a challenge to grasp. At the 2011 North American Veterinary Regenerative Medicine Conferen...

  • Severe Weather Travel Tips for Horse Owners

    The severe weather season is upon us, and as horse owners, we need to be prepared for any meteorological situation when hauling horses. USRider, the national provider of roadside emergency assistance for equestrians, spoke with large-animal rescue authority Rebecca Gimenez, PhD, about what to do when traveling in bad weather situations.

  • Horses with Osteoarthritis Sought for Study

    The Ohio State University (OSU) College of Veterinary Medicine is seeking horses diagnosed with osteoarthritis to take part in a sponsored research study examining an arthritis treatment to learn if the product is effective in horses. Alicia L. Bertone, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ACVS, Trueman Chair in Equine Clinical Medicine and Surgery at OSU, will lead the study.

  • Researchers Explore Treating Arthritis at Molecular Level

    "Go small or go home" might be the new catch phrase at the Ohio State University's Comparative Orthopedic Laboratory, where researchers are examining a novel molecular approach to finding the cure for osteoarthritis (OA) in horses. The team recently completed a study using this molecular approach, and the preliminary results they obtained we...

  • Monitoring and Preventing Equine Proliferative Enteropathy

    As with many infectious diseases, it's preferable to prevent equine proliferative enteropathy (EPE) rather than treat it. This emerging disease, which is caused by the bacterium Lawsonia intracellularis and infects foals and weanlings worldwide, has placed significant financial burden on parts of the equine industry, but horse owners and managers can ...

  • EHV-1 Outbreak: One Additional Confirmed Case Reported

    Just one additional case of equine herpesvirus-1 (EHV-1) was confirmed yesterday in the outbreak that has killed a dozen horses and sickened many more. For a month, state and provincial animal health officials have been working to control the outbreak, which is believed to stem from horses that recently attended a national championship cutting competition...

  • Researchers Evaluate Steps for Diagnosing Cushing's Disease

    An earlier diagnosis for a horse often means a better prognosis for his recovery, but the reality with equine Cushing's disease has been that clinical signs are abundant before the diagnostic process begins. A team of researchers recently determined what they believe to be the ideal first step for diagnosing PPID early, however, and this could allow a...

  • EHV-1 Outbreak: New Cases Trickling In

    The equine herpesvirus-1 (EHV-1) outbreak that captured the attention of horse owners and animal health officials across the nation continues to see new cases diagnosed; however, the rate at which these confirmed cases are cropping up has dropped.

  • Compounded Medications: Legal/Ethical Issues Webinar

    Compounded medications fulfill a critically important role in horse health care. While many of these tailored medications are prepared appropriately and lawfully, other compounds aren't what their manufacturers claim they are; several investigations have found that compounded medications can contain more or less active ingredient than intended, result...

  • New EHV-1 Case Confirmed, Not Related to Outbreak

    The Texas Animal Health Commission issued a press release late Friday (May 27) indicating that a new case of equine herpesvirus-1 (EHV-1) had been confirmed in the state; however, animal health officials do not believe that the new case is related to the ongoing EHV-1 outbreak.

  • Toxin Topic: Landscaping Plants to Avoid

    With gardening season upon us, many people also are starting to think about landscaping their homes and farms. Often, landscape plant choices are based on aesthetics and hardiness. However, with horses in the mix, plant toxicity is perhaps a more important aspect to consider. Even if owners plant trees, shrubs, and flowers well out of pastured or stalled ...

  • Diagnosing Neurologic EHV-1: Back to Basics

    Imagine the following scenario: Your horse has a fever. He's recently been exposed to a horse that tested positive for the neurologic strain of equine herpesvirus-1 (EHV-1). You call your vet, who comes out and swabs the horse's nasal passages and draws a tube or two of blood. A few days later you get a call confirming that your horse is positive ...

  • EHV-1 Outbreak: At Least Eight New Cases Reported

    Animal health officials today confirmed several new cases of neurologic equine herpesvirus-1 (EHV-1) across the western United States and Canada. Now, two weeks after reports of EHV-1 positive horses first emerged following the recent National Cutting Horse Association's (NCHA) Western Regional Championship competition in Utah, the case count stands a...

