Horse Health

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

  • Protocol for Racehorse Steroids Testing Progresses

    <P>The Racing Medication and Testing Consortium (RMTC) board of directors Feb. 6 received an update on an anabolic steroids study, results of which will be used to set thresholds for testing in plasma. <P>The RMTC board, which met in Las Vegas, Nev., also discussed upcoming studies on therapeutic medication, development of best practices for drug-testin...

  • Prevent CEM, Other Infectious Diseases Through Strict Hygiene

    <P>Strict hygiene guidelines should be followed whenever handling breeding mares or stallions to prevent reproductive infectious diseases, including contagious equine metritis (CEM). <P>CEM is spread between horses primarily by breeding, either by natural service or artificial insemination (AI). Grooms, handlers, and breeding technicians or veterinary p...

  • Details Revealed on KY CEM Case

    State and federal agriculture officials announced Dec. 16 that a Quarter Horse stallion standing at stud in Kentucky has tested positive for contagious equine metritis.

  • AAEP Racing Task Force Puts the Horse First

    <P>"We have a crisis in Thoroughbred racing," stated Scott Palmer, VMD, of New Jersey, a past president of the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) and head of the AAEP Racing Task Force. <P>The AAEP Racing Task Force was conceived in Austin, Texas, at the organization's Focus meeting because of the country's outcry following the <A href=...

  • Speed Researcher Says Horses Have Reached their Limit

    <P><I></I> <P><I></I> <P>It doesn't look like Thoroughbred racehorses will be breaking records anytime soon ... or perhaps ever again. <P>According to Mark Denny, PhD, of California's Stanford University, a plateau in racing speed was reached back in 1949, 1971, and 1973 for the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, and Belmont Stakes, respectively. <P>...

  • Louisiana to Adopt Racehorse Steroids Rule

    <P>Using emergency regulations, the Louisiana Racing Commission has banned the use of anabolic steroids in racehorses effective Jan. 1, 2009. <P>Racing commission executive director Charlie Gardiner said the regulations were adopted Dec. 2 via emergency procedure to have them on the books in time for the first of the year. "The end of January was the ea...

  • Foal Weight Partially Dependent on Parity in New Study

    <P><I></I> <P>Australian researchers based at Coolmore Stud in New South Wales, Australia, reported in a new study that placental weight and parity (number of foals a mare has had) are positively associated with foal weight. In contrast, neither gestation length nor age of mare were implicated in affecting birth weight. <P>"It is widely perceived by th...

  • Laurel Horse Tests Positive for EHV-1

    The Maryland Department of Agriculture confirmed Nov. 13 that a 2-year old filly at Laurel Park in barn 1 has tested presumptive positive for equine herpesvirus pending confirmatory testing from the University of Kentucky. The horse, who could not stand yesterday morning, was sitting up and eating this morning with no fever.

  • No Breeders' Cup Positives for Steroids, EPO, TCO2

    None of the horses that participated in this year's Breeders' Cup World Championships Oct. 24-25 at Santa Anita tested positive for steroids, blood-doping agents or TCO2 (bicarbonate), according to Pam Blatz-Murff, senior vice president of operations for the Breeders' Cup.

  • Alysheba to Return to U.S., Reside at Horse Park

    <P>Horse of the Year and Kentucky Derby winner Alysheba is returning to the United States from Saudi Arabia. He will reside in the Hall of Champions at the Kentucky Horse Park. <P>According to a release from the Kentucky Horse Park, the public is invited to the Kentucky Horse Park for Alysheba's welcome home reception, Oct. 31 at 1:15 pm in the Hall of ...

  • Jockey Club: Thoroughbred Mares Bred Down 7.7%

    <P>The Jockey Club released the Report of Mares Bred (RMB) statistics Oct. 16 for 2008 that show a continued decline in North American Thoroughbred breeding activity. <P>Based on RMBs received through Oct. 10, The Jockey Club reported 2,643 stallions covered 52,410 mares in North America during 2008. <P>The statistics include the number of mares bred ...

  • NTRA Announces Racing Safety Reforms, Independent Monitor

    <P>The National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) officially unveiled a series of equine health and safety reforms Oct. 15 that will be overseen by an independent monitor. During the news conference in New York City, less than two weeks before the Breeders' Cup World Championships in California, the organization announced former four-term Wisconsin G...

