It's always fun to share horsey news with fellow horse folks. Please send us your news, wrap up of events and clinics, comings and goings at your barn and don't forget to add a photo or two. We'll share it on our facebook page. If you'd like us to give you press coverage of an event please email us the details as far in advance as possible.
Strong Support for Future Use of Stem Cells to Treat Equine Osteoarthritis
Two studies led by Dr. Judith Koenig and her team at the Ontario Veterinary College have shown equine pooled cryopreserved umbilical cord blood, (eCB) MSC, to be safe and effective in treating joint pain and inflammation. Both studies received funding from Equine Guelph.
In the first study, the stem cells harvested from multiple donors of equine umbilical cord blood, (eCB), (kindly provided by eQcell), MSC were compared to saline injections in research horses. “This type of cells is much more practical if you have a cell bank,” says Koenig. “You can treat more horses with it and it's off the shelf.” With no systemic reactions, the green light was given for the second study to test stem cell therapy in horses with lameness due to fetlock osteoarthritis. Read the full article...
Hoof Pain Triggered by Cold
Eleanor M. Kellon, VMD
Any horse will walk gingerly over uneven, frozen ground, but what I am talking about is pain that looks like a laminitis attack. The horse is reluctant to move even in a barn or stall, and may stand with the front legs stretched out, or be frequently shifting weight. Most, but not all, have a history of laminitis. All are breeds prone to metabolic issues.
Horses normally have a very high tolerance for cold. In all species, cold causes a reflex shunting of blood away from the extremities and toward the core to limit loss of body heat. Healthy horses prevent the hoof from being damaged by low blood/oxygen supply with the use of local arteriovenous shunts — pathways which allow them to divert blood quickly back to the veins for return rather than sending it to the local tissues. When low blood supply reaches a critical level, the arteriovenous shunts to that part of the hoof can close, reperfusing the tissue. Read the full article...
Safe Travelling with Equine Guelph’s New Resources
Guelph - ON - Dec, 6, 2022, “A very near-accident with my horse trailer was a wake-up call for me,” says Gayle Ecker, Director of Equine Guelph. “It showed me clearly that I didn't know what I didn't know about safety while trailering a horse! Hearing similar stories from others prompted me to propose this course to my team and all agreed we could do something to help.” Equine Guelph, with funding from the governments of Canada and Ontario through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership (The Partnership), has developed resource information sheets and a video to help would-be transporters and experienced haulers alike navigate different hitch systems, understand what the different ratings mean, and perform a thorough pre-trip inspection. Read the full article...
Equine Disease Communication Center Launches New Website
LEXINGTON, Ky.- The Equine Disease Communication Center, a leader in real-time and accurate information about infectious diseases, is proud to announce the launch of their newly redesigned website at https://equinediseasecc.org/. The new site features a clean modern design and improves user experience with resources readily available and more access to information in times of need. Read the full article...
Statement on Passage of the Prevent All Soring Tactics (PAST) Act
WASHINGTON, D.C - On November 14th, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Prevent All Soring Tactics (PAST) Act, H.R. 5441, to help end the cruel practice of soring Tennessee Walking, Racking, and Spotted Saddle Horses. Leaders at Animal Wellness Action have helped lead the charge to enact the PAST Act since 2013, and the measure cleared by a vote of 304 to 111 last night with 263 cosponsors, falling short of the 333 to 96 record vote in 2019 when the PAST Act first passed the House with 307 cosponsors. Read the full article...
She’s A Bold One Crowned Thoroughbred Makeover Champion
The Finale Championship of the 2022 Thoroughbred Makeover and National Symposium, presented by Thoroughbred Charities of America, welcomed the five top-placed horses after two days of preliminary competition to compete for additional honors before an enthusiastic crowd and a worldwide audience watching via livestream. A panel of judges who watched the entire day of competition ranked the ten winners to determine the overall Thoroughbred Makeover Champion, sponsored by Churchill Downs. When the points were tallied, the honor went to She’s A Bold One, trained by junior Jenna Denver of Imlay City, MI.
She’s A Bold One is a 2018 chestnut mare bred in Kentucky by Downtown Bloodstock Partnership. By Midshipman out of the Strong Contender mare Bold Contender, She’s A Bold One is unraced, but was in race training and last ran a timed work on January 12, 2021. Read the full article...
Minerals and Insulin Resistance
Eleanor M. Kellon, VMD
Minerals have direct and indirect involvement in virtually every action in the body, and have important effects on Insulin Resistance (IR) or its consequences. IR is different in the horse than in the human, but the same basic principles apply. There is evidence of activated antioxidant defenses in the tissues of IR horses.
Building the horse’s own antioxidant basic defenses is most effective. This includes the superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase, and glutathione peroxidase enzyme systems, as well as the antioxidants glutathione, CoQ10, carotenoids and vitamin A, flavanoids, and vitamins E and C. Glutathione is particularly widely distributed. Read the full article...
