Equine DVM Inc.

Laura M. Harris, DVM
Glenn Shearer
Dianne Malen
Janet Hanes


Embryo Vitrification (Freezing)

The embryo vitrification program is offered at Texas A&M as a means to cryopreserve (freeze) embryos from donor mares. Embryo vitrification has long been successful in small embryos, such as those flushed from mares on Day 6 after ovulation. Recently, we have developed a method to cryopreserve larger, Day-7 or Day-8 embryos (blastocysts). Using our vitrification method, blastocysts larger than 300 μm in diameter, which are fluid-filled, are collapsed by puncturing their outer layer. This manipulation allows the embryo to be vitrified successfully. The vitrified embryos are placed in liquid nitrogen and can be stored indefinitely. Collapsed, vitrified embryos reform their shape quickly when warmed, and have resulted in good pregnancy rates (70%) after transfer.

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Laminitis Laboratory at New Bolton Center

Laminitis is a common and debilitating disease that affects the folded and interdigitating tissues, called the lamellae, which connect the hoof wall to the underlying tissues of the horse’s foot. The lamellae normally allow the transfer of the horse's weight from the skeletal elements of the digit to the hoof wall.

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Equine Disease Communication Center

The Equine Disease Communication Center (EDCC) works to protect horses and the horse industry from the threat of infectious diseases in North America. The communication system is designed to seek and report real time information about disease outbreaks similar to how the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) alerts the human population about diseases in people.

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8 Tips to Protect Your Horse at Shows and on the Road

In the last couple of months, new cases of equine herpesvirus-1 (EHV-1) have been confirmed in California, Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Iowa and Oregon. While the respiratory form of EHV-1, also called rhinopneumonitis, is very common, these recent outbreaks have involved the much more complicated neurologic form of the virus.

The neurologic form of EHV-1 infection can cause mild hind limb ataxia (lack of coordination), urine dribbling and an inability to void the bladder properly, loss of sensation around the tailhead and thighs and weakness in the hind limbs.

Unlike with the respiratory strain, previous EHV-1 infection does not appear to confer protection against the neurologic form, and none of the available vaccines protect against the neurologic form. The vaccines can, however, help decrease the amount of the virus that is shed.

These eight steps will help you limit your horse’s exposure to EHV and other viruses when traveling and while at shows:

  1. If using a commercial hauler, especially one that travels throughout the country, ask about the company's biosecurity protocol, including how often box stalls are disinfected.
  2. Take your own feed and water buckets and water hoses. If you must use a communal hose, do not submerge the nozzle in the water while filling the bucket.
  3. Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly, making sure to wash between your fingers and under your nails. Keep on hand a disinfectant gel with 65-75% alcohol content. For the gel to be effective, it must stay wet  for at least 10 seconds as you rub it in. If it dries before that time, reapply.
  4. Avoid letting your horse touch noses with other horses.
  5. Avoid letting other people touch your horse, and limit your physical contact with other horses as much as possible.
  6. Keep a container of disinfecting wipes handy and use liberally. Don’t forget to use them on the inside and outside door handles of your truck and trailer and your steering wheel!
  7. Do not take home unnecessary items such as hay that has sat on the barn floor, dirty towels, etc.
  8. Wash and disinfect your trailer after shows. Be sure to use a phenol-based disinfectant, which is effective in the presence of organic matter such as manure. This video by Hagyard Equine Medical Institute gives step-by-step instructions for properly disinfecting a trailer.
Last Act of Kindness

Get more information on The Last Act of Kindness Foundation!

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Vesicular Stomatitis Virus

MARICOPA COUNTY LIVESTOCK OWNERS WARNED ABOUT CONTAGIOUS VIRUS Positive Diagnosis of Vesicular Stomatitis Virus: Two horses in Maricopa County have been confirmed with Vesicular Stomatitis Virus (VSV) in the East Valley. VSV is a contagious virus which causes blister-like sores on the mouths, noses and sometimes feet of infected animals. The Department of Agriculture is testing animals from a total of eight locations in Maricopa County.

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Ebola Virus

The death of an international traveler diagnosed in the U.S. as having the Ebola virus disease (EVD), coupled with the precautionary measure by Spanish health officials to euthanize the dog of an exposed healthcare worker, have raised questions and concerns among veterinarians and the public alike...

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When someone deliberately causes pain to exaggerate leg motion in a horse's gait, it's called soring. Soring is most commonly practiced on Tennessee Walking Horses, but some other gaited? breeds are affected as well. You can find more detailed information about this equine welfare issue, and the AVMA's and the American Association of Equine Practitioners' (AAEP) collaborative efforts to end it once and for all, by visiting our webpage on soring. You can personally take action by contacting your representatives in Congress and asking them to support the federal Prevent All Soring Tactics (PAST) Act.

