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CEH Teaching Herd Horse Anisette

Our cover model, Anisette, is a 31-year-old Arabian mare. Donated in 2006, she has been an integral part of the CEH herd for almost 20 years. This sassy lady may be small in stature, but she has a big personality. She has many opinions and is not afraid to share them!

10 Things You Might Not Know About Caring for Older Horses

The average life expectancy of horses is around 20 years, but some survive into their 40s. Horses 20 years of age and older increasingly account for a larger percentage of the population, in part due to advances in veterinary care.

Older horses still need routine care. Fortunately, owners are becoming more aware and committed to life-long care and management. Here are 10 things that are important to know about caring for older horses.

Aging and the Equine Immune System

Across species, aging has significant effects on many of the body’s prominent biological systems. In particular, advancing age weakens the immune system and makes it slower to react to threats. Overall, horses show similar, but milder, age-related changes in immune function than those observed in humans.

Dental Care

As equine veterinary care advances, some of us are privileged to care for horses well into their sunset years. One important aspect of managing senior horses is caring for their teeth. Attention to oral health is essential to maintain proper nutrition.

Equine Tribute and Memorial Fund

Horses have special places in our lives, and we feel their losses deeply. The Equine Tribute and Memorial Fund provides a unique and thoughtful way to show support for a friend or family member grieving the loss of a special horse. It can also be a distinctive way to pay tribute to an individual equestrian, group,  or program. Contributions can be made in any amount.

Director's Message - Fall 2023

Welcome to the fall issue of the Horse Report, focused on caring for older horses!

When I was a 2nd year veterinary student, I purchased my now 24-years young horse, Kaiden, off the track. For 21 years, he has been my eventing partner and friend, traveling with me from Minnesota to UC Davis, back to Minnesota, and back again to UC Davis as I have navigated my career. 

J.D. Wheat Veterinary Orthopedic Research Laboratory

The J.D. Wheat Veterinary Orthopedic Research Laboratory at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine is the leader in advancing knowledge of equine musculoskeletal problems. It houses state-of-the-art equipment and fosters a creative environment for basic and clinically applied equine musculoskeletal research. Dr. Susan Stover, a former trainee of Dr. Wheat, has directed faculty work in collaboration with other clinicians and scientists to continue improving our understanding of equine musculoskeletal diseases.

Dr. Stover's Top Myths About Equine Orthopedic Injuries

Dr. Sue Stover delivered the Frank J. Milne State-of-the-Art Lecture at the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) Convention in December 2022. The presentation included her top myth busters about equine orthopedic injuries.

1. Myth: Equine performance sports, such as racing, are invulnerable.

Fact: Equine performance sports are vulnerable.

Straight From the Horse's Mouth

What led you to a career in veterinary medicine?

Dean's Update: Equine Safety

Dean Stetter’s August video update featured discussions with Dr. Stover, CEH Director Carrie Finno, and others about our researchers’ contributions to improving equine health and welfare.

My first horse was from the Navajo Indian Reservation in Arizona, which is where our family lived at the time. That experience eventually led to a show horse, which led to my participation in rodeos in college. 

Recent Awards

2022 Louis R Rowan Fellowship

The California Thoroughbred Foundation Louis R. Rowan Fellowship was awarded to Dr. Christina Rohlf. A recent doctoral graduate in biomedical engineering, Rohlf conducted her research at the J.D. Wheat Veterinary Orthopedic Research Laboratory under the direction of Dr. Susan Stover. 

The fellowship, funded by the California Thoroughbred Foundation with financial assistance from the Oak Tree Racing Association, was established in memory of Louis R. Rowan, a founder of the California Thoroughbred Foundation.

Honoring A Love For Thoroughbred Horses

By Carolyn Sawai

Jonathan Ferrini, a dedicated philanthropist, has made a tremendous impact on advancing animal health at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine since 2005. Most recently, with his bequest, he will establish the Dante and Sharon Ferrini Endowed Chair—honoring his late parents who were Thoroughbred horse enthusiasts. 

“Some of my fondest memories growing up are when my parents took my sister and me horseback riding and to the racetracks,” Jonathan said. “We enjoyed the competition and the athleticism of these magnificent Thoroughbreds.”

Director's Message - Summer 2023

To say that it is an honor to know and work with Dr. Sue Stover would be an understatement. She is a world-renowned expert on equine orthopedics and musculoskeletal injuries and has made significant contributions to these fields over the years. It has been a privilege to witness the breadth of her research program and all that she has accomplished during her career.

10 Things You Might Not Know About Equine Diagnostic Imaging

Advances in equine diagnostic imaging have expanded rapidly in recent years. We consulted with UC Davis radiologists Dr. Kathryn Phillips and Dr. Mathieu Spriet, and ultrasonographers Dr. Betsy Vaughan and Dr. Mary Beth Whitcomb, to uncover 10 Things You Might Not Know about Equine Diagnostic Imaging.

UC Davis Imaging Services

Diagnostic imaging services for horses at the UC Davis veterinary hospital include radiography (X-ray), ultrasound, computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), nuclear scintigraphy (“bone scan”), and positron emission tomography (PET). Imaging is fundamental to patient care across multiple specialties, including surgery, neurology, and ophthalmology.