Sarcoids in Horses: Types, Causes, Prevention & Treatment

By |2023-01-26T14:42:04-05:00January 26th, 2023|Conditions|

Of the many skin conditions horses can develop, sarcoids are the most common. The term "sarcoid" was first used in 1936 in South Africa as a way to distinguish this skin lesion from other tumors. Sarcoids are benign (nonmetastatic) skin cancer believed to be caused by papillomavirus infection. They affect up to 11.5% of all horses. Sarcoids usually appear as rough, raised, hairless patches or nodules on the skin that are not painful or itchy. Some sarcoids are protruding, moveable masses with overlying skin still intact. The tumors are cosmetically unappealing and, depending on their location, can interfere with the function of the horse. But in most cases, the prognosis for affected horses is very good and some sarcoids resolve without any intervention. Effective treatments are available, including surgical removal, immunotherapy, cryotherapy, and laser surgery. However, sarcoids have a high rate of recurrence in horses.

Myofibrillar Myopathy (MFM) in Horses: Signs, Diagnosis, Management & Prognosis

By |2023-01-26T11:28:45-05:00January 26th, 2023|Conditions|

Myofibrillar myopathy (MFM) is a newly identified muscle disorder that causes exercise intolerance in horses. MFM is a genetic condition that results from the abnormal build-up of desmin in muscle tissue. Desmin is a protein that is important for muscle contraction. In response to strenuous exercise, horses with MFM may experience pain, stiffness, lameness, poor stamina and intermittent gait abnormalities. This disorder has been identified mostly in Warmblood, Arabian horses and their crosses. Affected Warmbloods often refuse to collect under saddle while Arabians tend to have episodes of tying-up or extreme cramping.

Slobbers in Horses: Slaframine Poisoning Signs, Causes & Treatment

By |2023-01-25T09:47:47-05:00January 25th, 2023|Conditions|

Slobbers, otherwise known as slaframine poisoning or salivary syndrome, is a condition that causes excessive salivation or drooling in horses. It is relatively rare and usually occurs in outbreaks, with multiple horses affected at once. Slaframine intoxication is caused by horses consuming a fungus that grows on legume forages under wet and humid conditions. Horses who ingest infected pasture, hay or silage can develop clinical signs, including hypersalivation and difficulty swallowing. While many animals are affected by this fungus, horses are particularly sensitive. Outbreaks of slobbers have occurred in humid climates, including North America, Europe and South America. Slobbers is non-life threatening, but the drool hanging from an affected horse’s mouth is unsightly and can be a nuisance.

Glycogen Branching Enzyme Deficiency (GBED) in Horses

By |2023-01-24T10:43:45-05:00January 24th, 2023|Conditions|

Glycogen branching enzyme deficiency (GBED) is a fatal disorder caused by a gene mutation found in the Quarter Horse and Paint Horse bloodlines. GBED causes abortion in late-term pregnancies, stillbirth or severe muscle weakness and eventually death in newborn foals. GBED prevents foals from properly storing sugars in the body. As a result, there is not enough energy to fuel the important organs and muscles of the body. This causes severe weakness and other clinical signs. Genetic testing for diseases is required for most QH and APH horses in breeding programs to ensure healthy offspring and prevent financial loss associated with losing a foal.

16 Common Skin Diseases in Horses: Identification & Treatment

By |2023-01-13T15:04:31-05:00January 13th, 2023|Conditions|

Horses are prone to a number of different skin conditions and diseases. Some are minor and resolve on their own, while others can be much more serious. Skin conditions may affect localized areas on the horse, such as the legs or abdomen, or they can be widespread, affecting multiple areas. Symptoms may include itchiness, swelling, hair loss, skin flaking, and more. Learning to recognize various equine skin diseases is important to take the appropriate actions needed to resolve the problem or to manage the horse to keep them more comfortable.