  • New York Bans Racehorse Steroids

    <P>New York is joining other states in cracking down on steroid use in horse racing, state regulators announced Oct. 14. <P>"For the sake of the betting public, we want to do everything in our power to ensure that racing runs on a level playing field," said John Sabini, chairman of the New York State Racing and Wagering Board, in a statement. "By imposi...

  • International Racing Group Focuses on Synthetic Surfaces

    <P>Contrasting views on the future of synthetic tracks were expressed at the meeting of the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities in Paris on Oct. 6, following the Prix de L'Arc de Triomphe meeting at Longchamp. <P>British opinion, expressed by Ian Renton, boss of Arena Leisure which owns three of Britain's all weather tracks--Lingfield, W...

  • Genetics of Contracted Foal Syndrome

    The skeletal anatomy of a horse&#39;s front and hind limbs is comparable to the anatomy of the human hands and feet. The horse&#39;s cannon bone, or metacarpal, is the same as a bone in the palm of a hand. The human phalanges, or finger bones, are comparable to the bones making up a horse&#39;s hoof and pastern. Fortunately, most humans and horses are bor...

  • Ohio Veterinarians Suspended

    Two veterinarians attending to horses competing at The Red Mile harness track in Lexington were indefinitely suspended Oct. 2 by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (KHRC) pending the results of an ongoing investigation.

  • Horse in Training After Bout With Ataxia

    Racehorse owners Suzanne VanderSalm and Ellen Bennett of Hickory Corners, Mich., weren't about to give up on Navigator, their Thoroughbred who became ataxic (incoordinated) suddenly as a yearling three years ago.

  • Jones Appeals Clenbuterol Suspension

    Thoroughbred trainer Larry Jones has appealed a seven-day suspension and $500 fine levied by the stewards at Delaware Park in connection with the highly-publicized case in which the horse Stones River tested positive for the prohibited substance clenbuterol.

  • Racetrack Injury Database Could Face Resistance

    <P>A new national racetrack injury database will have problems achieving widespread compliance without a large measure of anonymity and confidentiality, a Kentucky racetrack veterinarian said Sept. 15. <P>"I think there is going to be a ton of resistance" to reporting injuries as long as the horse's name is included on the report, Foster Northrup, DVM, ...

  • Canadian Researchers Focus on Racehorse Safety

    Since the loss of Barbaro and Eight Belles, NBC's Roundtable on the horseracing industry at the 2008 Preakness Stakes, and the congressional hearing in June 2008, researchers are highlighting their efforts to improve racehorse safety and Canadian scientists are not to be left out. <P>"The Ontario Veterinary College's Comparative Orthopaedic Research Lab...

  • Kentucky Governor Bans Steroids in Racehorses

    Testing for anabolic steroids in racehorses in Kentucky will begin with the start of the Keeneland fall meet under emergency regulations signed by Gov. Steve Beshear Sept. 5. <P>The regulations, approved by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission in August, are now in effect under the Beshear order. The regulations pertain to the commonly used steroids bol...

  • Trainers Weigh in on Racehorse Shoe Regulations

    Some leading New York trainers said a ban on toe grabs on racehorses' shoes will help level the playing field, but they're not all convinced the shoes are responsible for catastrophic injuries. <P>The New York Racing Association in early August said it would ban the use of toe grabs with a height greater than two millimeters (.07874 inches) on front hor...

  • Kentucky Panel Approves Ban on Racehorse Steroids

    <P>The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission voted unanimously Aug. 25 to ban the use of anabolic steroids in racehorses, and the rules could be in place the first week of September should Gov. Steve Beshear sign an emergency regulation as expected. <P>The KHRC amended recommendations from the Kentucky Equine Drug Research Council, which voted Aug. 14 to reg...

  • Equine Piroplasmosis Case in Florida

    Florida Agriculture and Consumer Services Commissioner Charles H. Bronson announced Aug. 15 that a horse has been diagnosed with Equine Piroplasmosis, an animal disease that the U.S. has been considered free of since 1988.

