Your Biggest Fear

Of the following, which equine condition or disease is the most concerning to you? (Explain why at the bottom.)

Infectious diseases (such as equine herpesvirus or West Nile virus)
Other (please explain below)

Total votes cast: 844

Comments & Write-in Answers


3/18/2013 11:31:04 PM

Because laminitis is something that is difficult to treat and if unsuccessful,could lead to death.

3/18/2013 11:17:57 PM

I have two horses with laminitis

3/18/2013 10:49:37 PM

OCD in foals

3/18/2013 10:28:13 PM


3/18/2013 8:45:53 PM

Summer sores on my Arab gelding are just nonstop every summer and last year they lasted into Nov.

3/18/2013 8:25:57 PM

hi from U.K Laminitis almost an epidemic over here nowadays.rarely ssw it years ago

3/18/2013 8:17:07 PM

I have a horse with EMS.

3/18/2013 7:39:36 PM

We almost lost a horse to Potomac Horse Fever which now appears to be in our valley. Prevention

3/18/2013 7:34:38 PM

Its something that can be caused by many different factors and not just sand in the gut.

3/18/2013 7:27:28 PM

the "unknown" disorder

3/18/2013 6:49:25 PM

As you can loose your horse within a very short space of time, if not seen to straight away.

3/18/2013 6:48:51 PM

All of these plus genetic diseases

3/18/2013 6:36:15 PM

sometimes hard to prevent and treat

3/18/2013 5:36:08 PM

Mu horse has Cushings Disease. I look all over for anything that might help her in addition to meds

3/18/2013 5:29:17 PM

Poor confirmation resulting in joint stress as he ages...particularly in his hind-end.

3/18/2013 5:06:59 PM

I had a QH that had EVH-1 it sneaks up on you and you can't do anything about it

3/18/2013 4:43:31 PM

Just lost a great horse to chronic laminitis, nothing worked. Did all we could.

3/18/2013 4:34:39 PM

There is no reversing the effects of this disease....

3/18/2013 4:30:12 PM

sarcoids- I have a gelding with them

3/18/2013 4:14:47 PM

because my horse lives in a west nile region

3/18/2013 4:00:51 PM


3/18/2013 3:49:30 PM

because its much harder to prevent than some other fatal diseases.

3/18/2013 3:35:17 PM

all of the above! my horses are geting older and have been very healthy all their lives

3/18/2013 2:58:56 PM

PSSM & HYPP - they are dominant genetic diseases and folks can down play the seriousness of both.

3/18/2013 1:06:28 PM

Colic can be caused easily, isn't always specific as to issue, can kill. This is my biggest worry.

3/18/2013 12:40:52 PM

Diarrhea - difficult to diagnose exact cause, leads to dehydration if not checked

3/18/2013 12:26:05 PM

EPM career ending, unpreventable and heartbreaking

3/18/2013 11:53:13 AM

Flooded, mud, in on hay, restricted grazing, restricted routine!

3/18/2013 11:03:46 AM

have lost three beloved horses from colic

3/18/2013 10:08:50 AM

OSTEOCHONDROSIS-The predisposition disease that will kill horse racing.

3/18/2013 9:12:07 AM

Very devious condition as horses diff pain t/hold. Good management is a given and often why takes so

3/18/2013 8:31:24 AM

Obesity. Much more likely for my easy keeper and leads to a whole host of other problems.

3/18/2013 8:18:24 AM

Number one killer of horses

3/17/2013 9:22:37 PM


3/17/2013 9:04:59 PM

getting hurt in a paddock and or field. Our average population is 40-50

3/17/2013 7:32:14 PM

I need a better understanding of how to prevent colic

3/17/2013 5:51:37 PM

Cushings disease

3/17/2013 4:24:02 PM

Have a great hunter show mare that has been diagonosed with pre-mature OA

3/17/2013 3:58:00 PM

Actually, all the others are more of a concern. Rhino has a vaccine for it...the others do not !

3/17/2013 9:32:44 AM

It can happen at any time with no warning and can be fatal.

3/17/2013 9:19:36 AM

due to full soil feed

3/17/2013 7:00:54 AM

We just moved cross country and its spring

3/17/2013 6:26:42 AM

my horse has laminitis

3/17/2013 12:44:47 AM

Can't seem to get my horse to drink in cold weather. Just had a small impaction..Tried everything..

