Diagnosing and preventing West Nile virus

Although it does not dominate the equine health headlines in the same manner it did nearly two decades ago, West Nile virus (WNV) is an ever-present threat, and one about which veterinarians should remind horse owners to be vigilant. For example, last year, health officials confirmed 31 cases of WNV in Ohio, which was more than twice as many cases than in 2017. Even in California, with its arid climate, approximately 20 cases per …

Vitamin E: Necessary to horses, but there’s a lot to learn

Vitamin E seems to be at the forefront of many discussions about horse nutrition these days. Contrary to appearances, vitamin E is not a vitamin in and of itself. Rather, it’s a group of eight compounds—four tocopherols and four tocotrienols—that are fat soluble. This vitamin is important for myriad functions in the horse’s body, including but not limited to, and in no particular order, the eyes, the reproductive tract, and the neuromuscular system. The …

Veterinary toxicologist warns of blue-green algae dangers to livestock, pets

Steve Ensley, DVM, Ph.D., a clinical veterinary toxicologist at the Kansas State Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, a part of the Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine, is warning pet and livestock owners about cyanobacteria, or blue-green algae.

Cyanobacteria, which grow and replicate rapidly in warm, sunny environments where agricultural runoff deposits nutrients into waterways that allow the algae to thrive, can pose a health hazard to animals and humans who come into contact with …

Why colic is not a disease

Colic is often a subject of seemingly endless articles, myths, and firmly held opinions. Given that colic is the foremost medical problem of the horse, that’s probably inevitable.

What horse owners want from you

In human medicine, patient satisfaction surveys are commonly performed to improve patient care and experience. Although not necessarily related to improved patient outcomes, medical patient satisfaction surveys can provide useful insights into different aspects of a healthcare business, including personnel, facilities, and procedures, and identify areas that need improvement.

Best practices for managing laminitis

Recognized for centuries, laminitis is an all-to-frequent, and sometimes devastating, condition affecting the connections between the horse’s hoof wall and the vital structures inside the hoof.

Four important internal parasites to consider

Instead of just deworming all the time, it’s a good idea for equine practitioners to perform periodic fecal egg counts to determine how badly—or whether—a horse is affected by parasites prior to being dewormed.

New AVMA emergency info helps safeguard large animals

September is National Disaster Preparedness Month, and the importance of animal disaster planning has been made clear by recent hurricanes and wildfires. Livestock evacuations have been all too common, both on large and small scales.

A new American Veterinary Medical Association website resource provides critical information that veterinarians can share with owners of horses, poultry, cattle, and other livestock to help them plan in advance to safeguard animals in the event of emergency.

The …

When disaster strikes Florida, UFVETS works to aid its animals

By Donald Vaughan

Cookie was following her owner across their yard in Gilchrist County, Fla., outside Gainesville, when the ground suddenly opened up, plunging the 10-year-old pug to the bottom of a 30-foot sinkhole. Among the agencies called in to rescue Cookie was the University of Florida Veterinary Emergency Treatment Service (UFVETS), which provides veterinary emergency response throughout the state.

Once the sinkhole had been shored up to prevent a cave-in, VETS …

How bioinformatics research could affect veterinary practices, companion animal health

Let’s face it; we can’t even keep up with all the email, client communications, and news flashing on our smartphones while maintaining a busy clinical load. Once-a-year continuing education barely keeps us afloat in the ocean of veterinary information, and now that information is coming at us more and more rapidly and in more forms.