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Articles > Keywords > Health

Health

Found [447] Articles :: Page 28 of 30


OCD Lesions In Growing Juvenile Horses

OCD is a degenerative bone disease that is found in many types of animals, including horses. Osteochondritis dissecans or OCD is most commonly associated with younger horses that are rapidly growing and developing, and is also typically associated with horses that have longer leg bones. Longer leg bones means taller horses, so usually breeds that have a mature height of over 15 hands are more prone to OCD but it can also be seen occasionally in smaller and shorter horses. What is interesting is that there seems to be no difference between the tall heavy horses and the tall lighter horses, so weight itself is not the key factor, it is the length of the bones. In normal growing horses the ends of the bones that meet up at the joints are soft and this is where the growth occurs. As the cartilage becomes hard it adds to the length of the bone, resulting in growth. In horses with OCD the softer, growing ends of the bone do not harden, rather they stay soft and actually begin to break down, resulting in pain, swelling and lameness that may seem initially to move throughout the limbs. [...]

The Puzzle Of Paralysis

There are many different types of genetic, infectious, viral and even toxicity issues that can result in permanent or temporary paralysis of horses. Since there are so many possible triggers to a horse's inability to move it is critical to try to decide what has caused the condition before treatment is started. Keeping good records of feeds, pastures, vaccinations as well as contact with other horses or any changes in exercise or behavior prior to the paralysis is essential to help the vet in knowing what the most likely causes are. Paralysis in horses can affect one leg, both front or both back legs or the whole body. Depending on which limbs are affected the paralysis may be severely debilitating or it may be manageable. Temporary paralysis of one back leg may not be a paralysis at all, rather it may be a condition known as locked stifle where a ligament has simply caught on the stifle, preventing the horse from bending the leg. This type of condition is usually corrected by massaging of the stifle and manipulation of the limb to correct the lock. [...]

External Parasites Can Be Controlled

There are several different types of external parasites that can easily find a great place to live, feed and grow right on your horse. Good parasite control is simple, relatively low cost, and can prevent many types of anemia, secondary bacterial infections and even discomfort for your horse. Most external parasites that feed and live on horses also can affect other animals, including humans, so keeping your stables and horses free from parasites is helpful in several ways. Some of the most common external parasites found on horses are mites. These small, microscopic parasites can live on the skin, under the skin or in the hair follicles themselves. Each type of mite will cause itching and discomfort for the horse as well as allergic reactions to the toxins they produce. Hair loss and secondary bacterial infections due to scratching and licking are often the first signs of a mite infection. Mites can also live in the ears and will cause a dry, scabby look to the ears and cause a dark, foul smelling waxy discharge from the ears. While not fatal themselves, a severe mite infection in an already compromised horse can be life-threatening. [...]

Brittle Hoof Can Cause Long Term Soundness Problems

Brittle hoof is one of the many horse conditions that both explains as well as labels a health problem. Brittle hoof is exactly what you would think, a condition where the hoof itself, including the horn and the hoof wall or exterior, becomes dry and cracks easily, leading to lameness as well as the chance that fungus and bacteria can get into the hoof. Brittle hoof is common in some breeds, leading researchers to believe that there is a hereditary component to the condition. Breeds that are more prone to brittle hoof include Welsh Ponies and New Forest Ponies, but almost any other type of chunky horse or pony, often described as cobby, can have the condition in their line. Horses that are raised in very wet or soft and moist pastures or areas that are then moved to dry, sandy or stabled conditions with straw or pellets for bedding may also develop the condition, due to the change in the surface that is in contact with the hoof. [...]

How To Determine If Your Horse Has Worms

There are several different types of worms that can be found in horses, ponies, donkeys and mules, so having a good idea of the types of worms you may be looking for as well as the signs of worm infestations is important. Since commercial worm treatment pastes or medications kill most types of worms commonly found in horses when used at the correct time they are effective in developing a management and worm control program that will ensure your horses are worm free year round. Young foals are particularly susceptible to a type of worm known as an ascarid. The foal swallows the ascarid when he or she is grazing, usually by contact with old fecal material that contains ascarid eggs. Once inside the digestive tract the ascarid hatches and grows to the larva stage, moving to the lungs to develop and then returning to the intestine, often reaching up to 20 inches in length. While in the lungs the ascarid can contribute to respiratory problems such as pneumonia. [...]

