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Ask the Nutritionist
Applying Quality Equine Nutrition in Clinical Settings

By Kristyn Sturken, July 2024

When her 23-year-old horse, Mackay, lost weight, she took a closer look at his diet. The ration balancer he was on was no longer sufficient to maintain his weight and body condition, so she tried a Sentinel® Extruded Horse Feed, the same formulas she often recommends for her own patients.

Should Muddy Paddocks Concern Horse Owners?

By Landon Gray, July 2024

Veterinarians should inform horse owners of the serious health problems associated with muddy footing as well as provide measures for the prevention of mud and to keep owners’ equine facilities clean and safe, according to a presentation given as part of the Cornell Equine Seminar Series.

To Shoe or Not to Shoe?

By Joy Curzio, July 2024

Although there is debate regarding the necessity of shoes for working horses, it is more universally accepted that there are circumstances when it is necessary for a horse to be barefoot, such as during rehabilitation for hoof capsule distortions. Whether there are special considerations or just hesitation over the benefit of repeated shoeing cycles, the transition from shod to barefoot takes time and attention to technique.

Silicone Allows Students to Practice Injections

 June 2024

The folks at UC Davis College of Veterinary Medicine won the $12,500 Animal Health Award from the 24th annual Big Bang! Business Competition with a silicone injection pad that enables students to learn basic injection skills without injecting a live animal.

S. Equi Appears to Be Increasing Slightly

By Marie Rosenthal, MS, June 2024

A recent study of the epidemiology of Streptococcus equi subspecies equi found the disease occurs throughout the United States, affects all ages and is prevalent among all breeds. Unfortunately, its prevalence does appear to be increasing, too, according to Camilo Jaramillo-Morales, DVM, MS, DACVIM, a staff veterinarian at the Veterinary Teaching Hospital of the University of California Davis.

Purina Launches Probiotic Supplement and Microbiome Testing Kit

By Tom Rosenthal, June 2024

Purina Animal Nutrition launched a live and active probiotic supplement to support gut health in horses, as well as an easy-to-use testing kit for horse owners to obtain personalized nutrition recommendations to support their horse’s individual microbiome, the Arden Hills, Minnesota-based company announced.

Merck, USTA Microchip 50,000 Standardbreds

June 2024

Merck Animal Health and the U.S. Trotting Association reached a 50,000-microchip milestone. USTA partnered with Merck in 2018 to become the first registry to formally incorporate temperature scanning into its microchip identification program.

AI Tool Recognizes Equine Recurrent Uveitis

June 2024

Researchers developed a deep learning tool that is capable of reliably diagnosing equine recurrent uveitis (ERU) in horses based on photos. Colloquially known as moon blindness, ERU is an inflammatory ocular disease in horses, which can lead to blindness or enucleation.

What Are the Options for Managing Insulin Dysregulation?

By Marie Rosenthal, MS, May 2024

A primary goal of controlling insulin dysregulation is to reduce the risk for laminitis, and there are several management options available, according to Emily Berryhill, DVM, who ran through a couple during a Burst Session held during the 69th Annual AAEP Convention.

USDA, APHIS Crack Down on Soring Loopholes

By Marie Rosenthal, MS, May 2024

The Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) strengthened Horse Protection Act regulations, which they hope will put an end to horse soring at Tennessee Walking Horse shows. The new rule goes into effect Feb. 1, 2025.

Novel Drug, SOCS1-KIR, Effectively Treats Equine Recurrent Uveitis

By Landon Gray, May 2024

The novel drug, SOCS1-KIR, may be just as effective as topical diclofenac for the treatment of equine recurrent uveitis, according to a study presented at the 69th AAEP Convention, held in San Diego.

Cornell Surgeon Retrains Retired Racehorses

By Lauren Cahoon Roberts, May 2024

From participating in the US Pony Clubs as a child to serving as an equine surgeon at the Cornell University Hospital for Animals, the love and care of equines has informed the talents of Aimee Colbath, VMD, PhD, DACVS-LA.

New Testing Approach Improves Detection of Rare but Emerging Powassan Virus Spread by Deer Ticks

April 2024

Researchers at the New England Regional Center of Vector-Borne Diseases at the University of Massachusetts Amherst have come up with a new, more accurate method for detecting the emerging Powassan virus (POWV) in ticks.

Equid Owner Survey Looks at Restrictive Grazing Practices

April 2024

The University of Kentucky is sponsoring a survey about the restrictive grazing methods equid owners and managers use.

Managing Insulin Dysregulation

By Paul Basilio,  March 2024

When feeding horses with insulin dysregulation (ID), high-protein ration balancers have historically been the go-to treatment recommendation, despite the fact that the influence of dietary protein on disease control is not well understood.

No Effect on SAA Response Linked to Penicillin G or Flunixin in Healthy Horses

By Landon Gray,  March 2024

There does not appear to be an associated effect on serum amyloid A (SAA) response in healthy adult horses treated with procaine penicillin G (PPG) given in multiple injections sites and/or flunixin meglumine, according to data shared at the 69th annual meeting of the American Association of Equine Practitioners.