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The goal of the AVMA's Emergency Management Program is to encourage and foster veterinary leadership and guidance in local, state and federal efforts within the United States in preparation for: disasters and emergencies involving animals, animal and public health, and other veterinary issues.

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I am trying to raise money to complete my journey of riding horseback from Camp Lejeune, North Carolina to Camp Pendleton, California.

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USA Equestrian Trust invests in the future of equestrian sport annually by awarding grants to worthy equine non-profits.

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PAW Sanctuary and C.A.A.T.S.

Dec 20, 2013 – My husband, Glenn, and I visited the PAW Sanctuary on Caye Caulker, Belize and the sister organization, C.A.A.T.S. in Chetumal, Mexico between 28 November and 7 December 2013.

The efforts of Madi Collins, the founder of both, are highly commendable and our experience was completely positive. I have been in practice for over 30 years and have, during that time, worked as an employee, and as a practice owner in small, mixed and equine practices. I have provided volunteer services in disaster situations and have donated time to multiple rescues in the United States. Our visit with Madi was my first international experience and we plan to return to visit and work at both locations in June 2014.

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Horses of all ages encounter a variety of ailments affecting the upper and lower respiratory tract. Equine respiratory viral infections are found worldwide and are highly prevalent in horses over 1 year of age.1-6 Respiratory viruses are a major contributor to layoff time in equine athletes, not only during the acute phase of infection (i.e., the first five to seven days while the infection runs its course), but also while the horse is experiencing the subsequent airway inflammation that may persist for several weeks to months.

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History of Equine Embryo Transfer

Horse owners, breeding farm managers and veterinarians currently utilizing embryo transfer owe a great deal to the early pioneers in the field of embryo biology. More than 100 years of research, initially performed in species other than the horse, has made equine embryo collection, manipulation and transfer a clinical procedure that is now routinely performed throughout the world. This review is intended to be a tribute to the efforts of our predecessors and a documentation of the milestones in equine embryo transfer.

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Tony Nelssen Equestrian Center Expansion

The Scottsdale City Council has approved a $42.8 million expansion of the Tony Nelssen Equestrian Center at WestWorld. The project will expand, enclose and climate control the Equidome at WestWorld in order to accommodate events year-round.

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Equine Reproduction Laboratory formally opened

Apr 27, 2013 – Colorado State University (CSU) is officially opening its new Equine Reproduction Laboratory, a 12,200-square-foot replacement for the main lab building destroyed by fire at its Foothills campus in 2011. The grand opening celebration of the Equine Reproduction Laboratory is being co-hosted by the College of Agricultural Sciences and the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, which collaborate on multiple equine teaching, research and service programs.

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Don’t miss the deadline to apply for USA Equestrian Trust grants

April 18, 2013 – There is still time to submit proposals for the first round of USA Equestrian Trust grants in 2013. IRS-registered equine non-profit organizations are invited to apply by filling out the online grant application at http://www.trusthorses.org. The deadline is 11:59 p.m. Pacific Time on Monday, May 6.

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Drafts affect infrared thermography results

March 28, 2013 – Infrared thermography is extremely sensitive to even very gentle drafts, Austrian researchers have found. A wind speed of less than 1 metre per second can cause a drop in measured temperature of about 0.6C, while winds of 1.3-2.6 metres per second can cause a drop of 1.5C. Winds of 3-4 metres per second can cause a drop of 2.1C.

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Treatment breakthrough for infertile mares

Mar 23, 2013 – Two Danish researchers say they have discovered a major cause of infertility in mares and have tested a treatment regime with positive results.University of Copenhagen Professor Anders Miki Bojesen and embryologist Morten Petersen have developed a product to help such horses become pregnant.

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Survival of the Females: Horse Embryo Study Provides Important New Information

Dec. 18, 2012 – It is well known that many mammals are able to adjust the ratio of male and female young depending on the surrounding conditions at the time of conception but how precisely this is accomplished remains a matter for debate. A recent study in the group of Christine Aurich at the University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna has provided important information on how the survival of female embryos may be enhanced under conditions that would otherwise tend to favour the birth of males.

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Gluten Sensitivity in Sport Horses

Apr. 30, 2012 – Chronic inflammatory small bowel disease has an increased prevalence in sport horses. The disorder is associated with intermittent colic, weight loss, poor performance and anemia. Chronic inflammatory small bowel disease seems to have a predominance in dressage horses, but its exact cause is unknown to date.

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