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Friday, March 30, 2012

Hallmarq Standing Equine MRI for Hoof Puncture Wounds: Is MR Scanning Necessary? Will It Help?


Mystery lameness? Puncture wounds take some detective work sometimes. This lame draft horse was referred to Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine Equine Hospital. It was a long drive for his owners, only to find out that a nail was embedded in the foot, invisible to everyone who had looked at the horse. When the nail came loose in the winter shoe and finally dropped out (note empty nail hole), the horse probably stepped on it. (© Michael Wildenstein photo collection)
A puncture wound in the foot can be a life-threatening and career-ending injury for a horse. Once again, the seemingly rock-hard protection of the hoof capsule proves to be not as tough as it looks. Horses step on nails, cactus thorns, shards of wood and metal, fence stakes, shavings bag staples and any and every other thing in their paths.

The Literary Hoof: "Great Expectations" on PBS Is a Classic Tour de Forge


Who's teaching whom? You'll have to read Great Expectations to learn what the young apprentice and his master were studying here. (Image scanned by Philip V. Allingham of Victorian Web.)
Great Expectations by Charles Dickens was written before subtitles became commonly used. If it had one, it would be "Or: Be careful what you wish for".

If you have never read Great Expectations (when I was in high school it was required reading for English classes) by Charles Dickens, consider picking it up now, especially if you have children of your own. Make it a family project to read it together, maybe even aloud. The forge images will come alive. So will the characters in the forge.

Here's a preview of the 2011 BBC miniseries starring Douglas Booth as Pip, which will be aired in the USA beginning Sunday, April 1, 2012 on PBS Masterpiece.

That's right: The classic Victorian novel of an orphan's fate begins and ends in a forge, and it could be said that it truly is a tale of seeing that forge in two very different lights. I think of it as a perfect allegory for T.S. Eliot's great quote:  "We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time."

Actor Shaun Dooley plays blacksmith Joe Gargery, one of Charles Dickens' rare sympathetic heroes, in the BBC film of Great Expectations that will air on PBS in April, beginning this Sunday. "I have often thought of him...like the steam-hammer that can crush a man or pat an egg-shell, in his combination of strength with gentleness," is how Pip described him. (BBC photo)
Like War Horse, Great Expectations is a book that has been adapted into a film and a play. But it's also been a film many times over, starring some great and not-so-great actors. And it's about to become one again: Hollywood and the BBC both re-discovered the book last year and have brought forward films--one for television and one for the cinema--at almost the same time.

For the high-dollar new Hollywood version, Jeremy Irvine, the star of War Horse, has signed on to play Pip, the once-future farrier of Charles Dickens' Great Expectations in the cinema version. He had to learn to ride a horse for War Horse; for Great Expectations, he had to learn to shoe one.

The movie blogs are reporting that Irvine even went to farrier school in England to get his hammer technique down.
Jason Flemyng as blacksmith Joe Gargery
But what about Jason Flemyng, who plays the wise and kind Joe Gargery in the new film? He must definitely have gone to farrier school!

Joe's not the only smith in Great Expectations. There's also the evil journeyman, Orlick.

Orlick just doesn't fit in. And he sees young Pip as a threat to his job security.

Dickens writes: “He was a broad-shouldered loose-limbed swarthy fellow of great strength, never in a hurry..he always slouched, locomotively, with his eyes on the ground; and when accosted or otherwise required to raise them, he looked up in a half-resentful, half-puzzled way….”

The kindly blacksmith Joe Gargery finally lost his temper and scattered the evil journeyman Orlick among the horseshoes in this scene from Great Expectations. The jealous Orlick didn't want to see Pip be an apprentice. (Image scanned by Philip V. Allingham of Victorian Web.)
It's hard not to love a story that has characters with names like "Uncle Pumblechook". I'm sure there must be an event horse somewhere with that name--or there will be soon!

Here comes trouble, also known as Magwitch, an escaped convict who threatens to rip Pip's liver out if he doesn't bring him a rasp. Why does he need a resp? You'll have to watch the film or read the book! (PBS press photo)
Dickens introduces his readers to Magwitch in one of the most unforgettable descriptions of a character ever written:
"A fearful man, all in coarse grey, with a great iron on his leg. A man with no hat, and with broken shoes, and with an old rag tied round his head. A man who had been soaked in water, and smothered in mud, and lamed by stones, and cut by flints, and stung by nettles, and torn by briars; who limped, and shivered, and glared and growled; and whose teeth chattered in his head as he seized me by the chin."
And that's just the beginning of the book.

I'm not a director, but I think the 1946 black-and-white version of Great Expectations would be hard to beat. Thanks to archive.org, you can view the entire David Lean film of Great Expectations online or even download it.

David Lean received an Academy Award nomination for directing this film and went on to create great film classics such as Doctor Zhivago. Let's hope the BBC version is half as good as that one.

In this old illustration from the book, Joe Gargery hammered on to repair the handcuffs that would be used to capture escaped convict Magwitch, while the soldiers who commandeered his services helped themselves to his special bottle of Christmas port. Some thank you, but the calm blacksmith wisely kept his eyes on his anvil.
If for no other reason, watch Great Expectations to teach your children and remind yourself that you should be careful about wishing to be someone you're not. Pip's unexpected opportunity to become a young gentleman causes him to turn his back on the forge and the one person who has something to teach him, about both working and living with honor and faith.

