Illness & Injury

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Inhaled medications benefit horses, minimize side effects - The horse’s respiratory tract is designed to move large volumes of air to and from their lungs. During exercise, air flow rates reach a staggering 65 litres per second, which is truly amazing considering a human athlete’s flow rate is a mere four litres per second! Any abnormality of the respiratory tract that impedes airflow will decrease the volume and/or rate of oxygen being delivered to the lungs. In exercising horses, even the smallest decrease in oxygenation can have profound, negative effects on performance.

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Diagnosis and Treatment - In recent years the addition of the back examination to a routine lameness exam has become commonplace. With vast amounts of information available on the internet and social media pages, it can be daunting to understand and clarify “back pain” in the sport horse. This article will organize the clutter of information into a clear picture for riders and owners.

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A report recently published in Canadian Veterinary Journal tells the story of how a team of veterinarians at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) linked cases of an uncommon cardiac disease in horses with a caterpillar infestation in Saskatchewan.

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Sponsored - Maximum Absorption Joint Support Formula - Actistatin is a proprietary, patented formula consisting of all-natural ingredients that protect against gastric shock, resulting in higher levels delivered into the bloodstream. Gastric shock protection is important because the stomach needs to satisfy its own energy needs. Glucosamine is a simple protein and a good metabolite for energy.

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Polysaccharide storage myopathy or PSSM is a muscle disease that occurs primarily in horses with Quarter Horse bloodlines such as Quarter Horses, Paint Horses, and Appaloosas. PSSM also occurs in other breeds including Drafts, Draft crossbreeds, and Warmbloods. The primary clinical sign of this disease is muscle cramping or tying-up; however, clinical signs may vary with different breeds and severity. There are several different abbreviations used to describe polysaccharide storage myopathy including PSSM, EPSM and EPSSM. Tying-up also occurs in other breeds of horses such as Thoroughbreds and Standardbreds, but this form of tying-up has a different cause.

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Eastern equine encephalitis virus (EEE), also known as sleeping sickness, and Western Equine Encephalitis (WEE) are viral diseases that cause inflammation of the brain and spinal cord. Wild birds are a natural reservoir for EEE and WEE viruses, and mosquitoes that feed on these birds can transmit the virus to mammals, including horses and humans.

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Spring is upon us and so is the prevalence of gas colic. Equine Guelph is sharing many strategies to prevent it. First, Equine Guelph recommends that every horse owner refers to its FREE Colic Risk Rater Tool to help them assess their management practices, such as introducing new feeds slowly to reduce their colic risk. An excellent video discussing safe introduction to spring pasture with expert in equine nutrition, Don Kapper, has just been added to the valuable resources housed on the Colic Risk Rater web page.

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