Illness & Injury

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When you have finally found the perfect horse to take you to the winner’s circle, it’s tough to realize that he or she might be getting old. Many horses are now competing well into their late teens and early twenties, especially in certain disciplines such as dressage or show jumping where it takes many years of training to reach an elite level of competition. However, from a veterinary perspective, horses are considered geriatric as they reach the age of 15 to 20 years, which is when their physiological functions start to decline. The management of these horses becomes crucial to keep them competing at their best.

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Managing Nutrition for Safe Growth in Young Horses - For any horse owner, the birth of a foal is always an eagerly awaited event. That baby, the product of the carefully planned mating of two superior parents, can elicit a range of emotions for the owner, including excitement and awe, but often anxiety and worry as well. One of the concerns the owner of a newborn foal may have involves the risk of the foal developing developmental orthopedic disease (DOD), which is a name applied to a group of conditions that can affect the growing foal, including physitis, acquired angular limb deformities, flexural deformities, cervical vertebral malformations, acquired vertebral deformities, and finally, osteochondrosis (OC).

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And what is natural, anyway? The terms “natural” and “organic” are widely used in today’s horse world. The use of the term “organic” in the manufacturing and marketing of products aimed at horse owners is regulated by government agencies. The use of the term “natural” is not, and so a great deal more caution must be exercised by horse owners when sourcing these kinds of products for their horses.

The Forces of Evil: 13 Equine Diseases

By Jess Hallas-Kilcoyne - No owner wants to see their horse suffer. An appropriate equine vaccination program is one way to help ensure your horse's longevity and quality of life. When you vaccinate your horse against any number of diseases, you are protecting him from experiencing the devastating symptoms caused by any of the following:

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During the switch to a 100 percent hay diet in the fall of the year is when many horse owners first notice that some of their horses are getting loose manure. The situation can quickly evolve into a management mess where one or more horses are so loose they can spray fecal material on the walls of the stall when they pass manure. Winter grooming becomes a major challenge for those who care for these horses as they struggle to keep tails, hocks, fetlocks, and equine clothing clean and free of encrusted manure.

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Donkeys are not well suited to cold, wet environments and need extra protection in the winter, new research has found. The findings have been incorporated into the UK's updated Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) Code of Practice for the welfare of horses, ponies, donkeys and their hybrids.

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Warmblood Fragile Foal Syndrome Type 1 (WFFS) is an inherited defect of connective tissue characterized by hyperextensible, abnormally thin, fragile skin and mucous membranes that are subject to open lesions. Affected horses may also have hyperextensible limb joints, floppy ears, accumulation of fluid (hydrops), subcutaneous emphysema, hematomas, and premature birth. The disease is present at birth and affected newborn foals are euthanized shortly after birth due to the poor prognosis of this untreatable condition.

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