Disaster Planning For Horse Farms By Dana N. Zimmel, DVM, Diplomate ACVIM, ABVP (Equine Practice), University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine Hurricanes, tornadoes, flooding and fire are the most common natural disasters in the state of Florida. The leading cause of death in large animals during Hurricane Andrew in 1992 included animals killed in […]

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Equine metabolic syndrome (EMS)’ is a term that describes a series of clinical signs that contribute to the development of laminitis (founder) in horses. EMS is most commonly seen in pony breeds, Morgans, Paso Finos, and Norwegian Fjords, although Arabians, Quarter Horses, Tennessee Walking Horses, Saddlebreds, Thoroughbreds, and Warmbloods have all been diagnosed with the syndrome. In general, “easy keeper” breeds are at higher risk than “hard keeper” breeds such as Thoroughbreds and Standardbreds. Identifying EMS in affected horses/ponies is important because proper management will aid in the prevention of laminitis.

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North Florida Equine recommends the following essentials for your horse’s first aid kit: 1.  Absorbent compress dressings – anything thick and absorbent to use when applying pressure to a bleeding wound 2.  Bandage material – rolled cotton or a specifically designed bandage roll 3.  2 – 6 inch gauze rolls 4.  Self-adhesive bandage such as Vetwrap or […]

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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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