equine research

Horse and woman

Can Ponies Distinguish Human Facial Expressions?

Most humans are good at giving someone a wide berth if they approach with a furrowed brow but how good are horses at interpreting our expressions?  Dr. Katrina Merkies, researcher and associate professor at the University of Guelph and her team found out in a study involving 20 lesson ponies and some talented actors. There…

Image of Equine endoscope procedure

Stem Cells Under Investigation as a Possible Future Treatment for Equine Asthma

Heaves is known as a disease that can leave a horse struggling to breathe, ending athletic careers and even rendering a pleasure horse unsuitable for riding.  Commonly known today as equine asthma, it’s an irreversible disease brought on by repeated exposure to dust and moulds.  Ontario Veterinary College researcher, Doctor Bienzle has a long history…

Horse Vocalization

What is in a Whinny?

When horses talk, we listen but how good are we at deciphering what they have to say?  According to a recently published study (Nov 2021) by Dr. Katrina Merkies, researcher and associate professor at the University of Guelph, and her master student Haley Belliveau, we are faring well.  Using an online survey, participants categorized 32…

Foal

Research into Development of the Foal’s Gut Could Advance Treatment of Critical Cases of Diarrhea

The foal’s gut undergoes many changes as it develops rapidly.  More and more, we are learning how the colonization of a gut correlates to good health.  Exploring the differences in foal microbiomes and how those differences may tie in with overall health has PhD Candidate, Jennifer MacNicol, very excited about the potential advancements the research…

Mare and foal

Research on Equine Pregnancy

The value of long-term studies is well understood by researcher, Dr. Keith Betteridge who has been involved with Ontario Veterinary College equine reproduction studies since 1986.  Since graduating as a veterinarian from Bristol University, England, in 1959, Betteridge has seen reproduction technology evolve with the introduction of ultrasound in the 1980s and, most recently, RNA…

Dr Koch examining a horse leg

Encapsulating Stem Cells for Treating Equines with Osteoarthritis

The next exciting step in regenerative therapies has Dr. Thomas Koch, Ontario Veterinary College, and his team encapsulating stem cells to see if they can enhance the effect of treatment.  Horses with osteoarthritis in their joints stand to benefit from a therapy with a slower release time.  “When you encapsulate the cells within hydrogel, you…

Dr. Arroyo is researching gut health and Fecal Transplantation in horses

New Equine Fecal Transplant Research

By Jackie Bellamy-Zions for the Equine Guelph Annual Research Update – Volume 19 Fecal transplantation has been very successful in treating humans with issues such as C-difficile infection, which is also a leading cause of diarrhea in horses.  Ontario Veterinary College researcher, Dr. Luis Arroyo and his team are about to begin a study which…

EHV-1 Research Study and Infection Control Tips

“Most horses have been exposed to the equine herpies virus,” says Dr. Diego Gomez-Nieto, researcher at the Ontario Veterinary College. Gomez has been part of a research study on the Equine Herpes Virus which discovered the nasal microbiota of infected horses differed significantly to those of a healthy control group.   The study came together quickly…

Are most horses lefties?

The perils of putting symmetrical saddles on asymmetrical horses “We were not surprised to learn 60% of the horses in our 490 horse retrospective study had larger measurements on the left side of their withers,” says Dr. Katrina Merkies, researcher and associate professor at the University of Guelph.  Undergraduate students, Julia Alebrand, Bethany Harwood,  Katharine…

Tick removal

What to do About Ticks

Both people and their animals have been encountering more ticks and there is a real concern when it comes to the possibilities of contracting Lyme disease.   Dr. Luis Arroyo, researcher at the Ontario Veterinary College was involved in a study on the growing numbers of ticks in southeastern Canada and the risk factors to horses. …

Equine Robo-Gut Helps OVC Researchers Study Gastrointestinal Diseases In Horses

Originally published by Ontario Veterinary College – June 14, 2021 A University of Guelph researcher is advancing knowledge into prevention and early detection of gastrointestinal diseases in horses using a mechanical replica of a horse’s GI system to mimic equine digestion and disease. Dr. Luis Arroyo, professor in the Department of Clinical Studies at the…

Horse cold day breath

Equine Asthma & Pollution

During the summer there are often waves of horses presenting with respiratory disease.  Ontario Veterinary College researcher, Janet Beeler-Marfisi never really ascribed that to being part of air pollution, until her recent research revealed horses, with their far greater lung capacity and athleticism, can also suffer when air pollution levels rise. Checking the Air Quality…