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The Equine Heart (Part 2): Common Cardiac Disease

Horse owners have probably all experienced “heart” in a favorite horse, that indefinable quality that makes certain horses stand out. In the article The Equine Heart: Part 1, we examined the remarkable abilities of the equine heart, and its role in making horses superior athletes. In this article, we will examine some of the more common cardiac problems found in horses.

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The Equine Heart (Part 1): What Makes the Horse Such an Amazing Athlete?

Without a doubt, one of the most awe-inspiring things about our equine companions is their remarkable athleticism. Their sheer power, grace, and refinement of movement have captivated the imagination of people throughout history. But beyond the sinew and muscle and bone of these intricate machines is a power plant unequalled in any other creature: the equine heart.

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Equine Gastric Ulcer Syndrome in Adult Horses

Equine Gastric Ulcer Syndrome (EGUS) is prevalent in our equine population and can be a cause of suboptimal performance and behavioral issues. It has been estimated that approximately one to two thirds of adult horses have gastric ulcers depending on level of work and management practices.

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“EGUS”: Equine Gastric Ulcer Syndrome

How many of you can think back to vague signs in your horse including intermittent colic, poor performance, changes in attitude, poor hair coat or poor body condition? It may be worth looking into EGUS or Equine Gastric Ulcer Syndrome in your horse.

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Fractures in Horses: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

After Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro underwent surgical repair of a severe fracture many equine veterinarians were hearing the same statement “I didn’t think you could fix a broken leg in a horse”. The truth is some you can and some you cannot.

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Control of Estrus In Mares

Veterinarians are frequently called upon to help horse owners control the estrus behavior (“heat”) in mares used as performance horses or as show animals. When some mares come in heat, the hormonal and behavioral shifts that takes place distracts from their ability to perform their sport. Before deciding to manipulate your mare’s hormones, you should consult with your veterinarian. Sometimes a mare’s history can be suggestive of a hormonal problem. For example, a mare with a Granulosa thecal cell tumor of one of her ovaries often displays stallion like behavior.

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Equine Viral Arteritis

As the breeding season gets under way, many stallion and mare owners are surprised to be asked about their horse’s EVA status. In the wake of an outbreak of Equine Viral Arteritis (EVA), which occurred in Quarter Horses in 2006, many horse breeders and trainers are rethinking their approach to this disease. Testing and vaccination protocols are becoming stricter in all breeds of horses. The 2006 outbreak originating in New Mexico had a devastating impact on the Quarter Horse breeding industry.

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Cresty Necks and Laminitis: Equine Endocrinology Part I

The two main endocrinologic concerns in horses are equine Cushing’s disease and equine metabolic syndrome. These disorders are increasing in prevalence as our equine population is better cared for and living longer. These disorders can have two main similarities: 1) insulin resistance 2) the potentially devastating possibility of laminitis. It is important to understand the signs of insulin resistance and be able to effectively manage these horses to decrease the risk of laminitis.

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Enteroliths: A Rock and a Hard Place

Enteroliths are one of the leading causes of severe colic in the state of California. The word enterolith is derived from the Greek terms “entero” meaning intestinal and “lith” meaning stone (Figure 1). The high incidence of enterolith formation in California is presumably due to the mineral content of our hay and water. Commonly referred to as stones, enteroliths are composed of struvite crystals which coalesce around some central object like a pebble or a small piece of wire ingested by the horse.

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Deworming Programs– One Size Does Not Fit All

Over the past several years, there has been a huge shift in the equine veterinary community’s thoughts on parasite prevention. It is difficult to pick up a horse magazine or browse an equine website these days without reading about parasite resistance. Parasite resistance to dewormers is increasing throughout the world, which is particularly concerning given the lack of new types of dewormers available. While there are many brand names, there are really only three main types of dewormer drugs, so we need to slow emerging resistance to them as much as possible.

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