Horse Health

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

Rash of Positives for Human Drug Clonidine Reported in Nebraska

A human drug used to treat high blood pressure, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, and addictive behavior has been detected in at least 10 post-race samples of horses racing in Nebraska recently, and sources say the number of positive tests could double in the coming weeks. Seven trainers have been notified by the Nebraska Racing Commission that their horses tested positive for Clonidine, which drug testing experts say can have both a calming and analgesic effect on horses and is closely related to Romifidine and Guanabenz, two drugs suspected by racing officials as being used illegally on horses.

Oxley's Triple Crown Contenders to Race for Equine Research

John C. Oxley, who with wife Debby has a pair of Triple Crown candidates in Florida Derby (gr. I) winner Monarchos and graded stakes-placed Hero's Tribute, announced that 1% of money either colt wins through victories in grade I races through the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) will be earmarked for the Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation. The donations are retroactive to the Florida Derby, in which Monarchos earned $600,000 (which provided $6,000 to the foundation).

Castration

Castration usually rids a horse of unwanted stallion-like behavior, including screaming at and fighting with other horses and potentially aggressive behavior toward humans.

Choke

Choke is the most common disorder involving the esophagus in horses. Horses can become choked on many different substances, most commonly grain or hay, but also beet pulp, corn cobs, and apples.

Queen Expresses Concern Over Racing's Return Despite Disease

The Mail On Sundaynewspaper in Britain reported the Queen, who owns and breeds horses and has her own racecourse, Ascot, thinks that the sport should be suspended while the foot and mouth outbreak continues. The British Horseracing Board confirmed that the Queen has expressed her concern. Tristram Ricketts, secretary general of the BHB, said: "Last week Her Majesty the Queen expressed her concern that racing should consider its response to the foot and mouth outbreak very carefully, but has not asked for horseracing to stop.

Australia Denies Ban is Political

Australia Quarantine and Inspection Service media officer Carson Creagh denied AQIS was succumbing to political pressure with its import ban and denied that the decision was not based on scientific motivation, a charge levelled by Quentin Wallace and John Messara , the CEOs of International Racehorse Transport and Arrowfield Stud.

Australia Expands Ban to All of Europe

Australian quarantine officials reacted quickly to the confirmed case of Foot and Mouth disease in France by expanding its horse ban to the whole European Union. Australia's Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS) stated the import ban would also apply to any other country in which foot- and-mouth disease is endemic, or in which there is an outbreak. This means Argentina was an immediate and automatic inclusion to those 'temporarily suspended'.

Dubai World Cup Issues Foot and Mouth Statement

Dubai World Cup officials issued the following statement Thursday regarding foot and mouth disease in the country and its affect on runners in the Dubai World Cup Day races:
International representatives in Dubai for the Dubai World Cup meeting at Nad Al Sheba on March 24 are under no risk, with officials for the Ministry of Agriculture in the United Arab Emirates moving quickly to dispel fears of a possible outbreak of foot and mouth disease in the country.

Horse Council Advisory: Horses Allowed Into U.S.

The American Horse Council has learned that recent reports saying horses are not permitted entry into the U.S. from the European Union are erroneous. Some of the misunderstanding results from a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) press release from March 13, 2001, which said that "all animals and animal products are temporarily prohibited entry from the European Union".

Bleeding

Scientists at the University of California-Davis have uncovered new information that might explain why horses bleed internally when they exercise.

AAEP To Hold Medication Summit

The next Symposium on Racing will include an all-day meeting on medication to be conducted by the American Association of Equine Practitioners. The Dec. 4 "summit" will look at the administration of therapeutic medications and discuss the standards and policies the industry should employ when treating horses for racing.

Can You Breed for Speed or Stamina?

For centuries, horsemen have tried to breed for speed and endurance and found that the greatest genetic potential can yield disappointment as easily as reward. Consider the indomitable Secretariat, who sired a string of mostly unremarkable racers, or the supremely talented John Henry, who sprang from an unheralded sire and dam. These are not isolated i...

Ovarian Tumors

Ovarian tumors can cause severe behavioral changes in a mare. They also can limit a mare's reproductive career by damaging her internal organs, writes Dr. Christina S. Cable in the March edition of The Horse.

West Nile Virus Update

The National Veterinary Services Laboratory recently confirmed two additional equine clinical cases of West Nile virus (WNV), one in New Jersey and the other in New York. The New Jersey case involved a 4-month-old colt, the youngest horse ever known to have developed clinical illness due to WNV in the U.S.

Strangles Cases Move Time, Site of 'Repo' Horse Sale

"Just when you think it can't get much worse, it got worse," said Boyd Browning, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Fasig-Tipton, on Feb. 5. Browning was discussing complications involving the pending sale of 89 horses repossessed by Fasig-Tipton and Keeneland from the Maryland mystery buyer, Bernice L. Givens Sykes, who signed tickets for nearly $700,000 for 134 horses at the Keeneland November and Fasig-Tipton Midlantic December mixed sale and then failed to pay for them.

Yearling Radiographic Studies

Radiographs of a yearling’s legs offer a unique glance into the horse’s athletic future, according to Albert Kane, DVM, MPVM, PhD, Post-Doctoral Fellow in Biomedical Sciences in the College of Veterinary Medicine at Colorado State University (CSU). At the American Association of Equine Practitioners’ recent convention, Kane presented findings of a land...

Morris Grants Fund New Research

The Morris Animal Foundation is funding 14 new equine health studies during its 2001 fiscal year that will focus on colic, digestive tract disorders, foal diseases, genetics, infectious diseases, musculoskeletal disorders, pain management, and surgery.

Supplement Use Complicated

Different workloads, stages of growth, pregnancy, and lactation require different dietary configurations for the horse. To meet those needs, horse owners often want to use supplements. However, you should realize that supplements could cause more problems than they solve, writes Dr. Joseph J. Bertone in the February edition of The Horse.

Equine Health Issues Expressed to New Administration

Equine Health Issues Expressed to New Administration

Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has encouraged Ann Veneman, Secretary of Agriculture within the Bush administration, to pay special attention to horses, characterizing them as "Kentucky's number one agriculture moneymaker." Recommending to Veneman that there be more research into causes and cures of equine diseases, McConnell noted that the health of domestic horses and the ability of Americans to import and export horses are vital to the industry.

The Impact of Early Training on Thoroughbreds

The economics of Thoroughbred racing are such that most owners and trainers aim to have their horses ready for racing as 2-year-olds. On the other hand, we know that lameness problems are the most important reason for wastage in Thoroughbred racehorses, and some perceive that these injuries are due, in large part, to the training and racing of horses too early in life.

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