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New Import Measures for Horses Entering Canada from the United States

posted by Horse Owner Today    |   May 11, 2012 13:16

OTTAWA, May 4, 2012: The Canadian Food Inspection Agency is implementing new import measures to protect Canadian livestock from an outbreak of vesicular stomatitis reported in New Mexico, United States.
Effective immediately, horses originating from the state of New Mexico will not be permitted to enter Canada. Canadian horses returning from New Mexico will be allowed entry into Canada if additional import requirements are met. In addition, all horses entering Canada from the United States must be accompanied by official US documents certifying that they have not been in New Mexico within the previous 21 days.
Details on these import measures can be found in the Automated Import Reference System (AIRS).
Vesicular stomatitis is a viral disease that can affect horses, ruminants (such as cattle, sheep and members of the deer and llama families) and swine. It can also cause influenza-like symptoms in people who come into contact with infected animals. Protective clothing should be worn when handling suspect animals to help prevent exposure to the virus.
Canada is currently free of vesicular stomatitis. It was last diagnosed in Canada in 1949. An outbreak of vesicular stomatitis in Canada could result in a loss of markets for live animals, meat and animal genetics.
For more information on vesicular stomatitis call 1-800-442-2342, visit www.inspection.gc.ca or follow us on Twitter for the latest on animal health: www.twitter.com/CFIA_Animals

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How Can Horse Farms Practice Biosecurity?

posted by Horse Owner Today    |   April 10, 2012 14:00




Biosecurity in the horse industry can be a difficult concept to comprehend, and put into practice, especially when the average horse frequently travels off property or encounters horses that have been off the farm.  However, lack of infection control procedures can leave a barn vulnerable to all kinds of diseases.  Indeed it is an important topic to discuss with your veterinarian.  This can include subjects such as:  cleaning, disinfection, considerations to make when moving horses around and testing of horses when they become sick.  According to University of Guelph Researcher and author of the “Worms and Germs” blog, Dr. Scott Weese, “Having a basic infection control plan in place is probably the biggest thing someone can do to reduce the risk of disease.”  Weese goes on to stress,  “It does not matter what you do with your horse(s), or whether you have only one horse, or a herd of 100, as an owner you should have a general idea of the measures you are going to take in order to reduce the risk of infection.”  Weese has been working in the area of biosecurity and infection control for over 15 years trying to find better ways to prevent and treat infectious diseases with a strong emphasis on prevention including giving talks at Equine Guelph’s new biosecurity workshops and two week e-Session.


Weese studies a wide range of diseases, one of which includes current diseases where the virus may change, like the Equine Herpes virus.  He also mentions diseases that spring up out of nowhere, like West Nile virus, and cautions even though the disease may first appear on another continent we are always at risk for new and emerging diseases.


Weese and Dr. Maureen Anderson of the Ontario Veterinary College's Centre for Public Health and Zoonoseshave been tracking diseases and infections all over the world.  For the last three years they have been posting helpful information for horse and pet owners, first with “equIDblog” and now via the “Worms and Germs blog.”  Keeping tabs on emerging diseases in the area is valuable information when discussing the importance and timing of a vaccination program with your veterinarian.  This will help ensure the program is a good fit for the needs of your horse.  Weese cautions that vaccination should not be the only biosecurity practice horse owners engage in.

Any time a horse goes off the farm and encounters other horses it has a chance of contracting an infectious disease.  A few ways to lower those risks include:  avoiding nose to nose contact, not sharing water buckets and grooming equipment and avoid having people that are handling other horses handle your own horses. 


This brings us to the topic of what to do when returning from a trip off the farm.  Ideally a horse that leaves the farm and is exposed to other horses should come home to a quarantine protocol to reduce the chances of spreading infections to the entire herd.  Although this is not always possible, due consideration should be given to keeping the housing separate for horses that travel frequently especially if you also keep horses at greater risk of infection such as broodmares or foals.


