On Sept. 28, the Department of Veterinary Science held its 100th Equine Diagnostic and Research Seminar Series with 126 people in standing-room-only attendance at the University of Kentucky (UK) Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory.

Seven speakers presented lectures during a mini-symposium focused on “Ensuring the Golden Years: Care of Old Horses.”

Amanda Adams, PhD, associate professor at the UK Gluck Center, kicked off the seminar with a look at immunosenscence and how it affects old horse care. She spoke about vaccinations, anthelmintics (deworming drugs), and nutrition.

Next, Marian Little, DVM, of Luitpold Pharmaceuticals, described how to construct a wellness program for the aging performance horse. She spoke about the importance of monitoring age-related changes and the common health issues in senior sport horses.

Lisa Tadros, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ACVIM, from Michigan State University, then spoke about common endocrine diseases in older horse and how to diagnose them. She touched on laminitis, metabolic syndrome, and pituitary pars intermedia dysfunction (PPID).

Jack Easley, DVM, MS, ABVP, Dipl. AVDC (Eq), of Easley Equine Dentistry, followed up Tadros’s presentation with a talk on dental care for geriatric horses. He focused specifically on older horse dentition and dental disease.

Then, Sarah Ralston, VMD, PhD, Dipl. ACVN, who recently retired from Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, gave an overview of “Feeding the Old Grey Mare.” She covered how to determine whether a healthy aged horse needs dietary changes by evaluating blood work, dentition, the presence or absence of kidney and liver failure, and more.

Kristine Urschel, PhD, from UK, then shared how to feed the older horse with PPID and/or insulin resistance, where she covered nutritional challenges with PPID, hay and grain quality, and insulin resistance.

The final speaker of the day was Scott Fleming, DVM, CF, of Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital, who discussed podiatry for the geriatric horse. He described diseases and ailments that commonly impact aged horses and different shoeing techniques to treat them.

Watch for more in-depth articles on mini-symposium presentations in the coming weeks on TheHorse.com.

The last seminar for this year will take place Nov. 16 and cover “Horse Behavior–Using Learning Theory in Everyday Situations.” Camie Heleski, PhD, a lecturer within the UK Equine Science and Management Undergraduate program, will speak from 4-5 p.m. at the UKVDL.

The UK Department of Veterinary Science offers continuing education credits for veterinarians through attendance of seminars and other professional presentations by visiting scholars. These seminars focus on equine research. Information on forthcoming seminars and presentations both eligible and non-eligible for continuing education credit is available at gluck.ca.uky.edu/events.

Individuals with questions regarding the symposium can contact Adams at Amanda.adams@uky.edu.

Katie Lampert is a marketing and communications intern at the University of Kentucky Gluck Equine Research Center.


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