  • Thoroughbred Industry Round Table Focuses on Drug Testing, Safety

    Calls to action aren't new to The Jockey Club Round Table conference, but at this year's meeting Aug. 17 in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., there appeared to be a sense of urgency. Public perception and the threat of federal intervention have a way of moving things along. <P>In what a few attendees called the best Round Table in years, Thoroughbred industry rep...

  • Finger Lakes Thoroughbred Adoption Program Fulfills Need

    <P>With the vision of a few caring people, in 2004 Finger Lakes Gaming and Racetrack in Farmington, N.Y., created the first Thoroughbred adoption facility run as a collaborative effort between racetrack management and local horsemen. They named it The Finger Lakes Thoroughbred Adoption Program (FLTAP), and operated with a goal of safely retiring horses th...

  • Reconditioning After Layup

    <DIV class=deck>Whether your horse has downtime for an injury or just a much-needed vacation, how you bring him back can dictate his eventual competitive success.</DIV> <P>After any layup, an athletic horse needs to be brought back to peak condition gradually. If time off was simply a vacation over winter, you can start the horse back into work at a lowe...

  • Special Report: Racehorse Durability

    <P>In this exclusive report, <I>The Blood-Horse </I>investigates whether the Thoroughbred racehorse is as tough today as it was 30 to 40 years ago. Editors of <I>The Blood-Horse</I> recently sought the answer to this question by producing a comprehensive review of 34 years of historical Thoroughbred stallion progeny records pulled from The Jockey Club's e...

  • Jockey Club Launches Injury Database

    The Jockey Club has launched the Equine Injury Database system that will provide the racing industry with its first national database of racing injuries. The Equine Injury Database grew out of a proposal first put forth at the Welfare and Safety of the Racehorse Summit in Lexington in October 2006.

  • Jockey Club Launches Racehorse Injury Database

    <P>The Jockey Club has launched the Equine Injury Database system that will provide the racing industry with its first national database of racing injuries. The Equine Injury Database grew out of a proposal first put forth at the <A href="http://www.thehorse.com/ViewArticle.aspx?ID=8116">Welfare and Safety of the Racehorse Summit</A> in Lexington in Octob...

  • Horsemen's Group Hosts Racehorse Welfare and Safety Forum

    <P>During a July 18 equine welfare and safety forum, Jay Hickey recalled that in 1982, legislation to regulate parts of the horseracing industry was circulated in the halls of Congress. The bill, which had the not-so-enticing name of the "Corrupt Horseracing Practices Act," dealt with prohibited drugs, pre-race testing, and penalties for offenders. <P>H...

  • Potomac Horse Fever: Don't Ignore Fevers!

    Summer and fall are key seasons for the appearance of Potomac horse fever, which is caused by the bacterium Neorickettsia risticii. Don't be fooled by the name; Potomac horse fever originally was identified in 1979 as a sporadic disease affecting horses residing in the eastern United States near the Potomac River, but since that time it has been diagnosed...

  • Prevent Fractures in Horses: New Technology Could Help

    Researchers are developing a monitoring system similar to those used by earthquake seismologists to detect tiny cracks in bones, a technology that could help prevent fractures in humans and racehorses. The new monitoring system records &quot;acoustic emission data,&quot; or sound waves created by the tiny bone fissures. The same sorts of acoustic emission...

  • Racetrack Enacts Zero-Tolerance Slaughter Policy

    <P>Sending racehorses to slaughter will not be tolerated at Suffolk Downs racetrack in Boston. Track management will now deny trainers stalls if they sell a horse for slaughter. This latest move bolsters other efforts underway to protect Thoroughbred racehorses, including retirement funding already in place by the track and local horsemen. <P>"I hope we...

  • Multiple Pregnancies: Double the Trouble

    <DIV class=deck>The causes and management of equine multiple pregnancies.</DIV> <P>Multiple pregnancies are an increasing problem in breeding management. They are usually multizygotic (originating from several ova, i.e., the result of multiple ovulations, thus giving nonidentical offspring). Monozygotic twins (originating from a single fertilized ovum th...

  • Understanding and Preventing Catastrophic Injuries

    Following the euthanasia of filly Eight Belles, who suffered catastrophic injuries to both front legs a quarter mile after finishing second in the 2008 Kentucky Derby, members of every sector of the Thoroughbred industry have banded together to proactively address safety and welfare issues. In this article, representative members of the equine industry to...