A comment about Joe from a review in The Telegraph sums it up: "Joe Gargery has a recessive role to play as the novel unfolds. But there he is, smudged with soot from the forge, a distant bedrock of compassion. If you finish the book without caring for Joe quite deeply, pop in a thermometer: you may need defrosting."

And if you don't get the message of Great Expectations, you just might be doomed to a life like Orlick's.

Art: illustrator Chris Riddell's characterization of Joe Gargery from the Observor's gallery of characters in Dickens' novels.

PBS.org says that part 1 of Great Expectations airs on Sunday, April 1 and part 2 on Sunday, April 8. PBS will also stream part 1 of Great Expectations beginning April 2 on its Masterpiece web site.
 
© Fran Jurga and Hoofcare Publishing; Fran Jurga's Hoof Blog is a between-issues news service for subscribers to Hoofcare and Lameness Journal. Please, no use without permission. You only need to ask. This blog may be read online at the blog page, checked via RSS feed, or received via a digest-type email (requires signup in box at top right of blog page). To subscribe to Hoofcare and Lameness (the journal), please visit the main site, www.hoofcare.com, where many educational products and media related to equine lameness and hoof science can be found. Questions or problems with this blog? Send email to blog@hoofcare.com.  
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any direct compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned, other than Hoofcare Publishing. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Monday, March 19, 2012

NTRA's New-Look Thoroughbred Horseshoes: Fantasy Footwear Video


This video makes you wonder who created that prototype for the NTRA! No additional information is available...so far although it looks sort of like a plastic-coated Easy. It looks like these commercials may be destined to air on national television. 


They come in Zenyatta's silks colors!


Call 978 281 3222 to place your order; ships immediately and you'll use it often!


© Fran Jurga and Hoofcare Publishing; Fran Jurga's Hoof Blog is a between-issues news service for subscribers to Hoofcare and Lameness Journal. Please, no use without permission. You only need to ask. This blog may be read online at the blog page, checked via RSS feed, or received via a digest-type email (requires signup in box at top right of blog page). To subscribe to Hoofcare and Lameness (the journal), please visit the main site, www.hoofcare.com, where many educational products and media related to equine lameness and hoof science can be found. Questions or problems with this blog? Send email to blog@hoofcare.com.  
Follow Hoofcare + Lameness on Twitter: @HoofcareJournal
Read this blog's headlines on the Hoofcare + Lameness Facebook Page
 
Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any direct compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned, other than Hoofcare Publishing. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Scott Simpson: Official Obituary and Memorial Information

O F F I C I A L  O B I T U A R Y

James Scott Simpson (1933 - 2012)


On March 1, 2012, the Hoof Blog reported the death of farrier J. Scott Simpson and published a personal tribute to Scott and his role in American horseshoeing. We promised to report more details when they became officially available and today we are able to do that. We are posting here the official obituary for Scott Simpson, which appears today in the Bozeman Daily Chronicle in Montana.

Of special importance is that Scott's family has set up a memorial page for him on the Wickenburg Funeral Home web site and they would like to invite everyone who knew Scott to visit the page and record their memories. You can also upload photos of Scott to the site.


Finally, a memorial service is planned for Scott, tentatively in late May, in Bozeman, Montana. More details about that will be announced later.

This information will remain on the Hoof Blog for anyone to access at any time.

The following text is as it was prepared by Scott's family.

James Scott Simpson of Bozeman passed away February 29, 2012, but not until he'd completed nine holes of golf in the desert near his winter home in Wickenburg, Arizona.

He was born March 27, 1933 in Prescott, Arizona, to Kenneth and Helen Simpson. The family soon moved to San Diego, California, where he attended Sweetwater High School in National City. At the age of 13 he learned to fly, sometimes washing airplanes in exchange for flying lessons. In later years he became a Certified Flight Instructor.

He served as a Staff Sergeant in the U.S. Army National Guard, receiving various awards for marksmanship. He also worked in the aerospace industry at General Dynamics Aeronautics. Around this time he met and married Evelyn Moore, with whom he started a family and reared five children.

He acquired his first horse at the age of 18, which established the direction the rest of his life was to take. He became skilled first as a cowboy and rodeo rider, then as a horseshoer, graduating with his best friend Mike Williams from the California Polytechnic horseshoeing school in 1959.

After 17 years as a professional farrier, he founded the Horseshoeing School at Montana State University in 1970. He later became the instructor of farrier science at Walla Walla Community College in Washington, and at his own Northwestern School of Horseshoeing.

During this time he remained active as a horseshoer and horseman, working in virtually every activity and discipline in the horse industry, including Thoroughbred racing, harness racing, hunter jumpers, dressage horses, working cow and ranch horses, pro rodeo, and as a horse show judge.

He served as president of the American Farrier's Association, and received the AFA's Outstanding Educator, Outstanding Clinician and Outstanding Journalism awards. In 1999 he was inducted into the International Horseshoeing Hall of Fame at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky. His teaching and expertise took him to places such as Australia, Hawaii, Japan, Russia, Alaska and Canada, as well as much of the continental U.S.

