Horse Health

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

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...

Two Supplements' Effects on Nonglandular Ulcers (AAEP 2012)

According to several reports, veterinarians have identified equine gastric ulcer syndrome (EGUS) in up to 40% of Quarter Horses and 93% of Thoroughbred racehorses. EGUS can lead to poor body condition, disruptions in training, impaired performance, colic, and other complications, some of them quite severe. While many veterinarians and owners use FDA-appro...

Microbiomes: It's All About Balance

You know the drill: Kill the bacterium that's attacking the immune system then prepare yourself for the relentless fungus to come out and play in its wake. This bug balance upheaval is the reason we reach for yogurt when we go on antibiotics or we pursue a probiotic supplement if we start feeling "off." Some owners apply similar strategies w...

Managing Weeds in Kentucky Horse Pastures

What grows in your pasture? Ideally, abundant forage that is nutritious to horses. However, a perusal of most Kentucky horse pastures will uncover 20 plant species, many of which are weeds. The abundance of weedy species depends greatly on pasture management: Overgrazing of pasture grasses and soil compaction are primary causes of weed occurrence.

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