Susan Piscopo, DVM, PhD

Susan Piscopo, DVM, PhD, is a free-lance writer in the biomedical sciences. She practiced veterinary medicine in North Carolina before accepting a fellowship to pursue a PhD in physiology at North Carolina State University. She lives in northern New Jersey with her husband and two sons.

Articles by Susan Piscopo

Ileus: When the Gut Stops

Ileus is one of the leading postoperative causes of death in horses. Read More

Choosing to Breed During Foal Heat

If a barn full of people were asked their opinion about breeding a mare during foal heat, a barn full of opinions would result. This topic has been controversial for a long time. There is debate about whether it is harmful to a mare's health, Read More

Endometritis Diagnosis and Management

When a mare is bred by natural cover, the uterine lining, or endometrium, becomes inflamed. The stallion deposits semen in the uterus, as well as bacteria, bits of debris, and seminal fluid. The normally sterile uterus becomes irritated and Read More

Inheritance of RER in Thoroughbreds: One Affected Parent Required

Recurrent exertional rhabdomyolysis (RER, tying-up) causes affected Thoroughbreds to suffer recurring episodes of muscle cramping, stiffness, excessive sweating, and a reluctance to move after exercise. With no cure available, information on how Read More

Skin Testing in Horses With RAO

Preventing attacks of wheezing, coughing, and labored breathing in a horse with recurrent airway obstruction (RAO) involves eliminating allergens from the horse's environment. But how do you know which allergens are most problematic for your Read More

Inheritance of RER in Thoroughbreds

Recurrent exertional rhabdomyolysis (RER) causes affected Thoroughbreds to suffer recurring episodes of muscle cramping, stiffness, excessive sweating, and a reluctance to move after exercise. With no cure available, information on how RER might Read More

Diagnosing Endometritis--Biopsies vs. Swabs

Is an endometrial swab the best screening tool for endometritis, or inflammation of the uterine lining (endometrium)? Not according to a recently published study from Denmark in Theriogenology that compared endometrial swabs with biopsies to Read More

Visualizing Joints During Surgery

 

Arthroscopic surgery in horses is commonly performed to remove abnormal pieces of cartilage, called osteochondral (OC) fragments, from the surface of joints. Visualization through an arthroscope is typically aided by Read More

Nasal Septum Resection

If the nasal septum—the bony structure that divides the left and right halves of the nasal cavity—becomes deviated or thickened, the nasal passages become narrowed and breathing is impaired. Left untreated, it can lead to exercise intolerance an Read More

EMND and Glucose Metabolism

Study results indicate horses with equine lower motor disease (EMND) had an increased glucose metabolism rate. Read More

Oral Potassium for Endurance?

Endurance riding can lead to significant losses of water and electrolytes, which can cause clinical illnesses related to increased neuromuscular excitability, including cardiac arrhythmia, muscle cramping and twitching, and gut motility changes. Read More

Dangerous Strangles

Strangles, the upper respiratory disease in horses caused by Streptococcus equi, has a low mortality rate (2.6%), but it is highly contagious and spreads rapidly. Complications can occur in as many as 20% of cases. One such complication Read More

Detecting Rhodococcus equi Faster

Rhodococcus equi pnemonia is an insidious disease of foals--by the time one sees clinical signs, the pnemonia can be well advanced. Thus, tests that have greater sensitivity for R. equi are needed because they might permit Read More

An Unusual Case of Septic Arthritis

Septic or infectious arthritis in healthy adult horses usually develops rapidly, creating significant lameness, but a recent case report found that septic arthritis might appear chronic rather than acute, and that it can be caused by an unusual Read More

Detecting Rhodococcus equi Faster

Rhodococcus equi pnemonia is an insidious disease of foals--by the time one sees clinical signs, the pnemonia can be well advanced. Thus, tests that have greater sensitivity for R. equi are needed because they might permit Read More

Supplementing for Semen Quality

Cooling and freezing equine semen damages cell membranes, which results in loss of motility and general viability known as "cold shock." Most domestic species have high concentrations of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) in the semen, but the Read More

Dialysis to Treat Kidney Failure

Sometimes horses in renal (kidney) failure don't respond to conventional treatment--fluids, diuretics, etc. Toxins in the blood irritate the stomach, making the horse anorexic and depressed. At that point, dialysis might be the only option. The Read More

Puberty in Thoroughbreds

Puberty is a transitional period for horses, from a time of reproductive immaturity to a time where sexual behavior is demonstrated and sperm is ready for release in the colt, and the filly starts to cycle. Unfortunately, very little information is Read More

Acupuncture for Acute Heaves

Acupuncture has become a popular alternative therapy for chronic illness in horses, especially recurrent airway obstruction (also known as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or heaves). Unfortunately, there are few objective studies supporting Read More

Tumors of Dental Origin

Odontomas are benign tumors that arise from dental tissue in an animal's mouth. These tumors can be quite invasive, most commonly affecting the maxilla or cheekbone. They can be surgically removed, but the procedure requires aggressive, extensiv Read More

Dermal Melanomatosis Surgery

Tumors arising from melanin-containing cells (melanocytes) in the skin go beyond benign or malignant melanoma. In fact, there are four distinct melanocyte-derived tumor types, each classified according to clinical behavior and cellular Read More

Athletic Taping of the Lower Limb

Athletic taping is commonly used in human sports medicine to begin a physical therapy program; it stabilizes injured soft tissues and helps prevent further injury. Years of experience in the use of athletic taping as well as scientific research Read More

Dental Floating Value

Maintaining dental health is believed to be critical to optimum feed intake, digestive tract health, and body condition. In Western Canada, there are about 70,000 PMU mares that usually don't get routine dental care. Researchers from the Western Read More

Decreasing Abdominal Adhesions

Post-operative abdominal adhesions are a significant problem in horses, as they can lead to intestinal obstruction or strangulation. In recent years, a laparoscope is used to look into the abdomen and break down any adhesions that have formed Read More

WNV in Northern Indiana

West Nile virus (WNV) was first detected in Indiana horses in 2001. In 2002, the state reported 704 cases, the fifth-largest outbreak in the United States. Michael Ward, BVSc, MSc, MPVM, PhD, from Purdue University's School of Veterinary Read More