Horse Health

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

  • 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...

  • Rehabilitating After Injury With Mobilization (AAEP 2010)

    Historically, when a horse sustained major musculoskeletal injury or underwent a major surgery, he had to be immobilized before he could begin to use the limb. Results were less than optimal as immobility often leads to loss of flexibility or range of motion (ROM), as well as loss in proprioception (awareness of posture, movement, balance, and location), ...

  • UK Reports Increase in Placentitis Cases

    An increase has been reported in Kentucky in the number of cases of fetuses and placentas submitted and diagnosed with nocardioform placentitis, a unique form of bacterial placentitis affecting late gestation mares.

  • Oklahoma Racing Commission Helps Retired, Unwanted Thoroughbreds

    Retired Oklahoma-bred Thoroughbred racehorses will get help retraining for a second career thanks to a new rule passed by the Oklahoma Racing Commission last week. Under the rule, Oklahoma Breeding Development Fund Special Account funds may be used to help qualifying equine welfare organizations care for retired and unwanted Oklahoma-bred Thoroughbreds. F...

  • Managing Mud on Kentucky Horse Farms

    You might know the feeling when you lift your foot to take a step across your horse's paddock and suddenly realize that your boot has been left behind and your soaked foot is half a step away from it in ankle-deep mud. Mud is a problem anywhere water meets bare soil. And during the last few years Kentucky horse farms have had their share of mud.

  • University of Kentucky Pasture Evaluation Program Enjoys Continued Success

    The University of Kentucky initiated its Pasture Evaluation Program in 2005, which has since grown along with its number of participants. Sponsored by the UK Equine Initiative, the program began in response to the Mare Reproductive Loss Syndrome epidemic that swept through Central Kentucky in 2001. The program has maintained several farms as regular clien...

  • Guidelines Help Former Racehorses Go from Track to New Careers

    The American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) has developed guidelines to help veterinarians and adoption groups successfully transition retired racehorses to new homes and new careers. "Transitioning the Retired Racehorse: Guidelines for Equine Practitioners, Adoption Organizations and Horse Owners" provides an overview of the common ...

  • Horses with Pneumonia Benefit from New Form of Ceftiofur (AAEP 2010)

    A new sustained release formulation of the antibiotic ceftiofur, approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in horses with pneumonia, makes treating affected foals easier."The bacterium Streptococcus equi subsp. zooepidemicus is a common cause of pneumonia in horses," said Scott McClure, DVM, PhD, Dipl. AVCS, an assistant pr...

  • Free Ask the Vet LIVE Q&A: Equine Dental Care

    Recent extreme winter weather across the United States raises an important question--can your horse eat enough to stay warm? If he has dental problems, the answer might just be no. What dental problems commonly affect a horse's ability to eat comfortably, and how can they be prevented and treated? What kind of routine dental care should horses receive...

  • Nationwide Scopings Indicate All Horses At Risk for Stomach Ulcers

    From 2008 through 2010, Merial hosted gastroscopy events across the country as part of a study on gastric ulcers and the recently released results indicate that stomach ulcers are a threat to horses of all breeds and disciplines. Veterinarians scoped 3,354 horses, and more than 58% of them identified with some grade of stomach ulcer. In 2010 alone, 644 ho...

  • Epidemiology of R. Equi Foal Pneumonia (AAEP 2010)

    One of the major foal diseases in the United States is Rhodococcus equi foal pneumonia. Responsible for the deaths of up to 30% of infected foals, it is a serious problem at many large breeding farms. Noah Cohen, VMD, MPH, PhD, Dipl. ACVIM, professor of Large Animal Clinical Sciences at Texas A&M University's College of Veterinary Medicine & B...

  • 2010's Top Equine Lameness/Surgery Studies (AAEP 2010)

    What would be your pick for the most groundbreaking news in equine lameness, surgery, or racing for 2010? Not sure? Read on to find out what Scott E. Palmer, VMD, Dipl. ABVP (Equine Practice), hospital director and a staff surgeon of the New Jersey Equine Clinic in Clarksburg, N.J., and past president of the AAEP and American Board of Veterinary Practitio...

  • Nature vs. Nurture and Horse Health (AAEP 2010)

    The phrase "nature vs. nurture" is usually used to refer to the debate over which has a greater impact on a person's personality and preferences--genetics or environment/rearing. But for this article, we'll use it in the context of fetal programming, or what makes a foal develop into a physically healthy (or not so healthy) horse. Hint: ...

  • Florida Man Charged with Animal Killings

    Florida law enforcement authorities have charged a Walton County man with two felony animal cruelty counts for allegedly killing a Miniature Horse and a dog after a family dispute.