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When a Horse Needs Shoes: Part 5

April 2014

Until recent times, metal was the only practical option for horse shoes but, as this series has highlighted, the convenience comes at the expense of long-term soundness. The development of new materials and designs are making plastic shoes a much more viable option but, as Andrew Bowe explains in this final part of the series, “sometimes the only way to find out the real value of something new is to try it for yourself”.

New research shows equine lameness can be measured

June 2013

  For many years, opinions on the value of flexion tests in assessing equine lameness have been divided but now new research looks set to turn what has always been regarded as a subjective process into a wholly objective one. The comprehensive study, recently published in Equine Veterinary Journal’s (EVJ) in partnership with the American Association of Equine Practitioners, has shown that a wireless, inertial sensor-based system can effectively measure the horse’s response to a flexion test.

Motion Sensors Detect Horse Lameness Earlier Than Veterinarians

August 2012

    The most common ailment to affect a horse is lameness, and a University of Missouri equine veterinarian has developed a way to detect this problem using a motion detection system called the "Lameness Locator." Now, Kevin Keegan, a professor of equine surgery in the College of Veterinary Medicine at MU, has found that his Lameness Locator can detect lameness earlier than veterinarians using the traditional method of a subjective eye test.The Lameness Locator, which is now in commercial use, places small sensors on the horse's head, right front limb and croup, near th

How to take your horse's digital pulse

August 2012

The pulse measures the strength of your horse's heartbeat. Normally, a resting horse has a pulse of 38 to 40 beats per minute. When exercising, a horse's heart rate can exceed 180 beats per minute.  A heart rate over 80 beats per minute can be a sign of a serious problem in a resting horse and a consistent rate of 60 beats per minute can indicate pain, excitement or being afraid of something. 

Laminitis due to endocrine disorders

July 2012

Hormonal disturbance (endocrinopathy) appears to be a common underlying cause of laminitis according to research from Finland.   The study, conducted between April 2007 and August 2008 at Helsinki University Equine Teaching Hospital, looked for signs of endocrinopathy in all cases of laminitis presented for examination. Almost 90% of horses with laminitis had endocrine abnormalities.  

Bone Spurs

July 2012

A bone spur is a term used to describe sharp bony projections that are visible on X rays. It is important to note that they are not a specific disease themselves but are a symptom of damage that can occur from a variety of injuries. There are two different types of bone spurs described, namely ‘osteophytes’ and ‘enthesiophytes’. OSTEOPHYTES

Feeding and Conditioning a Laminitic horse

July 2012

Laminitis should not spell the end of the a horse or pony's usefulness. Careful management of their diet, health, hooves and environment can ensure that they will continue to perform in their discipline for many years. Assuming whether an animal has foundered or not while continuing the same feeding and management practices is quite neglectful. If you suspect any symptoms of this disorder, consult your equine veterinarian so they can examine your horse and assess the severity of the condition and advise on the appropriate management plan.

Laminitis - Barehoof Rehabilitation Options

May 2012

Laminitis is probably the biggest single cause of equine lameness and loss of equine performance. Since the principles of barefoot rehabilitation have been developed, laminitis is no longer a death sentence for horses. Serious cases that were once considered hopeless and euthanased without delay or question are now being routinely salvaged.  A disruption and inflammation in the laminar attachment, laminitis can range from mild (sub-clinical with no noticeable lameness) to life threatening and ultimately fatal if it’s not treated.

Laminitis - The nutrition perspective Part 2: Nutrition and Management

May 2012

In a previous article (Part 1: Disease and Causes), we explained the disease and the dietary, metabolic and endocrine pathways that can trigger laminitis. In this article we describe the nutrition and management of obese, insulin resistant and laminitis-prone horses and ponies. Laminitis may be considered as a systemic disease, and the mechanisms that are involved in the onset of laminitis may be the result of a variety of pre-existing problems elsewhere in the body of the horse.   

Laminitis - The nutrition perspective Part 1: Disease and Causes

May 2012

Proper nutrition and management are very important aspects that help with the preparation and maintenance of your laminitis-prone horse before Spring really hits. Although, in Spring more cases of laminitis are observed, laminitis can happen at any time of the year. When spring springs upon us, the warmer temperatures, longer days and early rains trigger the growing season. Pastures become lush and store more sugars for growth.


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