Illness & Injury

Recent research suggests that laminitis is as common as colic. The study, led by Dr. Danica Pollard, a Ph.D. student at the Royal Veterinary College, found that one in ten horses or ponies may develop at least one laminitis episode each year.

Horses sometimes lick and chew during training and this has often been interpreted as a sign that the horse is learning or showing “submission” to the trainer. However, a new study suggests that this non-nutritive licking and chewing behaviour is a natural behaviour that is shown after a stressful situation.

A rider that is too heavy for a horse could cause temporary lameness and signs of pain, according to recent research.The potential health and welfare implications of a high rider:horse bodyweight ratios were explored in a pilot study led by Dr. Sue Dyson, Head of Clinical Orthopaedics at the Animal Health Trust’s Centre for Equine Studies, Newmarket in the UK.

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For a horse owner, there are few sights more welcome than the first signs of spring. As the snow melts away and the pastures begin to turn green, horse owners are glad to see the end of short days, frozen water buckets, and woolly coats. Springtime means longer, warmer days to spend working in the arena or hitting the trails. The season is also an ideal time to catch up on your horse’s healthcare needs.

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Horses can develop equine asthma when they’re exposed to airborne organic dust that can found anywhere — in a dirt paddock, on a gravel road, or in an indoor arena. But the most common culprit is dusty, moldy hay. Round bales can be particularly problematic as horses tend to tunnel their muzzles into the bales and inhale dust and mold.

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Nowhere in Canada will you find a more unique, self-contained ecosystem than the one found on Sable Island. Nestled in the 42 km arc of sand, 300 kilometers southeast of Halifax, Nova Scotia, is an array of beaches, dunes, marram grass, wildflowers, shrub-heath, and ponds – which 300 bird species five species of seals, and 500 Sable Island horses call home. These horses came to the island during the dark days of deportation of the Acadian people 250 years ago.

Intense exercise can be fatal to racehorses, according to a new University of Guelph study. Prof. Peter Physick-Sheard and a team of researchers examined 1,713 cases of racehorse deaths from 2003 to 2015, and found racing was connected to some of the deaths.

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