He was the author of numerous books on horseshoeing, the culmination of which is his magnum opus, The Contemporary Horseshoer: Shoeing Horses in the Twenty-First Century. He also wrote numerous articles in journals and magazines ranging from Western Horseman to Plane & Pilot.

He also helped to establish certification for professional farriers, developed the "Eagle Eye" principal of shaping a horseshoe to an individual horse's foot, and invented numerous implements for farriers, horsemen, and aviators.

Scott was a man of wildly diverse interests, whose passions included tennis, golf, cross-country skiing, fly fishing, big game hunting, and music, he being a gifted singer. With the Last Chance Ranch Hands he recorded Cowboy Up, a collection of traditional cowboy songs that has enjoyed much popularity.

Scott was a passionate and devout Christian, being a member of Valley of Flowers Catholic Church in Belgrade. He refused to answer the phone while having his afternoon devotions, or while watching Jeopardy! His teaching, mentoring, generosity, humor, commitment to excellence and love, touched many hundreds of lives over the years.

He is preceded in death by his father, Kenneth Simpson; his mother, Helen; his brother, Michael, Evelyn, and great-grandson Elijah. He is survived by his five children, Mary (George) Smith, Blake (Carmen) Simpson, Ben (Corrine) Simpson, Frank (Tamilla) Simpson and daughter Howie Simpson. Scott had seven grandchildren, Megan Smith-Jones, Christina Smith, Jeffrey Simpson, Michelle Simpson, Rachel Simpson, Mercy Anna Simpson, John Scott Simpson, and great-grandsons, Brendan and Joseph Jones.

A memorial service is planned for the end of May.


Make it happen! Email adopportunity@hoofcare.com or call 978 281 3222


© Fran Jurga and Hoofcare Publishing; Fran Jurga's Hoof Blog is a between-issues news service for subscribers to Hoofcare and Lameness Journal. Please, no use without permission. You only need to ask. This blog may be read online at the blog page, checked via RSS feed, or received via a digest-type email (requires signup in box at top right of blog page). To subscribe to Hoofcare and Lameness (the journal), please visit the main site, www.hoofcare.com, where many educational products and media related to equine lameness and hoof science can be found. Questions or problems with this blog? Send email to blog@hoofcare.com.  
Follow Hoofcare + Lameness on Twitter: @HoofcareJournal
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any direct compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned, other than Hoofcare Publishing. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

St Patrick's Day Guinness Commercials: Celebrate, Video-Style!

Happy St. Patrick's Day! Whatever you do today, there's a chance you might run into some of the products or culture spawned by the Guinness Brewery of Dublin, Ireland.

It wasn't enough for Guinness to have a cult-like following among pub-goers around the world, they also created a media culture with 50 years of television ads that celebrate more than just their deep, dark stout. They celebrate life--as only the Irish could portray and celebrate it, in every corner the world.

Wait for the videos to load--if you have a slow connection, it might take a while. Can you guess which one contains an anvil?

Luckily for us, Guinness likes horses. They show up regularly in ads and commercials, or even at the gates of the ancient brewery in Dublin.

Thank you, Ireland, for making today a holiday--and for making Guinness ads that are such an inspiration, we all want to be part of it.


Border collie Guinness: Created intentionally to go viral via social media, this commercial has its own movie-like trailer. It is only two weeks old and it's already had almost two million views on YouTube.


Guinness is good for you: In the 1950s, Guinness was promoted as a health food. It still has its devotees, just ask Zenyatta and other top racehorses who have had a daily ration of stout poured on their feed.


CG-Guinness: The Irish rugby team reveals its roots (definitely a favorite)


Pub culture Guinness: A stout history of barroom pool.



Polar Guinness: Someone needs to make a movie about Ireland's Tom Crean. He survived both the Scott and Shackleton expeditions, walked across the Ice Shelf (as in this commercial), was named a British hero and then retreated from public view to run a pub in County Kerry. At least Guinness made his legend the star of a commercial.


Before you were (probably) born: A Guinness-is-good-for-you poster comes alive for early television, circa 1955; this must be one of the earliest commercials


Global Guinness: I've been in other countries during the Super Bowl and I can definitely relate to this one. Maybe you were with me. Who could forget explaining American football in that cafe in Geneva, or that mountain-top bar in St Barth's where some guys had to sit on the roof and point a tv antenna toward Puerto Rico hoping to pick up a CBS signal...


Wild west Guinness: An all-American tough-guy fantasy for horse friends; this one might be my all-time favorite commercial although it doesn't quite say "Guinness" to me, for some reason. I like it anyway!


Just silly Guinness: because you knew I'd find an anvil buried in all these Guinness ads for my farrier friends. I think this is the ad campaign for the American market, but I wish they'd run their global ads.

I also wish that the creative minds of Guinness could be promoting horse racing in the USA. We need that kind of creativity, humor and especially their sense to find the spectacular in the everyday things around us.

There are dozens and dozens of great Guinness ads. What's your favorite? There's even a "Guinnessads" channel on YouTube. Post the link in the comments section to share your favorites or vote for the best one posted here.

And don't forget these that are already on The Hoof Blog:

The Guinness horses surfer ad
The Guinness Christmas commercial

Thanks, Ireland and thanks, Guinness!
Order world's best anatomy reference for lower leg / foot of the horse: 978 281 3222.