Weese was the first speaker at the launch of Equine Guelph’s “Beat the Bugs” biosecurity workshops and says, “These workshops are great for getting people thinking in a broader context when it comes to infection control and putting into practice the easy day to day steps which can reduce outbreaks of disease.”


To view the Report on Research video on Biosecurity for Horse Owners go to: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL9ACE18F9180735B1&feature=plcp

To learn more about protecting your horse from infectious disease- sign up for Equine Guelph’s upcoming  Biosecurity e-Session April 16 -19 at www.EquineGuelph.ca/biosecurity.php

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disease | general | workshop

The Future is in Your Hands – Take the Reins!

posted by Horse Owner Today    |   April 3, 2012 18:54


The Future is in Your Hands – Take the Reins!

What You Can Do to Give Strength to the Horse Industry


You may be surprised to know that there are over 9 million horses in the United States, based on a study done by the American Horse Council entitled the Economic Impact of the Horse Industry on the United States.


The American Horse Council (AHC) is the only organization that represents every segment of that vast horse population.  Every day, the AHC communicates with Congress and other federal agencies to ensure that each understands the economic, agricultural, sporting, and recreational importance of the horse industry. 


This can be tedious work, but without open lines of communication with our leaders in Washington, D.C. we could lose the ability to enjoy our horses and our work in the industry that we love.  We hope that our efforts ensure that these federal officials will support a legislative and regulatory structure for the horse industry that encourages individuals and other entities to support and participate in the horse industry, to invest in our horses, and to sponsor and support our events and activities. 


The AHC believes that the more opportunities there are to use horses in various activities, the better the overall health of the industry and those who participate. Our goal is to keep opportunities open so that EVERYONE in the horse industry is able to thrive.


Because we are a not-for-profit organization, we depend on you – a person who is devoted to your horse and to your sport – to help us stand up for our rights as horse enthusiasts.  Join the American Horse Council today and help us to help you, your horse, your sport, and your industry! 


It is extremely important for everyone in the horse community to present a unified front and show Congress and other federal agencies that the horse industry is not only important to their constituents, but is also a large, economically diverse industry that provides hundreds of thousands of US jobs and billions of dollars in tax revenue.  The AHC is the only Washington, D.C. based organization solely dedicated to representing all horses, equestrians, and every segment of the diverse horse community and industry. 


The AHC provides many updates on important issues affecting the industry, and explains to its members how they can contact their elected officials to speak up about these issues.  By joining the AHC, you give strength to the horse industry’s voice


To learn more about supporting the AHC and becoming a member today visit www.horsecouncil.org/ahc-memberships.


Regeneration for the Nations - Canadian-Danish Research Globally Acclaimed

posted by Horse Owner Today    |   April 2, 2012 13:30


Canadians and Danes were the first to source equine umbilical cord blood for regenerative medicine. The anticipation over the exciting applications of this research were clearly indicated by the massive number of downloads which occurred within two weeks of the first report published back in 2007 ―a whopping 3500+! “The long term goal is to find new treatment modalities for diseases and conditions where there currently are no good treatment modalities,” says Dr. Thomas Koch, who researches joint cartilage repair at Aarhus University, Denmark and the University of Guelph. Koch expands on one reason stem cell research is such a hot topic by explaining the concept of a reduced burden on the healthcare system, which could potentially result from curing incurable degenerative diseases.


The successful isolation of cells from equine umbilical cord blood for regenerative purposes has put the U of G on the map as a leader in equine stem cell research.  In his latest research, Koch is able to isolate mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) for potential cartilage repair using a very simple, non-invasive procedure. Umbilical cord blood is obtained at the time of foaling by clamping the cord and collecting the blood into a transfusion bag. Once at the lab, this blood is then put into a plastic container and then the cells that “love plastic” show their potential for regenerative research. Any unwanted floating cells are easily removed from the container because the desirable MSC cells actually adhere to the plastic and multiply! Koch can then create cartilage from these cells in the lab.


