This Week in Horse Health News Presented by Absorbine

Running — check. Rearing — check. Now let's talk about joint maintenance. Photo by Colleen Peachey. Running — check. Rearing — check. Now let's talk about joint maintenance. Photo by Colleen Peachey.

As an owner of two young horses in training, I tend to worry about keeping them healthy and injury free. The “kids,” as I affectionately like to call them, love to tear around the pasture — bucking and flailing all the while. I often find myself wondering how it is they keep themselves in one piece. Even with their seemingly endless amount of energy, I try to ease the youngsters into more strenuous activity when I am in the process of increasing their workloads.

Something that always tends to linger in a part my brain is the concept of joint maintenance. I strive to support the health of my youngsters, through methods such as keeping them on a joint supplement. Since one of my young guys is a super gigantic beast of a horse, standing at 17.3 hands, I also worry about the “a” word. Yep, you guessed it — arthritis. Recently, researchers in the U.S. have shown that it is possible to prevent joint damage that can lead to arthritis through the management of your horse’s diet and the use of anti-inflammatory aids.

This Week in Horse Health News:

Weight Loss in Hot Temperatures: Horses require a higher amount of energy in order to properly regulate their body temperature when outside temperatures are outside of the equine “thermo neutral zone.” In spite of higher energy requirements, many horses tend to eat and drink less during periods with higher temperatures. [The Horse]

Working Nerve Cells Created from Horse Stem Cells: Researchers have created the first working nerve cells by using horse stem cells. This type of advancement could benefit horses that are suffering from neurological illnesses or conditions. [EquiMed]

The Genetics of Heaves: According to researchers, Recurrent Airway Obstruction, more commonly known as heaves, appears to be passed down through genetics. While the way that symptoms present can be similar in various cases, the underlying genetics will appear differently for one equine family tree versus another. [The Horse]

The True Age of Equine Physical Maturity: Dr. Deb Bennett suggests that there is a definite schedule for bone formation in the horse, with the spine being the last part of the body to fully fuse. Building on Dr. Bennett’s exploration of equine skeletal development, an alternate view of basing a young horse’s training on their level of physical maturity has been presented. [Horsetalk]

Foaling Mares Are … Relaxed?: After studying a variety of domestic species, a group of scientists has determined that, contrary to popular belief, mares appear to be completely relaxed while delivering a foal. [The Horse]

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