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aim to report on research that has
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you find it stimulating and useful....
a growing problem.
evidence points to the ingestion of
ragwort at pasture as an important cause
of ragwort poisoning, contrary to the
widely held view that the plant`s bitter
taste prevents the horse eating it.
Research conducted by Ragwort-UK has
identified that continuous low-level
poisoning occurs through two routes. Both
are caused by seedling ragwort plants in
good dense grass.
of heart murmurs.
recent study shows that only 10% of
horses with heart murmurs have reduced
performance. Nevertheless, heart murmurs
detected at pre-purchase examinations
have a significant effect on the sale
price. Between 1997 and 2002, Dr Marianne
Sloet and her colleagues at the
University of Utrecht in the Netherlands,
assessed the significance of murmurs that
were found during prepurchase
examinations or at long distance rides.
found murmurs in sixty two horses at
prepurchase examination, and in fifteen
at long distance rides. Horses that had
murmurs were given a full cardiological
examination. An ECG (electrocardiogram)
was used to check heart rate and rhythm.
Echocardiography allowed the researchers
to assess valvular function , and to take
various measurements of the heart such as
the diameters of the aorta and the
pulmonary artery, the main arteries
leaving the heart. They also recorded the
left atrial dimensions. The researchers
recorded whether the horses were sold or
not. And if sold, whether they sold for
the asking price or at a reduced price.
They also recorded whether the
abnormalities had any effect on
provides an excellent means of screening
racehorses for early signs of injury,
according to recent research in the USA.
Dr Tracy Turner, of the University of
Minnesota, describes a two-year study,
conducted with colleagues Jennifer Pansch
and Julie Wilson. "We wanted to show
that the technique could provide
meaningful results in a practical
situation." says Turner. "We
also wanted to find out how well the
thermographic findings agreed with the
trainers` concerns and with the vets`
water spa hydrotherapy.
traditional therapy for soft tissue
injuries is poised to make a come back
according to Prof Evan Hunt. For the past
4 years Hunt, of the University of
Sydney, Orange campus in Australia, has
been researching the use of cold water
hydrotherapy for treating soft tissue
injuries. He claims it gives more rapid
healing of tendon strain injuries
compared with other methods. .
to Prof Hunt numerous cases of soft
tissue injury have responded more rapidly
than expected. Because of the nature of
the cases it was not possible to carry
out controlled trials. He points out
"in all of the cases I`ve looked at
I`ve had to compare the rate of response
with my previous experience. Hydrotherapy
is certainly helping in tendon and
ligament cases, and in soft tissue
on this topic
is a curb?
is not an individual condition but a
collection of soft tissue injuries
according to researchers in America. A
two-centre study was conducted by Michael
Ross, Ron Genovese and Virginia Reef to
investigate the different causes of curb.
They reported their findings at the
annual convention of the American
Association of Equine Practitioners.
researchers reviewed the outcome of
ultrasound examinations of horses with
curb that had been seen at the New Bolton
Center, Pennsylvania and the Randall
Veterinary Hospital, Ohio, in recent
years. Not all of the horses were lame.
In those that were lame, the lameness was
usually mild. Horses were more likely to
be lame if the damage involved the
plantar ligament, superficial digital
flexor (SDF) tendon or deep digital
flexor (DDF) tendon. Some horses had
minor damage to the SDF tendon without
on shoes: the next generation
many years farriers and veterinary
surgeons have sought alternative means
for applying horse shoes for situations
in which nailing on is not practical.
Glue-on shoes are available.To apply them
correctly requires stringent attention to
detail, making it a time- consuming, and
sometimes uncertain process.
Wiltshire-based farrier Andrew Poynton
has designed a new hoof care system which
he claims overcomes many of the
difficulties encontered with other
glue-on shoes. I had certain criteria in
mind when I was developing the system. I
wanted to minimise trauma, have a perfect
fit, and maximise support without
compromising the natural functions of the
foot. The shoe had to stay on the foot
for the duration of the treatment, and
had to produce a result."