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Equine Sports Medicine at UC Davis

UC Davis is committed to providing horses with the highest levels of innovative care through cutting-edge clinical treatments and solution-oriented research. Future plans include expanding equine sports medicine and rehabilitation services, offering a dedicated equine sports medicine and rehabilitation residency program, and providing opportunities for advanced research to inform protocols and guidelines in these areas.

Exercise Therapy

Immobilization or stall rest is sometimes necessary for an injury to heal, especially in cases of severe tissue damage (such as tendon or ligament damage and fractures), but other times keeping horses moving is actually a better approach. The key is choosing the right exercise for the type and location of the injury. We cannot just tell horses, for example, to engage their core. We have to design exercises that achieve the desired result.

Healing Waters?

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Therapeutic Properties of Water

Buoyancy is a lifting force exerted by a fluid that counteracts gravity (i.e. floating). This reduces weight-bearing stress (load) inversely proportional to the water depth. In horses, water at hip level results in a 75% reduction in weight bearing, whereas a 10% – 15% reduction is reported when water is at elbow height.

Equine Rehabilitation

Electrotherapy, directing small currents of electricity through the skin for medical treatment, has been widely used in human sports medicine and rehabilitation to treat injuries and optimize performance. Various modalities have made their way into sport horse medicine and rehabilitation. Electrotherapies are built around energy sources that range from acoustics to vibrations.

Equine Rehabilitation

One year ago, I climbed aboard my 18-year-old hunter, George, and picked up a trot. My stomach sank almost immediately. He was obviously lame. As a then second-year UC Davis veterinary student, I knew from my studies that the potential explanations for his sudden lameness were endless, and panicking would not do any good. I gave him some Bute, a couple of days off, and hoped for the best. A week later, he looked almost back to normal on the ground; however, he still didn’t feel right under saddle.

Director's Message - Summer 2022

A note from Center for Equine Health director Dr. Carrie Finno on the current issue of the Horse Report.


Pastern dermatitis goes by many names - scratches, greasy heel, mud fever - and it's a problem no matter what you call it.

Looks Can Be Deceiving

Ringworm is a fungus - not a worm! And it is often mistaken for other conditions.

A Scratch for Every Itch

Horses scratch for many reasons. When it becomes frequent enough to result in hair loss, broken skin, and other problems, a skin allergy may be to blame.

Director's Message - Spring 2022

A note from Center for Equine Health director Dr. Carrie Finno on the current issue of the Horse Report.

Equine Neurology at UC Davis

Equine neurology at the UC Davis veterinary hospital is part of the equine internal medicine service. Available neurology-related services include comprehensive neurologic examinations, cerebrospinal fluid collections, myelograms, CT scans, brain wave (ECG), electromyography (EMG), and slinging capabilities for horses that are unable to stand unassisted.