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Science Corner

New guidelines for feeding forage

February 2017

Increasing research into conditions such as obesity, insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, laminitis, colic, stomach ulcers, rhabdomyolysis, feed hygiene as well as behavioural abnormalities have often pointed towards one common important factor in their prevention and management: the correct feeding of forage. 

Two Hearts: Researchers Measure the Coupling of Horse and Human Heartbeats During Interactions

December 2016

For the first time, a research team from the University of Pisa has measured the synchronisation of heart beats that occurs during horse-human interactions using smart textiles.   Ethologists and engineers from the University of Pisa, Italy, teamed up to measure heartbeat synchronisation induced by the emotional stimulation that occurs during horse-human interactions. They did this by aligning and comparing the respective heart rate variability (the time interval between heartbeats) via a wearable ‘smart fabric’ system.   

Free Equine Dentistry Research Collection

November 2016

Proficiency in equine dentistry is becoming a standard requirement in practice, and there has been significant progression in knowledge and techniques in recent years. To support the continuing advancements in this field, the Equine Veterinary Journal has released a research collection of dentistry articles. Co-edited by Paddy Dixon and Vicki Nicholls the collection is free to all readers and coincides with the appointment of Vicki Nicholls as President of the British Equine Veterinary Association (BEVA).

Changes in Gut Microflora Could Provide Early Warning of EMS

October 2016

Early diagnosis of Equine Metabolic Syndrome (EMS) is an important area of study, especially considering one of the first signs can be laminitis - a serious and sometimes life-ending condition. Catching EMS in its initial stages can facilitate early intervention with an appropriate exercise and diet plan to reduce the chances of laminitis developing.  

Sarcoids: Researchers discover the genetic link

July 2016

Sarcoid skin tumors are the most common form of cancer in horses, but little is known about why the papillomavirus behind them strikes some horses and not others. A new study by an international research group led by scientists at the Baker Institute for Animal Health at Cornell's College of Veterinary Medicine shows genetic differences in immune function between horses partly accounts for these differences.

Are Pectin-Lecithin Supplements Effective in Preventing and Treating Ulcers?

July 2016

In this article, equine nutritionist Karen Richardson reviews the scientific research available to find out if the claims made by supplements based on pectin-lecithin complexes match their effectiveness in preventing and treating equine gastric ulcers (EGUS). Understanding phospholipids' protective role

First True Insight into the Horse's Gut

June 2016

Veterinary and engineering researchers at Canada's University of Saskatchewan have teamed up to harness imaging technology to fill in a blank area in animal health: What goes on inside the horse’s gut? “Whenever I talk to students about the horse abdomen, I put up a picture of a horse and put a big question mark in the middle,” says veterinary researcher Dr. Julia Montgomery in the University of Saskatchewan's Western College of Veterinary Medicine. Montgomery worked with equine surgeon Dr.

Effect of dietary starch on equine behaviour

June 2016

It is not uncommon for horse owners to supplement their horse’s diet with 'calming products' to curb unwanted, over-reactive, and potentially dangerous behaviours. There is no question that a population of horses are overly sensitive or over-reactive to certain situations, and these horses may have 'imbalances' which supplements can help to correct.

New System to Give Healing Horses a Lift

May 2016

Researchers and engineers in Saskatchewan hope a robotic lift system will help to improve the odds for horses recovering from limb fractures and other traumatic injuries. "I think it will give a lot of horses a chance that before didn't have a chance," says team leader Dr Julia Montgomery, a large animal internal medicine specialist at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) at the University of Saskatchewan (U of S).

Can Super Fibres Fuel Performance Horses?

May 2016

Last month, Karen Richardson discussed the digestive and fermentation characteristics of 'super fibre' products (i.e. haylage, sugarbeet pulp, soyhulls) that make them more energy-dense than other fibrous products, such as hay and chaff. This month, she investigates whether super fibres have what it takes to fuel hard working performance and racing horses.


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