3/16/2013 11:50:40 PM


3/16/2013 5:05:30 PM


3/16/2013 3:30:06 PM

Because mild cases can turn fatal so quickly.

3/16/2013 3:21:32 PM

Cushings. My horse has been diagnosed in the early stages, & when it will progress is unknown.

3/16/2013 12:18:31 PM

it can and often is the unseen killer

3/16/2013 8:03:22 AM

had a horse get this- not only ruined a young horse, it was very expensive

3/16/2013 1:57:26 AM

Because it can occur at any time and for no apparent reasons... the others are somewhat preventable

3/16/2013 1:56:47 AM

Had it for 20 agonizing years,with intolerable pain.

3/15/2013 8:54:41 PM

Lack of proper vaccinations due to the economy and spread of disease for those who can't pay for it.

3/15/2013 7:31:21 PM

Developmental orthopedic disease

3/15/2013 5:45:33 PM

my pony is overweight and hardb to control her weight without excercise

3/15/2013 4:54:45 PM

probability of mortality high

3/15/2013 3:54:37 PM

Laminis (&colic) is a condition due to the way we manage horses &can be prevented,osteo is managable

3/15/2013 1:24:05 PM

Sometimes even an experienced person may not know a particular horse may be prone to laminitis

3/15/2013 1:16:42 PM

Osteoarthritis - It occurs in all disciplines.

3/15/2013 11:21:56 AM

Can't be cured, never same horse againonly

3/15/2013 10:00:15 AM

Currently have a metabolic syndrome/hypothyroid horse that is prone to laminitis

3/15/2013 9:00:09 AM

I own a pony with IR, and I know how prone she is to laminitis. She is closely monitored.

3/15/2013 8:29:24 AM

I always remain watchful of my chronic colicky horse

3/15/2013 7:42:31 AM

Because my horse has propension to have

3/15/2013 6:30:42 AM

As a Therapeutic Podiatrist I deal with this condition daily. Many cases are preventable.

3/15/2013 5:53:02 AM

My mare's dam had laminitis, she may be predisposed to it.

3/15/2013 5:44:45 AM

I have lost 2 horses to colic and it seems to be the hardest of these choices to prevent.

3/15/2013 4:12:23 AM

you can go from OK to dead in a matter of minutes

3/15/2013 2:59:35 AM

Cushing: What will it do to my horse?

3/14/2013 11:51:42 PM

Seemingly incurable.

3/14/2013 11:28:28 PM

These diseases I can't protect against is a problem; it only takes one bad horse owner to risk mine.

3/14/2013 11:10:58 PM

leading cause of death

3/14/2013 10:28:57 PM

Have lost a great horse to it.

3/14/2013 10:19:59 PM

This is a devastating disease which needs additional treatment options.

3/14/2013 9:24:41 PM

To me Colic seems like the least preventable and most likely to be fatal of the options listed.

3/14/2013 7:43:48 PM

Navicular - I have lost 2 younger horses to this despite agressive treatment

3/14/2013 7:03:48 PM

Lameness, specifically soft tissue injuries

3/14/2013 6:35:32 PM

When I've vaccinated for the infectious diseases and I hear of outbreaks

3/14/2013 5:47:24 PM

It can come on so suddenly and be very life threatening. Most other issues can be mostly prevented.

3/14/2013 5:45:32 PM

The pain level and general misery makes this the worst of all the diseases

3/14/2013 5:26:04 PM

My favorite trail horse is borderline IR and it is very worrisome to make sure he remains healthy.

3/14/2013 5:20:16 PM

Colic, which can lead to laminitis, has so many triggers. It also is so dangerous.

3/14/2013 5:13:00 PM

My horse has Equine Metabolic Syndrome which makes him more prone to contracting laminitis.

3/14/2013 5:06:26 PM

Incorrect training resulting in back pain

3/14/2013 5:05:43 PM

My mare has osteoarthritis so this naturally is of most concern to me at the moment.

3/14/2013 4:55:10 PM

I have lost 2 older horses in past to colic. I now have 2 more elderly guys and it concerns me.

