Equine Articles

Dermatophilosis: Rain Scald / Mud Fever / Rain Rot

In warm, wet conditions, an opportunistic organism called Dermatophilus congolensis may infect a horse’s skin causing sticky, crusty scabs that entangle and mat the hair coat.  It also invades the skin of ill-kempt goats, sheep, and cattle – and not as commonly – pigs, dogs, cats, and people.  Common terms for this disease are Rain […]

EIA – Equine Infectious Anemia (swamp fever)

Sometimes still called “swamp fever”, Equine Infectious Anemia is caused by a retrovirus that is transmitted primarily by blood-sucking insects.  Once thought to occur only in humid regions such as the Southeast United States, its actual distribution is nearly worldwide, regardless of climate.  The EIA virus is a member of the genus Lentivirus, one species […]

Equine Protozoal Myeloencephalitis (EPM)

Opossums of North and South America carry and shed a parasite called Sarcocystis neurona that is capable of infecting equines and causing a devastating neurological disease named Equine Protozoal Myeloencephalitis, or EPM for short.  The parasite spreads by fecal to oral transmission when the horse inadvertently consumes feed or water contaminated by opossum excrement.  Many […]

Equine Respiratory Herpesvirus Infections (Viral Rhinopneumonitis, “Rhino”)

What is Viral Rhinopneumonitis, or “Rhino”? Equine herpesvirus type 1 (EHV-1) and type 4 (EHV-4) are highly contagious pathogens responsible for a variety of symptoms in horses including mild to moderate respiratory disease, fever, poor appetite, and depression.  More serious manifestations of disease include neurological symptoms and spontaneous abortion by pregnant mares (EHV-1).  The disease […]

Equine Viral Arteritis (EVA)

“EVA” is a highly contagious disease caused by equine arteritis virus.  It is most notable as a reason for spontaneous abortions in pregnant mares.  More subtle symptoms include fever, respiratory problems, reduced appetite, eye swelling and discharge, and edema of the limbs, mammary glands, and male genitals.  The virus may be spread by contact with […]

External Parasites of Horses

There are so many “bugs” that parasitize the skin of horses, it’s difficult to name them all in one attempt; however, they can be categorized into several different groups including: biting flies, non-biting flies, mosquitoes, mites, lice, and ticks.  All are very common, and all cause disease to a varying degree.  Populations of flies and […]

First Aid

It is very important to be prepared for an emergency should a horse become injured.  Taking proper steps before the veterinarian arrives can mean the difference between life and death in some cases.  First Aid means to provide the first care necessary to preserve health and safety in an emergency situation.  First Aid does not […]

Foaling a Mare

Foaling is the process of giving birth to a baby horse.  The broodmare carries the foal for about 11 months from conception (fertilization) to delivery.  This time period is referred to as the gestation period and can range from 320 to 365 days depending upon breed, variation within a breed and season of the year.  […]

Gastric Ulcers

Gastric ulcers are erosions in the protective lining of the stomach.  The lining is a mucosal barrier that keeps the stomach’s acids and enzymes from digesting its own tissue.  Several factors contribute to the development of ulcers in horses.  They include any stressful event(s): extended confinement, sporadic feeding cycles, long travel, and extreme exercise.  Also, […]

Geriatric Care and Considerations

Thanks to advances in equine veterinary knowledge, technological improvements from the industry, and diligence on the part of horse owners when it comes to good management practices, domestic horses are living beyond their twenties and into their thirties now days.  Very occasionally, a horse may even reach forty years of age.  Compared to the average […]