Horse Health

Train Your Eye to Spot Good Horse-Health Characteristics

January 11, 2016

When judging horse conformation, look for the good characteristics first.

Click image for larger version.

Click image for larger version.

When most people set out to evaluate a horse, they hunt for faults. Instead, AQHA Judge Jim Heird, Ph.D. says to get into the habit of first looking for what’s good about the horse.

Before you can know what you don’t like, you have to firmly establish in your mind what you do like. Start by studying the breed ideal.

“Train yourself to find the horse that most closely resembles the breed ideal, with the most positive combination of balance, structural correctness, movement and appropriate breed characteristics,” he says. Read the rest of this entry »

NSAIDs – Are You Following the Rules?

December 17, 2015

Make sure you know the horse-showing rules regarding nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.

Know the rules regarding NSAIDs before you adminster any at or before a show. Journal photo

Know the rules regarding NSAIDs before you adminster any at or before a show. Journal photo

From AQHA Corporate Partner Merial

As equestrians, we expect a lot from our performance horses. Sometimes pain and inflammation of their joints can happen right before a show or competition. Before administering a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug, it’s important to know the rules specific to your particular association or show. Read the rest of this entry »

Winter Care of the Broodmare

December 10, 2015

Follow these tips and help support cold weather horse health.

Retaining even a small piece of placenta can cause serious problems for your broodmare

It’s important to keep your broodmares healthy during the winter months so they can have healthy foals. Journal photo

From AQHA Corporate Partner Zoetis

Keeping mares healthy throughout pregnancy is important for the delivery of healthy, happy foals. For owners of American Quarter Horse mares waiting for the spring foaling season, it’s crucial to remember to take extra care of them during the cold winter months. Read the rest of this entry »

Dealing with Injuries

December 3, 2015

Be armed with the knowledge and supplies to properly tend to a laceration.

Learn what to do to take care of a leg wound. Journal photo

Learn what to do to take care of a leg wound. Journal photo

From AQHA Corporate Partner Zoetis

Depending on severity, a laceration or wound to your horse’s leg can be unsightly or potentially career-ending. Your first step should be to call your veterinarian. However, knowing what to do while you wait can improve recovery time.

Because of a horse’s natural fight-or-flight response, an injured horse’s temperament can be unpredictable which can cause him to suffer additional injury. Read the rest of this entry »

An Oral Gel Sedative Makes Routine Horse Care Easier

November 21, 2015

Prescribed by your veterinarian, given by you to safely complete horse health and management procedures.

fwefd. Journal photo

Dormosedan gel can help ease horse health procedures. Journal photo

From AQHA Corporate Partner Zoetis

Good horse health care is important to ensure a productive and rewarding experience with your American Quarter Horse. However, a stressed horse can make the most routine care procedures difficult – even with horses that are typically calm. Read the rest of this entry »

Zoetis Introduces First-Ever Licensed Equine Leptospirosis Vaccine

November 19, 2015

LEPTO EQ INNOVATOR® developed specifically for horses to help prevent leptospirosis caused by Leptospira interrogans serovar Pomona.

Leptospirosis affects all regions of the country. Photo courtesy of Zoetis

Leptospirosis affects all regions of the country. Photo courtesy of Zoetis

From AQHA Corporate Partner Zoetis

This fall, Zoetis introduced LEPTO EQ INNOVATOR®, the first and only vaccine licensed in horses, 6 months of age or older, to aid in the prevention of leptospirosis caused by Leptospira pomona (L. pomona), a disease that poses devastating health risks to horses and can require costly treatments by horse owners. Read the rest of this entry »

Strangles: Corral a Common Threat to Horse Health

November 5, 2015

Using an intranasal vaccine can help prevent this complicated disease.

horse herd

Horses with a persistent strangles infection are one of the primary causes of strangles outbreaks, even in well-managed horse herds. Journal photo

From AQHA Corporate Partner Zoetis

Here’s a situation no horse owner wants: diagnosing a disease that shows no symptoms. In the case of strangles, that’s exactly what you might be facing.

The disease caused by Streptococcus equi, more commonly known as strangles, is a highly contagious upper respiratory infection most common to young horses. Read the rest of this entry »

Unapproved Ulcer Products Are Just Bad Medicine

October 30, 2015

Equine gastric ulcers are often found in horses treated with non-FDA-approved ulcer products. Find out how to effectively protect your horse from ulcers.

Not all ulcer products are equal. Journal photo

Not all ulcer products are equal. Journal photo

From AQHA Corporate Partner Merial

Recognizing signs of equine stomach ulcers is familiar to Dr. Carolyn Littel, an equine veterinarian from Fawn Grove, Pa. Whether it’s due to poor performance,1 decreased appetite,1 recurrent colic1 or poor body condition,1 Dr. Littel frequently treats horses with ulcers in her area, which is home to many Olympic-caliber performance horses as well as champion race horses. Read the rest of this entry »

Leptospirosis: A Hidden Threat

October 23, 2015

Equine leptospirosis can be a costly and underdiagnosed disease that can affect the entire equine industry.

