Understanding how to take your horse's vital signs is one step to ensuring his well-being. Pulse, respiration, and temperature are easy to measure once you have practiced a bit.
The use of nasal strips in racehorses is thought to decrease the incidence of exercise-induced pulmonary hemorrhage in racehorses.
Arising partly from boredom and partly from other causes, destructive and sometimes dangerous behaviors such as wood chewing are easier to avoid than to cure.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of using electrolytes in a barrel-racing horse during a double-header rodeo?
I use my gelding for endurance. Can you help me choose the best electrolyte?
How much chromium should my 32-year-old mare with Cushing’s consume, and is it okay that every chromium supplement seems to also have large amounts of magnesium?
Does heaves have a genetic component or affect the quality of colostrum in mares?
How does molasses in beet pulp affect glycemic response?
The genetic variations that dictate body type and gaits also extend to characteristics that determine each horse’s response to an immune system challenge, and there is evidence that some disease signs are common to particular breeds and not to others.
Beginning in 2014, use of Salix (furosemide, also known as Lasix) will be phased out for horses entered in graded stakes and listed stakes races in Kentucky. This is the decision of the state’s Horse Racing Commission.
Researchers recently evaluated intestinal glucose absorption of horses after a high dose of metformin in an effort to determine if the drug could be a useful treatment for equine metabolic syndrome.
Repeated headshaking interferes with a horse’s comfort and use, and is often quite difficult to overcome. Some horses that continually toss or shake their heads are thought to have a disorder of the infraorbital nerve, causing pain or discomfort.
A simple blood test is being developed to diagnose inflammatory airway disease (IAD), a condition that causes impaired respiratory function and decreased ability to exchange oxygen and carbon dioxide within the lungs.
Would it hurt to put my horse on an ulcer supplement even though he doesn’t have any signs of ulcers?
How can I tell if a gelding’s feed is providing too many nonstructural carbohydrates for his insulin resistance and associated laminitis?
Shipping mishaps occasionally cause injuries to horses. The parts of the horse that are most likely to be injured during travel are the legs, tail, and poll, and these can be protected with specially designed accessories.
The digestive process begins when the horse takes food into its mouth. In order to start the digestive process properly, the horse needs a sound, functional mouth.
If your horse colics once, it’s somewhat more likely to have another colic episode in the future, according to research recently done at the University of Liverpool.
Global spending on animal health products, including those used for horses, is estimated to be over $20 billion (U.S.) annually. The majority of this total, about 60%, is related to health products used on animals grown for food.
How can stress be minimized during weaning?
A number of dog breeds, including many shepherd breeds, have a mutation that makes them extremely sensitive to ivermectin, and mixed-breed dogs may have inherited the mutation from a shepherd-type ancestor.
In choosing a farrier, look for someone who is familiar with horses of the breed and discipline in which you are interested.
Back pain in horses can be subtle or obvious; can manifest as shifting lameness or just a generally sour attitude; and is sometimes tricky to diagnose and hard to relieve.
Furosemide is a commonly used and very effective diuretic in human and veterinary medicine. In horses, furosemide has attracted much attention as a preventive for exercise-induced pulmonary hemorrhage.
The plethora of herbal products available from catalogs and online suppliers attests to their increasing popularity, but caution should be exercised when feeding.
Fall, winter, and spring are prime time for diseases of the respiratory tract, and are often caused by one or more of four common pathogens.
Remember that when you gain even a few thousand feet in elevation, the oxygen content in the air decreases. You can minimize the problems somewhat by having your horse in top athletic shape before the trip and by arriving at the higher elevation a day or two before the big ride.
The University of Guelph has developed the Equine Biosecurity Risk Calculator, a tool designed to grade horse owners on biosecurity management practices at their farms.
Flexural deformities of the coffin joint sometimes require surgery to achieve normal heel length and hoof angle.
So what’s the good news about colic? The vast majority of cases either resolve on their own or can be successfully treated with pain medication and fluid therapy.
Shipping fever is the term used to describe an infection and inflammation of a horse’s lower respiratory tract seen after the horse has been transported.
Odd as it may look, acupuncture does relieve pain, anxiety, muscle soreness, and other sources of discomfort in horses.
A lipoma is a fatty tumor that forms in a horse’s abdominal cavity. The situation doesn’t always cause an immediate problem, but can prevent ingested material from passing and cut off the blood supply to the compressed tissue.
A horse bingeing on grain is always a cause for concern, but with a plan and veterinary assistance, horse owners can help to keep ill effects of equine overeating to a minimum.
