Armed with a fine-toothed comb, fly spray and a strong case of the heebie-jeebies, I thoroughly pick through my horses’ coats, manes and tails for my most hated spring nemesis: the dreaded tick. These creepy monsters burrow their way through the tangle of hair to latch onto my horses’ docks to suck their blood and, if I don’t find them soon enough, swell to disgusting proportions like malignant eight-legged tumors. In addition to being just plain gross, ticks can infect your horses with Erlichia and Lyme disease, just to name a few of the ailments that they carry.
This week in horse health news:
Arena footing takes center stage: The FEI has published the world’s most extensive study on arena surfaces and their physiological effects on horses. [Horse & Country]
Comprehensive hoof care education at your fingertips: Introducing E-hoof, a new website presented by the University of Zurich, which includes in-depth references covering topics ranging from equine anatomy and biomechanics to veterinary and farrier knowledge. [Fran Jurga’s Hoof Blog]
Culling vs. contraception in wild horses: American researchers have concluded that herd culling has a bigger effect on wild horse herds than the contraceptive GonaCon-B, including marked changes in feeding, moving, resting and harem-tending behaviors. [Horsetalk]
Mosquito-borne diseases can be prevented: Ticks aren’t the only creepy-crawlies that can make horses sick; mosquitoes are responsible for diseases such as Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) and West Nile Virus (WNV). Fortunately, these illnesses can be prevented with vaccination. [Horsetalk]
Back to basics: A French study has found that horse owners significantly underestimate the occurrence of back pain in their horses. [The Horse]