Illness & Injury

At Queensland University of Technology in Australia, Prof. Martin Sillence with the School of Earth, Environmental and Biological Sciences has been researching laminitis for over a decade. He says that Velagliflozin, a new veterinary drug related to one used to treat human metabolic syndrome, has been found to prevent laminitis in ponies with high levels of insulin and the equine version of metabolic syndrome.

A worm-eating fungus brings new hope in the fight against parasitic gastrointestinal worms. Anthelmintic resistance is now a widespread and growing problem. It is becoming increasingly clear that we cannot rely on chemicals alone to control gastrointestinal parasites.

The colours deployed on hurdles and fences on British racecourses may be set to change following research led by the University of Exeter into the way that horses perceive colour. The research, commissioned in 2017 by the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) and Racing Foundation, was undertaken by Dr. Sarah Paul and Professor Martin Stevens of the University of Exeter with the aim of improving obstacle visibility for horses, thus reducing the risk of falls and injuries for horses and jockeys.

Beyoncé, a bay Thoroughbred filly owned by Patricia and Will Lalor, whose barn is based in Clonmel, Ireland, was destined for a show jumping career. But at 16 months of age she was diagnosed with a condition known as osteochondritis dissecans (OCD), which had developed in her left and right knees. It is a common orthopaedic developmental disease in many species including humans, and results in separation of the articular cartilage from the underlying bone in the joints. Depending on the breed, it can affect 10 to 30 percent of the equine population.

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When things just don’t feel right, you may experience a hollow feeling in the pit of your stomach, or you might actually manifest physical symptoms such as gastric distress, perspiration, or muscle tremors. In humans and in horses, stress can create a multitude of psychological reactions ranging from mild anxiety to debilitating near panic and severe depression, and reduced immune response which can invite illness. Long term stress can produce ulcers, musculoskeletal disorders, heart irregularities, and create a host of psychological vices.

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When winter finally releases its icy grip, horse owners are eager to begin another riding season. While Canadians take national pride in fully embracing our cold snow-filled months, it’s hard to deny that springtime is a welcome sight, and horse owners are especially excited. Winter horse care can mean different things depending on your geographic location. Fluctuating temperatures in Eastern Canada create challenges for indoor housing. The Prairies cope with their incredibly frigid minus 40-degree C days (how you just “dress for it” I don’t know!). While in Western British Columbia there is constant rain from November to March. Dealing with any of those conditions makes both horse and human welcome the arrival of spring sunshine and open barn doors!

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Donkeys are highly adaptable feeders. If given the opportunity, they will consume a variety of different grasses and shrubs to obtain sufficient nutrients. It is generally accepted that the donkey can exist with less food than a horse. Their efficient utilization of food makes donkeys easy keepers, but don’t let the term misguide you. It is important to take care in determining when and how much to feed as obesity is a major concern in modern domesticated donkeys.

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