Horse Health

Stay Current With Your Defense Against Equine Influenza

January 15, 2015

Don’t let new strains make you doubt your horse’s disease protection.

Photo courtesy of Zoetis

Photo courtesy of Zoetis

From AQHA Corporate Partner Zoetis

Equine influenza is a highly contagious respiratory disease that causes fever, coughing and nasal discharge.1 Treating it can cost you money. Recovery can cost you time away from training and competition.

The best method for helping to protect your horse against equine influenza virus is to vaccinate before exposure. But over time, new EIV strains can appear in circulation. So how can you trust that your horse is protected against the current EIV strains?

To support current protection, the World Organisation for Animal Health encourages vaccine manufacturers to work with laboratories that can test for reactivity against the current circulating strains.2 Read the rest of this entry »

The Horse-Health Highway

December 4, 2014

Tour the equine digestive tract and learn how your horse’s feed goes from Point A to Point B.

Where does your horses food go after it leaves his bucket

Where does your horse’s food go after it leaves his bucket? Illustration courtesy of Nutrena

From AQHA Corporate Partner Nutrena

Ever wonder how your horse’s digestive system works? What goes on in there? Why is it so sensitive? And why should I divide the feed ration into two or three feedings per day? Let’s take a closer look to better understand the equine digestive tract:

Mouth & Teeth

Teeth are the beginning of the entire process. Designed to grind foodstuffs into smaller pieces, the act of chewing also stimulates three glands in the mouth to produce saliva. These glands can produce up to 10 gallons per day of saliva. The saliva contains bicarbonate (a natural acid buffer) and amylase (assists with carbohydrate digestion). Read the rest of this entry »

Horse-Health Warnings

November 16, 2014

What do recent FDA warnings to equine stomach ulcer product manufacturers mean?

From AQHA Corporate Partner Merial

Consumers should be vigilant when it comes to treating their horses with a product - which means they should invest time researching whether or not a drug has received FDA approval. Journal photo

Consumers should be vigilant when it comes to treating their horses with a product – which means they should invest time researching whether or not a drug has received FDA approval. Journal photo

In late October, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued warning letters to multiple marketers of products claiming treatment of equine stomach ulcers, including:

  • Horse Gold, Inc. – GastroMax3
  • HorsePreRace – Omeprazole Oral Paste, Omeprazole/Rantidine Oral Paste
  • TriLStar Equine – Gastrotec
  • Douglas J. Gordon, Teton Equine – UlcerCure OTC
  • Cox Veterinary Laboratory, Inc. – Gastroade Xtra
  • Ceva Animal Health Pty Ltd. – Omoguard Paste
  • Abler, Inc. – AbGard, Abprazole, Abprazole Plus, Abler Omeprazole
  • Multivet USA, Inc. – Gastro37 OTC

The FDA admonished all of them for promoting their products “for use in the mitigation, treatment or prevention of disease in animals.”1-8 Read the rest of this entry »

Strangles: Corral a Common Threat to Horse Health

November 6, 2014

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. Symptoms can include fever, difficulty swallowing, abnormal breathing, nasal discharge, swelling and/or abscesses of the lymph nodes.1 The disease can spread quickly and is easily transmitted through direct animal-to-animal contact or by objects – buckets, bridles or human hands – that may have come in contact with infected horses.

“Commonly, a horse with strangles will have profuse nasal discharge and swollen submandibular lymph nodes,” says Dr. Kevin Hankins, senior Read the rest of this entry »

Don’t let Stressful Situations Compromise Horse Health

October 30, 2014

An immune booster can help decrease upper respiratory disease in horses.

gray halter horse

After investing all that time and money preparing for that big event, don’t let your stressed horse become a sick horse. Journal photo

From AQHA Corporate Partner Zoetis

The combination of travel, unfamiliar environments, exposure to other horses, breeding and competing can stress your horses. And often, a stressed horse can become a sick horse – particularly from upper respiratory disease, caused by equine herpesvirus Types 1 (EHV-1) and 4 (EHV-4) – and add stress for you.

Whether you’re planning your trip to the AQHA World Championship Show in November or training sessions and weekend trail rides with friends this fall, your horse’s health could be at risk. These equine activities can involve mingling among many horses with unknown health status, which can cause the spread of equine respiratory disease. That could cost you time and money. Read the rest of this entry »

Horse Training for Longevity

October 23, 2014

A German trainer builds a reputation for safeguarding horse health. Preventing ulcers is a big part of that.


Sebastian Petroll keeps his horses at the top of their game for a long time by keeping them in peak health. Waltenberry photo.

From AQHA Corporate Partner Merial

Once Sebastian Petroll arrived in the United States from Germany in 2001, it didn’t take long for him to become a household name in reining circles.