More than half of England’s pleasure horses are obese, according to a study conducted at the University of Nottingham.
To minimize the risk of laminitis in any horse, implement some basic management steps.
Because mustard contains acetic acid, some horse owners believe supplementing with the condiment will boost acetylcholine levels and prevent tying-up.
<p> How should I manage my three-month-old foal that has been diagnosed with physitis?</p>
The changing patterns of resistance among target nematodes lend an element of urgency to implementing major changes in parasite control strategies for horses in the U.S.
<p> Is it necessary to put horses with gastric ulcers on antibiotics?</p>
How can you protect your horses from EHV-1? The answer involves vaccination and careful management.
A daily grooming is a great way to spot injuries or problems that your horse may be developing.
The American Association of Equine Practitioners recommends inoculation against EEE as a core vaccination for all horses.
According to recent research, music can have a beneficial effect on the behavior of young stabled horses.
In the management of foal health, prevention of disease is far preferable to treatment, with excellent hygiene being the key.
There are a few things you can look at to decide whether the horse should stay home and wait for a better weekend.
Several recent research projects have led to a better understanding of the equine immune system.
Miniatures and small ponies are subject to the same illnesses as their larger counterparts. However, some conditions are commonly seen more often in these pint-sized steeds than in large ponies and full-sized horses.
A study in England looked at the effect on eight horses that went from pastured to stalled management.
Colic, weight loss, lameness, and respiratory problems such as heaves are the most common health conditions seen in older horses.
Meals of hay and concentrates cause gastrin levels to rise, increasing gastric acid production.
Before you put your horse in the trailer and head out for a show or trail ride, pick out his feet.
Swayback, or lordosis, is a trait found in some horses with American Saddlebred bloodlines.
Fecal egg per gram (EPG) counts are valuable to actually determine the number of worm eggs in a horse's manure.
Routine stall cleaning goes a long way toward keeping barns clean and horses healthy, but disinfecting a stall after it has been used for foaling or housing a sick horse is much more involved.
As with all tack, thought and care should be given to the construction and fit of a foal halter.
Eastern equine encephalomyelitis (EEE), western equine encephalomyelitis (WEE), West Nile virus (WNV), and Venezuelan equine encephalomyelitis (VEE) have some things in common. All can infect horses; all are spread by mosquitoes, and all can generally be prevented through vaccination.
Reducing the occurrence of colic is possible when sound management practices are followed.
Many factors may cause the pain associated with colic in horses.
For all mares bred in a season, only about 80% will give birth to a live foal at term.
Training to race involves one of the most demanding equine exercise schedules.
As horse owners put together a disaster plan and cope with difficult situations, one of the first concerns should be minimizing changes in all phases of management.
The most important component of treatment is environmental control to reduce exposure of the horse to the airborne allergens and other pollutants that cause airway inflammation.
Barn designs can be modified to provide adequate exposure to air.
The level of plasma cortisol increased in all horses following exercise, but concentrations were higher in younger horses than in older horses.
Slippery footing rarely impacts the health of most horses, but it can be a nuisance for horses with certain issues.
<p> Is high-fiber, high-fat feed appropriate for horses that are susceptible to gastric ulcers?</p>
Shivers is a fairly uncommon equine condition characterized by tremors and exaggerated flexion of the hind limbs that is most noticeable when the horse is backed or its hind limbs are picked up (for example, for farriery). Often, the horse will also raise its tail head during an episode.
Understanding the effects of starvation, the likelihood for recovery, and basic principles of refeeding will help horse owners should they encounter a horse that requires a nutritional overhaul.
Storing hay before it has dried thoroughly is a risky practice because of the danger of spontaneous combustion.
Storing hay before it has dried thoroughly is a risky practice because of the danger of spontaneous combustion.
Storing hay before it has dried thoroughly is a risky practice because of the danger of spontaneous combustion.
Your horse stumbles. Does he need a trim, is he just being lazy, or does he have a potentially serious neurologic condition? A veterinarian should examine any horse whose owner is concerned about neurologic disease, but an easy ground procedure can give an owner a partial answer.
A horse that has lain down too close to a fence or wall and gotten into a position from which he can't get up is referred to as a "cast" horse. Cast horses sometimes panic and struggle, while others simply lie in the cast position until help arrives. The problem may be that the horse is unable to straighten his front legs, or get his hind legs in a position to push himself up, or both.
