This Week in Horse Heath News Presented by MediVet Equine

Photo via MediVet Equine.

The immune system is an incredibly amazing and complicated part of physiology. When it’s working like it’s supposed to, it’s a powerful line of defense against viruses and bacteria that cause illness. It can even be commandeered to further help sport horses heal from the wear and tear of training and competition — that’s what MediVet Equine does with their ACS product! But when the immune system isn’t functioning properly, it can cause problems. This Week in Horse Health News, we’ll take a look at one of these problems plus a few other notable horse health headlines.

Allergies around the barn can be very difficult for a horse to avoid, and if you suffer from allergies yourself then you know just how uncomfortable they can be. An allergic reaction in a horse (or human!) is caused by an overactive immune response to something in the environment and usually manifest in hives, itching, a runny nose, or coughing. A few recent studies have been done on equine allergies. One of which found that horses, similarly to humans, can have a dust mite allergy and that dust mites can be commonly present on saddle pads. [Paulick Report]

A cosmetic filler could one day be used for helping horses with early stage osteoarthritis. Polyacrylamide gel already has a few other diverse uses including being a cosmetic wrinkle-filler and also a vehicle for certain laboratory procedures. A veterinarian from the Equine Veterinary Medical Center in Doha, Qatar has recently published and presented his research, a study of 33 flat-racing Thoroughbreds with knee pain consistent with early stage osteoarthritis. One group of those horses were injected with polyacrylamide gel and those horses went on to outperform the other treatment groups. [The Horse]

As an equestrian you’re probably sleep-deprived, but hopefully your horse isn’t. A good night’s sleep is beneficial to everyone, and horses are no exception although it looks a little different for them — they only require  about 3.5 hours a night. You probably know that horses can sleep standing up, however, when they’re standing up they can’t achieve the deepest level of sleep, eye movement (REM) sleep. Horses need at least 30 minutes of REM sleep a night and if they never lie down, they’ll become sleep deprived. A research team from Germany recently studied sleep deprivation in horses and found that causes can include management issues which prevent a horse from lying down. These included pain from a physical problem, too small of a stall, and change for a horse’s stabling environment. [HorseTalk]

As horse owners and competitors, we want to give our equine athletes every opportunity to feel and perform their best. Keeping up to date with the latest news in horse health and medicine is an important part of that, and it’s why Medivet Equine is bringing you the latest in horse health news each week.

Following the medical model of “do no harm,” MediVet Equine develops scientifically based therapeutics enabling the horse to call on its own healing ability, thus achieving its full performance potential. MediVet Equine provides effective, all natural, drug free products and lab services designed to optimize the overall health of performance horses. They specialize in regenerative treatments that help the body heal itself to get stronger naturally. Boyd Martin has several of his top competitive mounts on MediVet ACS, and has had terrific results!