Farm Call: Your Questions Answered

Seizures in Horses

September 17, 2006

Q. I'm interested in purchasing a horse which has a history of seizures. What could they be caused by, are there different forms, and is there anything I can do to prevent them from happening again?

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Misplaced Nail

September 01, 2006

Q. Two days after my farrier shod my mare, she became lame on a front hoof. When I pulled the shoe, I saw that he had put two nails in too high. She is painful and won't put any weight on it at all. How long will this go on?

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Hay for the Laminitic Horse

September 01, 2006

Q. Is there a particular type of grass hay that is better than others as a long-term part of the maintenance diet for a horse prone to laminitis?

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Information on Inducing Labor

August 01, 2006

Q. I am searching for information or articles on induced parturition (labor). Is there any information published on this topic?

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Could This be Back Pain?

August 01, 2006

Q.

My mare appears to be in pain particularly in the withers, shoulder, and stomach areas. She used to round her back, but has since stopped. She squeals when she is touched. She has been checked for ovary problems, bladder problems, lameness, and her blood test came back normal. Is it possible that she has a pinched nerve? Is there anything else I can check out for her?

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Recovering From EPM

July 01, 2006

Q. My horse was diagnosed about six months ago with EPM (equine protozoal myeloencephalitis). This affected his hindquarters, and he is still stiff and sometimes wobbly. Is there anything I can do to help him gain his strength back?

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Torn Eyelid Injury

July 01, 2006

Q. The bottom line is any injury that tears skin or causes painful swelling around the eye should receive immediate veterinary attention. I would have advised a visit on the day of this injury.

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Help, My Horse is Too Fat!

June 01, 2006

Q.

Q: My 14-year-old mare has severe obesity problems. The veterinarian ruled out Cushing's disease because she does not exhibit the typical Cushing's traits. I am afraid to work her for fear that any overexertion will harm her physically. Are there any dietary supplements that can help to speed up her metabolism rate?

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Dealing with Old Injuries

June 01, 2006

Q.

I have a 20-year-old Quarter Horse that is in top working condition, worked daily in basic dressage, and he is always happy to jump whatever I ask him to. However, before I purchased him, he had a deep wound in his offside flank. It’s long been healed, but it has left a star-shaped scar. He is very supple on his near side, but his hip is stiffer on the wounded side. Could this be from old

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Unexplained Swelling

June 01, 2006

Q.

I have a 16-year-old gelding that I found lying down with a swollen rear leg. I assumed that he had gotten his leg hung in the fence, but the next morning, I noticed that his front leg diagonal from his affected back leg was also swollen, and I noticed what appeared to be a cut inside his nostril. The next day all four legs were swollen and his nose and lower lip were very swollen and were

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Hematomas in Horses

May 01, 2006

Q. What exactly happens the minute after the direct trauma (like a kick or a collision)? How does the blood pool? Are there many complications?

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Mouth Ulceration

May 01, 2006

Q.

Q: My 7-year-old Tennessee Walking Horse has developed ulcers on the bars of his mouth. They quickly resolved within a week of antiseptic mouth washes, but returned three weeks later. The bit is well-placed in his mouth and doesn't touch the affected area. His hay, grain, and turnout have remained the same. Any idea why this would

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What Was Causing Foal Abnormalities?

May 01, 2006

Q.

I have bred and raised 142 Morgan foals since 1976. During that time, we've had eight foals born with a very similar set of problems--contracted front tendons, an underbite, lethargy, hypothyroidism, and/or mental deficiency. We tried bottle feeding, making a sling to hold them up to nurse, and putting plaster of Paris casts on their front legs, but our success rate was low. In 1994, a

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Recovering from Sesamoiditis

April 01, 2006

Q.

Q: Two weeks after my sister bought a 10-year-old gelding, he started head-bobbing at the trot. Many veterinary exams, farrier visits, and six months later, we found sesamoid problems on both forelimbs. Can the sesamoid bones be removed? The veterinarian said his tendons are putting pressure on the sesamoid bones, which is resulting in small fractures and weakening the tendon

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Henneke Body Condition

April 01, 2006

Q.