Equine Documentary Trailer: “The 24 Behaviors of the Ridden Horse in Pain: Shifting the Paradigm of How We See Lameness”
Fairfield, CA (September 2, 2022) The trailer for “The 24 Behaviors of the Ridden Horse in Pain” is streaming now. The film, produced by Padma Video in association with Train With Trust, is a 35-minute documentary featuring world-renowned expert in equine orthopedics, Dr. Sue Dyson, and her research on how “bad” horse behavior can actually be an early indicator of pain.
“We are conditioned that many horse behaviors are normal, when they are not.” says Dr. Dyson. “We need to appreciate that what we call ‘naughty horses’ are often a reflection of underlying musculoskeletal pain.” Read the full article...
Equine Cutaneous Leishmaniasis Guidelines Now Available from the AAEP
The American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) has published on its website comprehensive guidelines to assist practitioners with diagnostics, clinical signs, risk factors, treatment and other considerations of Equine Cutaneous Leishmaniasis, a non-fatal infection that causes cutaneous lesions most commonly observed as nodules on the head, pinnae, scrotum, legs and neck. Read the full article...
MMP Enzymes and Laminitis
Eleanor M. Kellon, VMD
MMPs are matrix metalloproteinases – enzymes that break down connective tissue protein/collagen in the body. If you follow news releases and articles about equine laminitis, you have surely seen mention of MMP enzymes since the late 1990s. Turns out they are not the major players as was originally thought.
The basement membrane (BM) in the hoof is a thin layer of connective tissue lining the junction between the dead laminae of the hoof wall, and the live laminae of the inner hoof. This system locks the hoof wall to the tissues inside like Velcro.
In laminitis caused by things like colic/gut infections, black walnut shavings, grain, or experimental fructan overload, it was noted the basement membrane is damaged or destroyed and that the level of MMP enzymes is increased. This led to the theory that the activation of MMP is what causes laminitis. Read the full article...
AAEP Creates Commission to Alleviate Equine Veterinarian Shortage
The American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) has formed the Commission on Equine Veterinary Sustainability to develop strategies to retain and recruit more veterinarians to equine practice.
Many areas of the United States and beyond currently face a shortage of equine practitioners to provide veterinary care to horses and other equids. This equine welfare issue will further intensify without action to address the diminishing number of equine veterinarians.
The Commission will be led by AAEP-member volunteers with work focused in five key areas: compensation, strategies for effective emergency coverage, veterinary practice culture, internships, and supporting the growth and development of the equine veterinary student. Read the full article...
Why “Bute” Doesn’t Work with Endocrine-Related Laminitis
Laminitis caused by high insulin is different from other types
Eleanor M. Kellon, VMD
Laminitis caused by high insulin is different from other types of laminitis. Both you and your veterinarian are anxious to relieve your horse’s pain when there is laminitis. The first thing reached for is usually phenylbutazone or another NSAID drug like Banamine or Equioxx. Unfortunately, they often have little effect.
There are many different types of lamintis, including:
• Mechanical: A horse is overloading one leg because another is injured, stretched laminae and dropped coffin bone from a long toe and/or shoes.
• Inflammatory: Grain overload, experimental fructan overload, retained placenta, Strangles, colic, Salmonella, Lyme, Potomac Horse Fever.
• Endocrinopathic – EMS or PPID.
Anti-inflammatory drugs like the NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) are most effective with the inflammatory types of laminitis which involve destruction of the basement membrane of the laminae, which does not occur in endocrinopathic laminitis. Read the full article...
Solving a Mare’s ‘Behavioral’ Problems
Common signs of ‘misbehavior’ can be a direct result of pain.
When Korrina Tomes-Hughes – horsewoman, wife and mother of four – acquired a horse who often squealed and kicked out, she told her husband they had a year to solve the issues. “If a horse isn’t safe, they don’t stay at our house,” she said. “Considering a 1,200-pound horse versus our littlest kid of 40 pounds, there can be no taking chances when it comes to safety.”
It is important to bring up any behavior-related issues with your veterinarian, so they can examine your horse for any potential pain and discomfort that may be directing the behavior you’re seeing. And, that’s just what this family did. “You can’t just write [a horse] off for a bad day, or even a bad week. And when you have a mare, you especially have to make sure she is comfortable,” she said. Read the full article...
New Equine Fecal Transplant Research
Fecal transplantation has been very successful in treating humans with issues such as C-difficile infection, which is also a leading cause of diarrhea in horses. Ontario Veterinary College researcher, Dr. Luis Arroyo and his team are about to begin a study which could make treating gastro-intestinal (GI) issues in horses using fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) a viable option. FMT has been given to horses with diarrhea, but so far, there is little evidence-based medicine to support that FMT is efficient in horses. One challenge is the path to the colon is much longer in a horse, precluding administration by enema for example, and therefore requiring delivery into the stomach via the nose instead. The inoculant needs to survive the trip to its intended destination. Another challenge is the preservation of a product that can be on hand when needed.
