Illness & Injury

Whether or not to blanket a horse is an often-debated question and there are many logical and justifiable reasons to go either way. In normal weather conditions, many horses do not need a blanket, especially if they have access to food and shelter and have grown a healthy, thick winter coat. But for horses with special needs such as older or geriatric horses, pregnant mares, horses with compromised health conditions, or horses that have been clipped, blankets are certainly appropriate. Consideration should also be given to the horse’s breed, hair coat quality, feeding routine, and its acclimatization to the existing conditions.

If you’re lucky, you and your horse see your farrier once every six weeks or so, and these visits involve a simple trim or standard shoeing. If your horse has always been sound and performed well, it is likely that regular, routine care by a qualified farrier is more than sufficient to keep his feet in tip-top shape.

equine spinal problems, equine musculoskeletal system, equine Wobbler Syndrome, equine Neck radiographs, equine Thoracolumbar Spine, equine Pelvic Palpation

The musculoskeletal system of the horse is an incredible machine — strong, fast, efficient, and capable of performing feats as varied as jumping obstacles and roping cattle. However, horse owners are all too aware of the fact that despite this amazing athletic ability, the equine body can be remarkably fragile. If one owns horses long enough, he or she is bound to encounter a disorder of the equine musculoskeletal system.

Equine neck; equine cervical vertebrae, intervertebral joints, equine Nuchal Ligament

There is something uniquely beautiful about the neck of a horse. That curve, the arch of the poll, the dip towards the shoulder. In function, those elegant lines came to be out of necessity, with such length required to balance out long limbs, allowing them to reach to the ground to graze for up to 20 hours a day. With the head and neck making up about 10 percent of their total body mass, horses use their neck to maintain balance, stability, and their spatial awareness when they are in motion. Over time, the equine neck has shifted in function and importance, and in the factors that impact and promote its well-being, but the fundamentals have stood the test of domestication.

The Equine Heart, what should my horse's heart rate be, what is a normal rhythm horse heart, equine electrocardiogram, heart rate variability horse

Skipped Beats, Sudden Death… and Why We Shouldn’t Worry Too Much. When you first start examining patients as a veterinary student, you’re very keen to (gently) poke and prod every animal you come across. Realizing you can assess cardiovascular function by palpating peripheral pulses is very empowering!

equine Laminitis in Horses with EMS and Cushing’s Disorder, Dr. Jaini Clougher ECIR Group. Equine Metabolic Syndrome (EMS) and Cushing’s disorder (PPID) phenylbutazone (Bute) horse is rocked back onto its haunches therapeutic hoof boots with pads vitamin e laminitis

Equine laminitis has been with us for a long, long time. Fortunately, in the last 10 to 20 years there have been great strides in understanding the causes of this terrible condition. Laminitis is now regarded as a syndrome that occurs secondary to something else, rather than a discreet disease all in itself. This has allowed much more focused research and effort in treating the cause rather than treating just the symptoms that occur in the hoof. It doesn’t matter how great the trim is, or what shoes are used, or how deep the bedding. If initiating causes such as EMS (Equine Metabolic Syndrome – see Equine Metabolic Syndrome & Equine Cushing’s Disease, Early Summer 2018 issue of Canadian Horse Journal) or PPID (Cushing’s disorder) are not addressed, the laminitis and the pain will continue.

horse Low-NSC Diet, Tribute Equine Nutrition, sugar in horse hay, starch horse hay carbohydrates, how much nsc horse have

While we have become increasingly aware of the special needs of horses with sensitivities to starch and sugar, there remains a large population of our performance horses that can benefit from moderate inclusion of NSC (non-structural carbohydrates: starch and sugar) in the diet. Non-structural carbohydrates are found in varying amounts in all feed ingredients, with the exception of ingredients that are solely comprised of fat. The largest source of NSC in most horses’ diets is forage. Hay and pasture particularly can be very high in sugars depending on the variety and growing conditions.

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