Equine and Small Companion Articles

A Thoroughbred, The Microbiome, and Sore Feet

By Dr. Schell | Sep 3, 2018

Thoroughbreds have always been one of my favorite breeds, as an owner and veterinarian.  They are unique to themselves, just as any other breed is unique, with each having positive and negative aspects. In the Thoroughbred, especially the off-track horse, one major problem that is noted is sore feet, which can originate from many causes. …

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Stabilization of Nasopharyngeal Cicatrix Syndrome in the Horse

By Dr. Schell | Apr 22, 2018

Nasopharyngeal cicatrix syndrome (NCS) is becoming a more common diagnosis impacting the upper airway and respiratory patterns in many horses.  The condition has been around for quite some time, but is becoming more recognized as a possible cause of respiratory difficulty in certain horses.  The exact cause is unknown and treatment options commonly utilized target…

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Abnormal Heart Rhythm in a Thoroughbred Gelding

By Dr. Schell | Mar 19, 2018

The heart is one of the most vital organs when it comes to overall health and performance for the horse, let alone any other species.  If the heart stops, death quickly follows.  There are many cardiac conditions and arrhythmias that can affect the horse, but overall, they are not very common thankfully.  In this case…

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PSSM in Horses; Thoughts and Considerations on Therapy Options

By Dr. Schell | Mar 11, 2018

Polysaccharide storage myopathy (PSSM) is an increasing diagnosis in the equine community and is linked back to a group of conditions, referred to as ‘myopathies’.  The problem of PSSM is becoming more commonplace, leaving many owners unsure as to what the condition is or how to best manage it. Like many other conditions, PSSM is…

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Taking the Thoroughbred Race Horse to the Next Level

By Dr. Schell | Feb 25, 2018

The Thoroughbred race horse and the racing industry as a whole has been an area of keen interest to me, dating back to my days in veterinary college.  As students, we would see these unique patients on a daily basis and assist in therapy.  I would also spend much of my off-time, at the local race tracks in Ohio, in the backstretch, to get a different view point and learn as much as I could.  Given my current location, we do not have TB racing in our state, but yet, I still work with them on an almost daily basis through rehabilitation and consultations, with a quick trip here and there to tracks outside of my state. Through our research and consultations, along with reading as much as I can my hands on, I begin to make connections to what we are doing now, as compared to 20-30+ years ago.  Could these differences or changes be creating the rise in lameness, poor performance and EIPH (bleeders)?  If so, could management of these factors help us to reduce those problems and maybe enhance performance on a whole new level?

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The Seven Steps In Managing Laminitis

By Dr. Schell | Jun 23, 2015

Laminitis is a devastating condition in the equine industry, impacting every breed and gender.  No one horse is immune to the condition, but it appears that certain groups of horses are more prone to others.  The causes of laminitis can be many and often, the underlying cause can dictate success or failure.  If we take certain steps to address the problem on a broader level, then often the condition can be more readily managed for the long term.

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Manipulation of Equine Intestinal Microflora; Modifying a Source of Inflammation to Enhance Clinical Results

By Dr. Schell | May 25, 2015

Gastrointestinal health and microbial balance has been connected with a host of clinical health problems in both humans and animals, including the horse.  The normal gastrointestinal flora is involved in stimulation of the immune system, synthesis of vitamins (B and K), enhancement of GI motility and function, digestion and nutrient absorption, inhibition of pathogens, metabolism of plant and drug compounds and synthesis of short chain fatty acids.1,9,11  

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Chronic Equine Cellulitis; Management and Recovery

By Dr. Schell | May 7, 2015

Leg swelling in the horse is a common finding, especially in the equine athlete.  The most common problem associated with swollen legs is poor circulation, which can be attributed to many underlying problems.  In most cases, we refer to this problem as ‘stocking up”, which is most often seen in the mornings after a horse has been stalled at nite.  Usually, this stocking up resolves with increased movement, which signifies circulatory problems, but in other cases, it can be more stubborn, persisting for longer periods of time.

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Fecal Microflora and Dysbosis; Contribution to Metabolic Syndrome, Inflammation and Leaky Gut Syndrome

By Dr. Schell | May 7, 2015


Intestinal bacterial overgrowth has been a recognized condition in humans, often correlated with systemic health conditions ranging from allergies to cancer, and is a common connection with obesity. Intestinal hyperpermeability or leaky gut syndrome, is a primary problem that has been also related to various health conditions, including diabetes, cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome, multi-organ failure, kidney disease, liver ailments and a common consequence to radiation or chemotherapy.  The connection between the two is that through the process of increased permeability, bacteria may gain access to the systemic circulation, contributing to organ infection and immune dysfunction. (1,5,6,14)

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A New Look At Gut Health in Horses

By Dr. Schell | Mar 8, 2015

If you own a horse, especially one that is competing, I don’t have to tell you that there are ‘gut’ problems in the industry.  It seems as if almost every horse is on an ulcer medication in some shape or form.  Gastrogard® and Ulcergard® tubes seem to be almost a staple in every tack box.  We have a problem, but are we addressing it correctly?  What are the causes of the GI distress and is there something more we can do to assist our equine companions to adjust?  Or are we destined to just continue the expensive dance of anti-ulcer medications? Let’s take a different look at the problem and see if we can produce some answers.

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The information presented on this site and through consultations is not intended to replace a veterinary diagnosis or proper veterinary attention. Our goal is to supplement current regimens, helping to educate and provide a higher level of understanding regarding health in horses and companion pets, interweaving diet, nutrition and supplementation to achieve a higher level of success.