EHSP scientists conduct numerous investigations to improve reproductive efficienty in mares and stallions. Ongoing studies in mare reprodutive physiology & infertility, placentitis, endometritis, improving freezing methods for stallion semen, advancing the onset of the breeding season in mares, intrafollicular insemination of mares, equine embryo biotechnology and assisted reproductive techniques in horses.
A multidisciplinary group of EHSP scientists obtained a Governor's Biotechnology Initiative Grant titled "Molecular, hemodynamic, phamacologic and epidemiologic approaches to lameness and poor athletic performance: Biomedical and technologic initiatives to strengthen Louisiana's equine industry and enhance the State's economy.
Numerous investigations are conducted to study the physiology and pharmacology of vascular and nonvascular smooth muscle in health and disease as it pertains to colic, laminitis, heaves, and uterine disease. These investigations are often conducted as in vitro studies in organ baths.
Heaves is a commonly used name for an allergic, inflammatory condition involving the lower airway (lungs) of horses, also known as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and is similar to asthma in people. Clinically, it is characterized by exercise intolerance, coughing, nasal discharge, nostril flaring, a prominent "heave line" and wheezing. It is more common in the summer in the southern United States, and is associated with access to pasture. It is believed to be initiated by exposure to allergens such as molds, and results in increased mucus (which plugs the airways), constriction of the airways and thickening of the airway walls.
Colic is a painful, often life-threatening ailment that is common in horses. EHSP Scientists pursue scientific investigations of gastrointestinal tract disease in horses including ischemia-repefusion injury, gastrointestinal tract inflammation, ulceration, parasitism, ileus and related complications such as endotoxemia and laminitis.
Many illnesses and injuries in horses are accompanied by variable degrees of pain. Some diseases such as laminitis, colic and septic joints can cause excruciating pain. EHSP scientists are investigating new methods of delivery of analgesic therapy including the use of transdermal fentanyl patches and the use of epidurally-administered narcotics.
A multidisciplinary group of EHSP scientists are conducting numerous investigations involving laminitis (founder). Laminitis, an excruciatiningly painful, debilitating, and potentially career-ending and life-threatening disease of the horse's feet, is currently incompletely understood. Ongoing investigations are crucial to help unravel the complex pathophsyiology so that veterinarians are better able to prevent and treat this disease.
EHSP scientists have adapted standard Global Positioning System (GPS) technology for use in epidemiologic studies, including its use in quantifying and correlating exercise with musculoskeletal disease in Thoroughbreds in race training.
EHSP scientists are evaluating the effects of extracorporal shockwave therapy (EWST) on pain sensation and the structure and function of palmar digital nerves. Additionally, EHSP investigations involving the effects of ESWT on bone density and bone turnover are being conducted.