© Fran Jurga and Hoofcare Publishing; Fran Jurga's Hoof Blog is a between-issues news service for subscribers to Hoofcare and Lameness Journal. Please, no use without permission. You only need to ask. This blog may be read online at the blog page, checked via RSS feed, or received via a digest-type email (requires signup in box at top right of blog page). To subscribe to Hoofcare and Lameness (the journal), please visit the main site, www.hoofcare.com, where many educational products and media related to equine lameness and hoof science can be found. Questions or problems with this blog? Send email to blog@hoofcare.com.  
Follow Hoofcare + Lameness on Twitter: @HoofcareJournal
Read this blog's headlines on the Hoofcare + Lameness Facebook Page
 
Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any direct compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned, other than Hoofcare Publishing. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Cushing's Disease: Pergolide Compounding Update as FDA Issues Statement on Use of Pergolide Products for Animals

C0004P0063

 This statement may also be read on the FDA web site. This statement was posted on March 16, 2012.

On September 7, 2011, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA or Agency) approved a new animal drug application (NADA) for a product containing pergolide mesylate (NADA 141-331) marketed under the trade name Prascend Tablets for the control of the clinical signs associated with Cushing’s Disease in horses. Consistent with this approval, the Agency is announcing that it intends to consider the factors set forth in Compliance Policy Guide (CPG) Sec. 608.400 - Compounding of Drugs for Use in Animals (CPG 7125.40) in evaluating potential enforcement actions involving the compounding of pergolide products for animal use from bulk active pharmaceutical ingredient (API).


In the past, veterinarians prescribed human pergolide products to treat Cushing’s Disease in horses under the “extralabel” use provisions of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. However, in May 2007, the human pergolide products were removed from the market due to concerns about cardiac side effects in humans. At that time FDA stated that it would work with the sponsors of approved human products and others to ensure that pergolide remained available to treat Cushing’s Syndrome in horses until a new animal drug application was approved for that use. FDA stated that this would include, among other things, exercising enforcement discretion as appropriate over the pharmacy compounding of pergolide for use in animals.


Consistent with our previous statement, based on the approval of Prascend, FDA intends to apply the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act requirements regarding new animal drugs to animal drugs containing pergolide that are compounded from bulk API in accordance with CPG 608.400.

The preceding text is the message published today by the FDA.

In Monday's Federal Register, the change becomes official and the verbiage is a little more clear. It includes this summary statement:

SUMMARY: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is amending the animal drug regulations to reflect approval of an original new animal drug application (NADA) filed by Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc. The NADA provides for the veterinary prescription use of pergolide mesylate tablets in horses for the control of clinical signs associated with Pituitary Pars Intermedia Dysfunction (Equine Cushing’s Disease).

Download the full Federal Register documentation in PDF format.

Photo of pony with Cushings disease at top courtesy of University of Nottingham School of Veterinary Medicine and Science.

Order your copy of an extensive reference book on hoof rehabilitation.


© Fran Jurga and Hoofcare Publishing; Fran Jurga's Hoof Blog is a between-issues news service for subscribers to Hoofcare and Lameness Journal. Please, no use without permission. You only need to ask. This blog may be read online at the blog page, checked via RSS feed, or received via a digest-type email (requires signup in box at top right of blog page). To subscribe to Hoofcare and Lameness (the journal), please visit the main site, www.hoofcare.com, where many educational products and media related to equine lameness and hoof science can be found. Questions or problems with this blog? Send email to blog@hoofcare.com.  
Follow Hoofcare + Lameness on Twitter: @HoofcareJournal
Read this blog's headlines on the Hoofcare + Lameness Facebook Page
 
Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any direct compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned, other than Hoofcare Publishing. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Laminitis Research Highlights Grayson Jockey Club Foundation's Research Lists for 2012


The Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation announced today that the charitable organization will fund 16 projects in 2012, totaling $845,646. The research includes the launch of eight new projects, continuation of eight projects entering their second year, and the Storm Cat Career Development Award.

Of special interest is the announcement that a project on laminitis has received the Elastikon™ Equine Research Award. This is funded in part through a contribution by Johnson & Johnson’s Consumer Products Company, manufacturer of Elastikon tape and other equine products.

Of particular interest are the following projects:

LAMINITIS STUDIES

1. Digital Hypothermia in Laminitis: Timing and Signaling
Dr. James Belknap, The Ohio State University (Second Year)

Dr. Belknap
The most recent figures from a study involving the USDA and State Veterinary Medical Officers project that at any given time laminitis affects 8 of every 1,000 horses in the United States. Based on the American Horse Council survey that there are 9.5 million horses in the nation, that would indicate 76,000 horses being affected at any given time. Of those affected, the USDA survey found that 4.7% died or were euthanized, or about 3,572 deaths from laminitis annually.

The authors of this project report that “an integrated research effort over the last decade has enhanced the current understanding of the pathophysiology of equine sepsis-related laminitis (one of numerous causes of the disease). This has mirrored progression of sepsis research in human medicine by moving from (an earlier) concept . . .to determining that a marked inflammatory injury takes place and is likely to play a prominent role in tissue injury and subsequent failure.” However, there have been persistent failure of systemic therapies for organ/laminar injury in both human and equine medicine. One advantage laminitis presents is that it effects the hoof rather than visceral organs, lending itself to artificial cooling more readily.