  • Nitrogen Losses in Soil During Wet Weather

    The steady flow of wet weather in April has caused many farm managers to worry about nitrogen losses in their fields, especially in fields where nitrogen was applied prior to the rains. Fortunately, nitrogen losses might not be as bad as many producers expect, said Lloyd Murdock, PhD, extension soils specialist with the University of Kentucky College of A...

  • EHV-1 Outbreak: Additional Cases Reported Over Weekend

    More than two weeks after the conclusion of the National Cutting Horse Association's (NCHA) Western Regional Championships--held April 19-May 8 in Ogden, Utah--reports of equine herpesvirus-1 (EHV-1) confirmed cases continue to trickle in. The outbreak, believed to stem from horses that attended the NCHA competition, captured the collective attention ...

  • Equine Herpesvirus-1 Outbreak: Horse Owner Webinar

    The current outbreak of the sometimes fatal neurologic disease caused by equine herpesvirus-1 (EHV-1) in several Western states and Canada has generated widespread concern throughout the horse industry. How many horses are really affected in this outbreak? Is this a new, mutated form of the virus? What are the signs that tell you a horse has EHV-1? Will a...

  • EHV-1 Outbreak: Number of Confirmed Cases Rising

    It's been nearly a week since the first indications of a neurologic equine herpesvirus-1 (EHV-1) outbreak began to surface, and the outbreak shows no signs of slowing down. Veterinarians have been confirming new cases of neurologic EHV-1 daily in the western United States and Canada. The National Cutting Horse Association's (NCHA) Western National...

  • Understanding & Practicing Biosecurity on Horse Farms

    Biosecurity is a big word that many livestock owners don't fully understand. Let's break it down: Bio means life; biology is the study of life; and biosecurity is a term that literally means securing life. In the agricultural context we often hear government officials talk about biosecurity with the U.S. food supply (i.e., protecting U.S. citizens...

  • Preakness Stakes Likely Not Affected by EHV-1 Outbreak

    In light of the upcoming running of the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, the Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA) would like to assure equine enthusiasts that there are no known horses in Maryland associated with the regional outbreak of neurologic equine herpesvirus-1 (EHV-1) traced to the National Cutting Horse Association's...

  • Neurologic EHV-1: The Top Five Things You Need to Know

    The neurologic equine herpesvirus (EHV-1) outbreak in the western United States has captured the attention of horse owners across the country and raised a few questions about just what this virus is and what it might do in this current outbreak. TheHorse.com enlisted the help of Paul Lunn, BVMS, MS, PhD, head of the Department of Clinical Sciences at Colo...

  • EHV-1 Outbreak: State Veterinarians Monitoring Closely

    The number of horses affected by the neurologic equine herpesvirus-1 (EHV-1) outbreak in the western United States and Canada continues to rise. Since health officials identified the virus as stemming from involvement with the National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) Western National Championship competition, held April 28-May 8 in Ogden, Utah, the numbe...

  • EHV-1 Outbreak: More Cases Emerging

    Veterinarians are still working to determine the extent of a multi-state outbreak of neurologic equine herpesvirus (EHV-1). The number of horses confirmed or suspected to have EHV-1 remains on the rise, with several states reporting cases. A common point of origin for all the positive horses is the National Cutting Horse Association's (NCHA) Western N...

  • Multiple Western States Affected by EHV-1 Outbreak

    Veterinarians in several states are determining the extent of a possible equine herpesvirus-1 (EHV-1) outbreak tied to cutting horses involved in a recent Odgen, Utah, championship show. Several animals that participated in the April 29-May 8 National Cutting Horse Association's (NCHA) Western National Championship were diagnosed with the neurologic f...

  • Regenerative Medicine Seminar for Horse Owners Scheduled

    To increase horse owners' awareness and understanding of regenerative medicine, the North American Veterinary Regenerative Medicine Association (NAVRMA) and Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital are hosting "The Horse Owner's Guide to Regenerative Medicine" on June 4, from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m., at the Marriott Griffin Gate Hotel in Lexington, K...