Referring a Neonatal Foal

By Marie Rosenthal, MS,  March 2024

An early referral may give a neonatal foal a better chance at survival than treating some problems in the barn, but how does a veterinarian decide which to do when a foal can quickly go from doing okay to not doing so well?

Feelings About Emotions Equal Better Welfare

 January 2024

Working equids whose owners believe in their capacity to feel emotion have significantly better health and welfare outcomes than those whose owners do not, according to research by the University of Portsmouth and The Donkey Sanctuary, in the Isle of Wright.

Feral Horses’ Effect on Climate

By Sarah Gates, January 2024

One might think of a feral horse as being somewhat carbon neutral, but a new study found carbon emissions from Australian alpine peatlands to be much higher in areas disturbed by feral horses.

How to Treat an Asthmatic That is Not Responding

By Marie Rosenthal, MS, January 2024

If you are dealing with an asthmatic horse that is not responding to treatment, the first thing to do is make sure it actually has asthma.

How Common Is Sudden Cardiac Death?

 August 2023

Premature depolarizations occur more often among horses during cross-country competition, and those in the upper divisions were at a higher risk, according to a recent study done my veterinarians from several U.S. facilities, including New Bolton Center, in Kennett Square, Pa., and Equine Sports Medicine Consultants, in Newark, Del.

UC Davis Efforts Contribute to Continued Decline in California Racehorse Fatalities

By Amy Young, UC Davis, August 2023

The number of racehorse fatalities in the 2022-23 fiscal year continues to decline, according to the California Horse Racing Board (CHRB).

Hair Samples Useful for Detecting Long-term Bisphosphonate Use in Horses

By Amy Young, UC Davis, August 2023

Hair samples can be useful in detecting the long-term use of bisphosphonates in horses, according to a study by Heather Knych, DVM, PhD, of the K.L. Maddy Equine Analytical Chemistry Lab’s Pharmacology section and the Department of Molecular Biosciences, at U.C. Davis College of Veterinary medicine.

How to Fix the ‘Hypos’ in Critically Ill Neonates

By Paul Basilio, August 2023

Neonatal calls can produce significant anxiety in even the most experienced equine practitioners. Even before a primary diagnosis can be formulated, triage and stabilization are crucial to helping these fragile patients.

Moving the Needle on Horse Rescue

By Landon Gray, September 2023

When rescuing equids from mud, use a Nicopolous needle instead of jumping into the hole yourself, suggested Rebecca Husted, PhD, the primary instructor and president of Technical Large Animal Emergency Rescue, in Macon, Ga.

Providing a Clear Win Against Infection

By Burgetta Eplin Wheeler, September 2023

The radiograph of Vinny the chestnut horse’s head was shadowy, and therefore, inconclusive about whether an infected tooth might be causing his chronic sinus drainage from 1 nostril.

The Promise of SGLT-2s

By Marie Rosenthal MS, September 2023

Sodium-glucose cotransporter-2 (SGLT-2) inhibitors may be an effective way to control hyperinsulinemia and insulin dysregulation in horses, according to a recent study.

Which is Better for Imaging Palmar/Plantar Osteochondral Disease?

December 2023

Computed technology (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) are both good at detecting palmar/plantar osteochondral disease (POD), but they tended to underestimate their size, according to a recent study (Equine Vet J. 2023 Nov. 6 https://doi.org/10.1111/evj.14023).

Assessing Severity in Horses With Trigeminal-Mediated Headshaking

November 2023

The History, Rest and Exercise Score (HRE-S) is a reliable method for evaluating disease severity in horses with trigeminal-mediated headshaking.

Should You Refer That Foal?

By Paul Basilio, November 2023

A neonatal foal can take a turn for the worst quickly in the field, and knowing when to refer them to a fully outfitted clinic can make all the difference.

Why Are Some Mares More Reactive Than Others?

By Tom Rosenthal, November 2023

Older Thoroughbred broodmares were more likely to have fearful responses to the stress of encountering unfamiliar objects than younger broodmares who recently retired from their careers, according to research presented at the BEVA Congress, held in Liverpool, England.

Facial Hair Trimming Ban

October 2023

Only 30% of show-horse owners surveyed in Australia agreed with a ban on the trimming of facial hair prior to its implementation in July 2022, according to new research published in the CABI journal Human-Animal Interactions.

Feeding Method Affects Equine Health, Well-Being

October 2023

Different feeding methods have different effects on equine health and well-being, according to a recent study, sponsored by Morris Animal Foundation.

What to Do With an Elevated GGT?

By Marie Rosenthal MS, October 2023

It can be tricky to figure out what is wrong with a sport horse that is a little “off,” but with no outward appearance of illness, especially if liver disease is suspected because the animal has an elevated gamma-glutamyl transferase (GGT) result.