Taxonomy term

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Graduate student, Population Medicine at Ontario Veterinary College looks at how infectious disease can spread quickly in a horse show environment.

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Inhaled medications benefit horses, minimize side effects - The horse’s respiratory tract is designed to move large volumes of air to and from their lungs. During exercise, air flow rates reach a staggering 65 litres per second, which is truly amazing considering a human athlete’s flow rate is a mere four litres per second! Any abnormality of the respiratory tract that impedes airflow will decrease the volume and/or rate of oxygen being delivered to the lungs. In exercising horses, even the smallest decrease in oxygenation can have profound, negative effects on performance.

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Diagnosis and Treatment - In recent years the addition of the back examination to a routine lameness exam has become commonplace. With vast amounts of information available on the internet and social media pages, it can be daunting to understand and clarify “back pain” in the sport horse. This article will organize the clutter of information into a clear picture for riders and owners.

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A report recently published in Canadian Veterinary Journal tells the story of how a team of veterinarians at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) linked cases of an uncommon cardiac disease in horses with a caterpillar infestation in Saskatchewan.

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Eastern equine encephalitis virus (EEE), also known as sleeping sickness, and Western Equine Encephalitis (WEE) are viral diseases that cause inflammation of the brain and spinal cord. Wild birds are a natural reservoir for EEE and WEE viruses, and mosquitoes that feed on these birds can transmit the virus to mammals, including horses and humans.

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West Nile virus (WNV) is a mosquito-borne virus that affects humans and other animals, of which horses represent 96.9 percent of reported non-human cases. Introduced to the United States in 1999, WNV is now found in all of the contiguous 48 states.

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The equine respiratory tract is responsible for many different functions and is, on a basic level, quite similar to the human respiratory tract. One of its primary functions is the exchange of oxygen between the lungs and the red blood cells, which allows oxygen to be delivered to tissues throughout the body and becomes especially important during exercise when the oxygen consumption of the tissues increases. Another important function is the clearance of irritants such as dust, ammonia, and bacteria, from the respiratory tract. This is done by filtering large dust particles in the nose, coughing, sneezing, and trapping irritants in the airway mucus. However, excess nasal discharge, coughing, sneezing, and mucus secretion are all signs that a horse may be suffering from respiratory problems.

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