American Association of Equine Practitioners
American Association of Equine Practitioners

Horse Health HEADING_TITLE


Welcome to the AAEP's Horse Health article search engine. Each of the articles available in this section have been written by AAEP member veterinarians. To use the search, you can either put a keyword in the box that says "Search Publications Archives" or you if you are looking for a specific topic, you may select a topic from the drop-down box labeled "Topic" and all articles on that subject will be brought up. 

 




Behavior

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Behavior
Equine Behavior Through Time Written By Dr. Sid Gustafson Horses began their journey through time 60 million years ago. Three million years ago the footsteps of humans were fossilized next to the hoofprints of horses, suggesting that humans have been contemplating horses for some time. But it was not until perhaps ten thousand years ago that human societies began the dance of domestication with the horse. Over thousands of years, perhaps tens of thousands of years, the horse herds gradually... Read More

Skin Problems

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Skin Problems
Understanding Anhidrosis Anhidrosis, a compromised ability to sweat, in the face of exercise or high ambient temperatures is a potentially dangerous condition for horses. Working horses thermoregulate (maintain a consistent body temperature) primarily through sweating. The lose 65-70% via the respiratory tract, so the inability to sweat can have a tremendous effect on these regulatory mechanisms. Environmental humidity reduces sweat evaporation and further magnifies sweating inabilities. Anhidrosis is widespread in ... Read More

Alternative Therapy

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Alternative Therapy
The Benefits of Chiropractic Care Equine chiropractic care is a rapidly emerging filed among veterinarians due to increasing demand from horse owners for alternative therapies. It is an art of healing that focuses primarily on restoring the spinal column’s normal movement and function to promote healthy neurologic activity, which in turn supports effective musculoskeletal function and overall health. Chiropractic care centers on detecting abnormal motion of the individual vertebra and its effects on the surrounding tiss... Read More

Founder

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Founder
Grass Founder Written By Tom Lenz, DVM, MS Spring might be the best time of the year, but if we have horses that are prone to developing grass founder, this season may be the beginning of serious problems for some of our horses. Horses that are over the age of 10, easy keepers, overweight or cresty-necked seem especially vulnerable to grass founder and should be the focus of founder prevention. Laminitis or founder, as it is commonly called, is inflammation of the laminae of the horse’s foot. Lami... Read More

Nutrition

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Nutrition
Obesity Written by Dr. Tom Lenz on behalf of AQHA Fat horses are at greater risk for exercise intolerance, founder, metabolic syndrome, insulin resistance, the formation of colic-causing lipomas (fat tumors in the abdomen), joint and bone problems, reduced reproduction efficiency and increased stress on their heart and lungs. According to a recent survey conducted by the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine, 51 percent of the horses had a body condition score (BCS) of greater t... Read More

Transportation

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Transportation
Preventing Shipping Fever By: Joan Norton VMD, DACVIM Shipping fever is a well-described pulmonary disorder appearing in animals shipped long distances. If left untreated, cases of this pneumonia type can become severe enough to require hospitalization and even endanger a horse’s life. So, why do horses get shipping fever in the first place? Long-distance transport compromises horses’ natural immune defences. It has been shown to increase levels of stress hormones, such as cortisol, which can impair... Read More

Reproduction: General

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Reproduction: General
Breeding With Frozen Semen The benefits of using frozen semen when breeding a mare are numerous. Cryopreservation (freezing) allows long-term sperm storage, which in turn allows a breeder to but and store semen from a stallion of interest and save it for the right mare in the future. The ability to import frozen semen from other countries allows breeders access to quality stallions all over the world. And storing frozen semen gives mare owners the option to breed to stallions that have died, have been castrated or are ... Read More

Nutrition

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Nutrition
Winter Water Consumption We all know that colic is the number one noninfectious health risk for horses. There are a number of types of colic but the one we see the most in winter is impaction colic. Impaction colic is essentially constipation and most often includes the accumulation of hard, dry fecal material in the colon. The usual signs of impending impaction colic are depression, a decreased appetite and decreased production and dryness of manure. Although poor hay quality, lack of exercise, internal parasites a... Read More
Bran Mash During these cold, dreary days of winter a common discussion around most barns and stables is whether or not horse owners should provide their horses with a bran mash daily, weekly, or at all. So I thought it would be a good idea to devote this month’s column to the benefits and problems with the practice. Wheat bran is a fluffy, low density feed that is similar in nutrient content to oats. It has one-half the density of whole oats, around one-fourth the density of corn or wheat and abo... Read More

Weather Care

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Miscellaneous
Cold Weather Care Written by Dr. Tom Lenz It has been such a pleasant summer and beautiful fall; it is hard to believe that winter is just around the corner. But today, the wind shifted, and tonight, the temperature is going to dip down below freezing so it looks like winter is upon us. The good news is that horses are inherently well equipped to handle practically anything that winter can dish out as long as they have a way to get out of the wind. Their long winter hair coat traps air next to the skin, whic... Read More