Studies for maintaining cells at the injury site are ongoing. The complication is integrating cell-repaired cartilage with the underlying bone and adjacent normal healthy cartilage. Koch is investigating sophisticated matrices and scaffolds as well as a technique known as mosaic arthroplasty. In mosaic arthroplasty, a number of plugs consisting of both cartilage and bone are placed in the cartilage and bone defect in a cobblestone pattern, hence the name mosaic. Pioneered by Dr. Mark Hurtig from the University of Guelph, this option, although technically difficult, may allow a better integration between cartilage and bone.


Using umbilical cord blood cells to make bone cells and cartilage cells has earned Koch’s research international recognition. The application for bone healing in fracture and cartilage repair is promising. Now researchers are working on better ways of differentiating undifferentiated cells into cartilage cells so there will be enough cells for therapy.


Dr. Thomas Koch is employed by the Orthopedic Research Lab at Aarhus University in Denmark and funded by the Danish Research Agency for Technology, Production and Innovation. Additional operating funds are provided through: Grayson Research Foundation of Lexington, Kentucky; BioE Inc. of Minnesota, USA; SentrX Animal Care Inc. of Utah, USA; Morris Animal Foundation, USA and the Equine Guelph Research Fund.



disease | general

Interested in Developing an Equine Specialty? Here’s Your Chance

posted by Horse Owner Today    |   March 22, 2012 06:45

Guelph, Ontario – March 9, 2012 - Imagine being able to take those skills you’ve learned as a veterinary technician and build upon them further with a specialty in horses. The University of Guelph has unveiled its new Equine Veterinary Technician Certificate, which will offer a unique, hands-on educational opportunity to provide equine-specific academic and skill development for Veterinary Technicians in the form of online and face-to-face practicum courses.


Designed to stimulate intellectual curiosity and build upon the student’s passion for horses, this professional development program will assist students in acquiring the knowledge and skills to launch a productive career in the equine industry, including those with an interest in working in an equine hospital, large animal veterinary practice, rescue hospital, racetrack or horse breeding facility. Motivated students can complete the Equine Veterinary Technician Certificate in just one year.


"The Equine Veterinary Technician Certificate will provide technicians who have an interest in horses with additional equine-specific skills and knowledge,” said Dr. Irene Moore, Associate Director (Academic) of the University of Guelph, Ridgetown Campus. “This is anticipated to provide them with enhanced job opportunities in the equine industry."


Offered through the University of Guelph Ridgetown Campus, Equine Guelph, and the Centre for Open Learning and Educational Support, the Equine Veterinary Technician Certificate consists of 12-week online courses including Advanced Equine Behaviour, Advanced Equine Functional Anatomy, and Advanced Equine Health through Nutrition.  Students will also receive hands-on, practical knowledge through face-to-face intensive courses in Equine Reproduction, Equine Critical Care, and Equine Dentistry.


However, the online portion of this program is not just restricted to veterinary technicians; this learning opportunity would also be suitable to students who have an interest in bettering their knowledge when it comes to equine health, behaviour and functional anatomy.

Courses start in May 2012 beginning with Advanced Equine Functional Anatomy with instructor Dr. Jeff Thomason, a University of Guelph (Biomedical Sciences) Anatomy professor. This course will build on students’ experiences with horses and explore current research and evidence-based practice pertaining to anatomy.


For more information or to apply for the Equine Veterinary Technician Certificate, please contact the Centre for Open Learning and Educational Support at info@coles.uoguelph.ca, call 519-767-5000 or visit www.equinestudiesdiploma.com.


About The Centre of Open Learning and Educational Support

The Centre for Open Learning and Educational Support provides expertise and leadership to the University of Guelph community and our partners in the following: the scholarship and practice of teaching, technology-enhanced education, open learning and professional development. We provide support for teaching and learning that is evidence-based, responsive, developmental, and based on best practices.

