Christy M. West

Christy West has a BS in Equine Science from the University of Kentucky, and an MS in Agricultural Journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Articles by Christy West

Lawsonia Intracellularis Vaccination (AAEP 2008)

Pusterla discussed the effectiveness of three vaccination strategies against L. intracellularis, which causes proliferative enteropathy (a spreading intestinal disease). "Although the clinical entity (L. intracellularis infection), diagnostic evalua Read More

Testing for Clostridium difficile (AAEP Convention 2008)

Clostridium difficile bacteria can cause severe, sometimes fatal colitis in horses. When a horse develops severe diarrhea (particularly if blood is present), C. difficile might be suspected, but veterinarians must confirm the infectio Read More

Medication in Racing and Performance Horses

Medication issues in equine competitions might have reached their highest level of public focus in 2008 due to high-profile situations such as Kentucky Derby winner Big Brown's steroid regimen and the disqualification of several Olympic horses for Read More

AAEP 2008: Olympic Veterinary Care

What's it like to be an equine veterinarian behind the scenes at the Olympic Games? Horse owners got to hear about the experience at the Healthy Horses Workshop of the 2008 American Association of Equine Practitioners Convention (held Dec. 6-10 Read More

MRSA More Common in Horse People

Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) bacterial infections have become hot news lately, especially among horse people. This topic likely won't die down soon because recent research shows that MRSA is up to 10 times more common in equine Read More

Paraplegic Foal Update: Lucky as a Long Yearling

Lucky isn't completely back to normal, but he's close enough that his owners are happy with the result. Read More

Tail Blocking Gone Wrong

No one likes a rebellious horse, particularly in the show ring, and excessive tail swishing or wringing is often penalized by judges as a sign of resistance. To avoid this penalty, or simply to ensure low tail carriage, trainers and exhibitors Read More

Big Brown Quarter Crack 'Not a Setback'

Anyone following Triple Crown races this year knows there's a lot of controversy about the soundness of Kentucky Derby/Preakness winner Big Brown's feet. But despite a third hoof problem in his short career--a quarter crack that showed up in his Read More

Big Brown's Feet Not So Bad, Farriers Say

(PHOTOS/VIDEO) Kentucky Derby winner Big Brown clearly owns some of the Thoroughbred industry's fastest feet. But many question their soundness, fueled by reports of layoffs, quarter cracks, and special shoes. His current farriers Tom Curl and Ian Read More

Fiber in Hay: What's the Magic Number?

Horses evolved to eat a lot of fiber, spending up to 17 hours a day grazing various forage plants. But not all fiber is created equal, especially when it comes to hay.

Hay carries a few challenges compared to living forages. One, compared t Read More

Repairing Hernias with Subcutaneous Mesh

Incisional hernias (protrusion of abdominal contents through a gap in an incision beneath the skin) occur in up to 17% of horses receiving abdominal surgery, reported Gal Kelmer, DVM, MS, clinical assistant professor at the University of Read More

MRI for Diagnosing Sesamoidean Ligament Desmitis

The high degree of detail seen with MRI has made it possible for veterinarians to find equine injuries they've never seen before. One example of this--MRI evaluation of desmitis in the oblique and straight distal sesamoidean ligaments--was discussed. Read More

Review of Available MRI Systems

Not all MRI units are created equal. Learn about the differences in MRI units. Read More

Bioabsorbable Cisplatin Beads for Skin Cancers

Skin cancers are seen in horses, and many methods and technologies have been used to treat them. One of the more recent strategies is intralesional chemotherapy, or placing a chemotherapeutic agent directly in the tumor to kill the abnormal cells. Read More

Wooden Shoes for Chronic Laminitis

The chronically laminitic horse is often a very tough case to manage because displacement of the coffin bone within the foot leads to a lot of pain and damage, in addition to the damage that allowed the displacement in the first place. Read More

How to Apply a Half-Limb Cast and Elevated Support Limb Shoe

There are many situations when casting a horse's lower limb can be beneficial, such as when he has a fracture of a pastern bone, a tendon or ligament injury, or a wound that won't heal because of excess movement. At the 2007 American Association of Read More

Diagnosing Upper Cannon Area Injuries

Pain originating in the upper cannon bone area, just below the knee or hock, is common in all types of equine athletes. However, it can be difficult to determine exactly what structure is injured; some injuries can only be seen with high-field MRI. Read More

How Important Is That Airway Exam Grade?

The airways of many breeds of horses, particularly Thoroughbreds, are evaluated via an endoscope and graded before sale. The intent is to identify horses whose airways might have problems that could limit the horses' performance at maximal Read More

ACell Tendonitis Treatment Study

"Tendonitis of the superficial digital flexor tendon (SDFT) is a common injury in horses, especially racehorses and event horses," began Ty Wallis, DVM, a third-year resident in equine surgery at Colorado State University (CSU). "It's usually Read More

Sacroiliac Injection Technique

The sacroiliac joint, which forms the articulation between the pelvis and the spine, is often considered a location of elusive pain in horses. However, its deep location and, thereby, limited accessibility make diagnosis (via nerve blocks) and Read More

Making, Placing, and Removing Transphyseal Staples

Many methods have been used to straighten crooked limbs on foals, and in the past staples placed across the "long" side's growth plate have received somewhat mixed reviews. However, some researchers suggest that this was due to poor staple choic Read More

Investigating Horse Poisoning

When an owner suspects that a horse might have eaten something poisonous, the veterinarian is generally the first person he or she calls. In addition to treating any health problems, that veterinarian is uniquely suited to investigate the cause Read More

Hyaluronic Acid vs. Triamcinolone Acetate for Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis has a major impact on pain and athleticism of horses, and many medications are used to combat it. At the 2007 American Association of Equine Practitioners Convention, held Dec. 1-5 in Orlando, Fla., an in vitro study comparing Read More

Specificity of Digital Flexor Tendon Sheath Nerve Blocks

Diagnosing lameness in horses has often been termed an art and a science, in part because the use and interpretation of nerve blocks to isolate sources of pain is more art than exact science. In recent years, several blocks have been found to Read More

Risk Factors for Gastric Ulcers in Thoroughbreds

Up to 86% of Australian Thoroughbred racehorses have been reported to have gastric ulcers. Many factors can contribute to ulcers, and researchers at Murdoch University set out to determine which ones were the most significant for this population Read More