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

High-Tech Fetlock Joint Fragment Removal

VIDEO | Joint chips plague many high-performance horses--up to 29% of Standardbred yearlings and 2% of Thoroughbred yearlings. Often the chips must be removed, Read More

Alternate Catheter Site

Catheters placed in the jugular vein are commonly used to medicate or give fluids to horses in equine hospitals. One potential complication of catheters is thrombophlebitis, or blood vessel wall inflammation resulting in clot formation. When thi Read More

How to Block the Ear

A few horses out there like to have their ears rubbed, but many are tolerant of ear handling at best, and violently ear shy at worst. When these horses need to have veterinary work done around their ears, such as biopsies or stitching of Read More

Surgery for Triple-Level Spinal Cord Compression

Spinal cord compression in the neck, more technically known as cervical vertebral stenotic myelopathy or CVSM, can cause notable incoordination and affects about 2% of racing Thoroughbreds. Probably the most well-known horse affected by CVSM was Read More

Clearing Sand From the Gut

Sand colic due to an accumulation of sand in the intestines accounts for up to 30% of all colics, often causing weight loss and chronic diarrhea. Psyllium has often been recommended as a laxative for clearing sand out of the intestines, although Read More

Alfalfa Hay Reduces Ulcer Severity

If your horse has ulcers, giving him omeprazole isn't the only thing you can do to help reduce the severity of the problem. Noah Cohen, VMD, PhD, MPH, Dipl. ACVIM, discussed a study that found alfalfa hay reduced the severity of ulcers in young, Read More

Doxycycline Antibiotic Might Help Treat Arthritis

Osteoarthritis is the most common human joint disorder in the world, and in the equine industry it's the most economically important disease. It's the primary cause of decreased athletic function and wastage in racehorses. Read More

Surpass vs. Bute for Arthritis

Does Surpass really work to improve joint health, or is it just another way of delivering a painkiller? CSU researchers set out to answer that question. Read More

Reducing Back Sensitivity

Back pain is often suspected in horses, but most treatments haven't been researched much or at all. Results of a study designed to measure the effects of massage, chiropractic, and phenylbutazone (Bute) on back sensitivity were presented at the 200 Read More

Diagnosing Coxofemoral Subluxation with Ultrasound

Subluxation (partial dislocation) of the coxofemoral joint between the femur and pelvis in horses is rare; only two cases have been reported in the literature. However, six cases were seen at the University of California, Davis, in a three-year Read More

Giving Omeprazole for Ulcers Intravenously

In the past few years, we've been hearing how many more horses have gastric ulcers than we used to think. We also know that oral omeprazole paste (GastroGard, manufactured by Merial Limited, Decatur, Ga.) effectively treats and prevents ulcers. Read More

Computed Tomography for Imaging the Stifle

The stifle joint is often implicated in cases of lameness, but it can be a notoriously tough joint to image. Radiography, ultrasonography, nuclear scintigraphy (bone scan), and diagnostic arthrography (joint evaluation) all can be used, but they Read More

Myristol's Effects on Clinical Joint Disease

For the study, 39 horses in Missouri and Florida (on a broodmare farm, a Thoroughbred retirement center, and in two university equestrian programs) were selected for naturally occurring osteoarthritis that caused Grade 2-4 lameness on a scale of 0-4. Read More

How to Airlift a Horse

"The process of airlifting a horse still carries inherent dangers for the horse and rescue personnel," he concluded. "Risks may be lessened by a program that involves regular training, including a helicopter lift when possible, to increase the team's Read More

Intravenous Lidocaine for Controlling Pain and Inflammation

Intravenous (IV) lidocaine is one systemic way to manage pain and inflammation, and it also has been used to improve intestinal motility in colic cases. Its use has been a fairly hot topic of late, so Margaret Mudge, VMD, Dipl. ACVS, ACVECC, Read More

The State of Stem Cell Therapy

Stem cell therapy has received a good deal of attention in both human and veterinary medicine in recent years. It holds theoretical promise for treating conditions ranging from traumatic tendon and cartilage injury to liver failure, Parkinson's Read More

Stapling the Gut

These days, in many species incisions are often closed with staples rather than stitches--and they're not just for external use any more. At the 2007 American Association of Equine Practitioners Convention, held Dec. 1-5 in Orlando, Fla., Read More

First Aid for Limb Fractures in Horses

When a horse's leg is fractured, the primary treatment goal is to stabilize the fracture site so the broken bone ends don't further separate and do more damage. The outcomes of these cases often have a great deal to do with how well the broken Read More

Reducing Hindgut Acidosis

Acidosis (abnormally high acidity) in the hindgut (the large intestine and colon) can cause a number of problems in horses, including anorexia, colic, laminitis, and stereotypic (continuous, repetitive, and serving no purpose) behaviors such as Read More

Traumatic Brain Injury in Horses

"Head trauma is common in horses, and a number of these cases will present with neurologic signs consistent with brain injury," began Darien Feary, BVSc, MS, Dipl. ACVIM, ACVECC, a lecturer in equine medicine with the University of Sydney, Read More

Pain Medications for Horses

Managing pain in horses is important for a lot of reasons: There are humane benefits in addition to medical ones, such as maintenance of weight, shorter hospital stays, and lower total patient bills. At the 2007 American Association of Equine Read More

Correcting Large Colon Displacement

Left dorsal displacement of the large colon isn't the most common cause of colic--only about 6-8% of colics are caused by this. However, up to 21% of affected horses tend to displace again, even after surgical correction. These horses often have Read More

Shoulder Blade Stress Fractures in Thoroughbred Racehorses

Although it's not a common injury, fracture of the scapula or shoulder blade does occur in horses and causes notable lameness. At the 2007 American Association of Equine Practitioners Convention, held Dec. 1-5 in Orlando, Fla., Stuart Vallance, BVS Read More

Staving off Laminitis with a Buffer Solution

The principle behind using a buffer solution to stave off laminitis is based on acidity of the equine gut and its effects on enzyme activity. When a horse gets an overload of carbohydrate, the acidity in his gut increases dramatically due to ferment Read More

Landmarks for Evaluating, Trimming, and Shoeing the Equine Foot

From many horse owners' point of view, the farrier's profession throws out a lot of confusing terms and directives when it comes to balancing a foot. Fit the shoe full? Trim to the widest point of the frog? Use a four-point trim? These nebulous Read More