Placentitis (inflammation of the placenta) may be caused by bacterial or fungal infection of the uterus, most often by organisms entering through the reproductive tract.
In a study of airway inflammation, researchers at Michigan State University looked at levels of neutrophils and mucus, both indicators of inflammation, in the lungs and tracheas of 26 high-level dressage or show-jumping horses.
Horses suffering from navicular pain may be helped by a medication that has been used to treat dogs. Etodolac is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) that works by blocking the production of the prostaglandins that cause inflammation and pain.
Researchers have identified another in a growing line of genetic diseases affecting Quarter Horses.
Equine proliferative enteropathy is an emerging disease caused by the Lawsonia intracellularis bacterium. It is seen most commonly in recently weaned foals but can affect adult horses.
Proper storage and handling of vaccines for equine use is important in maintaining potency, ensuring efficacy, and minimizing adverse reactions after administration
Is ACTH level useful for diagnosing Cushing's disease in horses? The answer is yes, but it's not as simple as looking at the result of one blood test.
At Colorado State University, researchers studied the effect of galloping exercise in addition to turnout for Thoroughbred foals.
During prolonged moderate exercise, horses deplete muscle glycogen which needs to be replaced after the exercise period ends.
Stallion semen collected for artificial insemination can be chilled to maintain quality for about 24 to 48 hours.
Navicular disease, also known as palmar foot pain, is a frequent cause of lameness in older horses. A challenge for veterinarians is examining the structures within the hoof to determine the location and cause of pain.
Osteochondritis dissecans (OCD) is a developmental orthopedic disease that results in lameness in young horses.
A note in Equine Science Update says that passive stretching exercises may or may not help your horse move more freely, and could even produce the opposite result.
In an article in Equestrian, Dr. Joe Pagan, equine nutritionist and president of Kentucky Equine Research, explained the importance of nutritional support for horses diagnosed with Lyme disease.
If you've competed at lots of horse shows, the drill is pretty routine. You know what will happen at the show, whom you will probably see there, and how long you'll be gone. Assuming your horse is a show veteran also, there shouldn't be many surprises.
Many horses lead healthy and useful lives well into their twenties or even longer. However, health problems tend to crop up in horses that have been around for several decades. When a number of maladies hit at the same time, owners are faced with finding diagnoses and making management changes to keep their equine pals on the right track. Here is a summary of one senior horse's situation and how his owner sought advice to solve her horse's problems.
For a horse owner, almost nothing is more frightening to think about...and most horse enthusiasts have encountered this situation from time to time, either with their own horses or someone else's. It seems that no amount of thought or precautionary management can completely protect horses from the danger, and owners from the worry, resulting from an escape.
Horse owners need to make sure their equine charges have adequate pasture and/or hay; supplemental feed as required to support growth or performance; plenty of fresh water; and a safe place to live.
Older horses don't have to become underweight horses. If senior equines begin to lose weight, there is usually a reason for the change such as dental inadequacy, gastrointestinal inefficiency, immune dysfunction, or the stresses associated with pain.
Although the causative bacteria are naturally found in the soil and exposure is an everyday occurrence, most owners will never need to treat their horses for pigeon fever, botulism, or anthrax. These infections are not common, but they can have serious consequences. In some cases, an owner's awareness of the signs of illness might save a horse's life.
The white line is the narrow light-colored band visible on the underside of a freshly trimmed hoof at the junction of the hoof wall and the sole. White line disease, an infection that causes separation of the wall, may be seen first at the white line but actually affects the zone of contact between the hard outer wall and the middle layer of hoof tissue. It occurs most commonly in front feet but can occur in any foot.
Equine diseases, conditions, or problems are frequently referred to by their initials. Full names, a brief explanation of each condition, and management tips, if applicable, are given below.
A common name for the problem is chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). It is also known as recurrent airway disease, recurrent airway obstruction, or inflammatory airway disease. The descriptions of the gelding and mare seem to discuss very different conditions because the disease can result from reactions to varying environmental stimuli.
A horse that lacks the ability to produce sweat in normal quantities has a condition known as anhidrosis. Such an animal is sometimes called a nonsweater or a drycoated horse. Horses that sweat lightly or only in patches such as under the mane, in the saddle area, and on the chest are known as shy sweaters.
Healthy horses are not bothered by most weather or temperature variations, and they can usually be kept outside in a wide range of climates. In extreme conditions, however, pastured horses should have access to some type of shelter. Natural landforms and vegetation may offer some respite from inclement weather.
