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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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Delayed Patellar Release

Horses, as we all know, have many special abilities. Among the less dramatic, but no less important, of these abilities is their ability to sleep standing up. Horses have a complex system called the passive stay apparatus that allows them to do this while using minimal muscular effort. One of the keys to this system is the ability to lock the kneecap (patella) in place, which keeps the stifle extended. Normally, the horse can lock and unlock the patella with no resistance.

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