Horse Health

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

  • Do Horses Recognize Their People?

    Does a horse respond differently to "his person" as opposed to a stranger? The results of a recent French study indicate that horses use auditory and visual information to recognize specific people, and that they expect certain behaviors from those people based on previous experience.

  • Too Early to Establish Impact of Southern Tornadoes on Horses

    Something wicked this way came--a tornado outbreak involving more than 160 individual tornadoes, touching down from Mississippi all the up the East Coast. So far, at least 200 people are reported dead, the majority in Alabama. At present, the storm's impact on Alabama's equine population is undetermined.

  • Thoroughbred "Performance Genes" Further Examined in Study

    The genetics behind the athletic performance of Thoroughbred racehorses has been a popular area of research in the past few years. A large-scale study was carried out recently in Japan, the results of which corroborate those of previous studies: Identifying specific "performance genes" on equine chromosome 18 could identify the ideal distance fo...

  • Vaccination Reactions: Common, or Cause for Concern?

    Horse owners understand that vaccinations protect the health of their horses and might even be life-saving. What some owners might not realize is that adverse reactions can occur after vaccination. While most vaccines' side effects are minor, it's important to know when not to worry and when to call the veterinarian.

  • Vaccinating Pregnant Mares for Equine Viral Arteritis

    In the event of an equine viral arteritis (EVA) outbreak, is it safe to vaccinate your pregnant mare so she develops the immunity she needs to prevent infection and resulting abortion? The results of a recent collaborative study completed by researchers at the University of Kentucky and Oklahoma State University indicate that the answer in most cases is yes.

  • Spring Vaccinations: Points to Consider Before You Buy

    With a selection of horse vaccines readily available on local feed store shelves, purchasing a handful for use in your barn might be something you're considering. But are there health risks posed to your horse lurking behind a choice to forgo your veterinarian's spring vaccination visit this year? Here are five points to consider when planning you...

  • EHV-1 Outbreak: Second New Jersey Farm Quarantined

    The New Jersey Department of Agriculture (NJDA) has quarantined a second Colts Neck horse farm as part of its investigation into an outbreak of the neurologic form of equine herpesvirus (EHV-1), that has led to the death of one horse and sickened five others.

  • Gastric Ulcers and Weanlings: Effects of Diet Type

    Gastric ulcers can affect horses of all breeds, ages, shapes, and sizes. Weanlings are among these: They are transitioning from a diet of milk to one of forages and concentrates, while also experiencing the stress of separation from their dams. So, what type of feed should an owner provide to ease the transition's impact on a weanling's GI tr...

  • Navicular Disease: Possible New Treatment Option from Human Medicine

    In certain cases of navicular disease, drilling a hole into the navicular bone--a procedure called core decompression that's commonly used to treat human osteonecrosis (bone death caused by poor blood supply to the area)--might provide a new treatment option for veterinarians. According to Carl Kirker-Head, MA, Vet MB, Dipl. ACVS, ECVS, associate prof...

  • Diagnosing Equine Bone Fragility Syndrome (AAEP 2011)

    When owners think of potentially or ultimately fatal horse health conditions, colic, laminitis, or rabies are some common ailments that might come to mind. A less common eventually fatal condition is bone fragility syndrome (BFS). There's no known cause or cure, and researchers are just working to understand the debilitating disorder. Recently, a rese...

  • Supporting Healthy Equine Blood Sugar

    Healthy blood sugar is a major factor in equine health. When glucose is not efficiently delivered to or utilized by the target cells, a horse's ability to produce sustained metabolic energy is greatly diminished. This can result in a series of metabolic consequences that increase the stress hormones (i.e., cortisol), insulin, and inflammation; reduce ...

  • Yes, Your Horse Is Fat

    Horse owners are often warned about the dangers of equine obesity and encouraged to help overweight horses drop a few pounds. But to solve this problem they must be able to acknowledge it in the first place. According to the results of a recent study completed by a group of researchers in the U.K., one of the biggest challenges posed by equine obesity cou...

  • Cornell Equine Herpesvirus Update

    New information has surfaced in regards to the voluntary quarantine at Cornell University's equine hospital due to two cases of the neurologic form of equine herpesvirus (EHV-1). New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets' (NYSDAM) animal health officials, along with veterinarians from the equine hospital, are investigating the two confi...

