Farm Call: Your Questions Answered

International Breeding

July 01, 2005

Q. I brought two Walking Horse mares to France. I would like to breed to a U.S. stallion and want to know what the success rate might be with shipped frozen or cooled semen. Will I run into importation red tape?            Joey


Expect LOTS OF RED TAPE. It would be best to deal with frozen semen because of the risk

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How to Improve Stallion Fertility?

July 01, 2005

Q.

I have a young (4-year-old) Dutch warmblood stallion with some fertility issues. However, he has had good fertility and a good sperm cell count. He has low motility, some poor morphology, and some dead and immature sperm cells. The longevity of his semen is good.

We want to ship the best-quality semen we can achieve. We have tried different extenders and collecting him into extender

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Cicatrix in Older Horse

June 01, 2005

Q. My veterinarian has estimated that my horse's pharynx is 30% constricted and has diagnosed cicatrix. Can you tell me more about this condition?

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Maiden Mare Fertility

June 01, 2005

Q.

Q: I have a 12-year-old Quarter Horse barrel mare I would like to breed. She has never had a foal, and we have not been able to get her to settle after breeding her with cooled semen for three cycles. What could be causing fertility problems in an otherwise healthy mare?           Elizabeth

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What is Ringbone?

May 01, 2005

Q.

Q: My 17-year-old Arab gelding has been diagnosed with ringbone. His granddam and another of her offspring also had this disease. What exactly is ringbone? Is it hereditary? What is its cause? My veterinarian has done an exam and X rays and recommended Bute (phenylbutazone) and regular exercise.      Dana


A:

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Recurrent Mastitis

May 01, 2005

Q.

We have a 25-year-old mare that gets a case of mastitis almost like clockwork every 35 days. The mastitis begins with swelling in a teat and varies from side to side. It is sore, sensitive, and produces very little fluid. It responds to antibiotics, but takes a full 10-14 days of treatment. She had her last foal four years ago, and we have no desire to breed her again. What could be the

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Lyme Disease and Shipping Stress

April 01, 2005

Q.

We have a horse on antibiotics for Lyme disease. After his 30-day regimen, he will be shipped from New England to California. Will the stress from the trip cause a flare-up in this disease? Is it a risk to ship him? Are there ways to prevent recurrence?     via e-mail


Lyme disease can be a difficult problem to diagnose. Luckily, it appears tha

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Black Walnut Tree Shavings as Trail Mulch?

April 01, 2005

Q. Q: This summer we are planning to start making riding trails on our heavily wooded property. As we cut down the branches and trees, we plan to chip the wood to mulch the trails. However, we have a good number of black walnut trees, and I am wondering if the wood chips pose a health risk to our horses. A: Black walnut shavings and wood chips contain the toxin juglone that is suspected to be

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Bone Spurs

March 01, 2005

Q. Q: What exactly are bone spurs, how do they affect a horse's performance, how common are they, what causes them, and how can I manage them in my performance horse? A: Bone spur is a term used to describe sharp bony projections that are visible on X rays at the joint margins of affected horses. The medical term for these spurs is osteophytes, and they occur specifically at the margins of joints

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Freeze Branding a Horse

March 01, 2005

Q. Q: I am interested in freeze branding my horses. What is involved in the process? Can I do this myself, or do I need help?

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Treatment for Ringworm

March 01, 2005

Q.

Q: I have consulted with three local veterinarians about the best way to treat ringworm. Each one gave me a different treatment recommendation. What is the most effective way to treat ringworm?      Mary


A: Ringworm, which is not actually a worm but a fungal infection, is most likely a normal inhabitant of the skin

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A Rare and Fatal Disease

February 01, 2005

Q. What can you tell me about Tyzzer's disease? I've heard of only two cases in the last 20 years.

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Getting Back to Work

February 01, 2005

Q.

My 5-year-old mare has been suffering from an odd gait problem for a few weeks. She "hikes up" her right hind leg from the hock at a walk, but is perfectly sound at the trot and canter. She has been diagnosed with a form of tenosynovitis involving the tendon sheath of the digital deep flexor tendon in the area of the Achilles tendon above the hock. She does not appear to be uncomfortable or i

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Are We Over-Vaccinating?

