Tag Archives: Horses

Headshaking in horses: New treatment has 50% success rate

Headshaking syndrome is when a horse shakes or jerks its head uncontrollably for no apparent reason. There are striking clinical similarities between facial pain syndromes in people, most notably trigeminal neuralgia, and headshaking in horses. Although some progress has been made towards both diagnosing and treating the condition in horses, the pathology of the disease […]

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Psychology of equine performance and the biology behind laminitis

Achieving the best performance from a horse is the goal of not just professional riders, but also the millions of amateur and hobby riders all over the world. A new article published in BioMed Central’s open access journal BMC Veterinary Research looks at the issues surrounding training, competition environment and practices, and how the psychology […]

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Horse gait traced to single mutation

A single gene mutation in horses can endow them with a wider repertoire of gaits. The finding, reported this week in Nature, shows that some seemingly complex physical traits can have a simple genetic basis. It could also shed light on the genes behind movement disorders in humans. Horses usually have three styles of gait […]

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Scientist creates test, treatment for malaria-like sickness in horses

When Washington State University and U.S. Department of Agriculture veterinary scientist Don Knowles got word two years ago that a rare but deadly infection was discovered among a group of horses in south Texas, he felt a jolt of adrenaline. Not only were the horses infected with a parasitic disease similar to malaria in humans, […]

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Horse racing: Doping detection stays a neck ahead

Whilst the eyes of the world may currently be focused on the Olympics, human sport is not the only area where drug testing is routinely carried out. Horse racing is a massive world-wide industry, and regular testing is essential to maintain its integrity. As with human sport, the authorities constantly need to develop methodologies to […]

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Whence the domestic horse?

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To study the ancestor of domesticated horses, scientists gathered genetic data from horses around Europe that had been shaped the least by human breeding, such as this animal in Kyrgyzstan. Shards of pottery with traces of mare’s milk, mass gravesites for horses, and drawings of horses with plows and chariots: These are some of the […]

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How the Quarter Horse won the rodeo

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American Quarter Horses are renowned for their speed, agility, and calm disposition. Consequently over four million Quarter Horses are used as working horses on ranches, as show horses or at rodeos. New research published in BioMed Central’s open access journal BMC Genomics used ‘next-generation’ sequencing to map variation in the genome of a Quarter Horse […]

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Shuni virus as cause of neurologic disease in horses

To determine which agents cause neurologic disease in horses, we conducted reverse transcription PCR on isolates from of a horse with encephalitis and 111 other horses with acute disease. Shuni virus was found in 7 horses, 5 of which had neurologic signs. Testing for lesser known viruses should be considered for horses with unexplained illness. […]

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‘Speed gene’ in modern racehorses originated from British mare 300 years ago

Scientists have traced the origin of the ‘speed gene’ in Thoroughbred racehorses back to a single British mare that lived in the United Kingdom around 300 years ago, according to findings published today in the scientific journal Nature Communications. The origin of the ‘speed gene’ (C type myostatin gene variant) was revealed by analysing DNA […]

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Experimental infection of horses with Hendra Virus

Hendra virus (HeV) is a highly pathogenic zoonotic paramyxovirus harbored by Australian flying foxes with sporadic spillovers directly to horses. Although the mode and critical control points of HeV spillover to horses from flying foxes, and the risk for transmission from infected horses to other horses and humans, are poorly understood, we successfully established systemic […]

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Ancient DNA provides new insights into cave paintings of horses

An international team of researchers has used ancient DNA to shed new light on the realism of horses depicted in prehistoric cave paintings. The team, which includes researchers from the University of York, has found that all the colour variations seen in Paleolithic cave paintings — including distinctive ‘leopard’ spotting — existed in pre-domestic horse […]

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Light dependency underlies beneficial jetlag in racehorses

A new study has shown that racehorses are extremely sensitive to changes in daily light and, contrary to humans, can adapt very quickly to sudden shifts in the 24-hour light-dark cycle, such as those resulting from a transmeridian flight, with unexpected benefits on their physical performance. The research led by academics in the University of […]

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Antibody treatment protects monkeys from Hendra virus disease

A human antibody given to monkeys infected with the deadly Hendra virus completely protected them from disease, according to a study published by National Institutes of Health (NIH) scientists and their collaborators. Hendra and the closely related Nipah virus, both rare viruses that are part of the NIH biodefense research program, target the lungs and […]

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Tick responsible for equine piroplasmosis outbreak identified

The cayenne tick has been identified as one of the vectors of equine piroplasmosis in horses in a 2009 Texas outbreak, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) scientists. The United States has been considered free from the disease since 1978, but sporadic cases have occurred in recent years. In October 2009, in Kleberg County, […]

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Endangered horse has ancient origins and high genetic diversity

An endangered species of horse — known as Przewalski’s horse — is much more distantly related to the domestic horse than researchers had previously hypothesized, reports a team of investigators led by Kateryna Makova, a Penn State University associate professor of biology. The scientists tested the portion of the genome passed exclusively from mother to […]

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Ancient wild horses help unlock past