  • Ultrasound Exams for Diagnosing Roaring in Horses

    Perhaps your horse's performance is lacking, or maybe he sounds like a freight train as he labors through work. He could be suffering from left recurrent laryngeal neuropathy, commonly known as roaring. But how can you get a diagnosis quickly and easily?

  • Causes of Sudden Death in Racehorses Examined

    Sometimes racehorses collapse on the track for reasons that are not immediately apparent; these exercise-related sudden death cases are uncommon and "poorly understood," according to an international team of researchers that recently completed a retrospective study on the subject. They noted that veterinarians are only able to determine the actu...

  • Japan's Equine Industry Begins Rebuilding

    Now more than two weeks after the devastating earthquake and tsunami struck Japan on March 11, the equine industry in the country is beginning to rebuild. New details continue to surface about the extent of the damage, but the industry as a whole is working to move forward.

  • Battling Boredom: Study Proves Food-Related Items Most Successful

    The old saying goes, "Idle hands are the devil's tools," but horse owners know an idle horse's lips can cause just as much mischief. For many owners it can be a daily challenge to keep curious horses occupied when not being ridden or handled. In her recent study, Grete Helen Meisfjord Jørgensen, PhD, of the Norwegian Institute for...

  • Cryotherapy Methods for Laminitis Treatment Compared (AAEP 2010)

    Recent surveys of equine veterinarians reveal that laminitis is the No. 1 lameness concern of equine practitioners, due how difficult it is to treat and manage this debilitating condition. On the topic of laminitis control, Heidi Reesink, VMD, a veterinary resident at Cornell University, discussed a comparison of three methods of cryotherapy (cold treatme...

  • Box Fan Recall Could Affect Horse Owners

    Lasko Products Inc., manufacturer of home appliances such as fans and heaters, is recalling approximately 4.8 million box fans (similar to those frequently used in barns by horse owners) after an electrical problem in the fan's motor has caused some of these fans to catch fire, reportedly causing several house fires and a barn fire.

  • Horse Sedation with an Oral Gel (AAEP 2010)

    We've all heard about or witnessed horses that simply refuse to be restrained long enough for the veterinarian to administer a much-needed intravenous sedative. Authors of a recent study suggest that a sedative-containing gel might be just what the doctor ordered in these cases.

  • Eastern Tent Caterpillar Egg Hatch Under Way

    Experts report that Eastern tent caterpillar eggs have begun hatching in Central Kentucky, just as leaf buds are swelling on wild cherry trees. While it is too early to tell what 2011 caterpillar numbers will be, populations have been increasing gradually over the past several years. Controlling Eastern tent caterpillars is vital to area breeding far...

  • Enostosislike Lesions in Horses (AAEP 2010)

    When new bone forms within long bones, enostosislike lesions (ELLs) can develop--an uncommon but concerning problem. Simply put, ELLs are bony growths within the cavity of the bone. At present, the exact cause of this phenomenon is unknown but veterinarians can diagnose it using nuclear scintigraphy (bone scan): an ELL is visible as one or more focal area...

  • Horse Colic Prognosis Using Blood Lactate Levels (AAEP 2010)

    Monitoring lactate levels in samples of peritoneal fluid, the fluid surrounding and lubricating the abdominal organs, can help a veterinarian predict which colicky horses require surgery. John G. Peloso, DVM, MS, Dipl. ACVS, presented a study on peritoneal lactate levels and colic prognoses at the 2010 American Association of Equine Practitioners conventi...

  • How to Manage a Quarter Crack in Equine Hooves (AAEP 2010)

    Lameness caused by quarter cracks is a nemesis of horses and owners, and treatment is often a complex and time-consuming process. At the 2010 American Association of Equine Practitioners Convention, held Dec. 4-8 in Baltimore, Md., Steve O'Grady, BVSc, MRCVS, of Northern Virginia Equine, in Marshall, discussed the importance of these injuries and...

  • Barbaro Fund Supports Laminitis Project

    The National Thoroughbred Racing Association's subsidiary, NTRA Charities, has announced that the Barbaro Fund for Equine Health and Safety Research has disbursed $49,000 to support ta research project on laminitis.

  • Colic Surgery and Intestinal Lubricants (AAEP 2010)

    Colicky horses that undergo exploratory surgery and are ultimately diagnosed with an ileal impaction appear to benefit from a single injection of carboxymethylcellulose (CMC) into the ileum to resolve the problem, according to veterinarians from Auburn University's College of Veterinary Medicine.

