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Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease In The Horse

Spring is upon us and with the increase in pollen and other allergens, those horses with prior respiratory allergies can flare, creating a life of misery for them and their owners.  Respiratory conditions impact a large percentage of horses, contributing to health problems ranging from poor performance to complete debilitation.  Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is one of the most common respiratory conditions affecting the horse, which can be frustrating to manage.  Just like other health conditions, the more we know and the earlier we intervene, often the prognosis is improved and management made easier.

Easy Keepers, Metabolic Syndrome and Lameness; What is the Connection?

Easy keepers.  Most horse owners know what this term means almost instantaneously when they hear it.  In general terms, it refers to a horse that has a tendency to carry more weight and gain weight easily, often with just the sight of a green pasture.  Almost any horse can be an easy keeper, but there are certain breeds that are more prone including Quarter Horses, Pony breeds, draft breeds and even some warmbloods.  Many of these easy keepers progress to metabolic syndrome and even insulin resistance over time, each a stage of continued deterioration at a cellular level.  In many situations, these same horses tend to have concurrent lameness issues ranging from joint degeneration to tendon issues and laminitis, but also many also seemed more prone to allergies, respiratory problems and even eye issues.  What is the connection and why do many standard therapies fail to provide relief for this particular group of horses?