In fact, since then, not only has he captured multiple titles and become a sought-after trainer, but he has also earned his National Reining Horse Association judge’s card.

What led to his arena success and the recognition by his peers? Sebastian trains his horses for longevity and has developed a reputation for having horses that last. Read the rest of this entry »

Sand Colic

October 16, 2014

Prevention is best when it comes to this horse health threat.

horses grazing

When a horse eats from the ground, he can ingest sand or dirt, which could cause sand colic. Journal photo

By Cynthia McFarland for AQHA Corporate Partner Farnam

If you don’t live in Florida or the desert Southwest, you probably think your horse isn’t at risk for sand colic. Think again.

When a horse grazes on short, sparse pasture or is fed hay on the ground, he can ingest sand or dirt. Some horses – especially foals – actually develop a fondness for eating soil, a behavior known as “geophagia.”

Depending on how much is consumed, the sand can accumulate in the horse’s ventral colon and cecum. In regions of the country where sandy soil is common, it’s not unusual for horses to have small amounts of sand in the intestinal tract. Read the rest of this entry »

Winter Care of the Broodmare

October 9, 2014

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.

In winter, pregnant mares need to maintain healthy nutrients in their diets and sustain their body condition. They won’t have the benefit of lush grass to supplement their diets, so ensuring that they have a supply of quality hay can help them maintain optimal body condition. Read the rest of this entry »

The Oft-Forgotten Bot

October 2, 2014

A horse-health threat that can be lessened with proper management.

horse looking

Bot flies start as eggs “glued” to certain areas of your horse’s body, and end up going through his gastrointestinal tract. Journal photo.

By Cynthia McFarland for AQHA Corporate Partner Farnam

She may be doing a good imitation, but that hairy black-and-yellow insect buzzing around your horse’s front legs is not a bee. It’s a female horse bot fly, intent on “gluing” her eggs to the most advantageous spots.

Give that bot fly some credit. She’s no slacker. In fact, she can travel several miles in the quest for a host, and that host is your horse.

Life Cycle

There are three species of horse bots, and despite having similar life styles, the females oviposit (deposit using an organ at the end of the abdomen called an “ovipositor”) their eggs in different locations on the horse. Read the rest of this entry »

The Stomach to Win

September 25, 2014

Merial launches a “winning” video featuring AQHA members.

hunt seat horse

Two out of three nonracing competitive horses have been shown to have equine stomach ulcers.1 Journal photo.

From AQHA Corporate Partner Merial

Western pleasure. Showmanship. Reining.

AQHA Merial Regional Championships. The All American Quarter Horse Congress. AQHA world championship shows.

Texas. Florida. Virginia.

No matter the division, level of competition or geographic area, AQHA horse people have one thing in common – they want to win.

In a new video launched by Merial, makers of Ulcergard® (omeprazole), the message is all about what happens behind the scenes before competitive horses and riders ever enter a show pen, execute a pattern or slide to a stop. View the video at Read the rest of this entry »

The Science Behind Adequan

September 18, 2014

How and why these intramuscular injections help safeguard horse health.

Adequan photo

A healthy equine joint is in a constant state of “wear and repair.” Adequan photo.

From AQHA Corporate Partner Adequan

We have all heard how effective Adequan® i.m. (polysulfated glycosaminoglycan) is, however, most of us don’t really know why and how this therapy works. It is not as complicated as it might appear, and this article will shed some light on the subject.

Adequan® i.m. is a therapy to be used for equine noninfectious degenerative joint disease (DJD), often called osteoarthritis. Equine noninfectious DJD commonly affects the knees, hocks, ankles, stifles and coffin joints. Early recognition and treatment can limit the damage and restore the normal “wear and repair balance” in the joints before permanent cartilage or bone damage occurs. Read the rest of this entry »

Mount a Defense Against Equine Influenza

September 11, 2014

Vaccinations can help protect horse health heading into fall shows.

horses in stalls

At a show, your horse will be exposed to hundreds or even thousands of other horses, so he needs to be protected. Journal photo.

From AQHA Corporate Partner Zoetis

Traveling to events can put horse health to the test. Maybe it’s a trip to a training session or a big show like the upcoming All American Quarter Horse Congress. Unfortunately, this can be the time of year when upper respiratory disease, such as equine influenza, is all too common.

Whenever you expose your horse to other horses, you pose a risk to his health. But there are things you can do to help protect your horse from disease — most importantly, vaccination.

Without vaccination against equine influenza virus (EIV), horse owners can face a financial risk of up to $885, based on diagnostics, treatment and days of missed training.* Read the rest of this entry »