West Nile Virus
West Nile Virus (WNV) is a mosquito-borne virus first detected in the United States (U.S.) in the New York City area in 1999. Since 1999, the virus has spread throughout the U.S. and Canada, infecting birds, humans, horses, and other animals. As of 2015, more than 27,000 horses in the U.S. have been infected since the disease was first identified. The virus is maintained in the wild bird population and is spread between birds by mosquitos. Birds are considered the natural reservoir for WNV since high levels of virus circulate in their bloodstream. Mosquitos acquire WNV in blood meals from infected birds and pass it on to other birds, animals, and people. Mosquitos that feed on an infected horse or human have not demonstrated the ability to ingest enough of the virus to transmit it to other animals or humans; therefore, horses and humans are considered “dead end hosts.”
Aug 22, 2016, 19:36
Additional $5,000 reward for shooting of three burros in Arizona Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust
The Humane Society of the United States and Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust are offering a reward of up to $5,000 for information leading to the identification, arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for the death of three wild burros near Lake Pleasant, Arizona. The U.S. Bureau of Land Management is currently investigating the case, and has previously offered a $2,500 reward for information leading to an arrest or conviction, bringing the total reward to $7,500.
The Case: According to officials, three wild burros were intentionally shot and killed in the Morgan City Wash, which is just south of the Lake Pleasant Herd Management Area.
Aug 22, 2016, 18:20
Colostrum – An Exceptional Superfood! By Juliet M. Getty, Ph.D.
Colostrum – An Exceptional Superfood!
By Juliet M. Getty, Ph.D.
Colostrum – you know it as the mare’s first milk. It is a complex fluid, rich in nutrients and immune-regulating compounds, all designed to give the newborn foal the immune support he needs to thrive. Unlike humans, who are born with an initial level of immunity, newborn horses do not benefit from any placental transfer of immunoglobulins; therefore they must consume colostrum in the first few hours of life in order to survive.
Jul 31, 2016, 12:52
Colorado State University veterinary student brings instruction and inspiration to Navajo Nation high school students at his alma mater
Patrick Succo was a 16-year-old student living in the Navajo Nation when he was inspired to become a veterinarian. 10 years later, the now 26-year-old Colorado State veterinary student is inspiring students at his alma mater to follow in his footsteps.
Succo’s professional epiphany occurred while he was a student at Monument Valley High School in Kayenta, Arizona, according to a press release from Colorado State University. A member of the school’s FFA chapter, Succo’s dream of becoming a veterinarian materialized when his teacher organized an instructional clinic with professional veterinarians.
Jul 24, 2016, 11:29
Knowledge is key to safety; Plants that poison horses
Because antidotes are rare, plant-induced diseases in horses can be irreversible and sometimes lethal.
Knowledge of which plants are toxic and when horses are likely to be poisoned will help reduce losses and ensure animal health and safety.
This series will introduce some common plants that poison horses in North America, describe poisoning and the subsequent plant-induced disease and outline current recommendations for treatment and management practices to avoid exposure.
Jul 24, 2016, 11:25
Top 5 trees poisonous to large animals
Trees provide shelter, shade and wind breaks for large animals but may also be a contributing cause of illness. Typically, animals with adequate nutrition will not browse foliage or ingest leaves or seeds, but drought, storms resulting in fallen branches, curiosity or boredom may result in their consumption.
The top five trees poisonous to large animals are the red maple, oak, box elder, chokecherry and black walnut. Careful attention must be paid to animals pastured close to these trees, and every effort must be made to prevent access. Pastures should be examined, especially after storms, and fallen limbs, branches and leaves should be removed.
Jul 24, 2016, 11:23
UC Davis equine veterinarians warn of Pistacia poisonings
UC Davis research has discovered that Pistacia trees can be toxic to horses if ingested. Photos courtesy of UC Davis.
As autumn nears, University of California, Davis, veterinarians are warning general practitioners and horse owners to keep animals away from Pistacia orchards, as the leaves and seeds of this genus can cause hemolytic anemia and be fatal if ingested.
Jul 24, 2016, 11:22
Piles of grass clippings are no treat for your horse By Juliet M. Getty, Ph.D.
Piles of grass clippings are no treat for your horse
By Juliet M. Getty, Ph.D.
