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.
As a veterinarian, I have to confess that after almost 20 years of clinical practice, I failed many of my patients due to lack of knowledge about proper nutrition. Being a student in veterinary school, honestly, there was not much focus on nutrition. In some courses, there was mention of various nutrients, but not much pressure to use the diet as a tool to aid in disease management and recovery. The good news is that after all of those years, I did ‘wake up’ and realize the importance and today, my approaches are much different for myself, our pets and those horses that I have contact with on a daily basis. It wasn’t always this way and I discover more each day, which can be exciting!
Are you or your horse an antacid junkie? Stomach or gastric ulcers are a common condition impacting horses, people and even pets sometimes. We see commercials regarding antacids and ‘acid blockers’ all of the time and horse owners are exposed to these medication way too often, being an unfortunate part of many horse’s daily routines. For some people, it is no different and many of the commercials seen make it seem like it is the ‘in’ thing to do to take or give these medications. If it is as prevalent in today’s horse world and for people as we are made to believe, then we have a problem. If we have a problem, then we need to understand the problem in order to remedy it or at least improve it.
Equine recurrent uveitis (ERU) is unfortunately a common condition in horses, impacting up to 7% of farms with at least one horse affected. ERU is considered one of the most common causes of blindness in the horse and seems to impact many breeds, but with certain predilections to the Appaloosa and Paint breeds. The condition is very complex with much to be learned and understood in terms of pathophysiology, but treatment options can offer some help in managment and preservation of vision.
When you hear the word “inflammation”, the most common image is one of redness, swelling and pain. Maybe a sprained ankle, tendon or even a blister. While this is true for one form when view externally, it doesn’t always hold true. Pain is a common association with inflammation, but doesn’t always have to be present for the inflammatory process to impact health on many levels. Sometimes, it is like a smoldering fire, out of normal view, contributing to many health conditions in people, pets and horses.