Equine grass sickness (EGS) is a mysterious and often-fatal disease that strikes down healthy young horses as they graze. Most cases have occurred in England, Wales, and Scotland, but EGS has also been seen in Europeand South America. Mal seco, an equine disease reported in South Africa, appears to be identical.
Dorsal displacement of the soft palate (DDSP) is a misalignment of tissues in the horse's throat. This condition, which is common in horses that work at high speeds, causes a drop in performance because affected horses are unable to breathe freely.
Mares come into estrus about seven to 14 days after giving birth. This period coincides with the occurrence of diarrhea in about 80% of foals, hence the name "foal heat diarrhea." There is no certain explanation as to why foals get diarrhea at this time, and various possible causes-influence of hormonal changes in mare's milk, foal begins to eat mare's manure, bacterial infection, parasite infestation-have been advanced.
Foal pneumonia is a common disease of young horses, and one of the leading causes of death in foals. Estimates put the incidence of infection as high in one in ten for all foals.
Many equine diseases, conditions, or problems are frequently referred to by their initials. Full names, a brief explanation of each condition, and management tips, if applicable, are given below. The list also contains a few diseases that don't affect horses but are nevertheless "hot topics" among livestock producers.
West Nile virus was first reported in the northeast United States in 1999. Since then, cases have been reported in almost every state and several Canadian provinces. Spread by mosquitoes, the virus can infect humans, horses, donkeys, mules, birds, and a host of other animals ranging from bears to alligators. Many infected horses are asymptomatic or show only slight fever or listlessness for a few days.
During normal bone growth, cartilage is remodeled into bone. It is during this physiologic revision that ossification goes awry and OCD lesions originate.
While obesity-associated laminitis is not well understood among researchers and veterinarians, affected horses may go on to lead otherwise healthy lives if treatment is swift and diligent. Recommended treatments center around corrective trimming and shoeing, use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications for pain, and strict diet. Forced exercise can be imposed once all laminitis-related pain has abated.
Equine colic is loosely defined as abdominal pain. The causes are numerous, and the signs of discomfort (rolling, kicking at the abdomen, pawing, sweating) are familiar to most experienced horse handlers. Colic is one of the most common health emergencies, with an incidence of just over 9 cases per 100 horses in an average year. It is a leading reason for surgery and a frequent cause of death in horses.
A device known as the Cornell collar has been developed to reposition and hold the larynx and hyoid bone in place, thus preventing throat tissues from collapsing and blocking the passage of air.
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