Are you tempted to cut your grass, then rake it into soft, fragrant, tasty piles of clippings for your horse to nibble? According to equine nutrition expert Dr. Juliet Getty this should be the last thing you encourage your horse to eat. It has to do with that extra step: raking. Grass clippings that stay on the pasture after mowing, where they can dry in small amounts, are generally not a problem. But never gather them into piles to feed them to your horse. Here’s why:
Jun 29, 2016, 19:55
How to Fine-Tune a Horse's Diet to Match Its Medical Needs
Easy ways to support horses diagnosed with chronic conditions through nutrition.
As we know, practicing medicine means a lot more than simply prescribing medications. Instead, many equine conditions require a multimodal treatment approach, frequently including changes in diet and environment. Consider heaves, for example. Not only do horses benefit from either systemic (corticosteroids, bronchodilators, omega-3 fatty acids) or inhaled (corticosteroids, bronchodilators, cromones) medications, but also management changes. As described in the recently published ACVIM revised consensus statement on inflammatory airway disease of horses, using low-dust bedding and feedstuffs (e.g., changing to a complete pelleted feed rather than hay), improving barn ventilation to reduce respirable airborne particles, turning horses out 24/7, and soaking hay and avoiding hay nets if/when hay is offered are all equally important.
Jun 28, 2016, 10:07
Horse With Colic: Is Surgery Needed?
Why you can't delay whenever colic surgery is possible.
When field veterinarians are evaluating a horse suffering from colic, the most important question to quickly answer is, “Does this horse need surgery, or can the issue be resolved through medical treatment?” An evidence-based approach to evaluating the usefulness of the information gathered during the clinical exam can help equine veterinarians make an appropriate decision.
Many horses referred to hospitals for colic surgery are presented with severe gastrointestinal lesions that can quickly lead to shock and death. The survival rate rapidly decreases in inverse proportion to the duration of clinical signs. The more quickly a horse is referred to surgery, the more likely the horse will have a successful surgical outcome.
Jun 28, 2016, 10:05
Sarcoid Tumors Linked to Genetic Susceptibility in Horses
A new study led by scientists at the Baker Institute for Animal Health at Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine shows genetic differences in immune function partly account for why some horses get sarcoid tumors while others do not.
A horse’s genetic makeup influences whether or not they develop sarcoid skin tumors, according to a new study by an international research group led by scientists at the Baker Institute for Animal Health at Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine.
Sarcoid skin tumors are the most common form of cancer in horses, the college noted, but little is known about why the papillomavirus behind them strikes some horses and not others…Until now.
Jun 28, 2016, 10:02
What’s Good to Put on a Horse’s Wound?
Horses sometimes seem almost single-mindedly bent on hurting themselves, so proper wound care is an important part of any equine practitioner’s responsibilities. To help with those responsibilities, a seemingly endless number of products are said to help promote wound healing. Unfortunately, many of them lack evidence of safety or effectiveness, and some can even cause harm.
At the American Association of Equine Practitioners conference in December, Colorado State University’s Dean Hendrickson, DVM, MS, Dipl. ACVS, gave a presentation on “What You Should and Should Not Put on Wounds,” from which most of this article is drawn.
Jun 28, 2016, 10:01
Horse receives honorary veterinary degree from UC Davis
19-year-old thoroughbred honored for being a "Master Equine Educator" while helping veterinary students learn.
This spring the University of California, Davis School of Veterinary Medicine (UC Davis) not only conferred DVM degrees on more than 100 veterinary students, but they also awarded an honorary degree to a special equine patient, a 19-year-old thoroughbred named Teddy, according to a university release.
"Dr. Teddy" helped students learn equine health through more than two dozen appointments ranging from the routine, like vaccinations and deworming, to the more complex, such as stem cell treatments and a neurological disorder, over a yearlong stay at the university's teaching hospital.
Jun 28, 2016, 09:56
WHAT IS A BLEEDER?
To most people a “bleeder” is a horse that has blood at the nostrils during or after training or competing.
ESSENTIALLY ALL HORSES ARE BLEEDERS!