I am looking for a body score chart in layman's terms. I would like to include this chart in our handbook for Personal Ponies, a national nonprofit organization, but many people (including me) don't know what these terms actually mean. The two I can't find are the "transverse processes of lumbar vertebrae" and the "spinous processes." It might be something to add to your magazine or site

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Fever, Colic, Swelling...What is It?

April 01, 2006

Q.

I had an 8-month-old colt stop eating his grain on Friday. I took his temperature, which was 105ºF, and gave him Bute and Banamine to reduce his fever. My veterinarian came the next day and said it was a virus, but didn't treat him. He came on Tuesday because the colt started to colic. We treated him with oil and Bute, and I gave him probiotics and Maalox. The vet gave him an antibiotic and

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Hoof Care for Toeing Out

April 01, 2006

Q. My 2-year-old filly has turned-out toes, which originate from her knees. She does not trip or paddle when moving. However, after trimming her feet, she walks on the outside of the hoof and rotates her weight to the inside. I would like to know if

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Helping Older Horses Get Up

March 01, 2006

Q.

Q: I have an older horse that sometimes lies down and has trouble getting up. My vet thinks it is advanced arthritis in his stifles. Do you have any rescue equipment that you have used to lift a horse up? Thank you for the compassionate work you do with horses.                 Sharon

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Will Eating Grass Seeds Hurt My Horse?

February 01, 2006

Q.

We are new horse owners who know very little about horses. We've had our horse "Trouble" (a 2-year-old Standardbred-Arabian cross) for almost a week now. A local horseman said it would be fine to dump our two bags of buckwheat, red clover, and twitch grass seed in the exercise area. The problem is that in the last few days, she has completely abandoned her hay bale (it might not be very good

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Correcting Foundered Feet

January 31, 2006

Q.

Can coffin bone (also called the third phalanx, or P3) rotation be improved or corrected in horses that have foundered (suffered laminitis severe enough to displace the coffin bone)?   Michelle


The cornerstones of founder management are shoeing and diet. Once the disease has occurred, treatment is aimed at decreasing stresses on the

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Will Cimetidine Hurt the Foal?

January 01, 2006

Q.

Q: I have a gray mare that's 19 years old and has melanomas under her tail. She's been on cimetidine for a couple of years to treat them, which has been working fine. I cut off her cimetidine before breeding her recently (she was just checked in foal at Day 20), and the melanomas haven't enlarged much since then. I would like to put her back on the cimetidine to keep the

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Frozen vs. Cooled Semen

January 01, 2006

Q. We are getting ready to breed our mare to a stallion whose semen is only shipped frozen. Does using frozen-thawed semen instead of cooled semen reduce the chances of our mare getting pregnant? Generally, any time you manipulate semen, the per-cycle pregnancy rate decreases. The rate should be highest for fresh semen, then shipped semen, followed

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Pelvic Fracture

December 01, 2005

Q.

Q: My 6-year-old mare suffered a pelvic fracture from a pasture accident five months ago. My veterinarian examined her and prescribed stall rest. What timeframe can I expect for starting light exercise and how can I tell if she is ready? Should I expect to ride her again? Dawn


A:  Most pelvic fractures have a good prognosis

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Shoeing Wild Horses

December 01, 2005

Q. I've just adopted a wild horse and have heard that they often don't need shoes. She is in a quarter-acre dry lot connected to a 10-acre irrigated pasture for turn-out. Do we need to shoe her?

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Urinating Too Often?

November 01, 2005

Q.

My 3-year-old registered Paint gelding urinates up to three times in a three-to-four hour period. My veterinarian has checked a blood profile and two urinalyses. The blood profile was normal and the first urinalysis showed elevated protein. The second urine sample was normal. If we are still concerned about a kidney problem, what other tests can we do? Is there something else we should look

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