Illness & Injury

Western College of Veterinary Medicine WCVM horse bacteria equine asthma, equine chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), horse heaves

Veterinary researchers at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan are investigating whether certain bacterial populations in a horse’s windpipe can contribute to RAO, or heaves. Motivated by human research on asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), large animal internal medicine specialist Dr. Katharina Lohmann has developed the airway microbiome project.

horse heaves, equine heaves, horse lungs, equine lung disease

Heaves is a chronic, non-infectious lung disease that primarily affects mature horses and can have a significant effect on a horse’s well-being and performance ability. Heaves is also referred to as recurrent airway obstruction (RAO) and is often compared to human asthma. The primary pathologic mechanisms leading to clinical signs in affected horses are bronchospasm, inflammation and thickening of the lower airways (small bronchi), and accumulation of mucus and inflammatory exudates in the airway lumen. The term RAO indicates that the disease is chronic and recurrent, although “remission” from clinical signs can be achieved through treatment and proper management of affected horses.

barbaro rehabilitation, barbaro treatment, equine rehabilitation, horse boken bone, broken leg horse, western college of veterinary medicine, wcvm

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. The scientists, who are all from the University of Saskatchewan (U of S), have teamed up with RMD Engineering, a local Saskatoon engineering and manufacturing company, to design and build the unique technology. The lift will help rehabilitate horses suffering from acute injuries and other musculoskeletal problems by providing mobility, weight distribution, and support.

netf, equine disease, horse disease, aginnovation ontario, university of guelph, newborn foal disease, equine eneritis disease, foal eneritis

Researchers at the University of Guelph have made an equine breakthrough that can change the health of newborn foals. Led by John Prescott, pathobiology researcher and former professor, the research team identified an uncommon, but deadly bacterium that causes necrotizing enteritis disease in very young foals, and has already created a vaccine for further research. For years, an unknown strain of this intestinal bacterium has been killing foals within the first week of life. Prescott and his team have worked for several years to understand the cause of necrotizing enteritis in foals and recently identified the bacterial agent and its deadly toxin, which they have called NetF.

western college of veterinary medicine, wcvm, dr sue ashburner, equine pre-purchase exam, horse pre-purchase exam, dr. sue ashburner, sarah figley

Dr. Sue Ashburner of the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) has examined hundreds of potential new horses for her clients during her 35-year career as a veterinarian. “We don’t do a ‘pass-fail’ when we do a pre-purchase exam on a horse. We just try to allow the buyer to make an informed decision on that horse,” says Ashburner, a clinical associate in equine field service at the WCVM’s Veterinary Medical Centre.

Equine Symptomatic Lameness, Jochen Schleese, horse lameness, horse stumbling, horse back pain, equine back pain, equine injuries, equine lameness, horse saddle fit, saddlefit 4 life

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.

equine laminitis, horse laminitis, foundered horse, horse founder, horse sole support, hoof care, hoof support, coffin bone, horse metabolic, horse obesity, equine obesity

When an equine athlete experiences an episode of laminitis or founder it can be a painful experience. While there are numerous studies and articles on the causes of these two maladies, there is also a general consensus on what the hoof capsule experiences after the episodes occur. When a horse experiences a bout of laminitis, whether through injury, overfeeding, or metabolic issues, inflammation of the laminae occurs. The anatomy of the hoof is such that the insensitive laminae are attached to the hoof wall and the sensitive laminae are attached to the coffin bone.

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