Farm Call: Your Questions Answered

Deworming and Boarding

June 22, 2010

Q. Q: In a boarding situation, does it make sense to test your horse's manure for worms or should they all be tested? A: If the horses at a boarding stable all share common pasture, your worm control program is only as good as the worst one there. It's essential that all horses at a boarding stable be on a uniform program, but I'm always amazed at how few establishments seem to be able to...

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Is She Ready to Foal Yet?

June 22, 2010

Q. How do I know if my mare is getting close to her delivery date?

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Vaccinating Older Horses

May 01, 2010

Q. Reader questions whether older horses need to be vaccinated against equine influenze ("flu"); Dr. Justin McCormick's answer discusses vaccination, vaccine efficacy, antibody titers, and increased risk of influenza infection in horses that travel.

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Does Hand-Feeding Treats Promote Biting?

May 01, 2010

Q. I've been told that hand-feeding treats to horses promotes biting. What is the "industry" stance on this issue? In my limited experience they seem to enjoy it and almost all horses I've hand-fed take it gently with their lips.

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Equine Cushing's in an Old Mare

March 01, 2010

Q. I have an Arabian mare who gave birth to a healthy colt at age 15 before returning to the show ring. She was diagnosed with Cushing's disease last year at 18, but we'd like to breed her again. Can she carry a foal to full term?

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Hard Keeper Help?

March 01, 2010

Q. Reader's question about why her Thoroughbred horse (stallion) won't put on weight despite excellent care, and a veterinarian's response discussing nutritional management, veterinary examinations, and genetics.

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Foal with Hoof Problems (Club Foot)

January 01, 2010

Q. The owner of a Quarter Horse foal with an early club foot asks for information on farrier/hoof trimming strategies and the possibility of surgery.

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Deworm on a Dry Lot?

December 01, 2009

Q. All of the articles I've read talk about managing parasites in horses with turnout time. Like many other owners in dry locations, here in New Mexico I don't have pasture. Both stalls and turnout areas consist of sand. I purchase bales of alfalfa and grass hay to feed my horses. What are the chances of parasite infection when horses do not graze?

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Sunburn Solutions

November 01, 2009

Q. My neighbor has a major problem with sunburn on her Appaloosa mare. She is a black mare with spots on her rump that sunburns easily. We have not been able to find anything that has helped it. What do you recommend to help it heal?

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Neck Atrophy

November 01, 2009

Q. I was told by a trainer that my horse has atrophy in her neck that could cause problems later in life. Can you tell me what I may be facing in the future? She is a 4-year-old mare. What, if anything, can be done?

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Trailering Anxiety or Heat?

October 01, 2009

Q. My 24-year-old Arab gelding recently came off the trailer very sweaty and with tremors in his shoulder muscle and hindquarters. It was only a 15-minute trailer ride, and it was sunny, but not hot. Is he suffering from heat issues because of his age?

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Cryptorchid Concerns

September 01, 2009

Q. I have a 24-month-old Azteca colt that has dropped only one testicle so far. He had two normal-appearing testicles at birth, and both of them withdrew above the inguinal ring before he was a year old. Do you believe cryptorchidism is hereditary?

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Weaving Worries

September 01, 2009

Q. I have a 12-year-old Tennessee Walker who weaves. I recently noticed lameness in the right front leg. How does weaving affect the lameness, and what treatments can I use to stop or decrease the lameness? Would steroid injections help?

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Snakebite Woes

August 01, 2009

Q. My mare's personality seems to have changed since a rattlesnake bite six years ago. She seems less people-friendly and less energetic. Is it from some sort of facial nerve damage from the bite? Have you heard of long-term effects from a snake bite?

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Guttural Pouch Tympany

August 01, 2009

Q. There seems to be little information available on the Internet about guttural pouch tympany. I lost a filly to this, along with displaced soft palate.

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Scoliosis in Adult Equines

July 01, 2009

Q. My gelding's back is skewed to the left, making riding uncomfortable for him. Could the crookedness in his spine be caused by overschooling with pain and incorrect muscle use? Or could the scoliosis have always been there and gotten worse?

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Rehabilitating Muscle

June 01, 2009

Q. What would be the best avenue to take to prevent too much scar tissue from forming and limiting the use of these muscles?

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A Rash of Questions

May 01, 2009

Q. Q: We have a Paint mare that is mostly white. In the spring and summer she has a rash-type skin problem around her nose and moving to her shoulders. It starts out looking like what we were told was dew poisoning, but it has spread to the point of bumps, scabs, raw sores, and bleeding. What could be causing this? Are there any preventive measures we can take? What are our

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"Sticky" Third Eyelid

April 01, 2009

Q. Q: Twice, my 12-year-old Paint gelding has gotten his third eyelid "stuck" over the top of his eyeball for 10 or 20 seconds. The first time was when water splashed in his eye during a bath. He tossed his head, rolled his eye upward, and the third eyelid stuck over the top of his eyeball, blocking his vision. Today the same thing happened when he rubbed his eye on his knee. He

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Insulin Resistance and Layup Time

April 01, 2009

Q. Q: My 18-year-old Percheron/ Morgan gelding was diagnosed with insulin resistance. Just prior to being confined to stall rest for a connective tissue injury, his insulin was 67 microIU/mL. The vet did a dexamethasone suppression test to rule out pituitary pars intermedia dysfunction (PPID), and it was well within normal bounds. After a six-month layup and a very controlled diet

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Abnormal Sheath Buildup

April 01, 2009

Q. Q: I have searched the Internet and asked everyone I know about the abnormal sheath buildup on my 17-year-old palomino gelding. Ever since we bought him, we noticed a large, crusty buildup all over him. We have been cleaning him once a month for three years because within four weeks, he is crusty and dirty again. We use a sheath cleaner every six months, and we use Vaseline or

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Vaccine Reaction: Calculated Risk?

March 01, 2009

Q. Q: I own a 12-year-old Percheron/Thoroughbred gelding who started to have severe allergic reactions to vaccinations last year. He's been receiving the same vaccinations for the past several years--a five-way and West Nile virus (WNV). Last spring, we decided to separate the vaccinations to make the effect less toxic. He received the five-way only, but he still had an allergic

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Glucosamine in a Cushing's Horse?

December 01, 2008

Q. Q: As soon as my 20-year-old gelding was diagnosed with equine Cushing's disease, I eliminated glucosamine from his diet. However, he appears to have become gradually and increasingly stiff and short-strided without it. I really think that it helped him, and I'd love to put him back on the supplement if I could safely do so. Based on current thinking, would it be at all possible

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Protein Levels and Seizures?

November 01, 2008

Q. My 37-year-old pony has suffered seizures on and off for about two years. I have noticed that when protein in her feed is increased, the seizures occur more frequently. Is it possible that high protein levels can cause seizures?

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Training Age and Soundness

October 01, 2008

Q. Does the fact that cutting horses are started so young have any effect on their future soundness? Is it best to wait another year before starting them in training?

A. Read the Vet's Answer

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