Though many experts believe magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is underused in equine veterinary medicine, greater availability of the technology and access to interpretation experts are facilitating greater adoption, especially when diagnosing lameness.
Private equine practice is largely a matter of lameness, reproductive issues, trauma care and preventive medicine. There are occasions, however, when behavior problems directly affect medical care, and veterinarians must be able to address these issues to deliver appropriate treatment.
Neoplasia is generally an uncommon occurrence in horses. "As a species, horses appear to have less of a predisposition to cancer," says John Robertson, VMD, PhD, director of the Center for Comparative Oncology at The Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine. "The overall incidence of neoplasms in horses is lower than in other long-lived species, i.e., humans, cats and dogs."
Austin, Texas — A partnership between ViaGen Inc. and Encore Genetics produced the first commercially cloned mare in the United States. Royal Blue Boon Too is the genetic replica of a champion cutter owned by Elaine Hall.
Dysphagia in the neonatal foal manifests itself as the presence of milk in the foal's nares after nursing. Milk reflux in a foal should not be ignored. Aspiration pneumonia is the usual secondary consequence.
There are a variety of hormonal therapies available to the equine practitioner to help bring mares into estrus and hasten ovulation. They include human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), various progestin/estradiol combinations, gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH) analogs, and dopamine antagonists. These hormonal therapies push Mother Nature along to help make the breeding process more efficient, reduce excessive handling of mares and stallions, and help ensure successful breeding and conception, whether a maiden, a previously barren or a cyclic mare.
Much of the focus and effort put forth on breeding farms this spring will center on mares and the various reproductive problems that they experience. Stallions are often given minimal attention other than bacterial cultures and examination of early season ejaculates unless there are unusually high numbers of return "open" mares or evidence of serious problems.
Norwalk, Conn. — He's no stranger to long shots. The 20-year track veterinarian took some flack for remedying an epiglottal entrapment on Alysheba one month before the 1987 Kentucky Derby. Alysheba went on to win the first leg of the Triple Crown despite 17-1 odds.