Horse Health

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

Mending Tendon and Joint Injuries with PRP

What makes recommendations for regenerative therapies such as platelet-rich plasma (PRP) inexact is that these approaches are based in biology, not chemistry, said Lisa A. Fortier, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ACVS, of Cornell. Each preparation is just as variable and unique as one horse is to the next. Recognizing this can go a long way in setting clients’ expe...

Give Your Horse a Breath of Fresh Air This Winter

Take a look around your barn, what do you see? Horses in their half-mucked stalls with straw or shavings and a wheelbarrow and pitchfork right outside; the tractor running at the barn door; hay bales piled outside stalls and at the end of the shedrow; a fan on the floor; piles of blankets, coolers, slinkies, bandages, and wraps; dusty shelves covered with...

Eye Problems in Neonatal Foals

Just because your hours-old newborn foal hasn't had time to stick a piece of hay in his eye or find something to slice his eyelid on doesn't mean he's immune to ophthalmic problems. In fact, eye problems are quite prevalent in neonates, and at the 2014 American Association of Equine Practitioners Convention, held Dec. 6-10 in Salt Lake City, U...

Managing Foal Rejection

Your long-awaited foal is almost here. You can't wait to watch your mare lick her youngster dry, gently nuzzle his rump as he nurses, and graze next to him in the pasture. But when he makes his entrance into the world, your mare wants nothing to do with him. She pins her ears, tosses her head, and moves away as he wobbles towards her. She's reject...

Hearing Loss in Adult Horses

Have you ever strained to hear your trainer over a blustery wind, pattering rain on an arena roof, or a crowded warmup arena at a competition? Guess what—you might not have been the only one. Although not often reported, horses can have a hard time hearing, as well.

Superficial Digital Flexor Tendon Rupture in Older Horses

Older horses can be at risk of sustaining an uncommon injury: acute rupture of the proximal (upper) superficial digital flexor tendon (SDFT) where the cannon bone meets the carpus (knee). This is because as horses age, the SDFT stiffens and becomes less elastic, decreasing its resistance to cyclic loading to the point that it can potentially tear.

Measuring Horses' Skin Temperature Changes Underwater

Water treadmill workouts are gaining in popularity, especially for rehabilitating injuries. Compared with swimming pool exercises, water treadmill therapy allows the horse to maintain correct posture and gives a handler the ability to control the speed, incline, water height, and resistance of the workout.

Subjective vs. Objective Lameness Identification Methods

Lameness evaluations can be extremely subjective. When examining a horse with a mild lameness, in particular, veterinarians often don’t agree on a diagnosis—some are prone to seeing a more sound horse, others a more lame one. To overcome such disparities, practitioners have turned to objective methods such as force plates and inertial sensor s...

EVA Vaccines: What You Need to Know

Some equine diseases come and go with little impact on the horse industry as a whole. Others affect only local or state industries when they rear their ugly heads. But when a disease has the potential to shutter the global horse breeding industry, controlling it becomes crucial. One of those diseases is equine viral arteritis (EVA). Fortunately, veterinar...

Surgical vs. Medical Cecal Impaction Management

When your horse starts displaying signs of colic—decreased manure production, a lack of appetite, or pain—your first call should be to your veterinarian. While some mild colics can pass without much trouble, other types must be diagnosed and treated quickly—medically or surgically—to improve the horse's likelihood of survival. ...

EVA: A European Perspective

An infectious equine disease is bad news no matter what language you speak or which country you call home. But between countries, regulatory bodies, and animal health professionals, there often remains a difference in perspective when it comes to handling these diseases.

Ways to Reduce a Cribber's Colic Risk

Severe and recurring cases of colic are frequently caused by a horse’s environment, diet, and genetics. Historically, researchers have proven cribbing contributes to an increased risk of colic. Now scientists in the U.K. are working to better understand the link between the two

Can Tiludronate be Used in Horse Joints?

Early in 2014, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved tiludronate for intravenous administration in horses with navicular disease. Despite being a relatively new drug used in veterinary medicine, some equine practitioners are already prescribing tiludronate for “off-label” use in horses with other conditions, such as osteoarthritis by ...

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