In a present project funded by the Foundation, digital hypothermia (cooling of the hoof) prior to onset of carbohydrate overload-induced equine sepsis resulted in dramatic decrease in laminar inflammatory signaling. The next goal is to find pharmaceutical therapies which can accomplish the same without the cumbersome aspects of maintaining constant hypothermia to the equine hoof (hooves).

2. Laminar Energy Failure in Supporting-Limb Laminitis
Dr. Andrew Van Eps, University of Queensland (Second Year)

Dr. Van Eps
A frequent and disheartening result of injury repair is that the leg opposite the one injured develops laminitis. This is known as supporting-limb laminitis and is what eventually caused Barbaro to be euthanized. Although it is a common occurrence, the mechanisms of the malady have not been established.

Dr. Pollitt
This project is headed by a young researcher, Dr Andrew Van Eps, but the co-investigators are world renowned Drs. Dean Richardson and Chris Pollitt.

The project involves testing the hypothesis that supporting-limb laminitis is a result of reduced blood supply to the connection between hoof and bone (lamellar tissue). Further, that the blood supply in normal circumstances is encouraged by a regular loading and unloading of the legs and hooves (alternating which one is bearing the most weight). Injury to one leg interrupts that alternating pattern.

Dr. Richardson
The researchers will test the hypothesis with a state of the art, minimally invasive technique known as tissue microdialysis in conjunction with three dimensional computed tomography to develop effective methods of preventing or minimizing lamellar tissue energy failure. Comments in the Research Advisory Committee evaluations included “may well provide immediately applicable strategies to prevent supporting-limb laminitis” and “really nice grant, new idea about a devastating problem.”

Support-limb laminitis is a special area of research interest for the researchers funded by the Grayson Jockey Club Foundation. It is believed to be a unique form of the disease that is precipitated by prolonged weightbearing on one hind limb or one front limb, caused by the opposite (injured) limb's inability to bear weight after surgery or injury. Tragically, the overburdened "good" or "supporting" limb develops laminitis in this scenario. (Hoofcare + Lameness photo)

3. Laminar Signaling in Supporting-Limb Laminitis
Dr. James Belknap, The Ohio State University– First Year (2 Year Grant)

A recent USDA study indicates that approximately 1% of all horses in the USA suffer from laminitis at any given time, and approximately 5% of those animals die or are euthanized while many others remain crippled. Of the conditions which create laminitis, the development of the disease in the supporting limb of an already injured horse is one of the worst, since it is believed that 50% of those cases result in euthanasia.

The author reports that while there are hundreds of published papers in the literature about other forms of laminitis, reports on supporting-limb laminitis are restricted to clinical reports and case studies.

This project will “introduce a novel, non-painful model of supporting-limb laminitis and will allow for cutting edge bench research techniques to not only (1) test the current hypotheses on the cause of laminar failure, but also (2) provide an unbiased technique to determine the cellular events that occur . . .”

The investigator has performed a number of laminitis project for Grayson and the USDA, and has a well developed set of tools and techniques including laser micro-dissection of frozen laminar cells and an advanced “functional genomic” technique called RNA-Seq. By applying these techniques that have previously characterized laminitis caused by sepsis or metabolic syndrome to support limb laminitis, we will get our first understanding of what kind of drugs and treaments might prevent it.

This grant was selected by the board to receive the sixth annual Elastikon™ Equine Research Award.

4. Stem Cell Homing after IV Regional Limb Perfusion
Dr. Alan Nixon, Cornell University (First Year of Two-Year Grant)

Dr. Nixon
“The initial fervor associated with stem cell therapies has been tempered by mediocre clinical results,” states Dr. Nixon, long recognized as a key leader in quest to maximize use of stem cells. “More can be done, including pre-differentiation, gene-directed lineage targeting, and more efficient delivery.” This proposal will deliver by “local vein injection, to back-flow to bowed tendon and other disease conditions such as founder and traumatic arthritis.”

Transplanted cells then exert normalizing and restorative effects . . .” The long-range goal is to provide a simplified approach to stem cell therapy. We cannot do this without verification of cell homing and impact. (The project) will map stem cell distribution in the tendons, ligaments, and joints of the forelimb after direct venous injection.”

LAMENESS STUDIES

1. AAV-IRAP Gene Therapy to Prevent Osteoarthritis
Dr. Laurie Goodrich, Colorado State University (Second Year)

Dr, Goodrich
Osteoarthritis is a common affliction in horses, and current methods of treatment are effective only in reducing the pain, at best. This proposal will utilize gene therapy, which is a technique in which cells can be genetically modified or “re-programmed” to produce beneficial protein that will allow cartilage to heal. The initials in the project title stand for Adenoassociated Virus and Interluken Receptor Antagonist Protein. If cells in the joint could be re-programmed to produce IRAP, the devastating effects of joint inflammation could be halted and the progress of osteoarthritis could be reversed.

These researchers’ preliminary work utilizing AAV-IRAP suggests that cells of joints are easily re-programmed to produce beneficial protein. The aims of this project is to define the most appropriate dose of AAV-IRAP that will result in effective levels and answer the question of whether this approach can prevent osteoarthritis in the horse.

