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Horse Health

Clifford, fully recovered, went home with Stacey Couture (left) and her daughter Kylie after his stay at the WCVM Veterinary Medical Centre. Supplied photo.

Clifford the horse beats colitis challenge

When Kylie Couture went out one snowy December morning on her family’s Debden-area acreage, Clifford — her 17-year-old Morgan cross gelding — didn’t come in for breakfast. “She brought his food over to him, and he still wouldn’t eat,” says Kylie’s mom, Stacey Couture. “Uh oh, we thought.” Kylie, a C-level Pony Club rider, noticed bloody diarrhea on Clifford’s tail — a …

April 21st, 2015 Full story »

Vets treat stallion for uncommon disease

On a warm day in mid-September 2014, Cora Hohenberg noticed that one of her family’s Gypsy stallions, Black Forest William, was down and looking distressed. “We thought he had colic,” says Cora, who operates Cyclone Gypsy Horses with her husband Karl on their farm near La Broquerie, Man. “We got him up and got him walking — then he had …

February 23rd, 2015 Full story »

Navigating the pre-purchase exam

Anyone who has bought a car knows that there are many factors that influence your decision — and the entire experience can put you through an emotional rollercoaster. For the most part, buying a horse isn’t any different. But a key tool that can help owners make a more informed decision about a potential horse is the pre-purchase examination that’s usually …

February 19th, 2015 Full story »

Horse health care through the ages

Horses are living long lives on acreages, farms and ranches across North America. That reality is reflected in statistics: it’s estimated that geriatric horses (animals more than 20 years old) account for somewhere between seven and 20 per cent of the entire equine population. Owners and veterinarians are growing more aware that proper management and medical care can expand the …

January 08th, 2015 Full story »

CPR and preparation can save foal’s life

Everyone hopes for happy, healthy foals, but what happens when things don’t go according to plan and you’re faced with a weak foal fighting for its life? “The important thing is to act right away,” says Dr. Carolina Palacios, a veterinary anesthesiologist at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine’s Veterinary Medical Centre. “If a foal is born and not breathing …

June 09th, 2014 Full story »

A WCVM equine lung study has confirmed that foals are born with all of their respiratory components present and functioning. Photo: Myrna MacDonald.

Study sets standard for equine lung research

Val Sanford has seen firsthand the negative effects of respiratory problems on horses’ performance in the show ring and on the trail. Sanford, owner and manager of Copper T Warmblood Stables near Saskatoon, Sask., has a horse that suffers from “heaves” or recurrent airway obstruction (RAO). The horse requires individualized management from feeding to exercise: it must be treated before …

March 21st, 2014 Full story »

quarter horse barrels

Tying-up syndrome

Tying-up syndrome, or rhabdomyolysis, is a myopathy (disorder affecting the body’s muscle system) that causes muscle-cell destruction and decreases an affected horse’s performance. Common systems include painful muscle cramping and hardening as well as severe increases in muscle enzymes that can be detected through laboratory testing. Exertional rhabdoyolyses are disorders that typically occur in horses performing exercise beyond their conditioning …

February 28th, 2014 Full story »

What is shipping fever?

“Shipping fever” is a common name for pleuropneumonia, a serious infection involving the lungs and pleural cavity (the space between the lungs and the chest wall) that’s often caused by the stress of travel. When fluid is found only in the lungs, and not in the pleural cavity, it’s simply referred to as pneumonia. Symptoms of pleuropneumonia include a foul …

August 30th, 2013 Full story »

closeup of equine eye

WCVM scientists assist in laminitis puzzle

Laminitis research for the layman can be divided into two broad topics: therapies that can be used to treat laminitis and investigations into the chain of signalling events that trigger the condition (new targets for future therapies). Researchers at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) are tackling both aspects. Two of the veterinary college’s scientists — Drs. David Wilson and …

December 18th, 2012 Full story »

Dr. James Belknap

Laminitis: what does that word mean to you?

Laminitis: what does that word mean to you? Do you think you know all about it, or does hearing the very word have you shaking your head over all we just don’t know. The recent–and some would say long overdue–expansion in laminitis research has spawned a generation of geeks who can speak the lingo and conject about the future. Their …

September 19th, 2012 Full story »