Can Horses Be Sleep Deprived?

by

 

Sleep is vitally important to horses, but equines don’t require the eight consecutive hours many humans need to be healthy and rested. Instead, the average horse will spend just under three hours per day asleep; this sleep will be spaced out throughout the entire 24-hour time period. It’s rare for an adult horse to spend over 10 minutes asleep at any one time. This means that a horse sleeps between 15 and 21 times a day.

Horses can sleep standing up using a “stay apparatus” that effectively locks their legs in place using a group of ligaments, tendons and muscles. As horses are prey animals, using this mechanism allows the horse to move quickly if any predators are around. Generally, a horse that is resting on three legs is dozing and not actively asleep. When standing, horses tend to keep one or both eyes open, even while dozing. This also allows him to react quickly should a predator threaten.

 

Read Paulick Report Article

Please follow and like us:
error

Grazing Cattle With Horses Can Help Control Worms, Study Finds

by | 11.30.2019

Grazing horses and cattle together has long been suggested as a tool for helping control strongyle worms, but little research has been done to prove its efficacy. The majority of gastrointestinal parasites are host specific, meaning that the infective stages of equine worms ingested by cattle won’t develop into adults; the same is true for cattle worms ingested by horses.

In addition, horses and cattle graze differently; horses graze close to the ground and avoid areas where there is manure. Cattle can’t graze as close to the ground as horses and will graze areas that horses avoid.

A new study out of France used 44 breeding farms in two different regions of the country to test the benefits of grazing both species together. The farms raised both sport horses and pleasure horses; some were equine-only farms and others grazed cattle with their horses.

Researchers used surveys and interviews to determine stocking rate, the amount of pasture used for grazing and how much deworming products were used, as well as general pasture management. They found the following:

  • Few farmers understood that grazing horses and cattle together could be part of their deworming protocol
  • Many farms still rely on fenbendazole though resistance to the drug is well known
  • Young horses treated with moxidectin and grazed with cattle had 50 percent fewer stronglye eggs in their feces then their counterparts that were grazed in horse-only pastures

The study concluded that grazing horses with cattle is a promising alternative to controlling worms that is largely unused by horse farm owners.

Read more at Equine Science Update

Please follow and like us:
error

Running Hot and Cold: Caring for Horses During Weather Changes

Horses are very adaptable and typically can handle significant temperature swings. It’s when we alter their natural condition and confine them or haul them from one climate to another that they tend to struggle.

 

When the mercury rises or drops dramatically, will your horse be prepared?

In October 2013 South Dakota livestock and farmers were experiencing balmy 70- and 80-degree temperatures when a storm moved in from the Rockies and a cold front from Canada. The collision of the air masses created heavy rain, winds up to 70 mph, and a dangerous blizzard. Many cattle drifted with the storm, piling up against fences, getting covered with snow, and freezing to death because they were soaked with rain before the snow and cold temperatures set in. Though there were some equine losses, outdoor horses generally fared better than cattle because they’re more adept at finding windbreak and shelter. But horses with no reprieve from the elements likely suffered cold stress and frostbite.

Similarly, albeit not so drastically, horses might have a tough time adjusting to the elements when moving from a cold climate to a hot one (or vice versa) or when body-clipped during a serious cold snap.

 

Read the Horse article

Please follow and like us:
error

FDA Issues Warning After Compounded EPM Medication Leads To The Death Of Three Horses

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is alerting horse owners and veterinarians that one lot of a compounded combination drug product containing pyrimethamine and toltrazuril has been associated with adverse events in at least three horses. Two horses in Maine and one in Ohio ultimately died or were euthanized as a result.

The FDA recently finalized testing that revealed that this lot of product contained approximately 18 to 21 times the pyrimethamine indicated on the labeling. High doses of pyrimethamine can cause symptoms such as seizures, fever, and death.

Rapid Equine Solutions, LLC of Aston, PA, compounded the product, which was labeled as containing toltrazuril 416 mg/ml and pyrimethamine 17 mg/ml, packaged in 60 ml oral paste syringes for the treatment of the neurologic disease Equine Protozoal Myeloencephalitis (EPM). This product lot is accounted for and is no longer in distribution. The firm learned of the adverse events on May 24, 2019 and initiated a recall to the consumer/user level the same day.

The FDA is working with Rapid Equine Solutions and state partners to investigate these adverse events.

previous incident linked to a different compounder also involved erroneously formulated compounded pyrimethamine/toltrazuril products that led to equine deaths. The previous incident occurred in 2014 and resulted in the deaths of four horses.

It is important to note that compounded products are not FDA-approved animal drugs. Additionally, toltrazuril is not FDA-approved for use in horses. The FDA has serious safety concerns about unapproved animal drugs, including certain compounded animal drugs, because they are of unknown quality have not been evaluated by the FDA for safety and effectiveness. Unapproved animal drugs also may not be labeled appropriately, which could potentially result in unsafe use of the product.

The FDA has approved several drug products for the treatment of EPM.  Horse owners should consult their veterinarian for treatment advice.