2. Investigation of Cell and Growth-Factor Dependent Tenogenesis
Dr. Martin A. Vidal, University of California-Davis (Second Year)

Dr. Vidal
The crux of this study is to test preliminary indications that a newly developed in vitro tendon/ligament culture model will prove effective at determining the optimal cell type from bone marrow, fat tissue, umbilical cord, tendons, ligaments, and muscle to use in tendon and ligament repair. The model also will allow investigators to learn the early molecular and cellular signals in tendon and ligament tissue formation.

The author states that current methods of healing result in inferior scar tissue and re-injury rates ranging from 23% to 67%. Transforming growth factor (TGF) combined with platelet rich plasma will be utilized, and tests will be done on how they affect tissue growth, strength, and composition. ”

3. Stem Generation of Equine Induced Pluripotent Cells for Regenerative Therapy
Dr. Lisa Fortier, Cornell University (Second Year)

Dr. Fortier
Stem cell based therapies are among avenues being tested with the goal of tendon cell regeneration to address tendonitis. The types of stem cells used so far may improve the structure of tendon healing, but appear to have limited regenerative ability or are limited due to potential issues of immune rejection.

The author explains that, “ . . . this proposal is to generate induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS cells) from equine adult dermal fibroblasts. iPS cells are the only stem cells that are both pluripotenent and autogenous, making them the most useful for clinical application. The expectation is that the results of the studies in this proposal will provide the first published description of the generation and characterization of equine iPS cells.” This is part of a process of testing the overall hypothesis that equine iPS cells will enhance tendon regeneration in cases of tendonitis.

Also, “the technical expertise gained in this study could be used in the future to generate autogenous iPS cells for use in equine cartilage and neuronal regeneration studies.”

Go inside the horse's hoof...you'll be amazed what you'll see--in 3-D, too!
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© Fran Jurga and Hoofcare Publishing; Fran Jurga's Hoof Blog is a between-issues news service for subscribers to Hoofcare and Lameness Journal. Please, no use without permission. You only need to ask. This blog may be read online at the blog page, checked via RSS feed, or received via a digest-type email (requires signup in box at top right of blog page). To subscribe to Hoofcare and Lameness (the journal), please visit the main site, www.hoofcare.com, where many educational products and media related to equine lameness and hoof science can be found. Questions or problems with this blog? Send email to blog@hoofcare.com.  
Follow Hoofcare + Lameness on Twitter: @HoofcareJournal
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any direct compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned, other than Hoofcare Publishing. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Friday, March 09, 2012

Hillside Horse Gets a Jockey...After 3000 Years, Thanks to Irish Bookmaker Prank



England's Uffington Horse is a 3000-year-old iconic carving into a chalky hillside. Was it designed by the ancient Celts as a sign to the gods, like some sort of equestrian crop circle? No one really knows. It's always been there, galloping freely across the vast clear hillsides.

Until this week, that is, when the local people woke up to find a jockey on the horse. and reins.

The amazing publicity stunt was pulled off by the Irish online gambling shop ("bookmaker") Paddy Power. We're in the final run-up to the Cheltenham Festival of National Hunt racing (steeplechasing, more or less, in US racing terms) and an annual prank was expected.

As you can see in the video, they didn't carve the soil, but rather used canvas to create the rider.

Paddy Power is known for its pranks and its controversial (and usually quite humorous) television commercials about gambling.

If you needed to end the week with a smile, this should do it.


© Fran Jurga and Hoofcare Publishing; Fran Jurga's Hoof Blog is a between-issues news service for subscribers to Hoofcare and Lameness Journal. Please, no use without permission. You only need to ask. This blog may be read online at the blog page, checked via RSS feed, or received via a digest-type email (requires signup in box at top right of blog page). To subscribe to Hoofcare and Lameness (the journal), please visit the main site, www.hoofcare.com, where many educational products and media related to equine lameness and hoof science can be found. Questions or problems with this blog? Send email to blog@hoofcare.com.  
Follow Hoofcare + Lameness on Twitter: @HoofcareJournal
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any direct compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned, other than Hoofcare Publishing. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Friends at Work: John Deans Is a Farrier in Maine


What makes a farrier tick? And what makes a farrier tick after 30 years on the job? Maybe it's those horses who hug you back. Maybe it's a walk on the beach with your truck dog in between barn calls. Maybe it's living in a beautiful place like Maine.

Or maybe it's just being comfortable in yourself and loving what you do every day.

I think that's what we have here.

I've known John Deans probably for as long as I've been around the hoof world. We've sat through some of the best and some of the worst lectures and clinics that the farrier associations and vet clinics in New England could organize.

Watching this video made me realize just how long that's been, and how we all get a little sentimental about our jobs when we settle in and realize we've been doing it for a very long time--because it's what we want to do and because we live where we want to live.

I have a feeling that many people could fit the template of this video, but with different landscapes behind them and different truck dogs. It's a fitting template for someone who fits right in in their environment, and is as comfortable with themselves as they are with the animals who share their days.

Technical note: If you're looking closely at what John's doing in this video, you might be confused if you're not from a snowy part of North America. He's applying what we call "snow shoes". They are standard-issue around here. It's hard to see the shoe, but the pad has a big bubble in the center that pops the snow out so that no snowballs form in the foot. The shoe might have borium (hardsurfacing) on it or tiny studs, both for traction, or John might have driven in a couple of tungsten-tipped nails that add traction.


