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

Laminitis Conference Ramps Up the Fight Against Foot Problems in Horses

Many of the top minds in laminitis research gathered Nov. 2-4 in West Palm Beach, Fla., to disseminate their findings on this devastating disease and other problems. About 370 veterinarians, farriers, and horse owners attended the Fourth Read More

Researcher Recommends MRI for Proximal Suspensory Desmitis Diagnosis

When your horse is lame, a diagnosis of suspensory trouble can be discouraging, particularly if it's termed proximal suspensory desmitis (PSD). Inflammation of the upper suspensory ligament in this area can be tough and expensive to treat Read More

Paraplegic Foal Update: Lucky at Home

VIDEO | About a month ago, The Horse brought you the story of Lucky, a five-month-old Quarter Horse foal who was rendered paraplegic by a spinal cord abscess at two Read More

Where Does It Hurt?

One of the most frustrating aspects of diagnosing and treating lameness in horses is that they can't tell you where it hurts. But a relatively new technology to the equine world is helping some veterinarians pinpoint lameness problems. Bruce Read More

The Role of Obesity in Insulin Resistance

"Not all obese individuals are insulin-resistant, and not all IR-affected horses are obese. But IR-associated medical problems are more likely to develop in concert with obesity in individuals born with IR," said Nat Messer, DVM, Dipl. ABVP, an Read More

Obesity, Insulin Resistance, and Laminitis

Insulin resistance is a part of equine metabolic syndrome (EMS). There are three criteria for identifying the horse with EMS: Insulin resistance, prior (founder lines) or current laminitis, and general obesity or regional adiposity (areas of abnormal Read More

Inducing Ovulation With Recombinant Equine Luteinizing Hormone

Manipulating the estrous cycle in mares is a big part of many breeding operations, and medications play various roles in the process. There are several options for inducing ovulation, including human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), Read More

Colic in Horses: An Overview for Owners

What's the one word that strikes fear into the hearts of all horse owners? Colic. It can strike any horse at any age for a myriad of reasons--there's impaction colic, gas/spasmodic colic, strangulating colic, and many other versions. At the Read More

Barefoot versus Shod Discussed

If hoof structures are poorly developed, then they will be less capable of going barefoot and, even when shod, not as ready for withstanding continuous training. To avoid sore feet, the quality of the trimming and shoeing and interval between shoeing Read More

Joint Disease and Lameness

More than half of all equine lameness is due to noninfectious joint disease and injury. It can happen from one bad step, but it's most likely due to cyclic (repeated) trauma. Read More

What Causes Pituitary Pars Intermedia Dysfunction?

The lack of dopamine is critical, as the activity of the pars intermedia is normally inhibited (controlled) by dopamine. Without dopamine, the pars intermedia produces much more hormone than it should, causing the clinical signs of PPID. Read More

Equine Emergency Care Tips

The first thing most guides on handling emergency situations will tell you to do is be prepared for that emergency. Know what can happen, what you'll do in that situation, who you'll call, what supplies you'll need, etc. For an equine health Read More

Training Your Horse for Procedures--And Everything Else

"It is our responsibility to have the horse so well trained that we can do whatever we need to do without a problem," he stated. "Our horse does not have the right to hurt anyone. It's not because the vet smells funny that a horse hurts him Read More

Treating Pituitary Pars Intermedia Dysfunction (or Cushing's Disease)

Medication options for PPID include pergolide, cyproheptadine, trilostane, and chasteberry extract. One disadvantage is that no treatment is currently FDA-approved for PPID in horses. Read More

Understanding Pituitary Pars Intermedia Dysfunction (a.k.a. Cushing's Disease)

Pituitary pars intermedia dysfunction--PPID, or Cushing's disease--is the most common disease of horses and ponies 15 years of age or older. Although it's not fully understood yet, researchers are learning more about how to treat and prevent it. Read More

Diagnosing Pituitary Pars Intermedia Dysfunction

Unfortunately, no perfect PPID test (one that is 100% accurate with a single-sample test) yet exists. At the 2006 AAEP Convention, Harold Schott, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ACVIM, professor of large animal clinical sciences at Michigan State University, Read More

Uterine Inflammatory Response: A Review

One of the biggest challenges in successful equine reproduction is uterine inflammation. Increased inflammation can destroy spermatozoa before they have a chance to fertilize the egg, and it can create a hostile environment that kills an embryo. Read More

Keep Old Horses Healthy

"Old age need not be a burden," said Loving. "Considering all the premium health care we can offer our horses today, there is no reason they shouldn't be living into a ripe old age in the greatest of comfort." Read More

Breeding and Reproduction Tips

People are always looking for tips on how to do things better--particularly horse breeders looking for ways to get healthier foals. Benjamin Espy, DVM, Dipl. ACT, a practitioner from San Antonio, offered insight on many areas of equine reproduction Read More

Insulin Resistance: Hold the Grain, Please

Management of insulin resistance might lower the risk of laminitis, and one of the cornerstones of management is diet. “Think of these horses as being in a prediabetic state,” said Nicholas Frank, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ACVIM, associate professor of Read More

Glucocorticoids and Obesity

Glucocorticoids have been implicated as a cause of both laminitis and IR. "Our team has been interested in the role that glucocorticoids (corticosteroid drugs or hormones that are involved in carbohydrate metabolism and the body's response Read More

Treating Obesity and Adiposity Research

Owners need to control obesity now by properly managing horses' diets and increasing exercise levels. Read More

Superovulation and Embryo Transfer

It's no secret that embryo transfer is expensive, and that its success rates are lower than those of some other methods of equine reproduction. "Commercially, single embryo recovery attempts have a 50% recovery rate, and there is a 50-65% Read More

Reinforcing Reinforcement Breeding

It's common practice at some breeding farms--collecting the drippings from a stallion's penis after he breeds and dismounts a mare, evaluating the sample to confirm that ejaculation did occur, then placing the sample in the mare. Reinforcement Read More

Obesity and Laminitis

In obese horses insulin resistance might also contribute to widespread inflammation and, thus, vasoconstriction (narrowing of the blood vessels), which is the case in human metabolic syndrome. Read More