Heads Up! Ohio State Seminar Updates Vets on an Important Part of All Horses

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by Fran Jurga | 22 January 2009 | The Jurga Report at Equisearch.com

This plastinate tissue preservation of a horse's head reminds me of looking under the hood of a high-performance sports car. There are lots of parts, and you know that they all have to be in tune for the apparatus to operate. So it is with the horse: if something in the head is causing discomfort, the horse may change his head carriage, which affects his balance and posture and gait, he may not want to keep a bit in his mouth, and he may shake his head or develop a behavior that will make riding and handling difficult, if not dangerous. (Plastinate image courtesy of HC Biovision, Dr. Christoph von Horst.)

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Veterinarian seminars go through cycles. Some years, there are lots of new developments in reproduction, or imaging technology, or colic diagnosis. Fifteen years ago, we had a spatter of meetings on joint disease. Then it was laminitis, which morphed into digital radiography and MRI and clinical applications of diagnostic ultrasound. Pain management and gastric ulcers and EPM have had their meetings.

From what I see and hear and read, horse owners these days are concerned about problems that I have personally not experienced with horses: allergies, sarcoids and gutteral pouch or sinus infections or obstructions. We all know someone who has a head shaker, and doesn't it seem like horses are having more eye problems than ever before?

What was that funny word in there? The gutteral pouches are like the lost cities of the Incas when it comes to equine health. Thanks to fantastic new imaging modalities, we can have more detailed views of this hard-to-get-to region in the horse's head, and track down sinus infections and the masses that seem to affect these strange pockets. More and more horse owners are complaining to me about gutteral pouch infections and the veterinary world is responding with treatments and medications to help horses.

On February 6-8, 2009, the Ohio State University will host a continuing education seminar for veterinarians and technicians who want to update themselves on the latest care and treatment for medical problems in the horse's head. Facial skin tumors, head shaking, eye problems, dentistry, upper airways problems, gutteral pouch problems, sinus infections, and head swelling are all on the agenda, along with reviews of sophisticated surgical and medical treatments and advanced imaging diagnostics. Dr. Mike Lowder of the University of Georgia will join OSU clinicians and surgeons...and all our horses will come out ahead, if you'll pardon the pun.

Click here for conference details.

Plastinate tissue preservation of a horse's eye. (Dr. Christoph von Horst)

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