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Monday, February 19, 2018

Racing Research: Can ultrasound predict whether an injured Thoroughbred will return to racing?

Arrogate during training at 2017 Dubai World Cup

"Will he race again, Doc?" That's the question you hear trainers ask their veterinarians when a racehorse is sidelined with a tendon injury.

Veterinarians don't carry crystal balls in their trucks. Advances in equine imaging have made it possible to be much more accurate in diagnosing the severity of an injury, but it's often a matter of wait-and-see.

But now, a new tendon injury scoring system utilizes diagnostic ultrasound technology to predict a racehorse’s likelihood to return to racing. It was developed by veterinarians at Great Britain's University of Nottingham and Oakham Veterinary Hospital in Leicestershire, England in conjunction with the Hong Kong Jockey Club in China.

Friday, February 02, 2018

Black History Month: Was Huntsman/Slave William Lee the Black Smith in George Washington's Forge?

"American Cincinnatus" by Jean Leon Gerome Ferris depicts George Washington at work at the anvil. But who is the smiling black man in the background?  The artist likely added Washington's slave valet, Will Lee, who rarely left the President's side.

Black History Month on The Hoof Blog begins with the father of our country, George Washington. As most readers already know, Washington owned more than 100 slaves. Sadly, many are only names on paper but several are well-documented and one who stood out.

Today we will meet William Lee. He probably wasn't a farrier or a blacksmith, but he was never far from Washington's side, and if Washington was working in the forge, Will would have been there, too. 

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Laminitis research: Feeding a high starch diet can influence PPID (Equine Cushings Disease) test results

Summary: New research, conducted in collaboration with the British horse feed company SPILLERS®, has shown that the equine diet, and more specifically, a starch rich food, can influence adrenocorticotropin hormone ,or ‘ACTH’, test results. This could potentially lead to an incorrect disease diagnosis in some horses when ACTH is used to test for Pituitary Pars Intermedia Dysfunction (PPID).

Key point: The threshold values for diagnosis of the disease currently vary dependent on the season, but these new findings suggest that diet should also be considered. 

Hoof Blog note: Laminitis in older horses is commonly blamed on PPID, but a definitive diagnosis by hormonal test results is required to determine if an underlying endocrine condition is the cause of laminitis. Some horses with PPID may lose weight, which might lead owners to increase feed or change to a higher-starch diet to counter weight loss. Horse owners and veterinarians should communicate about a horse's feed intake before testing; future research may reveal more specific guidelines about how feed type influences test results.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Hidden Anatomy: Researchers Make a Case that Modern Horses Have Five Toes--Even If We Can't See Them

One of the keys to the Solounias research is the leafy construction of the Eponychium hoof covering in the fetal horse. The researchers dissected fetal hooves and paid close attention to the construction of the Eponychium. From left: Medial view of fetal horse hoof;  Dorsal view of the fetal hoof, showing a smooth singular surface, representing the dominant digit III; Ventral view of a fetal horse specimen, showing four distinct infoldings that depict evidence of the Solounias paper's proposed digits I, II, IV and V.  (Detail from one of the many figures in the article.)

Scientists have long wondered how the horse evolved from an ancestor with five toes to the animal we know today. While it is largely believed that horses simply evolved with fewer digits, researchers at New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine (NYITCOM) pose a new theory suggesting that the remnants of all five toes are still present in the distal limb of the horse.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

USDA Invites Tennessee Walking Horse Owners, Trainers to Horseshoeing Clinic Aimed to Improve Horse Protection Act Compliance

This public announcement is provided by the US Department of Agriculture.

On February 3, 2018, USDA Animal Care and the S.H.O.W. horse industry organization will hold a shoeing clinic for trainers, exhibitors and owners who participate in events regulated under the Horse Protection Act to help these individuals better understand and follow the federal regulations.

Monday, January 22, 2018

The Copper Horseshoe Revival: Why modern farriery's quest for healthier hooves passes through a forgotten footnote from industrial history

      This story was sponsored by Stromsholm Farriers Supplies, UK.

Copper: Why is the warm, soft red metal suddenly showing up on horses’ hooves? First it was copper sulphate compounds added to hoof packing and even hoof wall adhesive. For years, pads have been fixed to shoes with copper rivets. During the past few years, farriers have experimented with new copper-shielded nails to improve hoof wall health. Copper-alloy horseshoes have been patented in Germany and South America.

Copper is suddenly part of the conversation.

It sounds like something new, but long ago copper was spelled out in a critical footnote in farrier materials history as well as in industrial safety. Copper is still the same metal but the newest uses of it are rewriting the script, putting the metal to use for reasons never dreamed of in the past. Here, we'll look at the past and present of copper in the hoofcare world, and leave it to all of you to decide whether it has a future or not.