About Keisha Heeringa, BSc, MSc

Keisha Heeringa has always been very passionate about horses and started learning to ride during high school. She quickly developed a strong interest in equine health and welfare which led her to pursue a degree in animal biology at the University of Guelph. Eager to expand her knowledge and experience, Keisha has worked and volunteered at horse barns, an equine vet clinic, and in the neonatal foal department of the Ontario Veterinary College. Keisha completed an MSc in animal physiology where she is studying biomarkers involved in equine leaky gut syndrome, and how development of equine leaky gut can be prevented. When not working, Keisha enjoys riding, volunteering for a service dog organization, and caring for her dog, cat, and fish.

Equine Herpesvirus Infection: Symptoms, Treatment & Prevention

By |2022-12-20T11:11:51-05:00December 7th, 2022|Conditions|

Equine herpesvirus (EHV), or rhinopneumonitis, is a contagious infection that is endemic to horses worldwide. EHV may cause mild to severe symptoms that usually involve the upper respiratory tract. In rare cases, it may cause neurological symptoms, abortion or death. Horses can experience latent infections of EHV where the virus lives dormant without causing symptoms. There are nine known types of herpes viruses in horses, of which EHV-1 and EHV-4 are the most common. EHV-1 usually results in more severe symptoms but EHV-4 is more common.

Fructans in Horse Forages: Do High-Fructan Grasses Cause Laminitis?

By |2022-11-29T22:46:25-05:00November 23rd, 2022|Nutrition|

Fructans are non-structural carbohydrates (NSC) found in cool-season grasses, such as tall fescue and perennial ryegrass. Fructans are indigestible by horses, passing through the foregut to the hindgut where they are rapidly fermented by bacteria to supply energy to the horse. There is an ongoing debate about the effects of fructans on equine health. Some researchers suggest that diets high in fructans predispose horses to health conditions such as insulin resistance, laminitis, or leaky gut syndrome. Other researchers argue that fructans do not cause laminitis because they do not trigger insulin secretion. Some studies showing a negative effect have used artificially high dietary levels of fructans.

Obesity In Horses: Health Risks, Prevalence & Management Strategies

By |2022-11-08T13:47:31-05:00November 8th, 2022|Conditions|

Obesity in Horses Risk Factors Effects Insulin inflammation Health Conditions EMS Laminitis PPID Weight Loss Obesity is a health concern in horses worldwide, with a prevalence estimated between 31 - [...]

Equine Influenza Virus (Flu): Symptoms, Treatment & Prevention

By |2022-10-24T20:35:42-04:00October 12th, 2022|Conditions|

Equine influenza virus, or EIV, is an extremely contagious respiratory disease or flu affecting horses, mules, and donkeys. EIV is characterized by fever, apathy, and lack of appetite, and causes respiratory symptoms such as coughing and nasal discharge. However, some horses infected with EIV have no observable signs of the virus. Left untreated, the virus can lead to secondary infections and pneumonia. In most cases, influenza is not fatal, however, horses with impaired immune function may be more susceptible to negative outcomes.

Windsucking in Horses: Causes, Effects & How to Stop

By |2022-10-24T20:41:51-04:00October 12th, 2022|Horse Health|

Windsucking is an oral stereotypic behavior performed by horses. It is closely related to cribbing, but they are distinct behaviors. Horses windsuck by arching their necks and using their mouth to suck air into the cranial esophagus. The horse will then blow the air back out of the mouth while making a grunting sound. Horses may begin windsucking in response to stress, boredom, or gastrointestinal discomfort. While the behavior may not be problematic to begin with, it can develop over time into a nearly irreversible habit with negative consequences for health and well-being. If your horse exhibits signs of windsucking, it's important to talk to your veterinarian about potential causes and treatment options.

Dummy Foal Syndrome (Neonatal Maladjustment) in Horses: Signs, Causes & Treatment

By |2022-08-26T15:14:02-04:00August 26th, 2022|Conditions|

Neonatal maladjustment syndrome (NMS) - also referred to as dummy foal syndrome - is a condition that causes neurological symptoms in foals. This condition prevents the foal from performing normal behaviours, such as recognizing and feeding from the mare, standing and walking. Affected foals may appear lethargic, depressed, or display more serious clinical signs. NMS can be caused by oxygen and nutrient deprivation in the foal before birth. It may also be caused by a failure of placental hormones to drop following birth.

Top Risks of Trailer Transport for Horses – [8 Tips to Reduce Stress]

By |2022-10-24T20:48:32-04:00August 3rd, 2022|Care & Management|

Does your horse resist going in the trailer or show signs of stress after being unloaded at your destination? You may need to trailer your horse for many reasons, such as seeing a veterinarian, competing, breeding, or for recreational purposes. Trailer stress can make it more difficult to load your horse, increase the dangers of transit, and negatively impact health and performance.

Misoprostol for Horses with Ulcers: Effects, Uses and Risks

By |2022-10-24T12:46:38-04:00June 7th, 2022|Horse Health|

Misoprostol is a drug used in horses to prevent ulcers from developing in the hindgut and stomach. It is commonly prescribed to horses that require regular use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), which can cause ulcers to form.