3/14/2013 4:24:36 PM

my horse has had one surgical colic and I can't afford a repeat

3/14/2013 4:24:19 PM

Sudden onset, fatality rate, difficult to predict or prevent.

3/14/2013 2:44:36 PM

Diligent to ward off all ailments is never 100% foolproof.

3/14/2013 2:00:05 PM


3/14/2013 11:09:52 AM

Ringbone and shockave therapy to treat it

3/14/2013 11:09:23 AM

through proper managment I don

3/14/2013 10:02:47 AM

bc it is hard to prevent and or predict. There's no vaccine for colic.

3/14/2013 9:57:19 AM

OTTB with seasonal laminitis; just the fall so far; not Cushing's or IR; prevention is goal

3/14/2013 6:12:16 AM

horses of all ages and disciplines get it

3/14/2013 1:24:05 AM

Cos I have not come across a good reliable treatment for laminitis.

3/14/2013 1:11:49 AM

Lack of clear treatment directives

3/14/2013 1:03:02 AM

Frightens me as humans are often the cause

3/14/2013 12:21:17 AM

cost if surgery is involved

3/13/2013 11:52:12 PM

mortality rate and cost

3/13/2013 11:49:15 PM

Ir studies

3/13/2013 11:33:34 PM

very prevalent in my area we have much sand in desert grown hay

3/13/2013 10:38:28 PM

My horse is just recovering from laminitis.

3/13/2013 9:43:47 PM

Navicular. Such a crap shoot to deal with.

3/13/2013 9:18:31 PM

Horses need regular hoof care.

3/13/2013 8:10:54 PM

ehv-1 / ehm I like to travel - I wish everyone that traveled vaccinated, to protect each other

3/13/2013 7:39:08 PM

Lyme/Eurlickiosis, all tick diseases

3/13/2013 7:21:31 PM

Navicular disease

3/13/2013 7:19:19 PM

Colic happens too fast and is so deadly. The other diseases you have time to think about a plan.

3/13/2013 7:01:26 PM

I have an 8yr old AQHA gelding who has severe arthritis in one hock and osteoarthritis down that leg

3/13/2013 6:34:23 PM

My horse is part of the family.

3/13/2013 5:03:32 PM

no prophylactic treatment, high surgical cost

3/13/2013 4:47:41 PM

I recently almost lost my TWH gelding to a severe impaction colic.

3/13/2013 3:48:27 PM

there are so many potential causes

3/13/2013 3:35:58 PM

We love to travel with our horses and you never know what could be picked up by my horse.

3/13/2013 3:00:47 PM

I am cocerned about Colic, Infectious diseases & OA. I lost a horse to colic & one to High Ringbone.

3/13/2013 2:34:12 PM

My first horse died from a servere colic attack

3/13/2013 1:40:07 PM

I own an OTTB and worry about the stress of his racing days affecting him in later years.

3/13/2013 1:26:42 PM

Because there does not seem to be alot you can do to totally protect your horse from this.

3/13/2013 1:26:12 PM

I lost a mare to colic. To see your horse in so much pain is horrible. I will never forget it..

3/13/2013 1:11:05 PM

Of the diseass listed, colic is the most random and least preventable..

3/13/2013 12:52:40 PM

#2 killer of horses, and have personal experience

3/13/2013 12:38:26 PM

unpredictability and care expense if surgery is required

3/13/2013 12:23:35 PM

No hoof, no horse.

3/13/2013 12:22:33 PM

I can vaccinate for infectious disease, colic is vary scarey but lamininitis can end working life.

3/13/2013 11:56:13 AM

This can happen so fast, and no one may be around to know!

3/13/2013 11:46:31 AM

There are still so many people who vaccinate sporadically, or not at all.

3/13/2013 11:43:28 AM

Losing my girl from colic

3/13/2013 11:29:41 AM

Because they seem to be more prevalent

3/13/2013 11:18:17 AM

I've learned it is much more subtle than the "attack" commonly thought of after eating lots of grain

3/13/2013 11:12:32 AM

it is the most urgent situation in which "our" vets are least willing to deal with in the field!

3/13/2013 11:10:46 AM

One persons error in judgment can painfully affect many.