  • TheHorse.com Wins Two Equestrian Social Media Awards

    In the inaugural Equestrian Social Media Awards (ESMA), TheHorse.com took home top honors in the "Best Use of Twitter, International" and the "Most Informative, International" categories, and third place in the "Best Use of Facebook, International" category.

  • Comparing Bute and Firocoxib Safety (AAEP 2010)

    The non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) firocoxib had fewer side effects than phenylbutazone in horses after 42 days of treatment, according to scientists from Merial Limited who presented comparative research results at the 2010 Convention of the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP), held Dec. 4-8 in Baltimore, Md.

  • Equine Welfare Issues: An Overview (AAEP 2010)

    One of the American Association of Equine Practitioners' (AAEP) ongoing goals is to address the welfare issues that many horses and their owners face. During a presentation at the 2010 AAEP Convention, held Dec. 4-8 in Baltimore, Midge Leitch, VMD, of Londonderry Equine Clinic in Pennsylvania, described the steps that the AAEP has taken--and continues...

  • Economic Impact of Osteoarthritis and Joint Health Supplements (AAEP 2010)

    Osteoarthritis is expensive to manage, with estimated annual costs as high as $10,000-15,000 per horse to diagnose, treat, and medicate, explained Wayne McIlwraith, BVSc, PhD, DSc, FRCVS, Dipl. ACVS, director of the Orthopedic Research Center at Colorado State University, who discussed the economic impact of osteoarthritis and oral joint-health supplement...

  • Insulin Doping in Horses: New Test Developed

    A test able to detect even the smallest amount of insulin in horse urine has recently been developed to aid in the detection of insulin doping in racehorses, according to a group of researchers from the Hong Kong Jockey Club's Racing laboratory.

  • Penetrating Injuries in Horse Hooves (AAEP 2010)

    When it comes to penetrating hoof injuries, early, aggressive treatment is key to a favorable outcome, stressed Isabelle Kilcoyne, MVB, of the University of California, Davis, at the 2010 American Association of Equine Practitioners Convention, held Dec. 4-8 in Baltimore, Md. In a retrospective study she and colleagues examined complications, prognosis, a...

  • R. Equi: The Hunt for New Antibiotics Continues (AAEP 2010)

    It isn't for lack of effort that the equine industry still doesn't have new options for treating Rhodococcus equi pneumonia in foals. According to Noah Cohen, VMD, MPH, PhD, Dipl. ACVIM, professor of equine medicine at Texas A&M University, he and his colleagues are well aware that veterinarians are in dire need of better antibiotic alternativ...

  • Ethyl Alcohol for Pastern Joint Fusion (AAEP 2010)

    Any lameness can be tough for a veterinarian to treat and resolve, but pastern joint lameness caused by osteoarthritis can be especially problematic. Stephanie Caston, DVM, Dipl. ACVS, discussed possible options for managing pastern osteoarthritis at the 2010 American Association of Equine Practitioners Convention, held Dec. 4-8 in Baltimore, Md. Che...

  • R. equi Immunity and the Foal (AAEP 2010)

    Although about 30% of foals that develop Rhodococcus equi foal pneumonia do not survive, the majority of foals can be treated successfully and proceed with a normal life. But why is it that only foals are affected by this respiratory disease? According to M. Julia B. Felippe, DVM, MS, PhD, Dipl. ACVIM, of Cornell University's College of Veterinary Med...

  • Ask the Vet LIVE: Equine Dental Care Recording Now Available

    TheHorse.com's Ask the Vet LIVE session on Equine Dental Care, held on Feb. 24, is now available for listening on demand. Listen in as Mary DeLorey, DVM, owner of Northwest Equine Dentistry Inc., and Erin Denney-Jones, DVM, owner of Florida Equine Veterinary Services, discuss what dental problems commonly affect a horse's ability to eat comfortabl...

  • Responsible Horse Ownership and Racing Reform (AAEP 2010)

    Responsible ownership is one of the keys to addressing the country's equine welfare problems, said Scott Palmer, VMD, of the New Jersey Equine Clinic. He noted in a presentation at the at the 2010 American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) Convention, held Dec. 4-8 in Baltimore, Md., that racing is one segment of the horse industry that regul...