The FDA encourages horse owners, caretakers and veterinarians to report adverse events to the FDA (such as seizure, fever, or collapse) in horses being treated with compounded pyrimethamine-containing products.

Owners and veterinarians can report complaints about animal drug products by following the instructions at: How to Report Animal Drug Side Effects and Product Problems.

Please follow and like us:
error

Cast Horses: What To Do (And What Not To Do) To Help

by | 06.13.2019 | 12:21pm

This horse is not cast, but is getting up after lying down, demonstrating the way horses need to push their front legs out to get their balance when rising.

Horsemen probably don’t comprehend how big and heavy a horse actually is until it gets cast against or under something and they have to get it unstuck. One futile tug on the mane of a cast horse and the person quickly will realize he or she needs assistance.

“The first thing I would say is to get some help,” said Dr. Sally DeNotta, extension specialist and assistant professor of large animal internal medicine at the University of Florida. “You don’t want to be in the stall with a cast horse alone because it’s dangerous and they’re big.”

 

Read Paulick Report Article Here

Please follow and like us:
error

Bad Behavior Or Sign Of Pain? Horses Are Trying To Tell Us

by

 

Any time a horse expresses resistance or undesirable behavior, it’s worthwhile to investigate why—it’s not always a training issue he’s simply refusing to do; the horse may be in pain. Horses have no ulterior motive; they simply seek relief from discomfort. Identifying the root cause of the discomfort the horse is trying to get away from can be challenging, yet is necessary to resolve the issue.

A horse that swishes his tail, pins his ears or acts angry when girthed is trying to tell the rider something; if not addressed while small expressions, the outbursts may ramp up to bucking, rearing, bolting or otherwise attempting to avoid pain.

Read Paulick Report Article

Please follow and like us:
error

April Showers Bring May Flowers…And Rain Rot, Dew Poisoning and Abscesses

By Jen Roytz

They say April showers bring May flowers, but that’s not the only thing they bring. Rain rot, dew poisoning and abscesses are some of the less enjoyable products of spring’s rainy days and muddy pastures. While some horses seem to simply be more prone to wet weather-related ailments than others, there are a number of things horsemen can do to minimize the severity of ailments such as rain rot, or avoid them all together.

Though often mistaken as a fungal disease, rain rot (or rain scald) is a common bacterial infection of the skin (also known as Dermatophilosis). Dermatophilus congolensis, the bacteria that causes the infection, lives dormant in the outer layer of the skin. When the skin is exposed to prolonged moisture (high humidity, rain, sweat), the bacteria infects the compromised skin, resulting in crusty, puss-filled scabs between the living and dead layer of skin.

To Read TDN Article

Please follow and like us:
error

What Medications Are Safe for Mares?

Giving medications to pregnant mares is never without risk and should always be discussed with your veterinarian.

Which drugs are safe for use in pregnant mares? 

My pregnant mare is colicking … can I give her Banamine? She needs a laceration sutured … is it safe for her to get a sedative? What about her fall vaccines?

Which common drugs and medications are safe for use in pregnant mares is a huge topic with more questions than answers, says Margo Macpherson, DVM, MS, Dipl. ACT, professor of large animal reproduction at the University of Florida’s College of Veterinary Medicine, in Gainesville. This is primarily because very few drugs have been thoroughly evaluated and validated for use in this population.

Click Here to Read The Horse Article

Please follow and like us:
error

Horse Health: You Can Lead a Horse to Water…

By Jen Roytz

We’ve all heard the saying “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make them drink.” Horses have to be thirsty in order to consume water, and the lynchpin in that scenario is salt. Dehydration in horses–or any animal–can quickly escalate from mild to catastrophic. Their internal environment is water-based, and salt is the driving force behind the regulation and distribution of water in and out of cells.

“Salt is 39% sodium and 61% chloride. When consumed, salt will split in the body into the separate minerals to be used independently (as electrolytes),” said Dr. Kathleen Crandell, PhD, a nutritionist with Kentucky Equine Research (KER). “Both these minerals have independent roles in the body, but mainly they work together balancing fluid movement in and out of the cells and acid-base balance, as well as electrical impulse conduction in nerves and muscles. Further, sodium is needed for transport of substances across cell membranes, like glucose.”

LInk to TDN Article

Please follow and like us:
error

Horse Health: Alert – Baby on the way!

By Jen Roytz

As we embark on a new year full of hope and promise, ’tis the season for early mornings, sleepless nights and seemingly endless anticipation for those in the breeding industry. Those tasked with helping the next generation of equine athletes enter this world go to great lengths to be on-hand when each foal is born and do everything they can to ensure a successful delivery, or to call a veterinarian if any problems arise.

The foaling process is broken down into three stages. Stage 1 being early signs of labor; stage 2 is when the water breaks and the actual delivery of the foal; and stage 3 is the expulsion of the placenta.

Once a mare progresses to stage 2, it is imperative the foal be delivered within 30 minutes or less to avoid hypoxia (oxygen deprivation), which can lead to brain damage or death of the foal. While regularly checking mares throughout the day and night is recommended as they near their due date, it is often a game of minutes versus hours.

