Horse Health

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

  • Pericarditis Cases Still Being Seen in Kentucky

    Horse owners should not become too lax even though researchers say the insult that caused the foal losses and other health problems this spring in Kentucky and other states probably is past. There still are lingering problems in the aftermath of the initial injury.

  • Epidemiologic Teams Begin Survey Work

    The University of Kentucky College of Agriculture posted the following information on its web site at :

  • Jay Hickey, American Horse Council president.

    Foal-Loss Legislation Prepared by Industry

    The National Thoroughbred Racing Association and the American Horse Council have prepared legislation they hope is introduced by Kentucky Sens. Jim Bunning and Mitch McConnell when Congress reconvenes June 4.

  • Latest Twist in Foal Loss Syndrome: Mycotoxins Out, Cyanide In

    No longer does the mysterious Mare Reproductive Loss Syndrome appear to be the result of incredibly high mycotoxin levels in pasture grasses; now the most likely cause appears to be cyanide brought onto pastures from wild black cherry trees, carried by Eastern tent caterpillars.

  • Dr. Thomas Tobin, speaking to Mare Reproductive Loss Syndrome forum Thursday.

    Researchers Zero In on Cyanide as Cause of Foal Loss Syndrome

    Researchers at the University of Kentucky Gluck Equine Center have made significant progress in their quest to find the cause of the Mare Reproductive Loss Syndrome. According to reports presented Thursday during an informational forum at Keeneland, black cherry trees located in close proximity to horse pastures are the primary source of the cyanide that was detected in tests of dead foals and fetuses from mares that aborted.

  • Jockey Club Issues Call for 2001 Live Foal/No Foal Reports

    The Jockey Club is asking breeders to submit their 2001 Live Foal/No Foal Reports as soon as possible after the birth of the foal or when it is determined that a mare will not produce a live foal this year. The request is coming on the heels of the recent mare reproductive loss syndrome in Kentucky and surrounding states.

  • Foal Loss Update; Field Report From Walmac Farm

    As of noon May 23, the Kentucky Livestock Disease Diagnostic Center had received three additional aborted/stillborn equine fetuses/foals (one early-term and two late-term) for diagnostic testing/evaluation. The total received since April 28, 2001, is 532.

  • May 23 Update: Additional Evidence Ruling Out Mycotoxins

    The scientific investigations continue into the cause of mare reproductive loss syndrome (MRLS). Additional pasture and hay sample results obtained today (5/23) continue to be negative for all mycotoxins, adding further evidence that mycotoxins are not the cause of the syndrome.

  • This insect is now leading suspect in cause of Mare Reproductive Loss Syndrome.

    Researchers Shift Attention to Eastern Tent Caterpillar

    Discussions of results obtained to date by several scientists and consultants working on the investigation into the cause of Mare Reproductive Loss Syndrome (MRLS) on Monday have caused the investigation to shift to a more thorough examination of the potential role of the Eastern Tent Caterpillar (ETC) in MRLS.

  • NTRA, Horse Council Continue Disaster Relief Meetings With Federal Officials

    American Horse Council president Jay Hickey and National Thoroughbred Racing Association deputy commissioner Greg Avioli are meeting in Washington, D.C., Tuesday afternoon with Caroly Cooksie, deputy administrator of the U.S. Department of Agriculture disaster relief loan programs. The meeting is a follow-up to talks held last week in Washington involving Hickey and NTRA commissioner Tim Smith and a number of federal legislators, including Rep. Larry Combest, an Amarillo, Texas, Republican who is chairman of the House Agriculture Committee.

  • Many Kentucky Mares Now Holding Pregnancies at Normal Rate; Impact Seen at 21% of Crop

    An informal survey of Central Kentucky farms on May 21 suggests the worst may be over as far as mare reproductive loss syndrome is concerned. While heavy losses already have been incurred, particularly involving maiden and barren mares bred in February, the good news is that mares bred from late March on appear to be holding their pregnancies at close to normal percentages. Based on the surveys and on the normal distribution of Kentucky foals born between January and June, <i>The Blood-Horse</i> estimates the 2002 Kentucky foal crop will decrease by no more than 21%.

  • Weather Linked To Causal Event

    The University of Kentucky's coordinating group has been studying details of mare breeding records for 2001. This identified more precisely the time of the critical insult giving rise to the syndrome- -between April 17 and 23. Based on information provided, late abortions, the birth of weak foals, and early fetal losses appear to be linked to the same causal event.

  • Fetal Loss Syndrome Count to 528

    As of noon May 21, the Kentucky Livestock Disease Diagnostic Center had received 12 additional aborted/stillborn equine fetuses/foals (one early-term and 11 late-term) for diagnostic testing/evaluation.

  • Second Industry Meeting Set on Fetal Loss Syndrome

    At Monday's daily briefing from the University of Kentucky, it was announced that the scientific investigating team, with the Kentucky Association of Equine Practitioners and the Kentucky Thoroughbred Farm Managers Club, will hold an information sharing session on Thursday, May 24, similar to the session held on May 10. The session will begin at 5:00 pm at the Keeneland Sales Pavilion. The entire session will be web-cast live from the Website at

  • Dr. Doug Byars, head of the medicine unit at Hagyard- Davidson-McGee veterinary firm.

    Foal Loss Syndrome Update: Count Exceeds 500

    The third week of May in Central Kentucky was marked by cautious optimism, with the slowing of early fetal and late-term gestation loss, growing frustration among industry professionals, and much-needed rain. The Kentucky Livestock Disease Diagnostic Center has received more than 500 dead fetuses/foals this spring. Some veterinarians are predicting that the 2001 Kentucky foal crop could be reduced 5% to 10%, and the 2002 foal crop might drop 30% to 40% or more.

  • Facts About Fescue

    Fescue toxicosis (toxicosis is any disease condition due to poisoning) is caused when tall fescue (<i>Festuca arundinacaea</i>) becomes infected with the mold <i>Acremonium coenophialum</i>.

  • The Blood-Horse to Support MRLS Research

    In an effort to show support for industry horse owners and breeders, The Blood-Horse, Inc., announced yesterday it will contribute a portion of its advertising revenues for the remainder of 2001 to the Maxwell H. Gluck Equine Research Center at the University of Kentucky, to support further research into the Mare Reproductive Loss Syndrome that is currently plaguing the Thoroughbred industry.

  • Australia Lifts Ban on European Imports

    The Australian Government has lifted its temporary suspension on the movement of Thoroughbreds to Australia from Europe. The official announcement came May 17 through Biosecurity Australia, a department of the Government agency covering agriculture, fisheries and forestry. It means that Danehill and the other 36 stallions scheduled to shuttle to Australia in early August can proceed.

  • One of several mycotoxin binders available is Hallway Feeds&#39; Mare Guard.

    Where to Find the Mycotoxin Binder

    Lexington, Ky., feed companies are busy filling orders for bags and buckets of mycotoxin binder from horse owners in 15 states throughout the East Coast and Canada. Here is a list of companies selling the binder and associated products.

  • European Federation of Thoroughbred Breeders Suggests Holding US Horses; No Ban

    Charles Frank, the veterinary advisor to the United Kingdom Thoroughbred Breeders Association, said that in a meeting earlier this week of the European Federation of Thoroughbred Breeders that a statement was made to advise members not to re-import horses to Europe until a cause of the current health problems in Kentucky was identified. "The last thing we want is a ban," said Frank.