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

Longitudinal Tears in the DDFT

Horses with chronic inflammation of the digital flexor tendon (DDFT) sheath that doesn't respond to conventional therapy might be suffering from longitudinal tears in the DDFT. Warmbloods which suffer from chronic annular ligament constriction Read More

Colic Surgery and Reperfusion Injury

During colic surgery, it can be difficult to judge whether twisted bowel deprived of oxygenated blood, a process called ischemia, will recover sufficiently once it is replaced and blood flows again. While the bowel might look healthy on the outside, Read More

A Prosthetic Eye for the Horse

Using ocular ultrasonography, he was able to diagnose complete retinal detachment with a large retinal tear. Because of the grave prognosis for recovery of vision, enucleation (removal of the eye) was recommended. Read More

Relieving Rectal Pain in Mares

Roman Skarda, DrMedVet., PhD, professor in the Anesthesia Section of the Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences at The Ohio State University, has studied techniques of epidural and spinal analgesia in horses for 20 years. For the past seven Read More

R. equi on Breeding Farms

Rhodococcus equi is an organism that lives in soil, requiring warmth and nutrients found in horse manure to grow and spread among equine populations. It is the most common cause of pneumonia in foals one to four months of age, bringing Read More

Aging Changes in Muscles

The results of EMG analysis on muscle groups in the shoulder revealed that MUAP duration and amplitude were significantly lower in the youngest horses compared to the adult and senior groups. Read More

Linking Chronic Laminitis to Immunologic Hyperreactivity

The pathogenesis of chronic laminitis remains unclear. There is growing evidence, however, of a link between this condition and the development of certain systemic diseases, such as kidney disease, that involve small blood vessel damage. There Read More

Optimizing Implant Therapy in Cycling Mares

Deslorelin acetate implants (Ovuplant from Fort Dodge Animal Health) have proven highly successful at inducing ovulation in mares. Implanted mares typically ovulate within 48 hours. Unfortunately, despite administration of prostaglandin during Read More

Understanding Congestive Heart Failure

Congestive heart failure is a term describing a group of clinical signs that develop as a result of other cardiac diseases. As the name implies, equine congestive heart failure is generally an endpoint of disease, and it is considered rare in Read More

Tell-Tale Signs of West Nile Virus

Unfortunately, clinical signs of West Nile virus (WNV) aren't unique, making it difficult for practitioners to suspect WNV above other neurologic diseases. For this reason, researchers from the University of Florida set out to closely scrutinize Read More

Diagnosing Grass Sickness

Equine grass sickness is so named because it occurs in the spring in pastured horses which are eager to eat plentiful green grass. Its cause is unknown, but the result is destruction of the nerves of the gastrointestinal system, which is often Read More

Folic Acid Supplementation

Sulphadiazine and pyrimethamine are used in combination to treat equine protozoal myeloencephalitis (EPM). These drugs interfere with folic acid (folate) metabolism, a vitamin essential for survival of the causative protozoon Sarcocystis Read More

Diagnosing Septic Foals

No one test can reliably diagnose septicemia (systemic infection) in a foal. The clinician must wait for the results of blood cultures, which can take days. However, preliminary studies of a blood protein called serum amyloid A (SAA) have shown Read More

Shoeing for Chronic Laminitis

There are limited options for effective treatment of horses with lameness due to chronic laminitis. A common practice involves therapeutic shoeing, which is intended to reduce pain, aid in healing, and help return the horse to activity. Recently Read More

Forages for Stabled Horses

Busy training schedules and fears about injury often limit pasture access for performance horses. Prolonged stall confinement, however, can be detrimental to a horse's attitude. Boredom can lead to destructive behaviors, including weaving, Read More

Steroid Effects on the Knees

During intensive training, young racehorses experience a thickening in the layers of bone under the cartilage of joints. These layers, called subchondral (located nearer the surface) and cancellous, become harder and better able to handle the Read More

New Tufts Veterinary Conference

The inaugural "Bridge to the Future" veterinary conference, hosted by Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine, was held in Providence, RI, on Aug. 10-11. This year's speakers included Mary Rose Paradis, DVM, MS, Dipl. ACVIM, associate Read More

EPM Testing in Foals

Diagnosis of equine protozoal myeloencephalitis (EPM) involves a technique called Western blotting (WB), which identifies antibodies against Sarcocystis neurona, the parasite responsible for the disease. A positive result on WB does not Read More

Tenoscopy for Tendon Injuries

Penetrating injuries near the fetlock can be very serious because of their proximity to the deep digital flexor tendon (DDFT), which flexes the lower limb joints, and its sheath. While a horse might have only a small cut or puncture wound, the Read More

Does Fat Really Impact Digestion of Fiber?

Dietary fats are important components of performance horses' diets because they are calorie-dense and energy-rich. Previous studies have shown, however, that diets high in soybean oil interfere with fiber digestion in trotters. It is unclear Read More

Anesthesia Options for Foals

Young foals are notoriously difficult to anesthetize because of their extreme sensitivity to most anesthetic drugs. Ideally, foals are anesthetized using only an inhaled anesthetic. One inhalant, isofluorane, has proven itself easy to use with Read More

Dietary Clues to Tying-Up

Recurrent exertional rhabdomyolysis (RER, a type of tying-up) is an inherited disorder in Thoroughbreds. Research suggests that RER involves an abnormality in the regulation of calcium in muscle cells. High-grain diets have been implicated as Read More

Overtraining in Standardbreds

There is a fine line between striving to maximize a horse's performance and pushing the animal beyond his physical limits. Standardbred racehorses experience a decrease in body weight and an abnormal decrease in blood cortisol when they are Read More

Glucosamine Supplement Efficacy

Glucosamine is a popular nutritional supplement that horses are fed in hopes of protecting them from osteoarthritis. Researchers studying the mechanisms of osteoarthritis have identified several compounds, called markers, that are unique to the Read More

Challenges of Assessing Pain

Because of its subjective and complex nature, the severity of a horse's pain is very difficult to assess. Recently, a comprehensive review was published by the University of Minnesota outlining the definitions of the types of pain and the Read More