GFM Network News


Laminitis has been found to be closely related to cresty necks in horses, and can even be predicted by the condition of the neck fat.

The ‘cresty’-necked horse

Horse Health: Neck fat is a valuable barometer of horse health

The observance of a cresty neck in a horse indicates some level of metabolic sickness and reflects more than just a fat horse. Although the fat or obese horse is burdened with a form of metabolic illness, the appearance of a cresty neck signals further metabolic complications along the continuum of diseases associated with obesity.

A diet that’s too rich can cause serious health problems for horses.

The health benefits of simplifying a horse’s diet

Horse Health: Despite what the marketing might suggest, often less is more when it comes to the diet of a horse

What and how much we feed horses is innately related to their health. The large number of feed products on the market designed for “making horses healthier” is overwhelming, leading many horse owners to believe their horse should have a commercial feed to be healthy. However, the addition of such feeds to the horse’s diet


Hoof care isn’t all about the hoof

Horse Health: A horse’s lifestyle and diet can make a major difference in hoof health


The hoof responds to everything it experiences in its environment as well as everything going on within the body. Inseparably tied to the body, a sound foot depends on more than a correct trim. This in no way dismisses or diminishes the importance of a proper hoof trim, rather places the trim in its rightful

Injuries to coronary band need extra TLC

Horse Health: Coronary band injuries commonly occur when trailering horses

Through their lifetime horses can accumulate a number of injuries — cuts, scrapes, scratches and bruises. Most locations on the horse’s body are fairly forgiving of such injuries, however, there are a few sites on the body where added vigilance is necessary to ensure a favourable outcome. An injury to an eye or a joint

Vet students at the University of Calgary assess a horse for lameness.

Demystifying equine lameness

Horse Health: Overtraining young horses can set the stage for lameness issues later in life

Lameness has become somewhat of a catch-all term for a broad spectrum of abnormalities in a horse’s movement caused by pain or reduced motion. Though often thought of as a problem of the feet or legs, the roots of many lamenesses are now being discovered to originate elsewhere. These discoveries are important since horse owners


Miniature Horses have inherited the “thrifty” gene from their pony ancestors, so exercise and careful feeding are important to prevent obesity.

Miniature Horses: Not quite the same as a horse

Horse Health: Miniatures are attractive for their personalities and intelligence, but face some unique health problems

Whilst the exact origin of the modern Miniature Horse is unclear, selective breeding of pony stock breeds such as the Shetland pony for a smaller size is most likely. Pony breeds, typically considered an equine under 14.2 hands or 58 inches in height, have been around for hundreds of years. Most of their evolutionary selection

When a horse sustains a laceration to one of its lower limbs, the functional and cosmetic outcome is greatly improved with early veterinary intervention.

Dealing with the eight top equine emergencies

When to call the vet and what to do until he or she arrives

Most horse owners will at some time encounter an emergency. Recognizing a true veterinary emergency and knowing appropriate first aid care until the veterinarian arrives can substantially improve the equine patient’s outcome. Colic is the most common cause for emergency calls. Colic is a broad term which describes abdominal pain or “pain in the belly.”

Adverse consequences of phenylbutazone

Phenylbutazone, referred to as “bute” amongst horsemen, is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug used for the short-term relief of pain, inflammation, and fever in horses. It is one of the most common medications administered to horses but indiscriminate use is wrought with adverse consequences. Therefore horse owners must be aware of its appropriate and prudent use.



The Obesity Epidemic Affects More Than Humans

Weight is an important factor that plays into the health of your horse. Nutritional management and meaningful exercise are key to maintaining your horse at ideal body condition. It is important to distinguish between fit and fat, because weight gain can be confused with muscle conditioning and roundness. To further complicate matters a degree of