Taxonomy term

Beyoncé, a bay Thoroughbred filly owned by Patricia and Will Lalor, whose barn is based in Clonmel, Ireland, was destined for a show jumping career. But at 16 months of age she was diagnosed with a condition known as osteochondritis dissecans (OCD), which had developed in her left and right knees. It is a common orthopaedic developmental disease in many species including humans, and results in separation of the articular cartilage from the underlying bone in the joints. Depending on the breed, it can affect 10 to 30 percent of the equine population.

Equine Neurological Dysfunction, Equine Neurological diagnosis, equine Neurological treatment, equine lameness, equine spinal nerves, equine acupuncture

The detection of subtle lamenesses can prove challenging to even the most experienced horsemen. Matters are further complicated when the gait abnormality is inconsistent or intermittent.

This issue’s focus on equine back problems is an opportune time to examine the relationship between equine back disorders and saddle fit. The issue of “kissing spines,” or overriding dorsal spinous processes, is of concern to many riders.

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.

equine spinal problems, equine musculoskeletal system, equine Wobbler Syndrome, equine Neck radiographs, equine Thoracolumbar Spine, equine Pelvic Palpation

The musculoskeletal system of the horse is an incredible machine — strong, fast, efficient, and capable of performing feats as varied as jumping obstacles and roping cattle. However, horse owners are all too aware of the fact that despite this amazing athletic ability, the equine body can be remarkably fragile. If one owns horses long enough, he or she is bound to encounter a disorder of the equine musculoskeletal system.

Equine neck; equine cervical vertebrae, intervertebral joints, equine Nuchal Ligament

There is something uniquely beautiful about the neck of a horse. That curve, the arch of the poll, the dip towards the shoulder. In function, those elegant lines came to be out of necessity, with such length required to balance out long limbs, allowing them to reach to the ground to graze for up to 20 hours a day. With the head and neck making up about 10 percent of their total body mass, horses use their neck to maintain balance, stability, and their spatial awareness when they are in motion. Over time, the equine neck has shifted in function and importance, and in the factors that impact and promote its well-being, but the fundamentals have stood the test of domestication.

The Equine Heart, what should my horse's heart rate be, what is a normal rhythm horse heart, equine electrocardiogram, heart rate variability horse

Skipped Beats, Sudden Death… and Why We Shouldn’t Worry Too Much. When you first start examining patients as a veterinary student, you’re very keen to (gently) poke and prod every animal you come across. Realizing you can assess cardiovascular function by palpating peripheral pulses is very empowering!

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