A tendon and ligament injury is common in the equine industry, impacting upwards of 30% of horses. Despite the injuries being common, most often result in loss of use or reduced use, especially in highly competitive industries including racing. These injuries are often frustrating to both owner and veterinarian because healing can be slow and …
The most urgent situation is always the one at hand, or in sight, right there and then. We have to attend to emergency situations, whether if that is an acute lameness, injury, wound, health ailment or even colic situation. They are dire, in most situations, and must be dealt with accordingly, however, once through that crisis situation, we need to step back and really look at the big picture, hopefully isolating or honing in on the cause of why things happened or developed. This often entails looking past the obvious problems at hand, whether if that be a lameness or even a health situation, looking deeper and hopefully arriving at insight and wisdom. Can we do this? As easy at is sounds, it is not generally well accepted to look beyond the obvious problem at hand. Certainly a challenge for many horse owners, people themselves or even veterinarians.
EIPH or exercise induced pulmonary hemorrhage is unfortunately a common condition in equine athletes, affecting upwards of 40% of race horses and an estimated 62% of QH’s involved in racing, including other disciplines such as barrel racing.2 It is one of the main causes of decreased performance and also one of the more common respiratory problems found in competitive equine athletes, especially when involving epistaxis or nasal bleeding. EIPH can be very frustrating for some trainers, due to the fact that a specific cause in each case is often not determined and response to therapies can decrease over time. In many instances, the equine athletes are able to maintain higher levels of performance, while other are forced to retire. As with many equine health conditions, with a better understanding, sometimes we can implement therapy options to improve the outcomes, helping to keep performance to a high level.
Navicular syndrome is a very common problem in the equine industry, likely impacting 30% or more of horses, dependent on the breed and discipline. We see this condition commonly in the western disciplines but also to varying degrees in other sports, including jumping, dressage and even racing. There are many factors that contribute to the problem, which can make it difficult at times to manage. All too often, though, we tend to wait until the condition has progressed, with irreversible damage, before we properly intervene. With a better understanding, hopefully we can recognize the condition sooner, see contributing factors and produce better results for the patient in the long term.
Our canine companions are not immune to joint concerns, but like us, they often live with day to day discomfort and pain. They want to go, jump, play, but are limited in what they can do. The hips and even back are main sources of problems, creating moderate pain, limited range of motion and creating a modest dependence on pharmaceutical medications just to keep them moving. Their problems are very similar to ours, as humans. We have choices and options which may provide a higher level of quality of life. All we have to do is understand the process and see the possibilities.
Anhidrosis is a common problem, impacting upwards of 10% of horses, usually subjected to high heat and humidity for prolonged periods of time. It is an important condition, as its presence can impact stamina, recovery and overall ability by the owner to exercise their horse. Sweat production is vital for the body, not only to aid in detoxication, but also in thermoregulation, so when the horse cannot sweat, they can quickly overheat. Solutions are sporadic, with some of these therapies helping a few horses, while others do not benefit. Hopefully, if we take a deeper look into this condition, we can arrive at some potential options to improve management.
Alternative medicine. Holistic therapy. These are terms tossed around quite frequently in the veterinary and human world of medicine and surgery. To some, they are the only route to go, while to others, they are often seen as last resorts or even in some views ‘quackery’. The truth is that we need to take a different look at these options, seeing them for what they are and if so, potentially benefit patients on a higher level.