Marcia King

Marcia King is an award-winning freelance writer based in Ohio who specializes in equine, canine, and feline veterinary topics. She's schooled in hunt seat, dressage, and Western pleasure.

Articles by Marcia King

A Pain in the Hock

The hock is a complex joint of the rear limb situated between the stifle and the ankle that consists of six bones and four joints. Similar to the human ankle--but elevated and bending backward--the hock works in concert with the stifle, flexing Read More

Hunter's Bump

Named for the sport in which it often occurs, hunter's (or jumper's) bump is a sometimes painful pelvic condition that affects performance and gait. It's tricky to diagnose, occurs in horses which do many different disciplines, and can be an Read More

Dealing With EPM Today

While West Nile virus continues to dominate headlines when it comes to equine health, researchers are working to unlock the mysteries of that other, not-quite-so-new disease--equine protozoal myeloencephalitis (EPM). High on the list is Read More

Deciphering Nutraceutical Labels

Did you ever go to the tack store and try to figure out the exact amounts per serving of each ingredient contained in some of the nutraceutical products? It can be an important issue if your horse's joint supplement, vitamin supplement, and food Read More

Upper Airway Problems in Horses

Noise and exercise intolerance...those are the usual signs of an upper airway disorder. Many things can go wrong with a horse's breathing mechanisms that don't involve the lungs. The diagnoses aren't always accurate, and treatments aren't totall Read More

Physical Therapy for Healing and Health

Call it what you will--equine physical therapy, equine therapy, physiotherapy, rehabilitation therapy, equine sports therapy, or even alternative therapy. The treatment, rehabilitation, and prevention of movement dysfunctions, orthopedic ailment Read More

Saving Survivors

Amber is a 30-year-old Arabian mare which was slowly starving to death because her owners had run out of money to care for her. Because of her age and lack of potential and worth, Amber's owners allowed her to be pushed out of food and veterinar Read More

Common Skin Problems

We used to call it the "creeping crud"--a colorful, youthful label applicable to any gross-out skin disease the horse happened to have (and not to be confused with the cold-and-flu-like symptoms in humans that earned the same appellation). Read More

Ouch! That Hurts!

Pain. The Merriam-Webster electronic dictionary defines pain as 1: punishment; 2: usually localized physical suffering associated with bodily disorder (as a disease or an injury); also, a basic bodily sensation induced by a Read More

Vaccinations: Kick-Starting the Immune System

These days, research protocols are a little more sophisticated and complicated, although the basic premise for testing a vaccine is pretty much the same: The researcher vaccinates the animal against the infection or disease using some sort of disease Read More

Classic and Australian Stringhalt

It's a disturbing and distressing sight: You're backing your horse when one hind leg jerks forward and upward, nearly clipping his abdomen. It's the same every time you back your horse--this strange movement where his leg snaps up toward his Read More

Is His Heart In It?

Do you know why a Thoroughbred can deliver that great burst of speed to eat up a mile in 1 1/2 minutes, or how an endurance horse can maintain the strength and stamina to cover long distances at steady speeds? Of course you do: Conditioning. Read More

Hoof Dressings: What Studies Show

Hoof dressings aren't always what they're cracked up to be--at least not in the opinions of some experts. Ilka P. Wagner, DVM, owner of Equine Veterinary Services (Texas), and Susan Kempson, BSc, PhD, senior lecturer in Preclinical Veterinary Read More

Sexually Transmitted Diseases

You're preparing your mare for the upcoming breeding season. The stud owner insists on a bacterial culture of your mare's uterus prior to live breeding to reduce the chances of her passing any sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) she might have Read More

Club Feet in Adult Horses

Some women love high heels. Walking in them might take some getting used to, but they provide the perfect look for big-city club-hopping or schmoozing at the latest gallery opening. They're not so great, though, for jogging or other sports. A Read More

Treat Hoof Punctures Early

It seems like such a mild problem, a nail or splinter in the tough hoof. The solution also seems simple--take the object out, clean the foot up, give the horse some time off, and everything will be all right. For superficial hoof wounds, that's Read More

Restricting Grazing

There are some food needs that just can't be argued against: 1) Humans need popcorn plus a cola at the movies; 2) Women need chocolate anytime; 3) Horses need forage at all times. While these combinations aren't equal in terms of supplying Read More

"Alternative Therapy" Associations

Whether you choose to embrace alternative or complementary medicines is, of course, up to you. However, a word to the wise: To protect yourself, your horse, and your bank account, select a licensed veterinarian who has taken advanced Read More

Smaller Horses, Bigger Reproductive Problems

Big gifts come in small packages. That's a fine sentiment when it comes to presents, but when it refers to miniature horse reproduction, that big gift/small package combo can be a little tough on the mare. It's not so great for the foal, either. Read More

Protecting Equine Investment

Equine insurance is not necessarily about how much the horse is worth, but how much the owner can afford to lose. Many horse owners in Kentucky, Ohio, and other states last year were struck by an unexpected, widespread loss of foals. Related Read More

Foaling Problems

A medical doctor once told me, "There’s only a 1% chance that a problem will develop, but if it develops in you, then it’s 100% a problem." So it goes with foaling: Foaling difficulties occur in less than 1% of births, but if it’s your mare, thi Read More

White Line Disease in the Hoof

Look up “white line disease” in your equine veterinary book, and you might not find it. This name for the condition was first coined in 1990, and the disorder is also known as seedy toe, hoof or stall rot, hollow foot, yeast infection, Candida, Read More

Critter Control

Appreciating wildlife is fine, and horse people generally are wildlife lovers. However, when nature's creatures take up residence in your barns, sheds, or fields, they can bring disease and destruction. It's imperative to the health of humans, Read More

Hoof Pads for Healing

They come with an assortment of labels: "high-tech hoof pads," "comfort system pads," "hoof support systems," etc. They come in a variety of thicknesses and materials. But by whatever they’re dubbed, these designer pads have two things in common Read More

Coming Attractions: The Newest Dewormers

The next generation of dewormers is nearly here. Fort Dodge Animal Health anticipates final FDA approval for Moxidectin this year, while Pfizer Animal Health Group might see Doramectin reach the market in mid-1998. Like Ivermectin, Doramectin an Read More