Heaves and inflammatory airway disease (IAD) are important causes of allergic lower airway disease in horses. Horses with heaves tend to be older and have respiratory difficulty at rest (increased effort and rate of breathing, flaring of the nostrils, coughing, and mucus in the trachea and occasionally in the nostrils). Inflammatory airway disease primarily affects younger horses, such as those in training or recently put into work.
Evaluation of food allergies in horses can be difficult. There are several caveats that horse owners and veterinarians must keep in mind when interpreting results of allergy testing.
Few sights are worse than the tragedy of malnourished or starved horses. It is important to consider that not all underweight horses are the victims of abuse or neglect. Occasionally, horses may have or be recovering from serious conditions (cancer, inflammatory/infiltrative bowel disease, parasitism, colitis, surgery, etc.) that have led to weight loss, and their owners are doing all they can to help the horse regain its previous condition.
Serious kidney (renal) disease in horses is fairly uncommon. Clinical signs of kidney disease can be difficult to differentiate from other conditions but include lethargy, depression, inappetence, ulcers on the mouth or tongue, and edema or swelling of the legs and lower abdomen.
The power of targeted equine nutrition programs is unquestionable. Take, for instance, the feeding management practices that almost entirely relieve horses of the crippling signs associated with tying-up. By reducing starch intake and filling the caloric void with fat and fiber, many racehorses genetically predisposed to the disease have become successful athletes.
The horse's endocrine system produces hormones that are distributed throughout the body by the blood. Complex cycles regulate hormone activity, and many hormones affect the actions of others.
Luxurious, flowing feathers are a hallmark of many draft breeds. Without proper care, however, the thick lower-leg hair can become a virtual incubator for external parasites, setting the stage for skin conditions that are difficult to treat.
California researchers performed a retrospective study on the prevalence of cecal intussusceptions. An intussusception occurs when a segment of intestine pushes into another section of the organ, similar to the way in which a camera lens slides in and out of its casing, and remains fixed.
Nitrate toxicity is uncommon in horses but can be an important problem in ruminants. Horses can be exposed to nitrates by eating fertilizer or toxic forages and drinking contaminated water.
Equine pituitary pars intermedia dysfunction (PPID) or equine Cushing's disease is caused by an enlargement of the pars intermedia of the pituitary gland, resulting in overproduction of the steroid cortisol and loss of the normal feedback mechanisms that affect cortisol production.
Horses diagnosed with hereditary equine regional dermal asthenia (HERDA) often have skin-related problems, but researchers have uncovered certain eye disorders, specifically corneal conditions, that might also be linked to the disease.
Fall-onset laminitis in horses has baffled researchers, in part because horses that graze a pasture safely for several months often develop laminitis as the weather chills with no simultaneous change in diet. This seems doubly true of horses suffering from pituitary pars intermedia dysfunction (PPID), also known as Cushing's disease.
French researchers studied 70 horses with Australian stringhalt from 2003 to 2008. All of the horses except one had a history of bilateral stringhalt, and all had grazed pastures containing the weed known as false dandelion or flatweed (Hypochoeris radicata sp.).
Small intestinal colic can result from gas or fluid distension, obstruction of the small intestine (ileal impaction or roundworms), or twisting of the gut (small intestinal volvulus or pedunculated lipoma in old horses).
One of the most important tenets of medicine is to first do no harm. Veterinarians and horse owners often factor in this belief when making management decisions, particularly if one party wants to try something that may not be specifically indicated but is unlikely to harm the horse.
Researchers continue to investigate the zoonotic transmission of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).
The medical records of more than 100 horses revealed few adverse reactions related to plasma transfusions. The few reactions that were documented in the retrospective study involved foals less than one week of age.
Equine grass sickness (EGS) is characterized by polyneuropathy and ultimately death, sometimes in as little as two days following onset of illness. The disease is thought to be caused by toxins produced by Clostridium botulinum, type C, a soil-borne bacterium.
Botulism is caused by toxins produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. Three types of botulism are recognized in horses. Adult horses usually ingest toxins produced by the bacteria in feedstuffs (sometimes referred to as forage poisoning).
At the 2008 convention of the American Association of Equine Practitioners, horse owners were allowed to attend a seminar on the subject of equine nutrition. The workshop identified nine keys to understanding horse nutrition. Keeping these points in mind should help horse owner's work out the best feed management plan for their horses.