Thanks to Emma Deans (left) for making this video. Emma is John's daughter; she recently graduated from the University of Maine at Farmington and is pursuing what will surely be an exciting career in multimedia journalism. 
You can learn more about Emma and her adventures at http://emmadeans.com/. Something tells me we'll be hearing more from her!


The ultimate reference book for hoof anatomy and imaging!
Call 978 281 3222 to order or email books (at) hoofcare.com


© Fran Jurga and Hoofcare Publishing; Fran Jurga's Hoof Blog is a between-issues news service for subscribers to Hoofcare and Lameness Journal. Please, no use without permission. You only need to ask. This blog may be read online at the blog page, checked via RSS feed, or received via a digest-type email (requires signup in box at top right of blog page). To subscribe to Hoofcare and Lameness (the journal), please visit the main site, www.hoofcare.com, where many educational products and media related to equine lameness and hoof science can be found. Questions or problems with this blog? Send email to blog@hoofcare.com.  
Follow Hoofcare + Lameness on Twitter: @HoofcareJournal
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any direct compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned, other than Hoofcare Publishing. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Saturday, March 03, 2012

Equine Laminitis: 2012 Video Education Update from the Animal Health Foundation

The Animal Health Foundation, a non-profit organization that funds laminitis research at Dr Chris Pollitt's Australian Equine Laminitis Research Unit and at universities in the United States, has assembled a quick course update for horse owners and horse professionals on preventing, managing and treating the disease of equine laminitis.

While there is still much that we don't know about laminitis, Donald Walsh, DVM has prepared a primer that should make clear the current state of practical information.

Please watch all five videos in the Animal Health Foundation's EQUINE LAMINITIS 2012 UPDATE and share these videos with everyone in the horse world. This is important information.



1 INTRODUCTION TO LAMINITIS
Does your horse have laminitis or founder? Would you like to prevent the disease? Are you concerned about the dangers of insulin resistance, obesity, over-grazing and hoof condition changes? Have you been told your horse is at risk for laminitis? If you answered yes to any of those questions, this educational video series could save your horse's life. Five concise, free, non-commercial videos from the non-profit Animal Health Foundation offer the latest practical and scientific information to help you help your horse avoid or overcome laminitis in its many forms. Your host: Donald Walsh, DVM, founder of the Foundation and a practicing veterinarian who specializes in laminitis and founder.


2 UNDERSTANDING EQUINE LAMINITIS: HOW DOES LAMINITIS OR FOUNDER AFFECT YOUR HORSE?
What happens in horses' feet during laminitis? What's the difference between laminitis and founder? You will learn three different ways that a horse gets laminitis and the many causes, including Equine Metabolic Syndrome and Cushing's Disease, or "PPID", and support-limb laminitis. The non-profit Animal Health Foundation and Dr. Donald Walsh offer the latest practical and scientific information to help you and your horse avoid or overcome laminitis in its many forms.


3 WHAT CAN YOU DO IF YOUR HORSE HAS "ACUTE" LAMINITIS?
Can you recognize "acute" (sudden onset) laminitis symptoms? How can you help your horse during this medical emergency? Dr. Walsh encourages horse owners to employ the only scientifically-proven method to prevent laminitis: "icing the feet" , or "cryotherapy". Does your horse need blood insulin tests to find the cause of the laminitis? The non-profit Animal Health Foundation and Dr. Donald Walsh offer the latest practical and scientific information to help you help your horse avoid or overcome acute laminitis.


4 CHRONIC LAMINITIS AND FOUNDER
Chronic laminitis means a life of ongoing, crippling pain for horses. What can a horse owner do? Dr. Walsh explains long-term ("chronic") laminitis and current methods of hoof mechanics to support damaged feet. He explains abnormal hormones and that Cushing's disease ("PPID") or Equine Metabolic Syndrome may be the underlying cause. You'll learn about hay testing and benefits of soaking hay in water. Finally, Dr. Walsh speaks frankly about putting some horses to sleep because of advanced laminitis.


5 PREVENT LAMINITIS IN YOUR HORSE
What are the best horsecare practices to protect your horse from laminitis? What are the risk factors? Can icing the feet help? What might a cresty neck or hoof rings mean? You'll learn to recognize early changes in your horse's feet before laminitis occurs and how to correct hormone levels before horses go lame. Dr Walsh suggests ways to prevent supporting limb laminitis in horses with leg injuries.


LAMINITIS RESEARCH. This video, made in 2011, explains the priorities of laminitis research in Dr. Pollitt's Australian Equine Laminitis Research Unit, which is funded in many of its projects by the Animal Health Foundation. It contains the core principles of the AHF concern to make laminitis research relevant and helpful to real people and real horses. Other studies funded by AHF have included genetic studies at Cornell University, endocrine studies at the University of Missouri and Cornell, and Katy Watts' innovative "Safer Grass" studies to analyze how grass founder might be prevented.

The Animal Health Foundation depends on large and small donations to fund research projects. All donated funds go directly to research; the foundation is run by volunteers including Dr. Walsh, whom you met in the video.

Further Animal Health Foundation research will enable us to prevent laminitis and "Free the Horse of this Disease".

