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Horse Health

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 »

The foaling mare: preparation is key

If you ask anyone who has bred horses, they will tell you that it’s no easy feat. However, when it is done properly (and everything goes right), having an energetic and healthy foal is an exciting and rewarding experience. Dr. Stephen Manning is a board-certified theriogenologist and an associate professor at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM). Based on …

July 08th, 2015 Full story »

Scratching the surface of equine skin diseases

If you have ever owned a horse with a skin disease, you know from experience that these conditions are frustrating to manage — diagnosing them can be difficult and their treatment is tedious. Worse yet, skin diseases can be painful for your horse if they cause irritation under tack or lameness. Dr. Michelle Husulak has seen her fair share of equine …

June 30th, 2015 Full story »

Dr. Steve Manning conducts a Coggins test.

Equine infectious anemia threat for horses

Equine infectious anemia is a viral disease of horses, mules and donkeys that should be taken very seriously by owners, says a veterinary researcher. “When a horse is infected [with equine infectious anemia or EIA], it is infected for life,” says Dr. Sara Higgins. She’s a resident in large animal medicine at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) whose …

May 26th, 2015 Full story »

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 »