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Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Vampire Bats: Why horses should be afraid--very afraid--and not just on Halloween

Vampire bats in South and Central America love horse hooves. They frequently feed at the coronet, where the blood is close to the surface. Besides being creepy, vampire bats are the leading reservoir of rabies virus in Central and South America and have recently been identified as a host that easily spreads bartonella bacteria. Newly deforested landscapes are now home to domestic livestock; vampire bat populations have flourished with the captive animals so easily available to bite. Officials in Texas are now warning that common vampire bats have crossed the Rio Grande into the United States.

Until recently, most of us only thought about vampires once a year, on October 31. But that is about to change. While Count Dracula may be a figment of literary imagination, the real-life inspiration for his story is alive and well and spreading rapidly through recently deforested regions of South and Central America.

Horses, horseowners and horse professionals: Consider yourselves warned. Like the killer bees who paved the path, vampire bats may be headed your way. And they're bringing dangerous diseases with them.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Blacksmith Buddies: Vet school students and farriers work together in Florida

Blacksmith Buddies 2018 clinic

What is (or are) Blacksmith Buddies? A few years ago, University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine students and local farriers joined forces for mutual education and camaraderie. It was such a success that it has gained momentum and now has an extended program of both informal ridealong opportunities for students and multiple educational events for both students and farriers during the school year.

Sunday, September 02, 2018

WEGucation: Horse health lectures added to FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018 schedule

Can you feel the "back to school" energy in the air? As calendars turn to September, it is obvious that the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018 (WEG) at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) in North Carolina are just ten days away, and WEG organizers are capitalizing on the back to school mindset.

No, it won't be all competition, all the time in Tryon; an educational program will run throughout the event, which runs from September 11 to 23, 2018.

Saturday, September 01, 2018

Burghley's best-shod horse 2018: Records broken and handicaps overcome with farrier's one-handed excellence

For the third time in five years, an Irish Sport horse named Coolys Luxury was won England's Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials' "Best Shod Horse" prize for rider Tom Crisp and his long-time farrier James Hayter.

And not just that: Ringwood Sky Boy, ridden by New Zealand's Tim Price had been judged best-shod back in 2015.

But the story doesn’t stop there. Have you ever heard farriers brag that they could shoe a horse with one armed tied behind their backs?

That’s pretty close to what happened when the day came to shoe this horse for Burghley 2018.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Gene therapy: Second stage of research documents further success for rehabilitation of tendon injuries in lame horses

Equine surgeon Milomir Kovac performs an ultrasound on a horse; ultrasound was used to monitor healing in tendon injuries in a group of race and sport horses treated with an experimental gene therapy designed to both speed healing and improve the quality of the healed injury site to prevent recurrence. (Image courtesy of University of Nottingham)

In October 2017, The Hoof Blog reported on experimental research looking into direct-injection gene therapy for soft tissue lameness injuries in horses. The authors of the 2017 paper had successfully cured lameness in two horses and published their results in the journal Frontiers in Veterinary Science.

Monday, August 06, 2018

Dyson: Equine performance assessment tests veterinarians' ability to recognize pain-related behavior

equine physiotherapist evaluating horse
Before the study horses were ridden, Association of Chartered Physiotherapists in Animal Therapy (ACPAT) physiotherapist Jo Spear assessed each one. (Saddle Research Trust photo)

Will veterinarians succeed in using Dr Sue Dyson's new "equine ethogram" system to identify behavioral signs of musculoskeletal pain in horses?