Continuous cooling of the hoof and its blood supply (cryotherapy) has been shown to prevent laminitis in at-risk horses. But which cooling method is most effective? Australian researchers recently evaluated several commonly used hoof-cooling methods to see how they compared.
As one calendar year draws to a close and another begins, many people resolve to take steps to improve their lives. And while the wisdom of some resolutions remains questionable—such as paying off your credit card in full every month … with another credit card—others likely do have a positive impact on peoples' lives.
Researchers know that exercise-induced pulmonary hemorrhage, or EIPH, can hinder a horse's lung function and athletic performance. What they're still not clear on, however, is which horses will bleed and when. But an Australian research team recently took a step closer to finding the answer.
Foot problems can commonly cause horses to be scratched from a race, lose training days, overload other structures, and have shortened careers. Functionally adapted for speed and efficient use of energy, the Thoroughbred foot is light and lacks the mass for protection commonly seen in heavier boned breeds.
Veterinarians and farriers apply a wide variety of horseshoes to treat the plethora of hoof problems that come our horses’ way, not to mention issues farther up the limb. Injuries to the suspensory ligament (a structure crucial to a horse's limb support system) are notoriously difficult to treat, so veterinarians recently tested a modern version...
Thoroughbreds are born to run. But to satisfy this need for speed, the horse must have a strong foundation on which to gallop—we're talking about his hooves.
Hoof sole penetration injuries are no small matter, though they might be nearly indiscernible to the eye and affect a small area. It’s more about what’s going on deep inside the hoof, where concealed damage to internal structures can be disastrous; the prognosis for horses injuring these structures to return to their prior athletic level is of...
Do you think your horse moves a bit unevenly after a trim? You might be right. Researchers recently showed that while routine farriery care had little influence overall on horses' movement, horses do show some movement asymmetry after being trimmed.
Managing a horse with chronic laminitis is hardly a one-man job. Both veterinarian and farrier expertise is required to rehabilitate and maintain these horses' feet for the best possible outcome.
Could something as simple as hoof wall tubule (the keratin-based, tubelike structures that form the hoof wall) density provide veterinarians with clues as to a laminitic horse's prognosis? Not yet, but researchers are taking the first steps determine if it could be a possibility in the future.
Collapsed heels are a common problem in horses, particularly Thoroughbred racehorses, and can cause decreased performance and lameness. Because little is known about the mechanism behind this condition, a group of researchers from The Royal Veterinary College, in London, U.K., recently examined the relationship between collapsed heels and hoof deformation...
Lameness caused by foot problems is common in the horse, and it can significantly impact how well a horse can perform. Hoof bruising, heel soreness, hoof cracks all create discomfort that alter a horse’s gait and prevent him from giving his utmost to an athletic task. Nearly all equine foot diseases have their root in biomechanics, noted a Universit...
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,...
Get out your protractors: New research shows that the various angles of the outer and inner hoof are directly linked to various kinds of lameness, and knowing the angles could help determine which kind of lameness a horse has or is likely to get.
Not all horses have symmetrical feet, and one of the more common problems horses develop is a "club foot" appearance. This problem might appear at birth or develop later in life. Horse owners and veterinarians can identify it based on classic signs and grades of severity.
Radiographs are an often overlooked but indispensible tool for assessing a horse's feet and developing a hoof care plan that will maximize his soundness. At a recent in-depth seminar titled "The Foot from Every Angle," Randy Eggleston, DVM, of the University of Georgia's School of Veterinary Medicine, described how to optimize use of rad...
A team of researchers at Michigan State University's (MSU) McPhail Equine Performance Center offers hope to horse owners facing underrun heel and flat-footed woes with a 16-month study examining the short-term and long-term effects of a specific barefoot trimming technique on hoof conformation.
Veterinarians work with horse owners to provide the best possible care from snip to tail. This holiday season, consider the following "wishes" your equine experts made to help maximize your horses' quality of life.
Laminitis, also referred to as "founder," is an often devastating disease of the hoof that can cripple or kill afflicted horses. It's such an important equine disease that each year veterinarians, farriers, and horse owners from throughout the United States gather at the International Equine Conference of Laminitis and the Equine Foot.
Just in time for winter--a time when many owners opt to pull their horses' shoes for the season--a team of researchers has released results from a study examining the effects of normal gaits on hoof wear in barefoot horses.
Foundered hooves often require extra support to help them heal and grow while also offering the horse pain relief. But, rarely is the hoof undamaged and easy to shoe after a laminitic episode, said Chris Gregory, MS, CJF, FWCF, of Heartland Horseshoeing School in Lamar, Mo. For these cases Gregory employs a W-shoe custom made for the individual horse and ...
Barefoot running and glove-like minimalist barefoot running shoes have gained popularity with human athletes in recent years. And, much like the shoes versus barefoot controversy in the horse world, the benefits and drawbacks of going shoeless are highly debated in human podiatry, said Nora Grenager, VMD, Dipl. ACVIM, of Grenager Equine Consulting in Midd...
Editor's note: This article is part of TheHorse.com's ongoing coverage of topics presented at the 2012 International Society of Equitation Science conference, held July 18-20 in Edinburgh, Scotland.
Laminitis is not only one of the leading causes of disability and death in horses, it's also an important cause of emotional and financial turmoil for owners. And for veterinarians, predicting which cases are likely to resolve or have the potential to become disastrous and how best to treat a given case remains a real challenge.
Endophytes--fungi that benefit some grasses such as fescue by acting as a natural insect deterrent--have proven harmful to grazing animals, such as cattle and horses.
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