Tag Archives: Horses

* Cancer-causing virus strikes genetically vulnerable horses

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Sarcoid skin tumors are the most common form of cancer in horses, but little is known about why the papillomavirus behind them strikes some horses and not others. A new study by an international research group led by scientists at the Baker Institute for Animal Health at Cornell’s College of Veterinary Medicine shows genetic differences […]

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Developing ways to study influenza D virus

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Although a new influenza virus, now called influenza D, was discovered first in pigs, researchers found it was more common in cattle. However, further research has identified antibodies to the virus in small ruminants, but not in poultry. To identify exposure to the virus, South Dakota State University doctoral student Chithra Sreenivasan tests blood samples […]

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* ‘Camera pill’ to examine horses

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Veterinary and engineering researchers at the University of Saskatchewan (U of S) have teamed up to harness imaging technology to fill in a blank area in animal health — what goes on in a horse’s gut? “Whenever I talk to students about the horse abdomen, I put up a picture of a horse and put […]

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Horses can read human emotions

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For the first time horses have been shown to be able to distinguish between angry and happy human facial expressions. Psychologists studied how 28 horses reacted to seeing photographs of positive versus negative human facial expressions. When viewing angry faces, horses looked more with their left eye, a behaviour associated with perceiving negative stimuli. Their […]

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Simulator-based training in veterinary medicine

Simulator-based training of students at Vetmeduni Vienna has been part of the curriculum since 2012. The Skills Lab is a simulated veterinary practice in which students have the chance to train a variety of veterinary interventions in a near-realistic setup on animal dummies. But is simulator-based training really as efficient as training on live animals? […]

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* Rooting out doping in racehorses

Doping in the horseracing industry has spurred regulations banning performance-enhancing drugs, as well as calls for an anti-doping agency in the U.S. But as in human sports, testing for certain kinds of prohibited substances has been a challenge. Now scientists report in ACS’ journal Analytical Chemistry a new detection method that could help anti-doping enforcers […]

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* A horse of a different color: Genetics of camouflage and the dun pattern

Most horses today are treasured for their ability to run, work, or be ridden, but have lost their wild-type camouflage: pale hair with zebra-like dark stripes known as the Dun pattern. Now an international team of scientists has discovered what causes the Dun pattern and why it is lost in most horses. The results, published […]

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Adapting to -70 degrees in Siberia: A tale of Yakutian horses

From an evolutionary perspective it happened almost overnight. In less than 800 years Yakutian horses adapted to the extremely cold temperatures found in the environments of eastern Siberia. The adaptive process involved changes in the expression of a plethora of genes, including some also selected in human Siberian groups and the extinct woolly mammoth. In […]

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Test tube foals that could help ensure rare breed survival

The recent birth of two test tube foals in the UK, as part of a collaborative project conducted by leading fertility experts, could help benefit rare breed conservation and horses with fertility problems. The births mark the successful completion of a three-year program, the aim of which was to establish and offer advanced breeding methods […]

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* Mare pedigree influences offspring more than previously thought.

In horse breeding, stallions are usually used to establish a breeding line. In some cases, however, the maternal lineage plays a more important role. Researchers from the Vetmeduni Vienna looked at the gestation length of different mare families and discovered that the length of gestation varies significantly from lineage to lineage. Certain families also produce […]

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After 100 years in captivity, a look at the world’s last truly wild horses

In the 1870s, the world’s last truly wild horses, known as Przewalski’s horses, lived in the Asian steppes of Mongolia and China. But by the 1960s, those wild horses were no longer free. Only one captive population remained, descended from about a dozen wild-caught individuals and perhaps four domesticated horses. Thanks to major conservation efforts, […]

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Racehorses at risk from misuse of cobalt, new study finds

In a new study published in The Veterinary Journal, scientists from the University of Surrey warn about the numerous risks posed to racehorses from the misuse of cobalt chloride, a banned performance-enhancing agent that has been used illegally by trainers in Australia and USA. The team of researchers have uncovered that when excessive levels of […]

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* Birth of four foals from genotyped, cryopreserved embryos: A first in Europe

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Four foals were successfully born as the result of the transfer of genotyped and cryopreserved embryos. Researchers report that this is a first in Eurpoe. The goal of this work is to better understand embryonic development, control livestock reproduction, and maintain breed genetic diversity. Furthermore, it is advantageous for the horse industry to be able […]

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* Researchers unearth county colic risk in horses

A particular gastrointestinal disorder, which causes colic, or abdominal pain, in horses, is more prevalent in Lancashire compared with other nearby counties, according to researchers at Lancaster University and the University of Liverpool. They have also found that Idiopathic Focal Eosinophilic Enteritis (IFEE), lesions causing an obstruction in a horse’s small intestine, is actually seasonal […]

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* Ancient horse DNA revealed human breeding preferences: Leopard complex spotting and congenital night blindness

White coat with black spots: almost every child knows “Lilla Gubben” the horse of Pippi Longstocking. But what about the popularity of spotted and speckled horses (so called leopard complex spotting) during the last millennia? Researchers found out that the occurrence of these horses fluctuated considerably in the course of history. Under the leadership of […]