Horses are subject to numerous health challenges including bone malformations, soft tissue or skeletal injuries, and infections of various kinds. Research continues to turn up information that broadens our knowledge of causes, treatment, and prevention of some common equine health problems.
A number of treatment options have been used to evacuate sand from horses' gastrointestinal tracts. Previous research projects studying the effects of feeding psyllium to remove intestinal sand have had mixed results.
Gastric ulcers are very common in performance horses, affecting more than 90% of racehorses and 60% of show horses. There is growing evidence that the type of hay fed to horses has a significant impact on acid neutralization and the incidence of gastric ulcers.
Proper nutrition of the mare throughout pregnancy and lactation and of the young horse during its first two years of life will help prevent developmental orthopedic problems
If the horse is fed in a group where he must eat quickly to avoid competition, isolating him at feeding time may help. Making sure the horse is not quite so hungry at mealtime, either by feeding some hay before grain or by feeding smaller meals more frequently, may slow the greedy eater.
Excessively high insulin sensitivity and a build-up of glycogen in the muscle fibers are also characteristic of polysaccharide storage myopathy (PSSM), a chronic form of tying-up syndrome. Horses with clinical signs of PSSM have been known to benefit from diets lower in starch and higher in fat than traditional equine rations.
Even the cleanest, best-quality hay is likely to contain a moderate amount of fine material. Collectively known as the respirable dust concentration, or RDC, these fine particles can cause severe airway irritation in sensitive horses.
The relationships between growth, nutrition, bone strength and development, body weight, and the forces applied to bone are all orchestrated in a careful balance when optimal growth is achieved.
The care and management of old horses has been the focus of much scrutiny of late. The reason is obvious: horses are living much longer than they once did, and horsemen needed to know how to offer appropriate care.
Colic is a catch all term used to describe abdominal discomfort from any cause. Signs of horse colic include pawing, kicking at the belly, looking at or nipping the flanks, rolling, sweating, or straining as if to pass urine or feces.
Scientists have revealed that Dr. Green may not be the best prescription for all horses. Under specific growing conditions, common pasture plants can harbor sufficient sugar to cause metabolic problems in certain horses that are especially sensitive to carbohydrates.
All horses are subject to digestive upsets associated with lush spring pasture. The content of highly fermentable carbohydrates in lush pasture can be overwhelming to the unadapted digestive system.
The condition is painful, often chronic, and sometimes fatal. Many horses never return to their previous levels of use after developing laminitis. Because of the seriousness of the disease, most owners would consider taking precautions to prevent laminitis in their horses if such management steps could be implemented.
The bacteria produce toxins that irritate the intestinal lining of the animal they infect. Some strains cause illness in horses, and others are responsible for infections in cattle and other animals.
Management changes related to exercise and diet have been of great value in helping some horses with muscle disorders, but other horses with similar problems have not shown a significant positive response to these changes.
European warmbloods and warmblood crosses have become prominent as sport horses in the United States, where they compete regularly in dressage, show jumping, and three-day eventing. Feeding nutritionally balanced rations and attending to nutrition-related idiosyncrasies of warmbloods are the first steps in producing and maintaining sound athletes.
Insulin resistance occurs when the cells become less sensitive to insulin, thereby limiting the uptake of glucose. When this occurs, more and more insulin is required to move glucose out of the bloodstream and into cells. When insulin resistance is severe enough, glucose accumulates in the blood, thus limiting the availability of energy to cells.
Diagnosing arthritis in horses usually involves a history of the horse's workload, as complete as possible; a general physical examination; and a lameness evaluation. The athletic history of a horse often conveys significant information. Expect an in-depth probe by a veterinarian. Is the horse returning to training after a short or long break from exercise?
In a recent study conducted by the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine (VMRCVM) and the College of Agriculture & Life Sciences at Virginia Tech, 300 horses were examined between June and August of 2006. Of these, more than half (51%) were determined to be overweight or obese.
Taking a horse to a show, trail ride, lesson, parade, or other event is something many horse owners do on a routine basis. Sometimes the horse has a cough, runny nose, fever, or another sign of illness. Where did the disease originate, and how many horses have taken the infection home with them, possibly to far-flung states and even other countries?
A number of Thoroughbred mares and their foals, all born in central Kentucky, were studied to assess the influence of month of birth, season, and gender on body weight, condition score, and daily weight gain. Foals grow rapidly following birth, often quadrupling their body weight by five months of age.
Keeping air moving can help to ensure that horses will travel in reasonable comfort and arrive at their destination in good health.
