Poor Performance Evaluation
There may be times when your horse simply is not performing up to your expectations. The cause of poor performance may be simple or it may be complex, involving multiple organ systems. The most common cause of poor performance in the horse is lameness, followed closely by disorders of the respiratory tract and cardiac disturbances.
The veterinarians at the New Jersey Equine Clinic have the experience and state-of-the-art diagnostic equipement available to help diagnose the cause(s) for your horse's poor performance. We will gather important historical information from you, your trainer and your veterinarian prior to beginning our own examination. We will integrate this history with our physical examination and diagnostic tools to give you the most comprehensive evaluation possible.
One of the common cardiac conditions that can cause poor performance in racehorses is atrial fibrillation. Normally, the pacemaker in the atrium generates an electrical signal (p wave) that begins the normal electrical event that causes the heart muscle to contract. Horses with atrial fibrillation have an abnormality of the atrial pacemaker. In the absence of the normal atrial signal, secondary pacemaker sites in the heart serve as a backup to stimulate contraction of the ventricles. Unfortunately, this "backup" pacemaker is not as effective as the normal one and the heart cannot pump efficiently. This compromises your horse's athletic performance. Our veterinians use a series of carefully monitored medical treatments to convert the fibrillating heart back to a normal sinus rhythm.