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Test for horse meat developed

Scientists at the Institute of Food Research on the Norwich Research Park have teamed up with Oxford Instruments to develop a fast, cheap alternative to DNA testing as a means of distinguishing horse meat from beef. Because horses and cattle have different digestive systems, the fat components of the two meats have different fatty acid […]

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Do women and men ride differently? Horses cannot tell the difference

Scientists at the Vetmeduni in Vienna have analysed how horses are affected by the sex of their riders. Various parameters of stress were determined in horses and their riders when they covered an obstacle course. The results were surprising: the level of stress on a horse is independent of whether a man or a woman […]

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Horses communicate with eyes and mobile ears

Horses are sensitive to the facial expressions and attention of other horses, including the direction of the eyes and ears. The findings, reported in the Cell Press journal Current Biology on August 4, are a reminder for us humans to look beyond our own limitations and recognize that other species may communicate in ways that […]

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Hendra virus vaccine, a One Health approach to protecting horse, human, and environmental health

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In recent years, the emergence of several highly pathogenic zoonotic diseases in humans has led to a renewed emphasis on the interconnectedness of human, animal, and environmental health, otherwise known as One Health. For example, Hendra virus (HeV), a zoonotic paramyxovirus, was discovered in 1994, and since then, infections have occurred in 7 humans, each […]

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New, unusually large virus kills anthrax agent

From a zebra carcass on the plains of Namibia in Southern Africa, an international team of researchers has discovered a new, unusually large virus (or bacteriophage) that infects the bacterium that causes anthrax. The novel bacteriophage could eventually open up new ways to detect, treat or decontaminate the anthrax bacillus and its relatives that cause […]

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How horses can teach humans communication skills, kindness

A nudge from the nose of a free-roaming zebra, or towering, 2,500-pound Clydesdale draft horse, might send others running. But Lauren Burke, a graduate student at Case Western Reserve University’s social work school, instead extends a curved hand to return the equine “hello.” In her required social work field placement, Burke spent the last 18 […]

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Scientists confirm functionality of emergency ventilation system for horses

Respiratory or cardiovascular arrest in outdoor animals poses a huge challenge to veterinarians. Ventilation equipment is generally hard to operate and requires electricity and compressed air. Anaesthesiologists at the University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna (Vetmeduni Vienna) have developed an inexpensive device for the ventilation of large animals. It is easy to transport and can save […]

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Important step forward for gait analysis of horses

Gait and movement pattern are essential to the horse, whether it’s a question of the horse’s well-being, competition riding or breeding. For the first time, new research made in collaboration between University of Copenhagen and The Royal Veterinary College in the United Kingdom makes it possible to use sensors to accurately measure a horse’s movements […]

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Pregnancy in horses: Helping horses come to term

It is not only humans that sometimes experience difficulty having children. Horses too have a low birth rate, with many pregnancies failing within the first few weeks after conception. The reason is currently unknown but recent research by the team of Christine Aurich at the University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna (Vetmeduni) suggests that a particular […]

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Study finds fears that pet ponies and donkeys traded for horsemeat in Britain unfounded

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Fears that pet ponies and donkeys are being traded for horsemeat are unfounded, reveals research published online in the Veterinary Record. Buyers want larger size animals to obtain the maximum meat yield, so go for thoroughbreds and riding horses, the study indicates. The researchers looked at the animals put up for sale at seven randomly […]

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Doctors in veterinary, human medicine team to give burned horse a second chance

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The unlikely pairing of an equine veterinarian and a burn surgeon is providing a second chance at a normal life for a horse that was doused in flammable liquid and set on fire late last summer. The Ohio State University doctors and their teams have partnered to perform two skin graft procedures on the American […]

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Stem cells boom in vet clinics

Horses, dogs and even a tiger have received the unproven therapies. Now, drug regulators plan to weigh in. Patients seeking unproven stem-cell therapies in the United States often run up against government restrictions. But Vintage ‘Vinty’ Mark of Lovettsville, Virginia, had no difficulty getting such injections to treat an injured tendon in his leg. The […]

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Tick-borne encephalitis virus in horses, Austria, 2011

An unexpectedly high infection rate (26.1%) of tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBEV) was identified in a herd of 257 horses of the same breed distributed among 3 federal states in Austria. Young age (p

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Distinctive virus behind mystery horse disease

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For almost 100 years, veterinarians have puzzled over the cause of Theiler disease, a mysterious type of equine hepatitis that is linked to blood products and causes liver failure in up to 90% of afflicted animals. A team of US scientists has now discovered that the disease is caused by a virus that shares just […]

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Exercise affects reproductive ability in horses

In the latest issue of the Journal of Animal Science, researchers at Clemson University and the University of Florida examine the impact of exercise on mare reproductive health and embryo transfer. In the study, researchers divided light-horse mares into three research groups: no exercise (control), partial-exercise and full-exercise. Their goal was to measure reproductive blood […]

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