Founder

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Founder
More About Grass Founder By Richard Mansmann and Christine King Laminitis, or founder, is a painful and potentially devastating foot condition that can affect any member of the horse family (horses, ponies, donkeys, and mules). There are many different conditions or situations that can cause laminitis or increase the potential for it to occur. Probably the single most important in grazing horses is unrestricted access to lush pasture. In a recent nation-wide survey, access to lush pasture was felt to be responsible ... Read More

Foals and Weanlings

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Foals and Weanlings
Weaning Your Foal Written by Tom Lenz, DVM, MS, DACT Weaning is usually done somewhere between 4 and 7 months of age, although some ranches leave their foals on the mares a bit longer.After 4 months of age, the foal’s nutritional requirements exceed that provided by the mare’s milk, and most foals are eating grain and forage on their own. Therefore, the first step in the weaning process should include ensuring the foal is eating a good quality hay and comfortable eating a well-balanced ration cont... Read More

Alternative Therapy

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Alternative Therapy
Applying Acupuncture to Lameness in the Horse By Allen Schoen Veterinary acupuncture and acutherapy are considered valid modalities, but the potential for abuse exists. These techniques should be regarded as surgical and/or medical procedures under state veterinary practice acts. It is recommended that extensive continuing education programs be undertaken before a veterinarian is considered competent to practice acupuncture. From the AAEP Guidelines on Therapeutic Options INTRODUCTION There has been a great increase in interest in ve... Read More
Equine Chiropractic: General Principles and Applications By Kevin Haussler, DVM, DC, Ph.D. Veterinary chiropractic should be considered a medical act and should be performed by a licensed veterinarian or a chiropractor under the direct referral of a veterinarian in accordance with that state’s practice act. It is recommended that extensive educational programs be undertaken before a veterinarian or chiropractor is considered competent to practice chiropractic on animals. From the AAEP Guidelines on Therapeutic Options. CHIROPRACTIC PRINCIPL... Read More
Therapeutic Options By Ed Boldt, DVM The use of “complementary” medicine continues to increase in veterinary practice. While there are a myriad of therapies that fall within this broad term, the two most utilized are veterinary acupuncture and chiropractic (sometimes referred to as manual therapy or spinal manipulative therapy). The American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) refers to these types of therapies as “therapeutic options.” These modalities complement our conventional... Read More
Veterinary Acupuncture and Chiropractic: What, When, Who? By Ed Boldt, Jr., DVM The use of “complementary” therapies continues to increase in veterinary practice. While there are a myriad of modalities that fall within this broad term, the two most utilized are veterinary acupuncture and chiropractic (sometimes referred to as manual therapy). It is felt that as more of the population turn to complementary therapies for their own health care, those individuals then seek out such therapies for their animals. It should be stressed that the... Read More

Behavior

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Behavior
Castration: Creation of a gelding from a colt or stallion By Larry R. Bramlage, DVM, MS Castration is normally performed on colts to make them more tractable and easier to handle. When the horse has minimal breeding value, the procedure normally takes place once the horse is skeletally mature. In horses with potential breeding value, the decision to castrate is delayed to determine if the horse has enough athletic ability to make it attractive as a future sire. If the horse is not a potential sire, castration increases the longevity of its race car... Read More
Castration: From Stallion to Gelding Castration is a surgical procedure performed by a veterinarian that is defined as the removal of the testicles of a male horse. The procedure can be accomplished through sedation and local anesthesia in a standing position or through general anesthesia and the horse lying on its side (lateral recumbency). This procedure is typically performed once the horse is skeletally mature to reap the beneficial effects of testosterone.  Why Castration may be Necessary  This procedure is typi... Read More
Tales from the Crypt By Larri Jo Starkey and Ben Espy, DVM, DACT Which of these commonly accepted truths on cryptorchid horses are true and which are myths? Take our test and learn the answers. Here are the facts about cryptorchidism: It’s a condition in which one or both testicles are retained in the abdomen instead of descending into the scrotum. It’s seen in all domestic animals, and is common in stallions, boars and dogs. You probably know that already. But it’s the other things you “... Read More

Brochures translated into French

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Brochures translated into French
EXAMENS D'ACHAT: Un bon investissement Posséder un cheval peut représenter un gros investissement en temps, en argent et en émotions. Malheureusement, les chevaux sont rarement accompagnés d'une garantie de remboursement. C'est pourquoi il est si important d'examiner tous les aspects du cheval avant de l'acheter. De nombreux professionnels du cheval peuvent vous aider à évaluer certains critères, comme les capacités, le comportement ou le pedigree, et vous devriez leur demand... Read More
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