Horse Health

Health news, veterinary advice, and educational tools to keep your horse healthy provided by The Horse

Medication Mishaps in Horses (AAEP 2012)

Paracelsus, a 16th century Swiss physician and alchemist, once said, "Poison is in everything, and no thing is without poison. The dosage makes it either a poison or a remedy." Similarly in horses, determining what medication dose is therapeutic vs. detrimental, and knowing which drugs can poison some horses while helping others, are among the c...

California Authorities Seek Six Horses for EIA Testing

Agricultural authorities in California are seeking six animals to receive follow-up testing in connection with a California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) Animal Health Branch study of equine infectious anemia (EIA) infections in racing Quarter Horses.

Treating Fungal Infections in Mares (AAEP 2012)

Fungal infections of the uterus, due to either yeast or mold, are less common than bacterial infections, but it's important to consider them because untreated infections can lead to fertility problems. In such cases prompt diagnosis and treatment are necessary for a positive outcome. A veterinarian from The Ohio State University recently described app...

Building a Veterinarian-Farrier Relationship (AAEP 2012)

Veterinarians and farriers must work as a team to manage a horse's athletic soundness and performance. The collaborative dynamic between veterinarian and farrier is important to ensuring a horse remains sound and receives the best possible hoof care. William Moyer, DVM, of Texas A&M University's School of Veterinary Medicine, and Harry Werner,...

EPM-Causing Organisms Widespread in U.S. Horses (AAEP 2012)

The neurologic disease equine protozoal myeloencephtalitis (EPM) is caused by two protozoal agents, Sarcocystis neurona and, less commonly, Neospora hughesi. While researchers have long understood S. neurona's life cycle and transmission, their understanding of N. hughesi is less concrete. To compare the two organisms, a research team from California ...

Researchers Developing Equine Welfare Assessment Protocol

Do you know how to recognize equine welfare issues? While some signs of poor welfare are obvious, others are more subtle and possibly evident right in your own stable. According to Swedish researchers, there's a great need for research-based welfare assessments that take the guesswork out of judging equine well-being. And they've been busy develop...

Tips for Keeping Mares in Foal (AAEP 2012)

Proper and timely intervention can mean the difference between a live foal and a lost one. And while most equine pregnancies proceed without incident, an estimated 12.9% of mares lose their foals between 40 days of gestation and the estimated foaling date. These mares could potentially benefit from such intervention.

Barn Fires: The Veterinarian's Role (AAEP 2012)

A barn engulfed in flames, terrified whinnies coming from within the burning structure. Few scenarios are more frightening to owners of stable-kept horses. Veterinarians, with their regular trips to the barn, are in a unique position to advise horse owners on fire prevention. However, even with the best preventive measures, barn fires do happen, so it'...

Selecting the Best Joint Therapy Approach (AAEP 2012)

A puffy fetlock. A knee that's warm to the touch. A hock that feels just a bit sticky in the trot. All are common performance problems pointing to the possible onset of osteoarthritis (OA). Equine joint therapy is often used to treat these types of OA-inflammation related issues while potentially modulating disease.

GI Drug Could be Useful for Equine Eye Exams (AAEP 2012)

Occasionally veterinarians stumble across a drug side effect that's more useful than detrimental. Take, for example, the antispasmodic N-butylscopolammonium bromide (NBB), marketed in the United States as Buscopan (Boehringer Ingelheim) to treat horses with colic. As it turns out, this drug could be useful for helping veterinarians examine horses'...

CT for Equine Limb Fracture Diagnosis? (AAEP 2012)

A fracture can put a horse's athletic future--sometimes even his life--on the line, and basing treatment on a complete and accurate diagnosis can make a major difference in the horse's recovery. A veterinarian in Belgium believes computed tomography (CT) offers a better option for imaging some lower limb fractures than radiography.

Hind-Limb Flexion Test Times Compared (AAEP 2012)

"A thorough lameness exam usually includes limb flexion tests to evaluate for gait changes when joints are stressed in a flexed position," remarked Amy Armentrout, DVM, MS, Dipl. ACVS, of Burleson Equine Hospital, in Texas. Holding the hind limb up for a protracted time can be tough on the practitioner's body, and horses aren't always co...

Managing Dehydration, Exhaustion in Horses (AAEP 2012)

Horses can lose up to 15 liters of sweat per hour during strenuous exercise, leaving them in a precarious metabolic balance that cold water hosing alone can't touch. At the 2012 American Association of Equine Practitioners convention, held Dec. 1-5 in Anaheim, Calif., Emma Adam, BVetMed, Dipl. ACVIM, ACVS, an equine practitioner performing research at...

