Farm Call: Your Questions Answered

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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Dexamethasone Use in Pregnant Mares

September 01, 2004

Q.

Can you help me locate information on steroids given to a mare during pregnancy? The mare has been receiving dexamethasone for cancer up until two months before her due date. The cancer then returned. I would like to help research further treatments.      Katie Fennimore


It is not clear why the mare is on dexamethasone, so I am assuming

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Hyperkalemic Periodic Paralysis and Colic

September 01, 2004

Q.

Q: I have a 4-year-old Quarter Horse gelding who is HYPP N/H positive. This horse is very gassy and tends to colic once a month, which causes a minor HYPP attack. I have tried everything, from changing his diet (no grain) to just oats, beet pulp, and grass, to giving him Prozyme and other products that have not worked. I think he seems a little anxious (worried) most of the

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Corneal Endothelial Degeneration

August 01, 2004

Q.

My horse has corneal endothelial degeneration. My veterinarian and I have been using a "control" schedule for some time, but I would like some information about the condition.    Janine


The cornea of the horse eye is slightly thicker than 1 mm. It consists of outer layers of epithelial cells, a middle stroma made of protein, and a single layer

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Cryptorchidectomy Surgery

August 01, 2004

Q. My stallion is going in for a cryptorchidectomy surgery (removal of a retained testicle). He has never bred any mares and is well behaved. This spring, his testicle started swelling on hot days and my veterinarian recommended the surgery. What is the expected recovery time and how long do I need to wait until I can turn him out with mares?

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Confusion About Substitute Drugs

August 01, 2004

Q. Until approximately two years ago, I had my retired Quarter Horse on both Legend and Adequan. A change in our choice of vets convinced me that her "generic" MAP-5 and Chondroprotect were just as good and cheaper. Can you address this?

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Protecting the Elbow From the Shoe

July 01, 2004

Q.

I'm desperate to find some way to prevent my 20-year-old Thoroughbred mare from cutting her elbow on her egg-bar shoe when lying down. She has been wearing egg-bars on her front feet to give her a little extra support since she pulled her front right suspensory for the second time. The egg-bars themselves seem to be fine; she is going great in them, jumping small jumps, and primarily doing

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Can Horses React to Poison Ivy and Poison Oak?

July 01, 2004

Q.

Q: There is quite a bit of poison oak and poison ivy on the acreage where I keep my horses. I have recently added a 2-year-old Thoroughbred mix, and she immediately broke out on her legs and muzzle with small rash-like, raised bumps that remind me of my allergic reactions to poison oak. I am trying to isolate her from it, but it is difficult, as it seems to be everywhere

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Patent Urachus

June 01, 2004

Q.

I have a 10-day-old orphaned foal. When she urinates, it also comes from her navel. I have talked to our vet, but would like to read more about this condition.              via e-mail


Patent urachus is the term used to describe the condition of urine dripping from the navel. When the fetus is in the

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Mangoes Toxic to Horses?

June 01, 2004

Q. Q: In our horse paddock there are four mango trees. Our horses often eat the mangoes that fall off the tree. We were wondering if it is possible for our horses to get sick from eating too many mangoes. A: Mango has not been reported to be toxic to horses. The skin of the fruit, leaves, and bark does contain some compounds similar to the compound in poison ivy that can cause a

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Chickens, Ducks, and Horses

May 01, 2004

Q.

Q: My horse is on a neighbor's land that is on loan. I pick up the pasture and run-in twice a day. My concern is that my neighbor bought over 100 different species of chickens and ducks that run free. They are constantly in my horse's shed, her pasture, and our backyard. Their feces are everywhere. He then purchased several goats and four sheep. The chickens wander into their

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Are Grass Clippings Toxic to Horses?

May 01, 2004

Q.

Q: A friend swears that I put my horses at serious risk of "grass tetanus" by mowing my pasture with a rotary finish mower. He says that all of the short pieces produced by small, high-speed equipment expose so much of the grass juices that horses can get very sick. Is this true? Peter


A: It's usually not recommended that horses be fed

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Surgery for Septic Osteitis?

May 01, 2004

Q.