3/13/2013 10:24:30 AM

colic because its origin is so hard to determine and it seems to be the event from which more horses

3/13/2013 10:02:03 AM

I show my horses. exposure to infectious diseases is a worrisome risk

3/13/2013 10:00:01 AM

Dealing with osteoarthritis in 24 year old draft cross mare

3/13/2013 9:52:34 AM


3/13/2013 9:48:19 AM

I have a Spotted Saddle horse who eats too much and is chresty.

3/13/2013 9:20:09 AM

expense to treat it

3/13/2013 8:58:56 AM

my horse is 20 now and has an old injury with a fused fetlock. I worry about front weight bearing.

3/13/2013 8:36:49 AM

Have a horse that is recovering from Laminitis.

3/13/2013 8:24:07 AM

My horse has immune mediated keratitis.

3/13/2013 8:05:01 AM

Because it is the biggest killer of horses.

3/13/2013 7:59:18 AM

Colic is most concerning to me because it's so unpredictable and can be so deadly.

3/13/2013 7:59:10 AM

Cushings-it's very difficult to manage, results in multiple health issues, horse will die 2-3 years

3/13/2013 7:55:08 AM

Colic seems to be the most common, we kep our horses up to date on shots and check ups.

3/13/2013 7:46:37 AM

I have one with laminitis not fun

3/13/2013 7:31:39 AM

Colic can be ramdom, unpreventable and often fatal

3/13/2013 7:14:00 AM

Degenerative and performance limiting

3/13/2013 6:44:58 AM

most difficult to manage

3/13/2013 6:07:11 AM

All are worrisome, but the infectious diseases can and will affect other horses on the premises.

3/13/2013 5:40:12 AM

it is such a debilitating problem which is so progressive

3/13/2013 3:00:11 AM

chronic diarrhea

3/13/2013 2:40:27 AM

The insidious nature of osteoarthritis. By the time it's noticeable, the damage is permanent.

3/13/2013 2:29:18 AM

There have been lyme positives at our barn, & outbreak

3/12/2013 11:55:59 PM

colic b/c it sometimes happens despite all efforts to avoid it

3/12/2013 11:27:09 PM

have lost three to this

3/12/2013 11:17:20 PM

Chronic seasonal flareups in my aged TWH gelding

3/12/2013 11:17:10 PM

so hard to prevent and treat

3/12/2013 11:11:18 PM

Metabolic disorders, have lost both a Cushings horse & one with IR, both also laminitic

3/12/2013 10:50:04 PM

Because there are so many causes, so little still unknown about causes, and treatment is limited.

3/12/2013 10:46:58 PM

Neurologic EHV1 scares me to death since there's no vaccine that prevents it!

3/12/2013 10:30:54 PM

letting graze 15 min per day and don't know if that is too much

3/12/2013 10:19:30 PM

I have seen horses with it several times. One horse where I used to work had to be put down.

3/12/2013 9:56:57 PM

I have lost 2 horses to colic (after surgery), for totally different reasons, it creeps up without w

3/12/2013 9:27:55 PM

traumatic paddock injuries

3/12/2013 9:27:15 PM

too many new strains and not enough vaccines

3/12/2013 9:15:19 PM

So common. Can't tell initially if deadly or gas colic.

3/12/2013 9:11:05 PM

Have lost 2 horses to colic, and both were devastating.

3/12/2013 9:09:19 PM

more people need to keep their horses updated on all vaccinations

3/12/2013 9:02:14 PM

My horse has been lame every couple of years has mild rotation also diagnosed with cushings and IR

3/12/2013 8:43:12 PM

All are major condern!

3/12/2013 8:39:50 PM

lack of teeth in 31 yr. old Thoroughbred

3/12/2013 8:28:41 PM

Lyme disease. Not recognized/diagnosed in time to save horses.

3/12/2013 8:18:40 PM

Experienced Colic, Laminitis & Osteoarthritis/not any infectious diseases as yet!

3/12/2013 8:12:12 PM

My arabian mare is almost recovered from laminitis thanks to HEIRO equine supplement

3/12/2013 8:09:30 PM

I can prevent/prepare for this other ailments but laminitis is like voodoo.

3/12/2013 8:06:40 PM

Takes more horses lives than anything else.