Navicular Bone Fragments' Effect on Lameness (AAEP 2012)

Although researchers have been studying the equine navicular bone for years, many mysteries still surround it. For instance, advanced imaging techniques give veterinarians a clearer picture than ever of irregularities or damage to the navicular bone, but it's not always evident what such pathologies mean for a horse's soundness. Elizabeth Yorke, D...

Lawsonia Prevalence Patterns Investigated

Yearly variability in exposure to a severe disease-causing bacterium of young horses appears to be different than previously thought. Despite the common belief that the incidence of equine proliferative enteropathy (EPE), a severe gastrointestinal disease of foals and long yearlings, spikes higher in some years than in others, researchers have recently fo...

MRI to Identify Bone Changes in Racehorses (AAEP 2012)

Horses can't describe brewing musculoskeletal discomfort the way human athletes can, so trainers and veterinarians don't know which horses to put on the proverbial bench to prevent career- or even life-ending injuries. But an equine research team has been using MRI to detect bone changes that could indicate a horse is at risk for catastrophic fetl...

Diet's Effect on Broodmare Lactation Described (AAEP 2012)

Your foal has finally arrived, and he and mom appear healthy and happy. But don't let your guard down just yet: The mare's continued health dictates her milk production and whether the foal will not only grow but also thrive during his first few months. Supporting her overall and nutritional health becomes especially crucial.

Five Factors that Impact Gestation, Foaling (AAEP 2012)

Breeders spend a substantial amount of time contemplating the logistics of breeding, such as choosing the stallion and where and who will be performing the reproductive work. But once a mare is in foal, a number of things can derail the pregnancy if veterinarians and horse owners don't keep a close eye the mare's progress. Sometimes, simply knowin...

Stem Cell Preparation and Delivery (AAEP 2012)

Having stem cells at our disposal for treating tendon and ligament injuries in horses but not knowing exactly how to administer them is like having a million dollars you can't spend. One researcher from Colorado State University (CSU) described stem cell preparation and delivery at the 2012 American Association of Equine Practitioners' Convention,...

Rachel Alexandra Surgery Update

Rachel Alexandra Surgery Update

Rachel Alexandra surgery update with surgeon Dr. Brett Woodie, Dr. Bonnie Barr, and Barbara Banke answering questions from the media regarding Rachel Alexandra at Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital. watch video

Optimizing Piroplasmosis Treatment Protocols (AAEP 2012)

The tick-borne protozoal disease equine piroplasmosis (EP) impacts horses worldwide, causing hemolytic anemia (the body's immune system attacks and kills its own red blood cells) and even death. Veterinarians' drug of choice for eliminating the causative parasites, Theileria equi and Babesia caballi, is imidocarb dipropionate, which is effective b...

Using Intra-Articular Corticosteroids (AAEP 2012)

Corticosteroids can be an equine joint's best friend or its worst enemy, depending on the veterinarian's approach: Has he or she made a clear diagnosis of osteoarthritis? How many times has the horse's joint been injected already, and is the horse a high-performance athlete? Which joint is the practitioner targeting, and what's going on wi...

Decoding Small Intestine Problems with Ultrasound (AAEP 2012)

The sooner a veterinarian is able to determine whether a colicking horse requires surgery, the better the horse's chances of survival. Colic originating in the small intestine can be particularly tricky since it is not always easily felt on rectal palpation. Ultrasound examination, commonly used in general equine practices for diagnosing pregnancies a...

Handling Non-Weight Bearing Lameness in the Field (AAEP 2012)

One of the most common calls an ambulatory equine practitioner receives is that from a panicked owner whose horse becomes three-legged lame seemingly overnight, said Ryan Penno, DVM, a practitioner at The Equine Clinic at Oakencroft, in Ravana, N.Y. Whether the cause is a simple abscess or a complex fracture, Penno described how to manage acute-onset, non...

Feeding Orphan Foals (AAEP 2012)

It's an unfortunate reality that at one time or another, most veterinarians and breeders will face caring for an orphan foal. Whether a foal was orphaned because the dam did not survive parturition or because she rejected him, he requires special care from the very beginning. One aspect of his care that requires the most attention is his nutrition.

Metabolic Syndrome Dangerous for Pregnant Mares (AAEP 2012)

Equine metabolic syndrome--defined as obesity, insulin resistance, and high insulin levels circulating in the bloodstream--is a dangerous condition for any horse, but it puts pregnant mares in an especially precarious in situation. Owners and veterinarians should address metabolic syndrome and related conditions (such as laminitis and insulin resistance) ...

Top Medicine Studies of 2012 (AAEP 2012)

Each year equine veterinarians attending the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) Convention flock by the thousands to one of the meeting's headline events: the Kester News Hour. Stephen Reed, DVM, Dipl. ACVIM, of Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital in Lexington, Ky., presented a summary of many recent practical and applicable equine medi...

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