I read "Septic Osteitis--One Laminitis Complication." My horse has this, and I don't think my vet has had much experience in this and feels that surgery would be detrimental. I'd like to talk to someone with more experience, maybe the vet interviewed in the article, for more information. Jeanna


If the

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Too Sore to Nurse

April 01, 2004

Q.

Q: I have an 8-year-old mare which delivered a filly recently and since the second feeding, she is protective of her teat area. She is constantly nipping when the baby tries to nurse from her. Is there anything I can do to make this a little less painful for my mare? I am afraid the foal might end up discouraged and stop trying to nurse.     Nancy

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Alsike Clover Poisoning

April 01, 2004

Q.

Q: I'd like to see more information on alsike clover sensitivity, especially in horses with large areas of white skin such as Paints, pintos, and Appaloosas. All the information I can find suggests that the only problem you will encounter is a severe sunburn on the white areas with sloughing of the damaged skin.

My Paint horse's first signs were severe itching all over

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Eye Protection from the Sun

March 01, 2004

Q.

I have a 14-year-old Paint/Quarter Horse with one blue eye that has been diagnosed with a "detached iris." His iris appears wide open or not even there. My vet suggested providing his eyes with protection from the sun. What is available? I would also appreciate any information about the problem itself. via e-mail


A "detached iris" is actually an ophthalmic

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Oranges for Treats?

March 01, 2004

Q. Can horses eat oranges? I just bought a 4-year-old gelding who apparently loves oranges, but I don't want to feed them to him if his digestive system can't handle the citric acid. The young girl who had him fed him an appalling amount of junk food...

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Owner-Performed Fecal Exams

March 01, 2004

Q.

In the interest of checking fecal samples for types of worms actually present in individual horses, and since I have the equipment, I'd like to do fecal checks here at home. Can you direct me to a chart or a book containing information and illustrations of eggs of various parasites? My veterinarian is an integral part of my horses' health, and he agrees that I could perform this task

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Round Pen Injuries

February 01, 2004

Q.

Has there has been an increase in hind limb lameness since the round pen has become more popular? I feel like I ruined my dream horse with round pen work starting when he was about six months old. He is nine now and mostly unridable due to a degenerative condition in his hips. I had written this off as bad luck until my friend's mare began to exhibit the same problem. The only things thes

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Regumate to Control Stud Behavior?

February 01, 2004

Q.

Q: My yearling stallion has begun his show career in longe line classes. He is beginning to lose concentration and act "studdy" at shows. It was suggested that I put him on Regumate to help control this behavior (as an alternative to gelding). What are the pros and cons?     Jennifer


A: Altrenogest (brand name

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Excessive Girthiness

January 01, 2004

Q.

Q: I start young Thoroughbreds for racing, and occasionally I work with a horse that gets really "girthy." Some even get to the point of falling down, and others get a hump in their backs as if they are going to explode. Can you tell me why this happens, what it is called, and what I can do to prevent it?       Vale

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Jutted Jaw in a Foal

January 01, 2004

Q.

Q: Our foal was born with something that our veterinarian called a "jutted jaw." Can you provide any information on this condition and what, if anything, needs to be done about it?

Jody


A: If by "jutted jaw" you are referring to a mandible (lower jaw) that is longer than the maxilla

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Newborns Out of Breath

November 01, 2003

Q.

I'd like to know more about foals who after being delivered, dried, and rubbed well, quit breathing in 10-20 minutes. We have done resuscitation by blowing into their nostrils and pumping their rib cages, and have rubbed them vigorously. The foals were both fine, with no further problems--it was just scary. We worried if we hadn't been there to revive them, would they have started

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Brushing Horses' Teeth

November 01, 2003

Q.

Q: Is there anything we can use on a horse's teeth to get all the gunk off and the grass out of their gums? Is it okay to use toothpaste?      Chantel


A: Horses' teeth are not completely covered in smooth, hard enamel, like dogs, cats, or humans. Instead, they are largely covered with a material called cementum,

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Can Laminitis be Inherited?

October 01, 2003

Q.

Q: I just read your excellent article "The Latest on Laminitis" by Karen Briggs. Is laminitis an inheritable disease? What about founder?     William


A: The terms "founder" and "laminitis" have become somewhat confusing and are often used interchangeably. I suspect

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