Learn more about the Foundation and how you can donate or become involved in the fundraising process.

Thank you.

© Fran Jurga and Hoofcare Publishing; Fran Jurga's Hoof Blog is a between-issues news service for subscribers to Hoofcare and Lameness Journal. Please, no use without permission. You only need to ask. This blog may be read online at the blog page, checked via RSS feed, or received via a digest-type email (requires signup in box at top right of blog page). To subscribe to Hoofcare and Lameness (the journal), please visit the main site, www.hoofcare.com, where many educational products and media related to equine lameness and hoof science can be found. Questions or problems with this blog? Send email to blog@hoofcare.com.  
Follow Hoofcare + Lameness on Twitter: @HoofcareJournal
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any direct compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned, other than that I serve on the Board of Directors of the Animal Health Foundation, which is a volunteer position. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Silent Anvil: J. Scott Simpson

The late J. Scott Simpson, horseshoeing icon of the Great West, is in the center of this photo, flanked by Danny Ward on the left and Walt Taylor on the right. This was taken at an American Farrier's Association demonstration in 1988. There must have been more than 1000 farriers watching them that day.

I'm writing this while I'm snowbound and icebound in my little house in New England. I should be 1000 miles away in Mobile, Alabama at the American Farrier's Association convention.

Today I found out I'm not the only one who's missing from the annual gathering of the hoof tribe.

Farrier educator, author, entertainer and raconteur J. Scott Simpson of Arizona and Montana has died but it's too soon to know much. All I can tell you is who Scott was. Or is, since his place in the farrier world is not likely to change just because he's not around. He's part of the fabric, the folklore and the family.

Scott was and always will be revered by possibly thousands of people who went through his farrier training courses at Montana State University, Walla Walla State University and his own Northwest Horseshoeing School.

He magnified his effect on the farrier industry by authoring several farrier books, including one of the overlooked classics of all time, The Mechanics of Shoeing Gaited Horses.


I may be snowbound, but I had these two photos of Scott on my laptop's hard drive; they were taken at Diamond Tool and Horseshoe Company's first "Working Farrier Demonstration", held on a big stage at the AFA convention in 1988. I'm not sure why I have them so handy 25 years later, but I'm glad that I do.

Scott was completely at ease--you could always hand him the microphone and he'd take it from there, whether it was at a shoeing demonstration or in the ballroom at night when he'd sing and play guitar.

Scott began shoeing in the 1950s in California; he learned at Ralph Hoover's famous horseshoeing class at CalPoly University in San Luis Obispo, in the class of 1959, along with his long-time friend, Montana's farrier tool wizard, Mike Williams.

A few years ago, Mike and Scott organized a reunion of horseshoers who had been in Hoover's classes between 1959 to 1961, and they managed to pull together 27 graduates and get them to Montana to take a photo.

Scott started teaching at Montana State in the early 1970s and left there in 1983 for a stint at Walla Walla before starting his own school. He wintered in Wickenburg, Arizona, where he seemed determined to play tennis and team rope in spite of repeated operations to replace things like hips--he was perhaps the first bionic farrier. It seemed like he was always in for replacement parts.

He was vice-president of the American Farrier's Association for several years and was an original mastermind of the AFA's certification program. No, he didn't always agree with people--especially people from east of the Mississippi.

But one of the things that Scott gave the farrier world is also the most enduring and most valuable: his simple, catchy "eagle eye" system of using visual memory to recognize five basic hoof shapes--good old Norman, Spike, Tag, Stubby and...well, everyone knows who the fifth one is.

By my records, J. Scott Simpson was 78 years old. In the last email I received from him, he told about his return to the Catholic church after a long absence and how much he enjoyed two perspectives on Catholicism between Montana and Arizona as he traveled back and forth.

I don't know what sort of funeral plans are being made, or where, but people will not just be saying good-bye to a great friend and farrier. They'll be saying good-bye to the a legend of horseshoeing embedded so deeply in the great western tradition that his name is as close to a horse-hold word as you can get.

Ralph! That's the fifth shape from Scott's eagle eye discipline for recognizing hoof shape. How could I ever forget? That's how good a teacher Scott Simpson was. He helped me and countless others cut through the clutter at a time when farriery was getting very cluttered, indeed.

They ought to name a hoof shape, and a lot of other things, after our friend Scott Simpson. Not that anyone who ever met him is likely to forget him, ever. Some of us think of him, subconsciously, every time we pick up a foot. And we always will.

--Fran Jurga


© Fran Jurga and Hoofcare Publishing; Fran Jurga's Hoof Blog is a between-issues news service for subscribers to Hoofcare and Lameness Journal. Please, no use without permission. You only need to ask. This blog may be read online at the blog page, checked via RSS feed, or received via a digest-type email (requires signup in box at top right of blog page). To subscribe to Hoofcare and Lameness (the journal), please visit the main site, www.hoofcare.com, where many educational products and media related to equine lameness and hoof science can be found. Questions or problems with this blog? Send email to blog@hoofcare.com.  
Follow Hoofcare + Lameness on Twitter: @HoofcareJournal
Read this blog's headlines on the Hoofcare + Lameness Facebook Page
 
Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any direct compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned, other than Hoofcare Publishing. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.