Illness & Injury

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The Inside Story - For as long as horses have been grazing the hillsides and meadows, the pest of parasite infestation has plagued them. Perennial as the grass, intestinal parasites find every possible opportunity to enter their horse host, and live out their life cycle.

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Veterinary and engineering researchers at the University of Saskatchewan (U of S) have teamed up to harness imaging technology to fill in a blank area in animal health — what goes on in a 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,” said veterinary researcher Dr. Julia Montgomery in the U of S Western College of Veterinary Medicine.

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Common Conditions, Challenges and Pain Recognition - Keeping a horse comfortable into their senior years requires an attentive caretaker backed by a knowledgeable team. It is important to seek the input from your veterinarian and farrier to help maintain the health of an elderly equine and to spot conditions that will need special treatment sooner rather than later. Recognizing changes and not just dismissing them as “old age setting in” is a large part of the responsibility assumed when caring for the senior horse.

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Why is my horse lame? Why does he keep stumbling? Why does he seem to trip over his own feet? The horse suffering from back pain or injuries can exhibit symptomatic lameness, which can also manifest as behaviour issues including stubbornness or resistance. When the horse is displaying symptoms of lameness and logical treatments are not working, the horse’s owner may turn to injections, anti-inflammatory creams, or chiropractic adjustments at the sacroiliac joint.

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Research may hold clues about Alzheimer’s Disease - Horses, as mammals, share common ground with humans when it comes to suffering similar conditions. They can get allergies, cancer, blood disorders, cystitis, heart disease, skin tumours, and a variety of other ailments.

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Symptoms, Treatment and Prevention - Most horse owners have their own personal stories to tell about colic — but chances are that everyone’s tales about the dreaded disease are different. Episodes of colic can range from a mild case of abdominal pain that resolves with pain medications to a life-threatening event that requires emergency surgical treatment. With such a variable condition, it can be difficult for horse owners to determine the right course of action for their horse’s situation, says Dr. Carolina Duran, a resident in large animal internal medicine at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM).

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By Mark Andrews - It's not just horseback riders that cough and wheeze at this time of year. Respiratory problems are common in horses as well. Loss of performance may be the first sign that something is wrong. Mildly affected animals may cough occasionally when eating or when starting work. As the condition gets worse they may cough almost continuously.

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