An international team of researchers has used ancient DNA to produce compelling evidence that the lack of genetic diversity in modern stallions is the result of the domestication process. The team, which was led by Professor Michi Hofreiter from the University of York, UK, has carried out the first study on Y chromosomal DNA sequences […]

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Horse blind date could lead to loss of foal

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Fetal loss is a common phenomenon in domestic horses after away-mating, according to Luděk Bartoš and colleagues, from the Institute of Animal Science in the Czech Republic. When mares return home after mating with a foreign stallion, they either engage in promiscuous mating with the home males to confuse paternity, or, failing that, the mares […]

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Vaccine protects from deadly Hendra virus

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CSIRO scientists have shown that a new experimental vaccine helps to protect horses against the deadly Hendra virus. Deborah Middleton from CSIRO’s Australian Animal Health Laboratory (AAHL) announced the successful progress to develop the vaccine at the Australian Veterinary Association conference in Adelaide on May 17, 2011. “Our trials so far have shown that the […]

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Treating newborn horses: A unique form of pediatrics

Like any other newborn, the neonatal horse can be a challenging patient. Its immune system is still under construction, its blood chemistry can vary wildly, and — like most infants — it wants to stay close to mom. These factors are magnified in the critically ill foal, said Pamela Wilkins, a professor of equine internal […]

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Fossils of horse teeth indicate ‘You are what you eat’

Fossil records verify a long-standing theory that horses evolved through natural selection, according to groundbreaking research by two anatomy professors at New York College of Osteopathic Medicine (NYCOM) of New York Institute of Technology. Working with colleagues from Massachusetts and Spain, Matthew Mihlbachler, Ph.D., and Nikos Solounias, Ph.D. arrived at the conclusion after examining the […]

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Scientists generate pluripotent stem cells from horses

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In a world first, pluripotent stem cells have been generated from horses by a team of researchers led by Dr. Andras Nagy at the Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute of Mount Sinai Hospital and Dr. Lawrence Smith at the University of Montreal’s Faculty of Veterinary Science. The findings will help enable new stem-cell based regenerative therapies […]

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Hormonal therapy for older, pregnant horses?

Like humans, horses are prone to miscarriage. In fact, about one in ten pregnancies results in miscarriage at a very early stage. Some horses have a history of early miscarriages and it has become customary to treat them with a type of progestin known as altrenogest, although there have not been any studies to assess […]

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Obesity in horses could be as high as in humans

At least one in five horses used for leisure are overweight or obese. It’s a condition which can lead to laminitis and equine metabolic syndrome. The pilot study, carried out by The University of Nottingham’s School of Veterinary Medicine and Science, showed that rates of obesity among horses are likely to be just as high […]

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Who’s your mommy?

Sleek, speedy, and spirited, thoroughbred horses arose from Arabian stallions more than 3 centuries ago. But who were the mares that birthed these noble steeds? A new genetic analysis suggests that thoroughbred foremothers hailed from Ireland and Britain. In the late 1600s and early 1700s, three stallions imported by British aristocrats became the famous forefathers […]

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How to minimize stress when horses are first ridden

The horse was domesticated many thousands of years ago and has been hugely important in the development of human civilization. It is hard to overstate its role in agriculture, in transport and communications and even in military operations. More recently, equestrian sports have gained markedly in popularity, so even though the horse has largely been […]

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Cotton rats and house sparrows as hosts for North and South American strains of Eastern equine encephalitis virus

Eastern equine encephalitis virus (EEEV; family Togaviridae, genus Alphavirus) is an arbovirus that causes severe disease in humans in North America and in equids throughout the Americas. The enzootic transmission cycle of EEEV in North America involves passerine birds and the ornithophilic mosquito vector, Culiseta melanura, in freshwater swamp habitats. However, the ecology of EEEV […]

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West Nile virus range expansion into British Columbia

In 2009, an expansion of West Nile virus (WNV) into the Canadian province of British Columbia was detected. Two locally acquired cases of infection in humans and 3 cases of infection in horses were detected by ELISA and plaque-reduction neutralization tests. Ten positive mosquito pools were detected by reverse transcription PCR. Most WNV activity in […]

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First cloned horse using oocytes from a live mare

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Researchers at Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences have achieved another cloning first with the successful delivery of a foal using oocytes from a live mare, the first such clone in the world. The delivery of the foal highlights Texas A&M’s long tradition of leading science in equine reproduction, and has […]

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Isolation and characterization of highly pathogenic avian influenza virus subtype H5N1 from donkeys

The highly pathogenic H5N1 is a major avian pathogen that crosses species barriers and seriously affects humans as well as some mammals. It mutates in an intensified manner and is considered a potential candidate for the possible next pandemic with all the catastrophic consequences. Nasal swabs were collected from donkeys suffered from respiratory distress. The […]

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Horse genome bet pays off

Thoroughbred horse owners now have a new tool to predict how their nags will perform on the track. On Friday, a new company called Equinome rolled out a €1000 DNA test of a muscle factor derived from the Horse Genome Project at the Irish Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association Expo in County Kildare. Muscle growth is governed […]

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