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

Feeding Practices and Colic

There are multiple causes of colic, some of which are related to diet, stabling conditions, and activity level. Colic is painful for the horse, expensive to treat (especially if it requires surgery), and hard to predict. Determining which Read More

Jump Landings and Tendon Strain

Lameness in show jumpers is often caused by forelimb tendon injury. The superficial digital flexor tendon (SDFT) is most frequently injured, followed by the interosseus tendon (IT), and the accessory ligament (AL), while the deep digital flexor Read More

Small Intestinal Colic Surgery and Predicting Survival

While surgical correction of colic in horses has been performed at referral hospitals for many years, it has been difficult for horse owners to get reliable information about survival rate. The prospect of extremely expensive colic surgery Read More

Risk of Equine Viral Arteritis from Imported Stallions

Equine arteritis virus (EAV) causes a flu-like illness in adult horses called equine viral arteritis, and is responsible for abortion in mares and pneumonia in foals. Stallions can be become persistently infected and shed the virus in their Read More

Predicting the Effects of Farriery Using a Computerized Model

A talented farrier and knowledgeable veterinarian can often do wonders for a lame horse. Applying corrective shoes can change the forces acting on the feet, improving many foot problems. Unfortunately, even the most talented farrier can Read More

Phlebotomy for Thickened Blood

Some Standardbred trotters develop a condition called red cell hypervolemia (RCHV), a thickening of the blood due to an increase in the number of red blood cells. This increase in red blood cells is a result of intense exercise programs, and is Read More

Stallion Behavior Immunization

Gonadotropin-releasing hormone or GnRH can be thought of as the master reproductive hormone. In stallions, GnRH is responsible for initiating a hormonal cascade that stimulates production of testosterone and other hormones necessary for breeding Read More

Limitations of Diagnostic Ultrasound of Bowed Tendons

Diagnostic ultrasound has become a popular means of monitoring the healing of superficial digital flexor tendon (SDFT) injuries, also known as bowed tendons. As image analysis software has been developed, the technique has become more widespread Read More

Monitoring Sand Colic With Radiographs

Ingestion of sand is an unfortunate consequence of vigorous grazing on sandy soil. The equine digestive tract can handle a certain amount of sand without difficulty, but too much sand can lead to impaction and colic. Medical treatments, includin Read More

Intradermal Skin Testing May Not Be Reliable for Diagnosing Heaves

Allergens in the pasture and barn are believed to trigger chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD or heaves) in horses. It is unclear whether simply developing an allergy leads to COPD, or if a horse must
be born susceptible to the Read More

The Role of Bovine Papillomavirus in Equine Sarcoids

Bovine papillomavirus (BPV) has long been suspected of playing a role in the development of sarcoid tumors in horses. Different subtypes of the virus, BPV-1 and BPV-2, have been identified in individual sarcoid biopsies. It is not clear, however Read More

Dewormer Resistance in Small Strongyles

Small strongyles are some of the most problematic internal parasites in horses. Infected horses can experience a wide range of symptoms, from rough hair coat, poor growth, and suboptimal performance to life-threatening chronic diarrhea, colic, Read More

Navicular Disease: Genetic or Acquired?

Navicular disease can derail a performance horse's career. Arthritis-like changes in the navicular bone, including cysts, channels, chip fragments, and bony spurs, become visible on radiographs, but there is controversy about the connection Read More

Diagnosing West Nile Virus

A recent report outlined a series of cases of West Nile virus infection in horses seen at the University of Pennsylvania's New Bolton Center. The findings might help horse owners and veterinarians identify this infection more readily. Read More