This Week in Horse Health News Presented by Absorbine

Everything the light touches is my kingdom — I mean hay field. Everything the light touches is my kingdom — I mean hay field.

Have you ever grown hay fields past their maturity to make bedding for your horses? That’s a topic currently up for discussion over on The Horse. While hay harvested past maturity makes low-quality forage for horses, it’s an economical option for horse owners looking for a more affordable bedding solution. There are both benefits and drawbacks to this type of decision, which you can read about at The Horse.com.

And check out some other headlines in horse health news:

Mares who experience breech births more likely to do so again: Research included in the latest issue of Equine Science Update has suggested that it is possible to identify how a foal is oriented in a mare through the use of an ultrasound scan. Mares who have carried breech foal in the past are also more likely to do so again. [Horsetalk]

The when and how of castration: Have questions about how to decide what the right time is to geld your colt? There’s a great article over on The Horse that provides information on equine castration, discussing everything from timing, the procedure itself, aftercare and potential complications from the surgery. [The Horse]

New grading system proves worth in treating difficult colic cases: A new approach to responding to cases of equine colic with small intestinal strangulation has the potential to both save the lives of horses and save their owners the cost of surgery. David Freeman of the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine and his team have developed an approach in which a horse’s intestinal damage is graded. [Horsetalk]

Pigeon fever on rise across the U.S.: Researchers have confirmed that there has been definite increase in the number of cases of pigeon fever in the United States in the past decade, particularly in the years 2011 and 2012. In order to help control existing cases and help to prevent the spread of Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis, the bacterial organism that causes the basketball sized abscesses evident of pigeon fever, additional studies are needed. [Horsetalk]

Longterm vision possible After equine cataract surgery: Results of a recent study show that 25 percent of horses undergoing cataract surgery still have vision two years later. Because there is currently no known therapy for cataracts, surgery is the typical recommendation for affected equines. In the particular technique used in the study — phacoemulsification — ultrasonic frequencies are used to break up the cataract for removal from the eye. [The Horse]

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