Leptospirosis affects all regions of the country. Read on to learn about this bacterial infection and how it could affect your horse. Photo courtesy of Zoetis

Leptospirosis affects all regions of the country. Read on to learn about this bacterial infection and how it could affect your horse. Photo courtesy of Zoetis

From AQHA Corporate Partner Zoetis

Leptospirosis is a bacterial infection caused by spirochetes belonging to Leptospira species. A recent nationwide study showed 75 percent of healthy horses were exposed to at least one leptospiral serovar.1 The study involved 53 veterinary clinics across 18 states. Additionally, a 45 percent seroprevalence for Leptospira bacteria was revealed in an analysis of diagnostic laboratory samples from 29 states and one Canadian province.2 Read the rest of this entry »

Normal Horse Vital Signs

August 28, 2015

Horse-Health Tip: Learn how to check your horse’s vital signs to make sure he’s healthy.

A normal temperature for a horse is between 99.5 and 101.5 F.

Here’s how to check your horse’s temperature:

  • Lubricate the thermometer with petroleum jelly.
  • Attach a string to the end of your thermometer if it should fall into your horse’s bedding.
  • Tie a clothespin to the other end of the string so you can attach it to your horse’s tail while you’re taking his temperature.
  • Approach the horse from the side, and do not stand directly behind him.
  • Raise your horse’s tail and insert the thermometer into his rectum.
  • Wait at least one minute, then read the thermometer. Read the rest of this entry »

West Nile Virus: Is Your Horse Ready for Peak Mosquito Season?

July 21, 2015

Learn how you can help protect your horses.

Vaccination is the most effective way to help protect horses against West Nile and other mosquito-borne diseases, such as eastern equine encephalomyelitis and western equine encephalomyelitis. Photo courtesy of Zoetis

Vaccination is the most effective way to help protect horses against West Nile and other mosquito-borne diseases, such as eastern equine encephalomyelitis and western equine encephalomyelitis. Photo courtesy of Zoetis

From AQHA Corporate Partner Zoetis

In the United States, July through October coincides with peak mosquito activity, which places your horse at the highest risk of contracting West Nile virus (WNV) during this time of year.1 However, with the right vaccine and preventive measures, it’s not too late for horse owners to help protect their horses against this life-threatening disease.

West Nile virus is transmitted by mosquitoes, which feed on infected birds and then infect horses, humans and other mammals. In 2014, the U. S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 19,623 West Nile virus cases; case numbers include mosquitoes, birds, humans and horses.2 California topped the charts with 7,008 cases, followed by Texas with 2,484 cases. 2

“It is a good sign that the overall number of cases has declined over the last decade. However, there continue to be an alarming number of human and equine cases every year, especially in the late summer and fall,” says Dr. Kevin G. Hankins, senior veterinarian, Equine Veterinary Operations, Zoetis.

Vaccination remains the most effective way to help protect horses against West Nile and other mosquito-borne diseases, such as eastern equine encephalomyelitis and western equine encephalomyelitis.

Researchers recently tested horses’ response to six West Nile virus vaccination regimens and found some substantial differences in their immune responses.3 While all of the vaccinated horses demonstrated an initial immune response, by Day 28, the response of the horses vaccinated with WEST NILE-INNOVATOR® was four times higher than those vaccinated with the one-dose, big combination WNV-containing vaccines.

Learn more about West Nile virus and other common horse health concerns with AQHA’s Common Horse Health Issues report.

“We thought that WEST NILE-INNOVATOR would produce a higher immune response than the large one-dose combination West Nile vaccines but did not think it would be nearly four times higher,” Dr. Hankins says. Read the rest of this entry »

Protecting Horse Health in the Show String

June 27, 2015

Preventing equine stomach ulcers is one of the secrets to success for this German-born trainer.

Not all horses show obvious signs of ulcers, as Robin Schoeller found out with his one of his mares. Photo courtesy of Merial

Not all horses show obvious signs of ulcers, as Robin Schoeller found out with his one of his mares. Photo courtesy of Merial/Laura Schoeller

From AQHA Corporate Partner Merial

If it weren’t for a chance trip to a western riding camp, successful reining trainer Robin Schoeller might still be doing what he did when first introduced to horses – vaulting.

“It was me – and the rest were girls,” he says of his younger days taking vaulting lessons in his native Stuttgart, Germany. “I was lucky that my mom loved horses and was committed to keeping me involved, because horses are an expensive hobby.”

Robin made the switch to western riding in his early teens and devoted his spare time to riding as much as possible, even cleaning stalls in exchange for lessons. After high school, he went on to earn a degree in horse science and accepted a position working for German reining horse trainer Volker Schmitt. Read the rest of this entry »