Oregon Equine Educational Presentations

Oregon Equine offers the following educational presentations. 

  • Equine Lameness
  • Equine Colic
  • Respiratory System
  • Vaccinations and De-worming

To schedule an educational seminar for your group or barn please call, 503-631-4100.

Be Prepared for an Equine Health Emergency

Reprinted with permission from the American Association of Equine Practitioners.

If you own horses long enough, sooner or later you are likely to confront a medical emergency.  From lacerations to colic to foaling difficulties, there are many emergencies that a horse owner may encounter.  You must know how to recognize serious problems and respond promptly, taking appropriate action while awaiting the arrival of your veterinarian.

Preparation is vital when confronted with a medical emergency.  No matter the situation you may face, mentally rehearse the steps you will take to avoid letting panic take control.  Follow these guidelines from the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) to help you prepare for an equine emergency:

1.  Keep your veterinarian’s number by each phone, including how the practitioner can be reached after hours.

2.  Consult with your regular veterinarian regarding a back-up or referring veterinarian’s number in case you cannot reach your regular veterinarian quickly enough.

3.  Know in advance the most direct route to an equine surgery center in case you need to transport the horse.

4.  Post the names and phone numbers of nearby friends and neighbors who can assist you in an       emergency while you wait for the veterinarian.

5.  Prepare a first aid kit and store it in a clean, dry, readily accessible place.  Make sure that family members and other barn users know where the kit is.  Also keep a first aid kit in your horse trailer or towing vehicle, and a pared-down version to carry on the trail.

First aid kits can be simple or elaborate. Here is a short list of essential items:

·         Cotton roll

·         Cling wrap

·         Gauze pads, in assorted sizes

·         Sharp scissors

·         Cup or container

·         Rectal thermometer with string and clip attached

·         Surgical scrub and antiseptic solution

·         Latex gloves

·         Saline solution

·         Stethoscope

·         Clippers

 Many accidents can be prevented by taking the time to evaluate your horse’s environment and removing potential hazards.  Mentally rehearse your emergency action plan.  In an emergency, time is critical.  Don’t be concerned with overreacting or annoying your veterinarian.  By acting quickly and promptly, you can minimize the consequences of an injury or illness.  For more information about emergency care, ask your equine veterinarian for the “Emergency Care” brochure, provided by the AAEP in partnership with Educational Partner Bayer Animal Health.  More information can also be obtained by visiting the AAEP’s website, www.aaep.org/horseowner.

Reduce Your Horse’s Gastric Ulcer Risk

Permission for one-time use in printed media only is granted with attribution given to the AAEP and Nutrena.

Ulcers are a man-made disease, affecting up to 90 percent of racehorses and 60 percent of show horses.  Stall confinement alone can lead to the development of ulcers.  A horse’s feeding schedule also can be a factor.  When horses are fed just twice a day, the stomach is subjected to a prolonged period without feed to neutralize its naturally produced acid.  In addition, high-grain diets produce volatile fatty acids that can also contribute to the development of ulcers. 

Stress, both environmental and physical, can increase the likelihood of ulcers, as can hauling, training and mixing groups of horses.  Strenuous exercise can decrease the emptying of the stomach and the blood flow to the stomach, thus contributing to the problem. 

The treatment and prevention of gastric ulcers is directed at removing these predisposing factors, thus decreasing acid production within the horse’s stomach.  Follow these tips from the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) to properly treat your horse’s ulcers:

  1. Allow free-choice access to grass or hay.  Horses are designed to be grazers with a regular intake of roughage.
  2. If the horse must be stalled, arrange for the horse to see the horses he socializes with. Consider offering a ball or other object that the horse can enjoy in his stall.
  3. Feed the horse more frequently to help buffer the acid in the stomach.
  4. Decrease grains that form volatile fatty acids.
  5. Medications that decrease acid production are available, but are only necessary in horses showing signs of clinical disease or when the predisposing factors, such as stress, cannot be removed.

The prevention of ulcers is the key.  Limiting stressful situations along with frequent feeding or free-choice access to grass or hay is imperative.  Neutralizing the production of stomach acid is nature’s best antacid.  For more information about gastric ulcers, ask your equine veterinarian for the “Equine Gastric Ulcers” brochure provided by the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) in association with Nutrena, an AAEP Educational Partner.  Additional information also can be found on the AAEP’s website www.aaep.org/horseowner.

Permission for one-time use in printed media only is granted with attribution given to the AAEP and Nutrena.

Poisonous Plants:

   The following web sites have accurate information on a variety of topics.


Learn to Recognize the Symptoms of EPM

Permission for use is granted with attribution given to the AAEP and Bayer Animal Health.

Equine Protozoal Myeloencephalitis (EPM) is a master of disguise. This serious disease, which attacks the horse’s central nervous system, can be difficult to diagnose because its signs often mimic other health problems in the horse and signs can range from mild to severe. More than 50 percent of all U.S. horses have been exposed to the parasite that causes EPM.  Horses can come into contact with the parasite while grazing or eating feed or drinking water contaminated by opossum feces.  Fortunately, not all horses exposed to the parasite develop the disease.

The clinical signs of EPM can be quite varied. Clinical signs are usually asymmetrical (not the same on both sides of the horse). Actual signs may depend on the severity and location of the lesions that develop in the brain, brain stem or spinal cord.

If left undiagnosed and untreated, EPM can cause devastating and lasting neurological damage.  Use this checklist of symptoms from the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) when assessing your horse’s condition for the possibility of EPM:

  • Ataxia (incoordination), spasticity (stiff, stilted movements), abnormal gait or lameness.
  • Incoordination and weakness which worsens when going up or down slopes or when head is elevated.
  • Muscle atrophy, most noticeable along the topline or in the large muscles of the hindquarters, but can sometimes involve the muscles of the face or front limbs.
  • Paralysis of muscles of the eyes, face or mouth, evident by drooping eyes, ears or lips.
  • Difficulty swallowing.
  • Seizures or collapse.
  • Abnormal sweating.
  • Loss of sensation along the face, neck or body.
  • Head tilt with poor balance; horse may assume a splay-footed stance or lean against stall walls for support.

Contact your veterinarian immediately if you suspect your horse has developed EPM.  The sooner treatment begins, the better the horse’s chances for recovery.  For more information on methods of prevention and the treatment options for EPM, ask your equine veterinarian for a copy of the “EPM: Understanding this Debilitating Disease” client education brochure, provided by the AAEP in partnership with Bayer Animal Health, an AAEP Educational Partner.  Additional information also can be found on the AAEP’s website www.aaep.org/horseowner.