Seasonal Care

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Ticks are a nuisance that can often go undetected. Because of the risk of disease transmission (Lyme disease, Anaplasmosis, Equine piroplasmosis), it is important to frequently examine your horse for the presence of ticks, and to take steps to lower risk of exposure.

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If there’s one word that strikes fear in the hearts and minds of horse owners, it’s “colic.” Used to describe any form of abdominal pain, colic can affect horses for many reasons and in any season, although cold weather months are a particularly challenging time with increased risk of impaction-related colic.

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Equine Cushing’s Disease, more correctly called Pars Pituitary Intermedia Dysfunction (PPID), is a non-cancerous but progressive enlargement of the pituitary gland in the horse. It is estimated that 20 percent of horses over the age of 15 will develop PPID. Note that Cushing’s Syndrome in humans and dogs (when not due to giving too much steroidal medication) involves an actual tumour of either the pituitary or the adrenal glands, (either benign or malignant), whereas Cushing’s Disease in horses has a different cause.

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Protecting Horses and Humans - With the current COVID-19 pandemic and Canadians’ alarm over how quickly a virus can spread across countries and continents, there is an understandable reaction to protect against infection from any and all viruses and pathogens. By extension, it is also essential that there is a level of biosecurity on your farm or acreage to protect horses against agents of disease.

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Today we venture back in horses and down in humans, into territory that many believe to be the foundation of the skeletal system and the body itself: the pelvis. It is an area of much more complexity than many realize, an area that impacts, quite literally, every other part of the body. It contains and protects some rather important things, namely the urogenital system, and provides stability to many others. And in horses and riders, pelvic happiness is critical for success in the saddle.

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Climate change is substantially impacting Canadian horses, horse properties, and their owners. Almost 90 percent of Canadians in recent surveys say they’ve already seen climate change effects in their communities. Horses are increasingly affected by respiratory diseases from wildfire smoke and dust; skin disease and damaged hooves from variable weather; and unforeseen parasites and diseases. Horse owners are struggling to purchase hay, treat unexpected health issues, and adapt to weather-related riding limitations. Meanwhile, property owners are repairing damage from sudden storms, drought, excess water, and wind. So, it’s worth understanding how climate change will affect horses and properties into the future, and what you can do to prepare for these changes.

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Horses can develop equine asthma when they’re exposed to airborne organic dust that can found anywhere — in a dirt paddock, on a gravel road, or in an indoor arena. But the most common culprit is dusty, moldy hay. Round bales can be particularly problematic as horses tend to tunnel their muzzles into the bales and inhale dust and mold.

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