  • Hearing Shows Thoroughbred Racing at Critical Point

    <P>Drugged equines, grisly catastrophic injuries, greedy breeders, damaged racehorses with nowhere to go, inaction and confusion, and industry leaders more concerned with holding onto power than doing the right thing--a congressional subcommittee heard it all June 19 during a hearing in Washington, D.C. <P>An observer easily could come to the following ...

  • Racing Groups Have Say Before Washington Hearing

    <P>As the House Subcommittee on Commerce and Consumer Protection prepared for a June 19 hearing on the horseracing industry, groups continued to weigh in on various issues, including use of anabolic steroids in racehorses. <P>On June 18, the Lexington-based Association of Equine Racetrack Veterinarians said it supports recommendations by The Jockey Club...

  • Special Report: Catastrophic Injuries

    <P>Following the euthanasia of the filly Eight Belles, who suffered catastrophic injuries to both front legs a quarter-mile after finishing second in the Kentucky Derby, members of every sector of the Thoroughbred industry have banded together to proactively address safety and welfare issues. <P><I>The Horse: Your Guide To Equine Health Care</I> is prou...

  • Dr. Patricia Marquis

    Marquis Named Calder Vet

    Dr. Patricia Maquis was named senior track veterinarian at Calder Race Course. Dr. Marquis replaces Dr. Mary Scollay who took the position of equine medical director at the Kentucky Horse Racing Authority

  • McIlwraith, Peterson Honored With Award

    The second Elastikon Equine Research Award, funded through a grant made by Johnson & Johnson Consumer Products Co. to the Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation, has been awarded to Dr. Wayne McIlwraith of Colorado State University and Dr. Mick Peterson of the University of Maine for their research designed to enhance the safety of racetracks for horses.

  • No Date Set for House Hearing on Racing

    <P>The House Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade, and Consumer Protection continues to maintain it will hold a June hearing on horse racing, but no date had been set as of June 2. <P>The subcommittee is headed by U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush of Illinois and U.S. Rep. Ed Whitfield of Kentucky. Kristin Walker, Whitfield's press secretary, said June 2 there could be m...

  • Big Brown Quarter Crack 'Not a Setback'

    <P>Anyone following Triple Crown races this year knows there's a lot of controversy about the soundness of Kentucky Derby/Preakness winner Big Brown's feet. But despite a third hoof problem in his short career--a quarter crack that showed up in his left front foot last Friday--his consulting farrier/repair expert Ian McKinlay isn't concerned. <P>"This i...

  • Options for Ex-Racehorses

    <P>Only a handful of racehorses continue racing for more than a few years. The most talented runners are retired to stud or join a broodmare band, but often horses must move out to make room for new prospects. The problem of what to do with ex-racehorses is ongoing, and several organizations have been created to help resolve this. <P><B>Thoroughbred Ret...

  • Racehorse Steroids: More Questions Than Answers

    The complicated nature of regulating anabolic steroids in racehorses came to light May 20 when discussion among members of the Kentucky Equine Drug Research Council and others seemed to indicate the easiest route is an all-out ban on the substances.

  • Pfizer Animal Health and the NTRA have joined forces to  fund laminitis research through the Barbaro Memorial Fund.

    Pfizer Increases Support of Charity Fund

    Since late January, Pfizer Animal Health and the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) have joined forces to help fund laminitis research through the NTRA Charities - Barbaro Memorial Fund. Pfizer Animal Health displays, featuring "Riding with Barbaro" awareness bracelets, will appear in select veterinary clinics and retail outlets across the country and at major equine events. Due to the strong response thus far, Pfizer Animal Health will be expanding its number of display locations and manufacturing thousands of additional bracelets for public distribution.

  • CHRB Issues Steroid Advisory

    The California Horse Racing Board has issued an advisory to explain the changing regulatory scheme of anabolic steroids.

  • Eight Belles

    TCA Announces Eight Belles Memorial Fund

    Thoroughbred Charities of America, ("TCA"), has announced the formation of the Eight Belles Memorial Fund. Donations made in Eight Belles honor will go specifically toward retraining of Thoroughbreds for secondary careers and research into catastrophic breakdowns.