Equine Grass Sickness: Symptoms, Treatment & Prevention

By |2023-01-23T14:49:01-05:00January 9th, 2023|Conditions|

Equine grass sickness (EGS), or equine dysautonomia, is a rare and fatal disease in horses. It almost exclusively affects grazing horses kept on pasture. EGS is characterized by the development of severe lesions on the neurons of the peripheral and central nervous systems. Symptoms vary in severity depending on the neuronal degeneration in the horse. EGS results in loss of normal function of the gastrointestinal tract, affecting the horse’s ability to swallow and digest food.This disease results in a decrease in gut motility, increasing the risk of colic and causing severe weight loss. Although the exact cause of EGS is unknown, it is believed to result from a combination of environmental factors and bacterial infection.

Pain Management in Horses: Signs, Treatments & Therapies

By |2023-01-03T16:10:15-05:00January 3rd, 2023|Conditions|

Pain is something that all horses deal with at some point in their lives. Horses can experience pain for many different reasons, including injury, illness, or a result of surgery. For example, castration is the most common surgical procedure performed on horses and is associated with significant post-operative pain. Acute colic is another common painful experience for horses. Pain is also commonly associated with degenerative joint disease, laminitis, gastric ulcers, and hoof issues. Unlike humans, horses don't always show it when they are experiencing pain, or they may only display subtle signs of discomfort. This is because, as prey animals, they have evolved to hide signs of pain and weakness in the presence of predators.

Stringhalt in Horses: Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

By |2022-12-22T12:25:07-05:00December 22nd, 2022|Conditions|

Stringhalt, or equine reflex hypertonia, is a neuromuscular condition that causes abnormal hindlimb movement in the horse. Horses with stringhalt have excessive and prolonged flexion of the pelvic limbs while in forward movement, showing signs of the condition at most gaits. One (unilateral) or both (bilateral) legs may be affected. Some horses experience mild cases characterized by involuntary jerking of the hindlimb, while others experience lameness and difficulty standing up. Horses of all ages and breeds can be affected by stringhalt. In some cases, it is caused by ingesting toxic plants at pasture, but other cases develop quickly without apparent cause.

Bone Spavin in Horses: Symptoms, Treatment & Management

By |2022-12-19T13:42:05-05:00December 19th, 2022|Conditions|

Bone spavin, also known as Degenerative Joint Disease (DJD) of the hock (tarsus), is an extremely common cause of equine lameness. It is caused by repeated concussion and rotational forces on the hock joint, as well as excessive forces on the adjoining ligaments. As a wear and tear condition, bone spavin is characterized by narrowed joint spaces and bone spurs. It is frequently bilateral and accompanied by lameness, with a decreased range of motion.

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.

Botflies in Horses: Symptoms, Prevention & Treatment

By |2022-12-01T16:43:02-05:00December 1st, 2022|Conditions|

Botflies (Gasterophilus spp) are parasitic flies that affect the horse's digestive tract and can cause negative health consequences. Botflies lay eggs on the horse's coat in the summer. Some of these eggs, known as horse bots, are ingested as the horse licks and grooms itself. The bot eggs hatch and the larvae develop in the horse's mouth before migrating to the stomach where they attach to the gastric mucosa. Once mature, they detach and are passed through the manure. They pupate into flies, and the cycle repeats with new botflies seeking out horses to host their eggs.

Equine COPD: Signs, Causes, Diagnosis & Treatment

By |2022-11-21T09:17:05-05:00November 21st, 2022|Conditions|

Equine COPD - or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease - is a now-obsolete term for a common condition in horses that causes coughing and poor performance. This condition is now referred to as equine asthma and is one of the most common non-infectious lung diseases. Severe equine asthma affects 14–17% of horses in some populations, but up to 70% of pleasure horses have indicators of mild to moderate asthma. Horses affected by equine asthma typically have increased mucus production, difficulty breathing during exercise and sometimes at rest, cough, and nasal discharge. More severe cases may result in acute respiratory distress.