While you can't know in advance exactly how to deal with each crisis that comes along, you can take a few simple steps now to minimize confusion, save time, and possibly avoid tragedy in the future. For those who own pets or large animals, the care of these creatures is also a serious concern.
While very young, very old, or ailing horses may need specific changes in stable routine, healthy horses with an intact coat can usually tolerate winter weather with few problems if owners pay attention to basic feeding and management principles.
Glycogen branching enzyme disease (GBED) is carried on a recessive gene and causes foals to be born dead or extremely weak.
Weaning is synonymous with stress. The process produces anxiety among foals and mares, not to mention their caretakers. To ease the transition all foals must face-from maternal coddling to self-sufficiency among peers-owners can do a little homework before the day of parting arrives.
Do not expect horses to eat snow to satisfy their water requirements. They would have to consume considerable snow to fulfill body needs. In addition, do not expect horses to break ice in troughs or tanks to gain access to potable water. Allow your horse to enjoy his winter wonderland, complete with clean, fresh water!
Tapeworms are flat-bodied, segmented intestinal parasites that infect many types of animals including horses. It has been found that tapeworms play a significant part in several types of colic and other dangerous conditions of the digestive tract.
Investigation of factors that influence risk of lower limb injuries to Thoroughbreds training and racing in New Zealand.
If a horse sweats little, access to a generous amount of high-quality hay and a salt block will provide sufficient electrolytes. If the horse sweats profusely or is allowed only minimal forage, an electrolyte product containing sodium, chloride, and potassium is recommended. Consistent supplementation with electrolytes may be just the thing to transform lackluster summertime performances into winning ones.
Horse owners are often quick to lay blame on an allergy when a horse begins to cough or wheeze. An allergy is any hypersensitivity to a specific stimulus, even a stimulus that a horse has been previously exposed to without detriment. This hypersensitivity results in self-injury. The degree of debilitation caused by an allergy depends on the severity of the reaction and the number of body systems involved.
Recurrent exertional rhabdomyolysis, also called tying-up syndrome, refers to the severe muscle cramping and cellular damage seen in some exercising horses. Various forms of tying-up affect horses of several breeds and are caused by different metabolic processes.
These terms are common names for conditions that restrict airflow in the laryngeal area. In both cases, noisy breathing and exercise intolerance are probably the first signs that will alert an owner or trainer to the problem.
Some foals don't seem to recognize the mare and are unable to nurse. They may wander around the stall, getting stuck in a corner and being unable to find their way out. Others slip into frequent periods of deep sleep, have seizures, or make strange "barking" vocalizations.
At the present time there is no evidence that horses are susceptible to any prion diseases, and transmission to equines from infected cows, deer, or other species has not been noted. Some scientists, however, warn that many mammals are susceptible, at least under laboratory conditions, where infection has been experimentally introduced into pigs, monkeys, and other species.
Lyme disease can affect horses in various ways. Signs may be subtle and may mimic those of neurologic disorders. Lameness that seems to shift from joint to joint, sensitivity to touch, irritability, behavioral changes, low energy level, weight loss, eye inflammation, and pain in the muscles or joints are some of the more common indications.
Equine grass sickness (EGS) is a mysterious and often-fatal disease that strikes down healthy young horses as they graze. Most cases have occurred in England, Wales, and Scotland, but EGS has also been seen in Europeand South America. Mal seco, an equine disease reported in South Africa, appears to be identical.
Dorsal displacement of the soft palate (DDSP) is a misalignment of tissues in the horse's throat. This condition, which is common in horses that work at high speeds, causes a drop in performance because affected horses are unable to breathe freely.
Results of a study to measure the changes in various manifestations of stress during a 24-hour ride in a commercial horse van, and to quantify degree of recovery 24 hours after the trip.
If the winter season has involved any modifications in your horse's exercise level or feeding plan, you will need to consider the following points as you bring the horse back into work in the spring.
Horses, like humans, come in a variety of body shapes. Some breeds and individuals tend to be "easy keepers," naturally assuming a well-rounded shape. Others always seem to look a bit thin and ribby, no matter how they are managed.
West Nile virus was first reported in the northeast United States in 1999. Since then, cases have been reported in almost every state and several Canadian provinces. Spread by mosquitoes, the virus can infect humans, horses, donkeys, mules, birds, and a host of other animals ranging from bears to alligators. Many infected horses are asymptomatic or show only slight fever or listlessness for a few days.