Amazing progress in genome sequencing has opened doors to new research tackling GI issues. Arroyo has been involved in studies examining the inhabitants of the equine gut and explains there is still much to learn, but we are starting to develop a clearer picture of how the micro-environments are very different in a diseased gut compared to a normal healthy one. They are recording what types of bacteria live in different areas of the GI system, what proportions of each bacteria should be present, and how they interact. Read the full article...
Caring for Barn Cats?
Veterinarian shares 8 tips for looking after our most resourceful felines.
Barn cats are kings and queens at horse farms and ranches, keeping away varmints like moles, mice and consequentially, even snakes. But even the most independent outdoor cats can benefit from added protection and routine care.
For advice on caring for barn cats, we turned to Oklahoma State University's Assistant Clinical Professor with the College of Veterinary Medicine, Dr. Sarah Peakheart.
Purrr-use these top tips for thriving barn cats:
1 Offer any outdoor cats (and dogs) a safe, warm place to sleep. A heated or insulated cat house is perfect for keeping outdoor cats in winter months cozy. Also, ensure they have plenty of food and fresh water. Consider a heated water bowl to help prevent frozen water during wintertime. Read the full article...
Are Most Horses Lefties?
The perils of putting symmetrical saddles on asymmetrical horses
“We were not surprised to learn 60% of the horses in our 490 horse retrospective study had larger measurements on the left side of their withers”, says Dr. Katrina Merkies, researcher and associate professor at the University of Guelph. Undergraduate students, Julia Alebrand, Bethany Harwood, Katharine Labarge and Laura Scott digitized and compared years of measurement data gathered from a saddle fitting company, which used a flexible wither tracing tool. The empirical evidence did indeed back up the hypothesis expecting more bulk on the left, based on what saddle fitters were already noticing in their day to day work. But what does this mean for the horse owner shopping for a shiny new saddle, manufactured in a perfectly symmetrical way? Read the full article....
Horizon Structures Presents Series….Safety and Selection of Horse Hay Feeders
By Nikki Alvin-Smith
Saving up to 30 percent on your hay bill is an appealing reason to opt in to purchase a hay feeder. The University of Minnesota studies showcased that not only users of large square and round bale feeders could benefit from a smaller hay bill, but also horse owners that utilize small squares could get in on the significant savings.
Hay feeders can be labor saving boon, but with so many options on the market, what should the diligent horse owner look for when selecting a feeder and what safety measures should they employ to mitigate the risks of injury, choke or colic to their horses. Here are a few suggestions to help the neophyte equine hay feeder user navigate the world of feeders.
Cows and Horses
Cow feeders may be more readily available and cheaper than horse feeders, but does this make them a good option for use around equines? The answer is a resounding “No!”
Cows necessarily are not as athletic as horses and certainly their legs are shorter and their activities generally more lethargic than our beloved equines. While photos posted on social media of horses standing in the center of an empty round bale feeder may seem funny, the reality is that the gaps in the feeder are large enough for equine hooves to become trapped and can result in catastrophic injury or even death. Read the full Article...
Why Do Horses Eat Dirt?
One of the most frequently asked question from my clients is “Why does my horse want to eat dirt? Is she missing something in her diet?” Well, the question can be answered several ways, as there is not one particular reason why horses engage in this perfectly natural activity. Horses are supposed to eat a certain amount of dirt on a daily basis.
• Dirt is a natural part of the equine diet. It contains minerals in bio-available form that the horse needs for various metabolic functions. Some of the minerals, iron for example, are more utilizable from the soil than when added to feeds or stored in forages. Horses that are constantly stabled and deprived of minerals naturally found in dirt may develop deficiencies even when supplied with those minerals in processed feeds.
• Dirt also contains microbes that the horse’s digestive tract can benefit from. Some microbes are located in plant roots so the horse may dig through the dirt to get at the roots of these plants.
• Dirt contains water and salt which can both help a thirsty horse stay hydrated. However, it is always better to make sure horses are supplied with fresh drinking water and salt at all times. Read the full article.
Standing a Stallion? Cash in on a FREE listing in Catskill Horse Stallion Directory
The Merry Band at the Catskill Horse continues to add more resources to the magazine to service regional horse businesses and horse owners with the addition of a Stallion Directory.
To grab your free listing as a stallion owner please submit the following via email to us at info@CatskillHorse.org :-
Bloodlines to 3 generations:
Registry of Stallion: GOV/VHW etc.
20 words or less highlighting his credentials:
Stud Fee: Up to you whether you want to list or show as Private Treaty
Location where stallion stands: Town/State ( Your full address if you wish published)
Contact Tel #:
And most importantly a great photo! Must be copyright released to us by photographer if not your own to release.
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