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clinic | disease | employment | general

Yes You Can….Learn to Make a Difference With Horses

posted by Horse Owner Today    |   March 15, 2012 07:42

Guelph, Ontario – March 9, 2012 - The University of Guelph’s award winning continuing education program has unveiled their new Equine Welfare Certificate which will offer students the opportunity to explore animal welfare issues in the horse industry both locally and globally.


Made up of six online courses, this program has been designed to engage students who have a passion for making a better world for our equines, and will examine the biological and emotional factors that affect a horse’s quality of life. Course content will include housing, management practices and procedures that can affect the well being of horses.


"It is extremely important that everyone who owns or works with horses understands not only the complex issues, but also the common practices in daily care and management that can affect the welfare of horses,” explains Tina Widowski, Director of the Campbell Centre for the Study of Animal Welfare. “Through our partnership with Equine Guelph, we are able to combine top expertise in both equine science and animal welfare science to deliver a practical and well-rounded program in Equine Welfare."


Offered by the Campbell Centre, Equine Guelph, and the Centre for Open Learning and Educational Support, the Equine Welfare Certificate core courses include Equine Welfare, Advanced Equine Behaviour, Advanced Equine Health through Nutrition, and Global Perspectives in Animal and Equine Welfare, as well as two elective courses including Health and Disease Prevention, The Equine Industry, Equine Nutrition, and Advanced Equine Anatomy.


The Equine Welfare and Advanced Equine Behaviour courses will be offered during the fall semester beginning September 10, 2012; however, the required pre-requisite courses for this certificate are currently available for registration, with courses starting in May 2012.

While acknowledging that most only want the best for their beloved equines, many horse lovers yearn for the chance to better understand why horses do the things they do and recognize situations that may compromise horse welfare. “This program has been designed to provide students with the tools to become familiar with negative emotional states and recognize how welfare can be objectively assessed in the horse to improve its overall health,” says Gayle Ecker, Director of Equine Guelph.


For more information, please contact the Centre for Open Learning and Educational Support at info@coles.uoguelph.ca, call 519-767-5000 or visit www.EquineWelfareCertificate.com.


About The Centre of Open Learning and Educational Support

The Centre for Open Learning and Educational Support provides expertise and leadership to the University of Guelph community and our partners in the following: the scholarship and practice of teaching, technology-enhanced education, open learning and professional development. We provide support for teaching and learning that is evidence-based, responsive, developmental, and based on best practices.


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clinic | competition | disease | employment | general | workshop

"Possible" EHV-1 Case in Saskatchewan

posted by Horse Owner Today    |   March 14, 2012 18:41

March 14, 2012

"In the news at CPVS" Dr. Domoslai, DVM euthanized a horse in the Saskatoon and district area last week. 

Injury and rabies have been ruled out as causes for the horse becoming progressively recumbent.

EHV-1 neurological herpeshas not been positively identified at this time, however the case is being investigated.

The farm is currently under quarantine.

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disease | general

WCVM Students Journey Beyond Borders

posted by Horse Owner Today    |   March 10, 2012 11:47

By Lynne Gunville
Steve Kruzeniski in Ghana

Veterinarians Without Borders/Vétérinaires sans Frontières (VWB/VSF – Canada) has selected six students from the Western College of Veterinary Medicine to be part of its 12-member student program for 2012.

This summer, WCVM students Colin Taylor, Rebecca Jackson, Graham Ellingsen, Andrea Pellegrino, Morgan Findlay and Steve Kruzeniski will travel to Asia, South America and Africa as volunteers for the global veterinary organization.

