Horse Health

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

Conformation of Racehorses

"Forelimb conformation receives lots of attention because of perceived predisposition to injury (with various conformational problems)," began Liz Santschi, DVM, Dipl. ACVS, clinical associate professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, at the Western Veterinary Conference held Feb. 20-25 in Las Vegas, Nev.

Cold Air and Lung Health

Researchers at Oklahoma State University (OSU) recently completed a study on airway cooling and mucosal injury during cold weather exercise. Using the Thoroughbred racehorse as a model, scientists found that even cantering in sub-freezing temperatures can induce airway obstruction (bronchoconstriction, or airway contraction). The research appeared in the ...

CHRB Issues Policy on Florida Shippers

Responding to the presence of the bacterial infection strangles among racehorses in Florida, the California Horse Racing Board, in conjunction with the state's racetracks, has established a policy setting health requirements for horses being shipped from Florida to California.

Breeding Efficiency in Kentucky Thoroughbred Mares

Management and veterinary care are important factors that contribute to the overall pregnancy rate of the Thoroughbred mare, said Karin Bosh, a graduate research assistant in the University of Kentucky's Department of Veterinary Science. Bosh presented research supporting the link at the university's Gluck Equine Research Center on Feb. 8.

"It cos...

Drug Testing

Controversy over medication and drug testing has been around since organized equine competitions came into being. There has always been more disagreement than agreement among the various factions involved, and more contention than harmony. Drug testing is a legal part of nearly all breed and discipline competitions these days, and much of what is done ...

Conformation Development in Growing Thoroughbreds

Selection of Thoroughbred horses for racing and breeding is based primarily on equine performance, pedigree, and phenotype (physical characteristics). Although conformation plays a critical role in the evaluation of horses, current methods of analyzing equine conformation are largely subjective and vary according to personal opinion and individual experie...

Fractures in Thoroughbred Racehorses

Musculoskeletal injury is the most common cause of lost training days for Thoroughbred racehorses. This type of injury, particularly fractures, is also cited as a major reason horses leave the industry. But the incidence and characteristics of fractures in racing Thoroughbreds are not well understood.

Characterizing fractures was the aim of Kristi...

AAEP to Host Summit on Unwanted Horses

The American Association of Equine Practitioners has announced plans to host an Unwanted Horse Summit. The summit, a one-day conference bringing equine industry leaders together to address the problem of unwanted horses, will take place Tuesday, April 19, 2005, during the American Horse Council's annual meeting in Washington, D.C.

Veterinarians Probe Mysterious Disease in Australia

Reports have been circulating that there is a disease similar to mare reproductive loss syndrome occurring in Australia. Dr. Nigel Perkins of the private consulting firm AusVet Animal Health Services has termed it equine amnionitis and fetal loss (EAFL).Additional information was released Dec. 1 by the Hunter Valley Equine Research Centre, a research facility adjacent to Scone racetrack in the heart of the Australian breeding area, concerning a problem that is causing sporadic abortions throughout the area in mid- to late-term pregnancies.

The Golden Age of Horse Health

The American Association of Equine Practitioners is celebrating its golden anniversary in 2004, and will hold its 50th annual convention in Denver, Colo., Dec. 4-8. The AAEP was founded in December 1954, in Louisville, Ky., by 11 charter members and now boasts approximately 8,000 members in 57 countries. Based on past conference attendance averages, some 2,700 veterinarians, veterinary students, and technicians will be there, while guests and exhibitors in the trade show that accompanies the conference will bring the grand total to about 5,500.

USDA Moves Step Closer to National Animal ID System

The American Horse Council reports that the U.S. Department of Agriculture has taken another step toward the implementation of the National Animal Identification System to trace animal movements in case of a major disease outbreak.

A Sound Plan: <i>Focus on equine joint health</i>

New joint product development is being driven by an increased awareness of the need to treat joints without hurting the stomach--that is, without causing gastric ulcers. In June 2004, a product that delivers the strength of a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) in a topical cream formulation was approved by the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for treating joint pain and inflammation in horses. Its name is Surpass Topical Anti-Inflammatory Cream. This new product and others for treating equine joints will be covered here.

Inner Peace: <i>Treating and preventing gastric ulcers</i>

A new product for preventing gastric ulcers in horses is due for release by the end of this year, when Ulcergard joins GastroGard as the second product approved by the federal Food and Drug Administration for ulcer management in the horse. On the more distant horizon, new developments in musculoskeletal pain management that are gentle on the stomach might one day arrive on the equine market, and that too could help prevent ulcers in racehorses.

New York Woman Charged in 'Horse Rescue' Case

New York State Police have charged a former part-time Emergency Medical Technician at Finger Lakes Racetrack in connection with a scheme to defraud horse owners by telling them she would take their horses and find safe homes for them.

Efficacy of Common Anti-Ulcer Medications in Racehorses

Gastric ulcers are so common in racing horses that many equine practitioners maintain their racing patients on anti-ulcer medications to prevent and treat gastric ulcers. Reports in the literature place the percentage of racing horses in training with endoscopically visible gastric ulcers at grater than 80%. Unfortunately, despite the variety of anti-u...

Vet, Cardiologist Look at Foal's Heart

Vet, Cardiologist Look at Foal's Heart

A human interventional cardiologist and an equine veterinarian in Lexington, Ky. have successfully completed the first step of a landmark procedure to repair a heart problem called a –ventricular septal defect” in a foal. The procedure was performed July 9.

Kentucky Alters Rules in Connection With VS Cases

Kentucky has altered it regulations concerning vesicular stomatitis in the wake of new cases in Colorado. The Kentucky Department of Agriculture issued a release July 6 that said animals at three properties in Las Animas County and one property in Douglas County have been diagnosed with VS.

AAEP's Position on H.R. 857

By Dr. Tom R. Lenz -- Federal legislation to ban the slaughter of horses in the United States for human consumption has become an emotional issue on which some groups within the equine industry can't see eye to eye. Here are the facts regarding the American Association of Equine Practitioners' position on H.R. 857, the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act.

Healthwatch: Research Links Cushing's to Laminitis

Healthwatch: Research Links Cushing's to Laminitis

Cushing's disease (CD) has been identified as the most common cause of laminitis among horses seen at the University of Pennsylvania's New Bolton Center. Dr. Mark Donaldson, an assistant professor at the university's School of Veterinary Medicine, led the research effort.

Conformation And Racing Problems (AAEP 2003)

Racehorses with specific conformation are more likely to have certain musculoskeletal injuries, according to two recent studies completed at Colorado State University (CSU). At the 2003 American Association of Equine Practitioners' convention, C. Wayne McIlwraith, BVSc, PhD, DSc, FRCVS, Dr.medvet (hc), Dipl. ACVS, director of CSU's Gail Holmes Equ...

Diagnosing Respiratory Tract Ulcers

"Respiratory disease is the second-leading cause of lost training in the Thoroughbred racehorse, second only to musculoskeletal injuries," said Jeff Blea, DVM, of the Southern California Equine Foundation in Arcadia, Calif., during the 2003 American Association of Equine Practitioners convention. "Endoscopy of the upper respiratory tract pl...

Return to Racing for Roarers After Surgery

Results of a study from the University of Pennsylvania's New Bolton Center suggest that there is a high chance that a horse can return to racing after surgery for laryngeal hemiplegia (partial or complete paralysis of the larynx, also called roaring) or arytenoid chondritis (inflammation of the arytenoid cartilages resulting in paralysis). Presented b...

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