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Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Another post in which I should be studying

I'm convinced that you, My Dear Reader, have all the answers to the very difficult questions that come up in my life.

For example - What topic should I write my Ride and Tie Scholarship on? 
--> My winning submission was the DIRECT result of a reader question, and a series of posts.

Or, should I do Tevis or Ride and Tie Champanionships next year?
--> the answer is so OBVIOUS to me know that of COURSE I should do championships. But it wasn't until you'all pointed out the obvious....

So now I'm coming to you with another great question....What topic should my "historical essay contest" article be about?  I was going to enter this contest this year (2013) but the deadline sort of slipped away from me, probably because I didn't find a topic that REALLY held my attention. I have another chance and the 2014 essay is due in April. 

Here's a link to the contest website:

The topic I was thinking about this spring was about Cyclops lambs and the associated prolonged gestation....which led researchers to connect it to a different disease in dairy cattle which also had prolonged gestation and voila! the connection between the role of the pituitary in the fetus initiating parturition was discovered. (if the fetus doesn't have a pituitary, you get prolonged pregnancies, because one important factor in initiating labor is the a signal that the fetus's pituitary gives out. No pituitary, no labor). There's a LOT we don't know about the initiation of labor (especially in horses) so these sorts of discoveries are quite exciting - plus, any story involving a cyclops is interesting right? 

After looking over past topics, I definiately do NOT want to do EIA/Coggins, rabies, anything to do with vetmed in rome, rinderpest, westnile or any of the other recently emerged "trendy" diseases, or zoo medicine.

An list of past topics is here

There's not a lot of horse performance subjects.

What about the history of doping in horse performance? Or evolution of drug testing?

Or historical treatment/perception of tendon injuries?

Or...the range of topical antiseptics that horse people cling to? such as the blue spray, scarlet oil, corona and the like?

Or melanoma in grey horses?

Or the history of equine dentistry?

What do you guys think - is there a certain topic in vetmed that you are interested in that you find interesting? Any particular piece of equipment?


  1. I am personally fascinated by equine nutrition and the fact that we know so little about it. We throw all of these grains and supplements at them, and don't really know all that much. Why is it that so, so many grains are fortified with iron when most horses get more than their daily allowance for iron just from their pasture and hay? (When iron overload can cause stuff like hypothyroidism and insulin resistance. So if horses are never iron-deficient, why do supplements like Red Cell exist?) Why do we feed calming supplements with tryptophan in them, when its effects have never really been tested on horses? (Only on people, dogs, chicken and fish, and the few tests on horses have shown it can cause hemolytic anemia in large doses! WHY do we feed this stuff to them??) And why do we supplement with mineral blocks when horses do better on loose salt? Mineral blocks were specifically designed for CATTLE.

    There are SO many old wives' tales when it comes to feeding horses. I could go on and on.

    The Cyclops Lamb idea sounds fascinating, though...I had no idea the fetus's pituitary gland had a role in parturition. I always learn something new from your blog. :)

  2. Just went and read over the list of past topics..."Cats are Not Small Dogs" was presented as a lecture at the North American Veterinary Conference in 2007/08; don't remember which one. I assisted while in vet tech school!

  3. What about something to do with racehorse performance? Like a comparison of times 30 years ago to today? Or maybe a discussion on what reasons there may be for the lack of a Triple Crown winner since 1979? It seems that with all the additional information we have now about nutrition, training, horse health, and horse care, race horse performance should be increasing. I don't know if anyone else would be interested in the topic, but I would read your paper:)

  4. I like it! I've put it on my list!


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