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Re: Fw: [RC] FYI: Get to know your horse's heart - recklessheartranch

In people, a heart MURMUR is not the same as an arrhythmia. I assume is it also 
true in horses.

Perhaps one of the vets here can explain better, but a persistant arrhythmia 
WOULD be dangerous (I think), because of the lack of oxygen circulating in the 
body -- and if the heart is tachy I would guess that would just strain the 
heart more.


From: Dot Wiggins <dotwgns@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: 2008/04/23 Wed AM 09:54:38 CDT
To: ridecamp <ridecamp@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Subject: Fw: [RC]   FYI: Get to know your horse's heart

A recent article on Horse.com reported on research that showed heart murmurs 
had no effect on racing perfomance.    ----- Original Message ----- From: 
Katrina Mosshammer To: ridecamp@xxxxxxxxxxxxx Sent: Wednesday, April 23, 2008 
8:04 AMSubject: [RC] FYI: Get to know your horse's heart

I just want to send this excerpt from an article on the horse.com. I just 
became aware of my mare having an heart arrhythmia during a ride at the 
beginning of March. I have owned Perle for two years and had never had any 
indication that there was any type of problem. She has completed 250 miles in 
those two years and only 1 pull before the one in March and that was for 
lameness when she sliced her heel bulb. At the ride in March she came into the 
first vet check showing no signs of any problems. The only concern was that 
the vet heard the arrhythmia because she was listening for longer than the 
usual time.  So I want to encourage people to follow the advice below. Really 
get to know your horse's heart. Listen to it a lot and for long periods of 
time. Perle may have had this condition for her whole life and it just was 
never caught before now. When she is at rest it only happens about once every 
5 minutes and was happening during the ride about once every minute and half 
to two minutes, so listening for just 15 seconds or even 60 seconds may not 
always catch a problem. I don't want to freak anybody out and make them think 
that their horse has a heart problem, I just want to encourage you to really 
get to know your horse's heart so that you will be able to tell when it is not 
normal. So everyone take 10 minutes today or tonight and just go listen to 
your horses heart.
Katrina Mosshammer 

<< Horse owners who know their horses well will notice signs that their horse 
is not as perky as normal, and they can begin their investigation by listening 
to the horse themselves. "Any horse owner can feel their horse's pulse or use 
a cheap stethoscope and listen and get familiar with what your horse's normal 
heart rate and rhythms are," Barton says. "If you have a horse that is showing 
signs of reduced performance, shortness of breath or rapid breathing, or that 
they take a really long time to recover after exercise, listening to their 
heart might tip you off." 
"Horse owners can get to know their horse's heart rate and know what they feel 
like--or, using a stethoscope, sound like--at rest, after light work, and 
after heavy work," Nelson advises. "They can hear how quickly the heart rate 
comes down after work. Get a good feel of what's normal for your horse, and 
you are more likely to pick up abnormalities." 
And, if you feel that something's not right, seek medical help. "Anytime a 
horse has something wrong with its heart, you've got to be cautious," McGurrin 
instructs. "You've got to be aware that the horse has something wrong with it, 
and be a little bit more careful." 
Take-Home Message
Nelson advises horse owners to ask their veterinarians to listen to their 
animal's heart during routine visits. "It's a good idea to get routine health 
checks and to ask the veterinarian to listen to the heart rate and rhythm," 
she says. "Even if they were listened to last year, things can change in a 
year." These routine exams help the specialists determine how long the problem 
has been in existence. 
"Sometimes long- standing problems are a lot harder to deal with than if it's 
a recent occurrence of a rhythm disturbance,"she adds. >>

View the full article at: 

Katrina O'Neal
Reckless Heart Ranch
822 Estates Loop
Priest River, ID 83856

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