However, research has shown that if horses are ‘scoped (the pro- cess of placing a thin tube with a camera inside the windpipe) after working or racing, between 40-80% of horses will have some blood visible in the windpipe, but not at the nostrils. That is, you would not know the horse had bled unless you ‘scoped it. If you ‘scope any horse on three different occasions after a hard workout it will have blood in the windpipe on at least one occasion. If we look even deeper into the lung we know that most horses break blood vessels.
Jun 28, 2016, 09:47
Equine Infectious Anemia
Equine Infectious Anemia is a retrovirus infection in horses and other Equidae. This disease is usually observed as an acute clinical infection, but tends to become a subclinical infection with time and good care. The infected horse, however, has infectious white blood cells circulating in it's blood stream indefinitely, therefore, a positive testing horse regardless of his physical appearance must never be allowed contact with other horses.
The only prevention is immediate euthanasia or isolation ( i.e. screened stall ). This virus is passed via horse fly bites, contaminated equipment ( i.e. needles, stomach tubes, and dental floats ). The virus can also be transmitted via contaminated multiple dose vials of vaccine or drugs used I.V. or I.M. and it may be retained in drug vials for months and even years.
Jun 28, 2016, 09:45
Conditioning the Equine Athlete
“Show me your horse and I will tell you who you
are.” – English Proverb
This is not an all-inclusive discussion of how to rehabilitate your horse from a specific injury or how to condition a young horse for the first time. That discus- sion and those recommendations are best supplied by your attending veterinarian.
This is a simple, straightforward roadmap for an athlete that has already been conditioned for competition. This may be a horse that is returning to work after a period of rest (i.e., a winter off) or a horse that is coming back from a period of active rest. Western performance sports tend to have an annual cycle of com- petition and an off-season. The off-season gives the horse a chance to recover mentally and physically from the stresses of travelling and competing. If your horse is free from injury, he will benefit from a period of active rest during the off-season. An example of active rest would involve riding 2-3 times / week. Strive for peak condition during times of the competitive season. After competi- tion, reduce your horse’s workload 20% for 3-5 days.
Jun 28, 2016, 09:42
New Organization Supports AHC Welfare Code
The American Farrier’s Association is the latest organization to endorse the American Horse Council’s (AHC) Welfare Code of Practice.
The AHC Welfare Code of Practice is a broad set of principles designed to establish good welfare procedures for organizations to follow to “Put the Horse First.” The code outlines in broad strokes what principles organizations are committed to in breeding, training, competing, transporting, enjoying, and caring for their horses. The code encourages everyone to consider the health, safety, and welfare of their horses in all aspects of their activities, including the social and ethical issues.
Jun 20, 2016, 14:07
Add a Serving of Caution to the Tender Spring Grass By Juliet M. Getty, Ph.D.
Add a Serving of Caution to the Tender Spring Grass
By Juliet M. Getty, Ph.D.
Spring is almost upon us in most of the country, so it’s time to revisit that critical topic: spring grazing.
Transitioning a horse from hay to pasture must be handled with care; this point is non-negotiable. For every horse, a gradual change from hay to grass is required to allow the digestive system to adapt, but for the insulin-resistant horse, grazing time and duration can make the difference between soundness and a disabling condition like laminitis. This time of year can be a test of patience for horse—and owner. The horse may be pawing at the gate to get to the first taste of tender spring grass, yet the owner must pay close attention to making the transition safe and healthful.
May 31, 2016, 14:30
Stop flu where it starts
Stop flu where it starts.
Trust Flu Avert ® I.N. for superior protection against relevant flu strains threatening the U.S. horse population.1
May 30, 2016, 18:21
Animal Health Top Concern for Farmers, Veterinarians By Elizabeth Quesnell Kohtz, DVM
Animal Health Top Concern for Farmers, Veterinarians
By Elizabeth Quesnell Kohtz, DVM
A few weeks ago I attended a college reunion. It was fun and refreshing to see friends from years ago. Although I returned home feeling fine, apparently the stress of traveling combined with being around a new group of people was too much for my immune system. A few days later, I was sick. Luckily it was a viral infection and I quickly recovered, but not all illness clears up without medication. Both humans and animals get sick, and sometimes recovery requires antibiotics. On the farm, the age of the animal, time of year, weather conditions, pen changes and other stressors can all contribute to the need to use medications to treat sick animals. Withholding treatment from an ill animal is poor husbandry and could be considered animal cruelty.
May 30, 2016, 14:31