Since first being recognized in the United States in 1999, West Nile virus (WNV) has posed a serious threat to horses and humans alike. In the equine population, the virus is transmitted when a mosquito takes a blood meal from a bird infected with WNV, then feeds on a horse. While many horses exposed to WNV experience no signs of illness, the virus can cause inflammation of the brain and spinal cord. In some cases, especially in older horses, WNV can be fatal.

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Rabies. The word conjures up chilling images from old movies: a snarling dog, foaming at the mouth, attacking anything that moves. But did you know horses are very susceptible to this disease? Skunks, foxes, bats, and raccoons are the main wild animals that transmit rabies. These all live in habitats bordering typical horse farms. Wild animals with rabies behave abnormally, and as horses are curious, it is easy to imagine how they can be bitten by a rabid carrier. A single bite can transmit enough virus to kill.

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Every day veterinarians across the country see hundreds of cases of laminitis, a painful disease that affects the feet of horses. Laminitis results from the disruption of blood flow to the sensitive and insensitive laminae within the foot, which secure the coffin bone to the hoof wall. While the exact mechanisms by which the feet […]

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Fortunately for our nation's horse population, interest in equine geriatrics among veterinarians and researchers has been increasing. As a result, it has been found that not only do senior horses have different preventive care needs, but also that certain disease conditions become more common as horses age. Many of the conditions we associate with "old age" in the horse--like lameness, weight loss, or poor shedding--actually might be preventable or treatable.

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Horses with dental problems may show obvious signs, such as pain or irritation, or they may show no noticeable signs at all. This is because some horses simply adapt to their discomfort. For this reason, periodic dental examinations are essential to your horse’s health. It is important to catch dental problems early. If a horse […]

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Introduction Equine Cushing’s disease is one of the most common diseases of horses greater than 15 years of age. The clinical signs are associated with abnormally elevated hormone concentrations in the blood (cortisol plays an important role in this disease).  This syndrome is better defined as Equine Pituitary Pars Intermedia Dysfunction (PPID) because it reflects […]

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What is colic?  Basically it means that your horse has a “belly ache.”  The abdominal pain can be arising from any organ found in the abdomen, not just the GI tract and can range from mild pain to severe life threatening disease. Signs of colic can range from mild to severe.   Common signs to look […]

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