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Health Management

Reining in equine obesity

October 23rd, 2017

Imagine you’re a draft horse. The year is 1927 and you spend most of your time hooked up to a plow in the field, burning calories and muscle. You dine primarily on grain. It’s important to keep your energy up because you work hard every day and your family depends on you. When the tractor comes along, your role on …

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horses-muzzle
trailering

Planning key to protecting horse’s health

As a horse owner, you’re always on the lookout for potential risks to your horse’s well being at home and on the road. But what you may not realize is that the greatest threat could be standing right in the next stall. “The most dangerous thing to your horse’s health is another horse,” says Dr. Chris Clark, a large animal …

February 11th, 2017 Full story »

pastern laceration

Location key issue in assessing wounds

Horses can suffer from all types of wounds, and while some wounds look much worse than others, the primary assessment of their severity is the same as that of gauging housing prices: location, location, location. This claim is backed by Dr. Suzanne Mund, a master’s degree student in the Western College of Veterinary Medicine’s Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences. …

January 12th, 2017 Full story »

The WCVM is hosting a lameness-focused equine education event for local horse owners on Oct. 30. Photo: Christina Weese.

New tool homes in on equine lameness

Whether their patient is a high performance equine athlete or a beloved pony, veterinarians at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) have access to a full range of technologies that can help diagnose equine lameness and pinpoint problems. A new addition came in August 2015 when the college’s Veterinary Medical Centre acquired a Lameness Locator®, an advanced diagnostic tool …

October 16th, 2015 Full story »

Strategic deworming key for parasite control

Fall is here and it’s time to deworm your horse again — or is it? Traditional deworming protocols with a zero tolerance for any parasites may not be the best option for your horse, says Dr. Fernando Marqués, a board-certified specialist in large animal internal medicine at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine’s (WCVM) Veterinary Medical Centre. There’s no one-size-fits-all protocol …

October 08th, 2015 Full story »

A horse's body is like a suspension bridge: the front limbs are attached through muscles and function like a sling as the body propels forward. Photo: Myrna MacDonald.

Health management for performance horses

Much like humans, equine athletes performing at a high level can be at risk for certain conditions that cause poor performance. “Factors that make them athletes also predispose them to disease,” says Dr. Julia Montgomery, a specialist in large animal internal medicine at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM). Horses have a very large heart with a low resting …

September 10th, 2015 Full story »

Internal medicine resident Dr. Carolina Duran performs a dental exam on an equine patient. Photo: Christina Weese.

Regular dental checkups health investment

Everybody knows the importance of regular dental checkups when it comes to human health, so it should come as no surprise that horse health is just as dependent upon regular oral health checks. Dr. James Carmalt, a professor of equine surgery and a specialist in equine dentistry at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM), recommends that horses receive routine …

August 03rd, 2015 Full story »

Dr. Steve Manning conducts a Coggins test.

Coggins test still vital cog in EIA screening

The standard in equine infectious anemia (EIA) screening is a test known to horse owners everywhere as the Coggins test. A “negative Coggins” is required for import and export of horses and is recommended for any situation in which horses are gathered together, such as a competition or boarding stable. But what exactly is a Coggins test, and how is …

July 12th, 2012 Full story »

Horses and cattle sharing fence

Monensin: fatal feed

This month, a Nebraska-based livestock feed company voluntarily recalled two lots of its “Kountry Buffet” 14 per cent feed because it could contain monensin sodium — a potentially fatal drug for horses. The feed, packaged in 50-pound bags with the Payback logo, was distributed to retailers in Nebraska and Wyoming in December 2011. The company, Western Feed LLC, made the …

March 05th, 2012 Full story »

Water, the number one nutrient

During a hot July in 2006, the owners of a southern Saskatchewan farm made a grim discovery when they found five of their 19 horses dead, in or near a slough. The remaining horses were severely dehydrated and had diarrhea. The local veterinarian’s first suspicion was anthrax, a prevalent disease in the area at the time. But blood tests for …

December 12th, 2011 Full story »