Horses have evolved from foaling in the wild and needing to deliver a foal and stand in quick succession to protect themselves and their newborn. By nature, stage 2 of equine labor (water breaks and foal is delivered) happens rapidly and can be explosive. That explosive nature also means that when things go wrong, they go wrong quickly.

“I’d say 80 to 85% of deliveries go routinely, but those 10 to 15% that don’t are why it’s so important for someone knowledgeable to be present.” said Dr. Bob Schwartz, a veterinarian with Midland Acres in Bloomingburg, Ohio. Schwartz and his team foal out more than 200 mares a year. “An experienced attendant will know issues they can deal with themselves, when they need to call a vet and when it’s bad enough that a mare needs to go immediately to the clinic.”

While there are numerous brands and makers of foal alarms on the market today, they can generally be organized into two main categories: externally worn sensors and perineal monitoring systems.

Systems with Externally Worn Sensors

There are several devices on the market that utilize sensors affixed to the head or body of a mare to react to classic presentations in a mare that typically signal birth.

EquiFone/EquiPage, Birth Alarm and Breeders Alert systems, for example, utilize a device affixed to a mare’s halter or to a monitor connected to a girth strap that senses when the mare is in the prone position (i.e. lying flat out on her side–the typical position for labor). The device transmits a signal to either a phone or a pager to alert the person(s) on call that the mare is in foaling position.

Michele Graves of Hickory Hill Farm Thoroughbreds in Fort Edward, New York near Saratoga Springs uses the EquiPage system for her farm, which foals out 25 to 35 mares each year.

“With the EquiPage [system], we know the mare is going into labor before the water breaks [due to being alerted to her movements]. We also use it on the mares in the weeks after they give birth because so much can go wrong then as well,” said Graves. “We use it for other scenarios too, such as horses that have just shipped long distances or those that showed signs of colic during the day because they offer the same presentations when they are colicking that a mare would–the looking at their belly, getting up and down, yawning. You do get some false alarms, but those are worth it to know when a horse is in distress.”

Nightwatch takes this one step further, monitoring a horse’s vital signs and behaviors via sensors embedded in the padded leather crown piece of the halter. Real-time data can be accessed via a Smartphone, tablet or computer and an alert is sent when the system signals a horse in distress due to foaling, colic or being cast.

Perineal Monitoring Systems

Another group of foaling alert systems involve affixing the sensor to the mare’s perineal area or within the vagina.

One popular model is Foalert, in which a transmitter containing a magnet is sutured into the vulva lips one to two weeks prior to a mare’s due date. When the vulva lips are opened due to the foal’s front hooves protruding as delivery begins, the magnet dislodges from the transmitter, activating a signal to alert foaling attendants, either via telephone/pager or by sounding an alarm within close proximity to the transmitter.

“I’ve used the Foalert for years, both on my own mares and on client mares, and I find them very reliable. You don’t get the false alarms you can get with some other system that attach to the halter or girth area when a mare lays down or turns to itch,” said Dr. Joan Tennant, DVM, an equine practitioner based in Ocala, Florida. “I find the alarm goes off when the amniotic fluid bubble is expelled, so you get the alert even in the case of a dystocia that prevents the foal from protruding.”

The Birth Alert system uses a tampon-like sponge that is inserted into the mare’s vagina in the weeks leading up to her due date. When the mare’s water breaks, the device is expelled and the change in temperature activates the device to send a signal to the foaling attendant that the mare is in labor.

The only disadvantage, according to Schwartz, is the possibility of the sponge and sensor being dispelled unintentionally and offering a false-positive.

“I think these systems have a lot of merit for those who don’t have full time attendants through the night,” said Schwartz. “There is less chance of false alarms with these types of systems, but if the foal is breech or otherwise malpositioned, you may not get an alarm.”

For these and similarly invasive systems, a sterile application is key. It is recommended that a veterinarian apply/insert the device to prevent infection or irritation.

Video Monitoring

Closed-circuit video feeds can also play an important role in monitoring mares as they near their due date, especially when used on conjunction with foaling alert systems.

“We’ve used NightWatch for the last six years or so and we also have cameras on all of the mares. The key for us is the audio that goes along with it,” said Braxton Lynch of Royal Oak Farm in Paris, Kentucky. “In my opinion, you can’t beat eyes and ears on a mare prior to foaling.”

There are also smartphone apps available, such as Foal App, which allow users to monitor your mare via video and movement and will alert those whose phones are connected to the app if the mare lays down for a prolonged period.

While technology has afforded the luxury of many types of birth alarms, no device is 100% effective. All birth alarms should be used in conjunction with good horsemanship and monitoring practices, including regularly checking each mare every 30 to 60 minutes when foaling is imminent.

“What works for a large farm probably wouldn’t work well for a small one and vice versa. If a farm with a large number of mares had monitors on each, they’d be getting false positives constantly, but they can afford to have staff on-hand around the clock,” said Graves. “For a smaller operation that can’t afford night staff, foaling alarms are a good solution.”

Added Schwartz, “You can’t watch them 24 hours a day–you have to sleep too–so for smaller operations, foaling alerts can be an important tool to help keep mares and newborn foals out of trouble.”

Please follow and like us:
error