When the realization hit that his dam was nowhere to be found, Shout became uneasy and lapped the field at a full tilt gallop. Higgins did little to ease Shout's anxiety, merely watching the seemingly half-crazed Shout careen around the field. Skean seemed less fazed by the separation; she may have even been relieved to bid farewell to her youngster.
Wood chewing is simply the nibbling and splintering of wooden surfaces with the teeth; sometimes the wood is swallowed and sometimes not. This behavior is thought to spring from the horse's natural appetite for a varied diet.
During normal bone growth, cartilage is remodeled into bone. It is during this physiologic revision that ossification goes awry and OCD lesions originate.
Evaluating the body condition of pregnant mares may become more difficult during late gestation, as the combined weight of the fetus and amniotic fluid may pull the skin tightly over the vertebral column and ribcage. Therefore, it's best to place emphasis on other key areas: along the withers, behind the shoulder, and around the tailhead.
While obesity-associated laminitis is not well understood among researchers and veterinarians, affected horses may go on to lead otherwise healthy lives if treatment is swift and diligent. Recommended treatments center around corrective trimming and shoeing, use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications for pain, and strict diet. Forced exercise can be imposed once all laminitis-related pain has abated.
Equine colic is loosely defined as abdominal pain. The causes are numerous, and the signs of discomfort (rolling, kicking at the abdomen, pawing, sweating) are familiar to most experienced horse handlers. Colic is one of the most common health emergencies, with an incidence of just over 9 cases per 100 horses in an average year. It is a leading reason for surgery and a frequent cause of death in horses.
A device known as the Cornell collar has been developed to reposition and hold the larynx and hyoid bone in place, thus preventing throat tissues from collapsing and blocking the passage of air.
Research at The Ohio State University has uncovered evidence that the use of phenylbutazone, or bute, may hinder healing of damaged cartilage.
Shock wave therapy has been used in both humans and horses to pulverize kidney stones, often eliminating the need for surgery.
Now you're planning to give your horse a well-earned rest. You know he'll enjoy a few months out of his stall, rolling in the grass and taking afternoon naps with his pasture buddies. You realize that you'll be modifying just about everything in your horse's day-to-day routine. How can you keep your horse healthy as he makes this change?
As West Nile virus continues to spread across the country, studies show that less than 1% of mosquitoes are infected in disease areas, and only about 1 in 10 infected horses' shows signs of illness.
<p> What is sand colic and how can I safeguard my horse from it? </p>
The ingredients in some hoof dressings can actually be harmful, excessively drying the outer hoof layers and leading to brittle tissue that can easily develop small cracks. Formalin, solvents, or tar-based products are ingredients with the potential to damage the outer layers of hoof horn. Such damage allows moisture to move in and out of the hoof more freely than in hooves with healthy outer horn.
All of a sudden, it seems there are more new equine dewormers on the market than anyone can keep track of. What are these products? How should they be used? How are they different from those that have been on the market for a while? Which one is best for your horse?
Horses recovering from colic, surgery, high fever, or colitis can present many challenges for their owners, but one that is frequently overlooked is how to feed horses through the illnesses. While countless researchers have devoted years of study to determine the proper nutritional balance for horses of different ages and workloads, little has been done to outline proper nutrition for the sick adult horse.
Developed for human use in breaking up kidney stones, the technique has been adopted by veterinarians to reduce pain and stimulate healing in some types of injuries. "Extracorporeal" refers to the fact that the treatment is given from outside the horse's body, in contrast to oral medications, injections, or surgery that are considered more invasive.
Stumbling, lack of energy, reluctance to back, and stomping of the hind limbs may be early indications of a growing problem, but these signs are often overlooked or attributed to other causes. Shivers occurs most frequently in draft horses and warmbloods, although the condition has been seen in other breeds as well. There is considerable evidence of heritability. One researcher reports a higher incidence in stallions and geldings than in mares.
A horse that has had strangles seems to acquire partial immunity lasting several months to several years, and subsequent infections tend to be less severe. There is some evidence that horses allowed to recover on their own have a longer-lasting immunity than those that are treated with antibiotics.
Vaccination at an early age, and then periodically depending on management factors, is recommended to reduce the incidence and severity of disease. No vaccine provides complete, permanent protection, although research is in progress to produce a more effective vaccine. Owners should contact a veterinarian for advice on vaccinating young horses, pregnant mares, and horses that may have been exposed to EHV.