How To Determine If Your Horse Has Worms

There are several different types of worms that can be found in horses, ponies, donkeys and mules, so having a good idea of the types of worms you may be looking for as well as the signs of worm infestations is important. Since commercial worm treatment pastes or medications kill most types of worms commonly found in horses when used at the correct time they are effective in developing a management and worm control program that will ensure your horses are worm free year round. Young foals are particularly susceptible to a type of worm known as an ascarid. The foal swallows the ascarid when he or she is grazing, usually by contact with old fecal material that contains ascarid eggs. Once inside the digestive tract the ascarid hatches and grows to the larva stage, moving to the lungs to develop and then returning to the intestine, often reaching up to 20 inches in length. While in the lungs the ascarid can contribute to respiratory problems such as pneumonia. [...]

Pin-Toes Cause Stress On Joints

Pin-toes, so named because the toes actually point in towards each other rather than straight forward can be very problematic for the horse and are not just a conformation problem. The normal horse's hoof is made up of the toe or rounded front part, the quarters or sides of the hoof and the heel or back of the hoof. In a correctly conformed horse the toe of the hoof should point directly forward and the hoof wall or the strong outer part of the hoof as well as the frog or spongy cushion of the back of the hoof should allow equal weight distribution as well as correct alignment of the fetlock, knee, stifle, shoulder, hip and pelvic bones. Usually pin-toes occur on the front feet although they may also occur in the back. Pin-toes are usually congenital, or the foal is born with the inward turning of the feet. Often this is also seen in prior generations within specific lines, but it can also be due to growth problems and joint malformations due to OCD or degenerative joint disease. [...]

Pneumonia In Horses Is A Bacterial Infection

The bacteria that is most commonly associated with pneumonia or infections in the respiratory system in horses is the Streptococcal bacteria group. These microscopic bacteria are found in the air and in healthy horses they are breathed in and destroyed by the immune system, not resulting in any infections or problems. In unhealthy horses or horses that are weak, fatigued or stressed or horses that are exposed to huge number of the Streptococcal bacteria at one time the body may not be able to fight off the bacteria, resulting in pneumonia. Horses that are more likely to develop pneumonia include young foals with poorly developed immune systems, over trained or over worked horses, horses that are kept in overcrowded stables or pastures or horse that are trailered long distances and stressed. Of course horses that already have a pre-existing health condition are also much more at risk, as are horses that have chronic respiratory problems, worms, or problems with fluid on the lungs or esophageal damage from choke. [...]

Potomac Fever: A Seasonal Bacterial Infection

There are many names for Potomac Horse Fever including Equine Ehrlichial Colitis, Equine Monocytic Ehrlichiosis and Acute Equine Diarrhea Syndrome or more simply PHF. Whatever you want to call the condition, the symptoms are always the same. Not all horses that are exposed to Potomac fever get the same severe signs, some seem to recover without assistance while others can become fatally ill. Horses develop Potomac Fever in the summer and it was originally believed that the bacteria (Neorickettsia risticii) lives in rodents or other small mammals during the rest of the year. It is now more known that the bacteria actually are found in snails and flukes found in fresh water streams and ponds. It is thought that horses drinking or walking through these areas contract the bacteria resulting in the transmission. In addition the biting insects that are hatched in the water are likely to feed on the tiny flukes in the water, thereby infecting themselves. [...]

Rabies - A Rare But Fatal Disease In Horses

Literally any mammal can become ill with rabies if exposed to the virus. Rabies is caused by a group of viruses known collectively as rhabdovirus. Most commonly dogs, skunks, raccoons, foxes and bats are diagnosed with rabies, but other animals such as cats, horses, goats, cows, sheep and even people can get the disease if bitten by a rabid animal. Rhabdovirus is considered to be zoonotic, which means it can be transferred between species and between animals and humans. Although it is highly unlikely a human could get rabies from a horse, inadvertent direct contact with the saliva under the right conditions could occur. All horses that are diagnosed with rabies will die, typically in three to five days of the first sign of the disease. Since effective vaccines are available to prevent the horse from developing rabies should he or she be exposed, it is well worth the addition of the vaccine to the regular schedule. [...]