Equine Asthma: Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment & Management

By |2022-11-14T12:33:32-05:00November 14th, 2022|Conditions|

Equine asthma (EA) is a relatively new collective term for chronic respiratory signs in horses that range in severity from mild to severe. These conditions were previously known as inflammatory airway disease (IAD) or recurrent airway obstruction (RAO), respectively. Equine asthma is characterized by inflammation and mucous production in the lungs, which leads to lower airway obstruction. The horse may cough, and breathing may or may not be laboured. Asthma is most commonly observed in horses stabled over winter months that have become hypersensitive to dust, airborne allergens, mold spores, or mites in stable bedding or stored hay.

Chronic Kidney Diseases in Horses: [Signs & Causes of Renal Failure]

By |2022-11-14T12:00:29-05:00November 14th, 2022|Conditions|

Chronic kidney disease (or chronic renal failure) in horses is a rare but serious disorder that interferes with normal kidney function. Your horse's kidneys perform many important processes in the body including managing blood pressure, excreting waste products, and regulating electrolyte balance. When kidney function is impaired, waste products begin to build up in the blood and affect the function of other organ systems. Horses with reduced renal function often experience weight loss and have difficulty maintaining body condition. They may also show signs of poor coat quality, excessive thirst and increased urination.

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 - [...]

Stocking Up in Horses: Stagnation Edema Causes, Symptoms, & Treatments

By |2022-11-07T10:58:56-05:00November 7th, 2022|Conditions|

Stagnation edema, also known as stocking up, is a common cause of leg swelling in stabled horses. It occurs due to impaired circulation from periods of reduced activity. This short-lasting form of edema typically affects both hind limbs and causes swelling from the coronary band up to the hock. Occasionally, it occurs in the forelegs as well. Stocking up is also called distal limb edema because it affects to lower portion of the limbs. Another term for stocking up is pitting edema. This is because when pressure is applied to the area, a pit or indentation will remain temporarily. Stocking up results from the pooling of lymph, a clear fluid that circulates in the lymphatic vessels. Sometimes this circulation is compromised allowing fluid to accumulate. This typically occurs if blood flow and lymphatic drainage are impaired.

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.

White Muscle Disease in Horses: Signs, Causes & Treatment – [Nutritional Myodegeneration]

By |2022-10-04T12:47:45-04:00October 4th, 2022|Conditions|

Nutritional myodegeneration (NMD), more commonly known as white muscle disease, is a disorder that affects various animals, including horses. In equids, the condition primarily occurs in newborn foals, although adult horses can also develop it. The condition results in degeneration in the skeletal and cardiac muscle most often due to inadequate levels of selenium in the body. It also occurs less commonly in horses that are deficient in vitamin E. Selenium and vitamin E are important antioxidant nutrients for horses. Antioxidants are molecules that neutralize free radicals, which are unstable molecules that can damage cells. Common signs of white muscle disease include weakness, poor coordination, and difficulty standing, eating, and nursing. Due to a loss of muscle function, respiration can be impaired, and respiratory failure may occur in foals.

Equine Pneumonia: Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

By |2022-10-24T10:54:26-04:00October 3rd, 2022|Conditions|

Equine pneumonia is a common respiratory illness that can be life-threatening in young horses. It can affect different parts of the horse’s lungs and may cause varied symptoms. Pneumonia refers to an infection in the lungs in which tissues become inflamed, and the air sacs fill with fluid or pus. Horses affected by pneumonia can experience cough, fever, weakness and difficulty breathing. Pneumonia can affect horses of all ages, but it is most prevalent in 2 and 3-year-old horses. It is also the most common cause of illness and death in foals between 1-6 months of age.

Equine Infectious Anemia (EIA) – Signs, Treatment & Coggins Test

By |2022-10-24T20:35:25-04:00September 28th, 2022|Conditions|

Equine Infectious Anemia (EIA) is an infectious disease that affects horses and other equids, such as donkeys and mules. The disease is caused by an RNA virus transmitted by blood-sucking insects. Many affected horses show no clinical signs and are asymptomatic carriers of the disease. However, stress or illness can cause signs to become apparent. Horses that test positive for the virus must be isolated from other horses to prevent the spread of the disease. Horses infected with the EIA virus carry it for life and remain contagious.