• Colin Taylor, a first-year WCVM student, will be working at the Kathmandu Animal Treatment Centre (KAT Centre) in Kathmandu, Nepal. He and a teammate will help to provide care and treatment to the animals – mainly stray cats and dogs – while sharing their experiences and knowledge with the centre’s veterinarians and other staff.

photo courtesy of Steve Kruzeniski

The KAT Centre partners with the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) and the Humane Society International (HSI) in their efforts to eliminate rabies in Kathmandu and to create a stable, healthy street dog population. Currently, there are more than 20,000 dogs living on the city’s streets.

Photo courtesy of VWB/VSF

• Second-year WCVM student Rebecca Jackson and first-year WCVM students Graham Ellingsen and Andrea Pellegrino will travel to Puerto Natales, a small Patagonian community in Chile. They will participate in a collaborative project investigating ways to reduce the problems associated with large numbers of free-roaming dogs.

The students will monitor the behaviours, social activities and roaming patterns of male dogs before sterilization. Their findings will contribute to the project’s goals: improving animal welfare while reducing human-dog conflicts and disease transmission.

• First-year WCVM student Morgan Findlay will provide veterinary care and extension to smallholder dairy farmers living in rural Kenya. She will also work on a research project investigating the effectiveness of various drugs on the gastrointestinal parasites found in dairy cattle.

As part of the dairy health management program, Findlay will work on a team composed of North American and Kenyan veterinarians and veterinary students. Team members will collaborate on clinical, extension and research activities with the goal of benefiting all participants as well as the local dairy farming community.

Photo courtesy of VWB/VSF

• Fourth-year WCVM student Steve Kruzeniski, a member of the VWB/VSF 2010 student program, will donate his time and skills to a goat production project taking place in Mbarara, Uganda. He and a teammate will help train paraveterinarians (people trained to help veterinarians), assist in disease monitoring and vaccination programs, organize livestock management workshops and conduct on-site inspection visits of existing farms.

The goat production project was developed by WCVM professor Dr. Claire Card in partnership with the University of Saskatchewan, the Foundation for AIDS Orphaned Children and VWB/VSF. It’s aimed at improving the health and wellbeing of Ugandan families by providing them with goats and goat training.

Since its inception in 2006, the goat production project has laid the foundation for a more hopeful future and has raised the socioeconomic status of some of the most vulnerable families – many of them affected by HIV and AIDS.

Originally published at WCVM Today (www.wcvmtoday.com), news blog for the Western College of Veterinary Medicine. 


Emergence of new Cross Bred Equine in Western Canada

posted by Horse Owner Today    |   March 9, 2012 14:30


“The Heaver” emerged on our farm in Western Canada in November of 2011. 

Cunning and wily, this new crossbred is very difficult to sight, elusive to photographers and has some peculiar habits.

We were first alerted to the heaver’s presence because of the evidence it left behind.  Exhaustive

investigation and surveillance have proven fruitless. 

These Heavers have destroyed part of our wood pile, primarily taking only recently cut green poplar and stripping the bark completely off.  Obviously they have mutated some sort of hand type appendages as

they have pulled their preferred wood out of a huge pile of assorted wood.  Thankfully the heaver has limited their bark eating to just green poplar bark out of the wood pile. 

No fence posts, live trees or rails have fallen victim thus far.

The un-mutated form of this new equine cross bred, our herd of horses have access to a high quality water supply available 24/7, high quality grass (90%) /alfalfa (10%) hay in multiple different feeding areas, large pasture area to roam, unrestricted access to salt,

mineral and are current on their herd health.  The herd is round and fat, to date no colic.  Our vet is baffled.

A gifted artist Andrea Lawrence, fineartamerica.com/profiles/andrea-lawrence.html has created a heaver picture based on our description.



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disease | entertainment | general | horse art


posted by Horse Owner Today    |   February 24, 2012 07:14

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Just "like" @HorseOwnerToday and @FunkyGeeGees for an entry, "share" with your friends for 10 entries and then let us know, email us at bonnie.n@horseownertoday.com. Winner will be drawn when @Funky GeeGees and @HorseOwnerToday have 1000 Fb likes.