3/12/2013 7:40:39 PM

onslought is fast

3/12/2013 7:37:43 PM

I lost my best horse to laminitis,

3/12/2013 7:32:17 PM

Navicular, because it can be hard to manage and can make a horse useless.

3/12/2013 7:28:19 PM

concerned about all, but colic is the most likelyl to occur.

3/12/2013 7:22:08 PM

it is common, acute and frequently fatal

3/12/2013 7:21:06 PM

Seen it fatal too many times.

3/12/2013 7:17:15 PM

My gelding had a attack of grass laminitis 4 years ago. I always worry about it happening again.

3/12/2013 7:14:50 PM

Really no know cure and many factors are involved with this disease.

3/12/2013 7:10:12 PM

EPM & others without vaccination coverage

3/12/2013 7:05:02 PM

so common, and unnatural to prevent horses grazing

3/12/2013 7:03:04 PM

too much horse movement with little biosecurity

3/12/2013 6:56:26 PM

Treatment concerns.

3/12/2013 6:43:05 PM

All of the above. You never know what's going to happen with horses.

3/12/2013 6:40:31 PM

colic surgery too expensive/risky; likely death

3/12/2013 6:39:48 PM

my horse is suffering from it now.

3/12/2013 6:35:13 PM

I have a pony with laminitis and there is no rhyme or reason to the flare ups - tough to treat!

3/12/2013 6:35:06 PM

Because no matter who well you manage your horse, colic can strike at any time. Experience talking.

3/12/2013 6:31:39 PM

many causes, can be devastating.

3/12/2013 6:24:11 PM

Lyme disease

3/12/2013 6:20:03 PM

Colic is because I have lost horses to it even after surgery was attempted. It is a constant threat.

3/12/2013 6:13:22 PM

I have a boarding /training faculty next to me a lot of coming and going with no health cert..

3/12/2013 6:13:00 PM

My 25 year mare has cushing's disease with chronic laminitis and I fear for her soundness in future

3/12/2013 6:09:36 PM

numerous causes; quite common

3/12/2013 6:09:10 PM

All life threatening items listed above.

3/12/2013 6:07:31 PM

Infectious diseases: have more control over prevention/mgmt for the other diseases.

3/12/2013 6:06:02 PM

my mustang is an extremely easy keeper

3/12/2013 6:05:20 PM


3/12/2013 6:04:52 PM

Because there are so many different causes and the results can be crippling for a long time.

3/12/2013 6:00:28 PM

because my horse has had it!

3/12/2013 5:54:44 PM

most insidious... can often be out of the blue

3/12/2013 5:54:07 PM

Hard to cure or control

3/12/2013 5:47:59 PM

we live in FL where sand colic is prevalent

3/12/2013 5:41:11 PM

The others can be prevented via management...infectious diseases, are not

3/12/2013 5:39:14 PM

Can be deadly - with spring coming on the green grass can cause lots of problems.

3/12/2013 5:37:57 PM

because colic can be fatal if not treated right away.

3/12/2013 5:33:17 PM

My horse has ringbone

3/12/2013 5:32:04 PM

Had one horse that I battled this condition with for 12 years. Never know for sure the cause.

3/12/2013 5:30:28 PM

No way of mininumizing the risk if you show & even if you don't, horse can still get disease

3/12/2013 5:30:25 PM

because of his age, 27.

3/12/2013 5:18:11 PM

my horse is prone to colic since he came off the track

3/12/2013 5:11:44 PM

A friend has lost 2 horses to laminitis and I don't ever want to go through that.

3/12/2013 5:10:18 PM

Because you have less control over it and it is deadly.

3/12/2013 5:09:51 PM

Using public boarding facilities while traveling.

3/12/2013 5:09:15 PM

I've been through this horrific disease before. No real progress in treatment to date.

