Fran Jurga

Fran Jurga is the publisher of Hoofcare & Lameness, The Journal of Equine Foot Science, based in Gloucester, Mass., and Hoofcare Online, an electronic newsletter accessible at Her work also includes promoting lameness-related research and information for practical use by farriers, veterinarians, and horse owners. Jurga authored Understanding The Equine Foot, published by Eclipse Press and available at or by calling 800/582-5604.

Articles by Fran Jurga

Farriers Hammer Home Their Message

Anvils on wheels, horses on loading docks, and a fleet of oversized pickup trucks from nearly every state in the union were evidence that the farriers had come to town. Close to 1,000 farriers, friends, and trade show exhibitors jammed the Read More

Gait Monitoring System Introduced

The system helps overcome subjectivity when veterinarians and farriers assess horses at work, and could be used for purchase exams. Individual horses' stride length, breakover distance, and carpal (knee)/tarsal (hock)/fetlock flexion can be measured, Read More

Alberta Court Upholds Farrier's Right to Float Horse Teeth

The technicalities of defining veterinary medicine were tested in February in the Alberta, Canada, Court of Appeal when three appeal court justices ruled that a farrier was not guilty of illegally practicing veterinary medicine when he floated Read More

Farriery is Veterinary Medicine in Florida

On March 2, the Florida Board of Veterinary Practice (FBVP) unanimously voted that their interpretation of the state's practice act (which governs animal care and what is construed as veterinary medicine) said acupressure, aromatherapy, animal Read More

Gait Monitoring System Introduced

Farriers got an eyeful of what the future might hold for them at the highest levels of equestrian sport at the American Farrier's Association (AFA) Convention, held in March 2004 in Rochester, New York. This future is specialized video monitorin Read More

Compensating for Lameness; Not What You Thought

When a horse is lame, he often seems to be changing his gait in the diagonal limb to compensate. Recent research has shown this to be true, but the manner in which the horse does this is surprising.

Research was conducted at the McPhail Read More

Evaluating and Measuring Hoof Shape

Researchers at the University of California, Davis, recently developed a new three-dimensional system for measuring various aspects of the horse's sole. One day their work might help ascertain if hoof shape abnormalities can be predictors of Read More

Heavy Hooves: Tufts to Host Unique Conference

Flying feathers and pounding hooves will be examined on March 26-28 as Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine hosts the nation's first conference specifically about lameness and shoeing of draft horses. The conference is being organized Read More

Where Does Laminitis Start?

New research will help determine where laminitis begins and how it affects internal structures of the foot. Hoof researcher David Hood, DVM, PhD, and his staff at the Hoof Diagnostic and Rehabilitation Clinic at Texas A&M University, joined Read More

Foot Dialogue Feeds the Mind

Purina Mills nutritionist Randal Raub, PhD, began his lecture at the 2003 Purina Farriers' Conference with a little-known statistic--horse owners are most likely to discuss their horses' nutrition with their veterinarians, followed by their Read More

Illinois Tax to Benefit Equine Research, Education

Illinois horse owners polled in a statewide referendum on Oct. 7 approved an innovative new program that establishes an elective tax on horse feed products that will benefit equine research and education in the state.

Sponsored by Read More

20 Years of Laminitis Research Funding

In November, the Missouri-based Animal Health Foundation (AHF) will celebrate 20 years of fundraising efforts to help support laminitis research. Established in 1984 by Donald Walsh, DVM, and his wife, Diana, AHF raises funds that go directly to Read More

Tufts Conference Examines the Foot, Inside and Out

Adapting to the environment, informed by genetic codes, and endeavoring to meet human demands, the horse's hoof is like an individual fingerprint on the human hand. Decoding the process the horse uses to arrive at his ideal hoof form filled thre Read More

Intestinal Aspects of Laminitis

Elliott detailed evidence of a reduction in hind gut (cecal) pH following carbohydrate overload, generally believed to be the leading factor in the onset of laminitis in otherwise healthy horses. Carbohydrate overload has also been associated with an Read More

British Race Ahead at Ascot Research Conference

On March 5, 2003, leading researchers from the United Kingdom gathered at Ascot Racecourse to present practical aspects of their research findings to the British Thoroughbred industry. Arranged by the Veterinary Advisory Committee of the Read More

Obesity is Dangerous, Warns UK Researcher

Laminitis specialist Robert Eustace, BVSc, Cert EO, Cert. EP, MRCVS, director of The Laminitis Clinic in Wiltshire, England, wants horse obesity to be declared a welfare concern. In a campaign launched at the annual meeting of the International Read More

Equine Metabolic Syndrome and Laminitis

Of particular interest to horse owners was Johnson's black-and-white linkage of the newly termed EMS condition with laminitis and obesity. "Obesity-associated insulin refractory state" was Johnson's precise description of "Equine Metabolic Syndrome" Read More

Joint Pressure in the Foot

New research from the Royal Veterinary College (RVC) in the United Kingdom has advanced hoof balance from a farrier's art form to a measurement of pressure inside the distal interphalangeal (DIP) joint (coffin joint). Some day, a horse's ideal Read More

Hoof Project Foundation Will Fund Lameness Research

Combining scientific research with real-life case management is the mission of the new Hoof Project Foundation headed by David Hood, DVM, PhD. Noted for his research on hoof problems such as laminitis, Hood hopes to work with the horse-owning Read More

Fructan Possible Key to Laminitis

At sufficient doses, the fructan induces digestive upset and will cause an uncontrolled activation of MMPs (matrix metalloproteinases; these enzymes are thought to be a factor in laminar degradation), triggering laminitis. Read More

Tufts Conference to Examine Risks and Benefits of Barefoot Hoofcare Methods

A unique seminar will be held at Tufts University May 4-5 to review the controversial barefoot hoof care methods put forth by German veterinarian and author Hiltrud Strasser, DVM.

In England, concern about harm to horses by Strasser devotee Read More

High-Performance Hoof Care Meets Research at New Hampshire Farrier-Veterinarian Conference

The Rochester (NH) Equine Clinic cleverly wed research to practice in its 14th Annual Farrier-Veterinarian Conference, held Dec. 13-14, 2001 and sponsored by Hoofcare & Lameness Magazine.

Washington veterinarian/researcher Olin Read More

Wild Horses Shot to Death in North Carolina Preserve

Local residents of the remote Outer Banks islands of North Carolina fear that a recent spree of wild horse killings in the western United States might be turning into a disturbing national trend.

In Nov. 2001, four wild horses and a domesti Read More

Integrated Therapies Conference

Integrated therapies--the preferred term for complementary or alternative therapies--were one of the most popular topics at the Tufts Expo. Allen Schoen, DVM, MS, who led the three-day seminar, discussed therapies for all animals, including Read More

Tufts Animal Expo: Futuristic "First" for Health Conferences

They came, they learned, they looked, and they even laughed. More than 4,000 animal health professionals descended on Boston in October for the inaugural Tufts Animal Expo, hosted by the Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine and a roste Read More