Eastern equine encephalitis, also known as sleeping sickness, is a viral disease that affects horses, some other animals, and humans. EEE occurs in the eastern half of the United States, most commonly on the eastern seaboard and the Gulf coast. It is also found in Central and South Americaand the Caribbean. A similar disease, western equine encephalitis (WEE) is present in the western United States.
Acute arthritis can be caused by injury or by bacterial or viral infection. Chronic arthritis is often osteoarthritis that results from the cumulative effects of day-to-day activity and stress. Old injuries, joint infections, and years of training and performance can all lead to the development of joint pain and stiffness. Poor conformation, hoof deformities, and problems with trimming or shoeing are other contributing factors. Probably there is some genetic influence also.
Because of the predisposition for sole abscesses and laminitis, strict attention must be paid to hoof care. Regular trimming or shoeing at four- to six-week intervals is imperative. All attempts to reduce the likelihood of laminitis should be implemented, including gradual changes in diet and limited exposure to carbohydrate-rich spring pastures. On the veterinary front, regular deworming is paramount.
A constellation of the finest scientists-veterinarians, agronomists, toxicologists, arborists, nutritionists, entomologists, meteorologists, and epidemiologists from all over the world-remain baffled a year after the onset of the crippling economic and emotional war waged in central Kentucky and its surrounding lands, the mecca of Thoroughbred breeding.
Some veterinarians provide dental treatment in addition to their other services. Others prefer to supervise a professional equine dentist who has the specialized training, equipment, and experience to complete the work quickly and competently.
Cleanliness inside the barn and out is very important to both your horse and yourself. Feed buckets, automatic waterers, and ground feeders require regular cleaning and attention.
Have an equine dentist do a thorough oral exam to make sure the teeth do not have sharp points or edges that are irritated by the pressure or position of the bit. In young horses, the shallow-rooted wolf teeth sometimes interfere with the bit and can easily be removed by a dentist or veterinarian.
Pica is the desire to eat unusual substances that possess little or no nutritional value, such as dirt, wood, hair, and feces. This phenomenon has been observed in horses of all ages, breeds, and sexes.
Enteritis is an inflammation of the small intestine. More specifically, anterior (or proximal) enteritis affects the duodenum and jejunum, sections of the small intestine anatomically closest to the stomach.
Depending upon the severity of the disease, horses may have to receive nutrition parenterally (intravenously) during treatment. This is particularly true if a bout of anterior enteritis lasts longer than three or four days.
<p> How can I tell if my horse is choking?</p>
Some horses are metabolically inclined to be hard keepers while others have medical, psychological or environmental reasons for having difficulty in maintaining weight.
Insufficient caloric intake is the primary cause of failure to maintain sufficient body condition in horses. A variety of reasons may account for caloric deficiency. Some are easy to pinpoint and simple to address, such as parasite loads or teeth problems. Others are impossible to diagnose without euthanizing the horse and performing a necropsy. Physical problems of the digestive tract account for many of these problems, but there may be psychological and environmental reasons as well.
As we become more aware of the problems facing geriatric horses, they have a much better chance at surviving into their golden years than they would have had 100 years ago. Strong emotional ties can motivate many owners to be observant of their beloved beasts and to take the extra steps it requires to maintain them in health and comfort.
<p> How can you stop wear and tear on your horses joints?</p>
<p> Are blister beetles common in the Northwest?</p>
Every equine practitioner appreciates the delicate nature of the equine gut. Problems related to the small intestine and large intestine are well understood and routinely treated. What may be surprising to many is how often the stomach is affected. Specifically, the incidence of gastric ulcers is extremely high, particularly in performance horses.
Foals orphaned at a very early age should either be placed on a foster "nurse" mare or receive an artificial milk substitute. In either case, it is imperative that the newborn receives adequate quantities of colostrum. Obviously, if the mare dies at birth, the foal must be given colostrum from another mare.
Sorting through the numerous supplements displayed on the shelves of your local feed store or in the pages of your favorite horse magazine can be difficult. As an equine nutritionist, it is sometimes difficult for me to figure out the intended purpose of certain supplements. However, supplements can be divided into two broad categories.
Subclinical signs of selenium deficiency may be easily overlooked. Because the major role of selenium is in the oxidative defense system, deficiency would first compromise cellular integrity.
<p> Can an adjusted diet help a horse with Heaves?</p>
Signs of equine dental problems are as varied as are the horses that present them. From the obvious, handfuls of feed dropping from the mouth as the horse eats and grain passing directly through the animal, to the subtler head tilting and weight loss, the solutions involve knowledge, proper equipment, and fortitude.