3/12/2013 5:05:10 PM

I'm from Colorado, a colic-prone state. I have lost 2 to colic :(

3/12/2013 5:04:31 PM

our haffy and spring grassws

3/12/2013 5:03:32 PM

Have a laminitis case now; haven't had infections or colic, and don't consider arthritis so serious

3/12/2013 5:02:20 PM

I almost lost my mare to sand colic :,(

3/12/2013 5:01:50 PM

It was between infectious dideases and laminitis. I have an IR horse who had laminitis

3/12/2013 4:56:53 PM

I have lost two young horses to laminitis and almost lost a third. The culprit is too rich jersey gr

3/12/2013 4:55:04 PM

so painfule for the horse and the horseowner to fight laminitis and still lose the battle

3/12/2013 4:50:08 PM

Colic is most concerning to me as I have had two geldings colic, one died from it.

3/12/2013 4:49:37 PM

It's a disease you can't vaccinate for and can strike for any reason.

3/12/2013 4:44:53 PM


3/12/2013 4:44:31 PM

I work with alot of OTTBs who have ulcers. I always treat for ulcers; far less colic episodes.

3/12/2013 4:39:07 PM

My horses are carb/sugar sensitive so laminitis tops my list!

3/12/2013 4:33:28 PM

EPM, My horse has it

3/12/2013 4:29:50 PM

It can come on out of no where and change the usefulness of the horse forever

3/12/2013 4:29:24 PM


3/12/2013 4:26:03 PM

a clear sign that the owner doesn't pay attention to his horse

3/12/2013 3:41:27 PM

Growing season of grass always concerns me since we have ponies

3/12/2013 3:04:44 PM

My horses are extremely easy keepers. So far so good, but keeping their weight down is a struggle.

3/12/2013 3:03:16 PM

Little change in treatment & fatalities 4 severe cases in 40 yrs - surgery! Need new interventions!

3/12/2013 3:01:08 PM

we are commercial co. in this business segment

3/12/2013 12:12:16 PM

ehv-1 seems to be spreading like wildfire lately

3/12/2013 11:45:01 AM

Even the best care can not prevent laminitis or improve the start of it

3/12/2013 11:05:55 AM

THO more info is needed

3/12/2013 10:27:05 AM

Allergic reaction; nearly died from unknown cause systemic allergic reaction l

3/12/2013 9:36:46 AM

Laminitis for the difficulties in control, successful recovery.

3/12/2013 9:32:56 AM

It comes on so quick and in some cases you don't know what triggers it.

3/12/2013 8:29:07 AM

Colic is the #1 killer of horses.

3/12/2013 8:18:54 AM

battle obesity and founder with my warmblood

3/12/2013 7:31:13 AM

True navicular disease, colic, traumatic injury

3/12/2013 4:20:29 AM

I am a human infectious disease specialist

3/12/2013 12:47:43 AM

I have an aged horse

3/4/2013 5:13:17 PM

Colic can turn deadly fast. We lost a mare in May because we could not find a vet on a Saturday!

3/4/2013 11:03:18 AM

for me it seems to be the most un-preventable

3/3/2013 10:51:07 AM

I have a mare that has an undiagnosed lameness issue.

3/2/2013 5:09:28 PM

Prolly, founder, I've seen it destroy very promising horses w/o being able to recover &just be mis,

2/28/2013 8:11:35 PM

Iost a horse to a pundunculated lypoma (tumor in the intestines), which he coliced from. Scary.

2/28/2013 9:30:55 AM

due to long term effect on horses life

2/27/2013 7:52:52 PM

I lost mare to laminitis, now have to be extremely careful with her colt to avoid same

2/27/2013 10:43:55 AM

I vaccinate for West Nile, but I am concerned abou the herpesvirus.

2/27/2013 9:52:12 AM

Debilitating - same concerns as laminitis regarding use.

2/27/2013 1:06:07 AM

It seems to have the poorest prognosis

2/26/2013 8:35:56 PM

tough choice they are all of large concern but laminitis usually has a grim future for the horse. '

2/26/2013 6:28:48 PM

We have Minis, very prone to grass founder.

2/26/2013 4:58:28 PM

Two colic surgeries 15K and then the horse died.

2/26/2013 4:34:46 PM

It can be unpredictable.

2/26/2013 4:15:15 PM

Despite my best management practices at avoiding colic, this has claimed the lives of more of my hor

2/26/2013 2:37:11 PM

Colic, because it can be life-threatening and can't be prevented in all cases

2/26/2013 1:45:48 PM

Severity of the acute condition

2/26/2013 7:51:15 AM