Latest News

10 Things You Might Not Know About Horses and Wildfires

The dramatic increase in wildfire events in the western U.S. in recent years has led to increased awareness about how to keep horses safe from wildfires and how to respond when the two unfortunately mix. However, there are still many ways that we can improve our preparations and responses. We worked with Dr. Lais Costa, MV, PhD, DACVIM-LA, DABVP-Equine, director of operations for the UC Davis Veterinary Emergency Response Team, to highlight some important things you might not know about horses and wildfires.

Add an Image or Video

From Tears to Cheers: The Realities of Working in Disaster Response

Dr. Lais Costa has seen it all. From tearful farewells to cheerful reunions, she is dedicated to making a difference in the face of natural disasters. Dr. Costa is the Director of Operations for the UC Davis Veterinary Emergency Response Team (VERT), a group of veterinarians, technicians, and students that provides veterinary care during disasters through Mutual Aid to northern California Counties. She graciously shared her experiences and thoughts about working in disaster response.

Guidelines for Horses Exposed to Wildfire Smoke

Fires throughout California and the western United States in recent years have exposed humans and horses to unhealthy air containing wildfire smoke and particulates. These particulates can build up in the respiratory system, causing a number of health problems for both species.

UC Davis equine specialists have offered these suggestions to serve as a general guide on the effects of horses breathing air laden with particulates.

Director's Message - Fall 2022

Welcome to the fall issue of the Horse Report!

It is hard to believe that we are in the final months of 2022. It has been a busy and exciting year here at CEH! We have especially enjoyed having more in-person opportunities with our students, donors, and colleagues in recent months. We look forward to a dynamic and educational year ahead, and hope to see you at one of our events!

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?

Add an Image or Video

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.