February 01, 2005

Q.

Q: Is there a reliable test to check the titer of immunity before we revaccinate each year for flu, rhino, etc.? Why is a tetanus shot good for five or more years in humans and only one year or less in the equine?           Samantha


A: The equine veterinary community has been doing

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Nutrition During Stall Rest

January 01, 2005

Q.

I purchased a 3-year-old Thoroughbred gelding with a fractured knee. My veterinarian put him on lay-up for an additional four months of stall rest (he has already had two months) with hand walking twice a day. Then, after additional X rays, he is to be turned out to pasture for another eight months before he can begin any training. I am concerned about nutrition during both the period of stal

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Should the Screw Stay In?

January 01, 2005

Q.

My 2-year-old filly clipped a fence post in a pasture eight months ago. The result was a slab fracture of the right hind long pastern bone. My vet attempted to repair it with a screw, which failed to hold the fragment in place, so I opted to leave it in a cast for eight weeks and let it heal naturally. After babying my filly for eight months, she's currently sound at all gaits, although she

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Do Horses Have Heart Attacks?

January 01, 2005

Q.

Q: I read about horses that have died of apparent "heart attacks" during competitions, breeding, and even out in the field. I have had veterinarians tell me there is no such thing as a horse having a heart attack. What are people talking about when they report a horse has died of a heart attack?     Molly

 

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What Is Stringhalt?

December 01, 2004

Q.

Q: My 29-year-old Quarter Horse gelding has been diagnosed with a condition that my veterinarian called "stringhalt." He indicated that this condition is rare in this breed and in this location of the United States (northwestern Pennsylvania). What causes this condition? What is the treatment and

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Joint Supplements and Vitamins

December 01, 2004

Q.

Q: I have a 2-year-old Quarter Horse gelding who has been in training for three months. When should I start giving him a joint supplement? Also, when should I begin giving him a vitamin supplement?

Sarah


A: Well, to be honest, your question supposes that you need to be givin

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Is Tubal Ligation a Viable Choice?

December 01, 2004

Q.

Has laparoscopic unilateral tubal ligation reached a level of safety and success for mares, or is it a procedure yet to be useful and/or effective or cost prohibitive? Why or why not?      Samantha


Laparoscopic tubal ligation has been shown to be feasible by Patrick McCue, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ACT, associate professor of equine science at

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Don't Bypass a Veterinarian

November 01, 2004

Q. I have an older Tennessee Walking Horse with Cushing's disease. She has been on Cipro for some time. She foundered long before I got her, but it has become chronic. I have been able to maintain her to a point, but she is losing weight and I have a difficult time getting her to eat. She has a lump under her throatlatch that seems to change in size when I put her on Bactrim antibiotics. Is it

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Is Millet a Problem in the Pasture?

November 01, 2004

Q.

I am considering moving my two mares to 10 acres of land that had been planted with millet feed last spring. Because of the lack of moisture, the millet only grew to be about five inches high, then dried out and died. I am going to wait and see what comes up in the 10 acres this spring, but I'm wondering if it would be bad for my horses to graze on if it came up again in the 10

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Is Arthritis Genetic?

November 01, 2004

Q.

Q: My 14-year-old Thoroughbred mare was diagnosed with arthritis about a year ago. She competed in low-level horse trials for about six years and only recently began to show signs of arthritis, but 14 seems to be a little young for such a severe case. My hope had always been to breed her at about this point in her life, but it seems a shame to breed a horse with this gene (if

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Clean Hooves Before Treating Thrush

October 01, 2004

Q.

My 13-year-old Morgan has had very bad thrush for six years. The most recent treatment our vet recommended is soaking the feet in Epsom salts and packing them with iodine-soaked gauze. He's stalled when it's wet, and the stall is cleaned daily. We've tried this for about six weeks; as with the other treatments, we've seen little to no improvement. Do you know any other treatments or possible

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Feeding the Cushingoid Horse

October 01, 2004

Q.

Can you provide more information on feeding the Cushing's horse? My dressage horse has Cushing's and is on cyproheptadine and Thyro-L, grass hay, and a quarter-cup of 10% sweet feed. I am worried he is not getting the essential vitamins.              Anita


The truly Cushingoid horse is glucose

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