Rhinopneumonitis: Common In Young Horses Under Three

Rhinopnuemonitis is more commonly known by its more descriptive name, Snots. This is because this virus, which is actually a form of the equine herpes virus, lives in the mucosal membranes of the nasal cavity and is most easily identified by the large amounts of mucous that are discharged from the nose as well as a dry, hacking cough. Equine herpes virus is present in most adult horses, but the horse's immune system is able to keep the virus under control so it does not affect the horse under normal conditions. In young horses that don't have a fully developed immune system or that are being exposed to many different viruses at the same time the immune system may not be able to control the development of the virus, resulting in the symptoms. It appears that the rhinopneumonitis occurs in mild stages over a three to seven day cycle and then will clear up on its own. In actuality the virus is still present in the lymph nodes of the horse and will be for life. [...]

Ringbone And Lameness In Older Working Horses

Long known as a problem condition in older, working horses, ringbone continues to be a concern for horse owners around the world. Ringbone is a condition that includes swelling and changes to the bones and joints of the pastern in either the front or back legs. Ringbone is basically a new bony growth that occurs on any one of the bones in the pastern, it can occur in the pastern joint itself (high ringbone) or can occur lower in the foot in the coffin joint (low ringbone). Ringbone is a form of osteoarthritis and may be a result of several factors. The more factors that are present or have occurred in the horse's life the more severe and problematic the ringbone is likely to be. The major cause of ringbone is repetitive trauma to the pastern through sudden stops, turns and changes of direction. Many western stock horses, cutting horses and polo ponies develop ringbone as they are constantly and suddenly changing directions at high speeds and with great frequency. [...]

Are Ringed Or Ribbed Hooves Anything To Be Worried About?

If you have ever looked closely at a the surface of a horse's hoof you will notice that they tend to have rings that run round the hoof, some which are somewhat raised and wide and some that are less pronounced and narrow. These rings are indicators of the growth from the cornet or top of the hoof and indicate any number of issues, much like the rings on the inside of a tree mark periods of growth. A foal's hooves will be very smooth, simply because they have had a consistent environment when they were carried by the mare. Once the foal is out on pasture he or she will go through periods where they are stressed, where they have lots to eat, and where they are experiencing lots of exercise and movement or very little. Each of those factors will affect the ring on the hoof and will leave either a raised or flat ring, or a wide or narrow ring. [...]

SCID In Arabians

SCID fully known as severe combined immunodeficiency disease, is an autosomal recessive gene that has been identified in Arabian horses or Arabian cross horses. It is interesting to note that a similar condition exists in mice and humans, as well as several other species. An autosomal recessive gene is a gene pair that has to be inherited one from the dam and one from the sire, resulting in both parents contributing the recessive gene. Once the foal has a recessive gene for SCID from both parents, he or she will have the condition. The parents, each having only one copy of the gene, are considered to be carriers, even though they will show no signs of the genetic condition. It is estimated that 1 of every 567 Arabian foals will have SCID and approximately 82.9 percent of the population of Arabians are clear, which means they do not carry the recessive gene for SCID. SCID affects both male and female foals equally, so it is not sex linked in nature. [...]

Hind Leg Conformation and Sickle-Hocks

The hock is the joint that is about half way down the back leg and most closely resembles the bent elbow of a human. The hock is the joint that gives the horse thrust by straightening out the leg either for forward or upward movement. Since the weight of the horse in turns and forward and upward movements is on the hock, good conformation is essential to ensure that the joint will stay strong and solid throughout the horse's life. There are several different conformation problems that can occur, most which are congenital or are present from birth. One problem is hocks that are too straight, which is known as post legged. These horses have little thrust and often have poor pastern positioning, resulting in joint and foot problems as the horse ages. Sickle hocks are the opposite problem to a post legged horse. A horse with sickle hocks has too much bend in the hock, leading to a bowed shape in the lower leg rather than the correct conformation. In severe cases of sickle-hock the horse appears to be pulling the bottom of the leg, known as the cannon bone, up and under the body. [...]

Found [447] Articles :: Page 28 of 30
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