Farm Call: Your Questions Answered

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Wetting the Bed

July 01, 2003

Q.

I just started raising a few minis. This year I have a colt which was born with a urinary problem. He keeps dripping urine, not every minute but especially when he lies down. His genital area will be wet, just like kids when they sleep and just forget to wake up. He is about nine months old now. Can you help me? The veterinarian told me he had never seen this

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Cleaning Water Buckets

July 01, 2003

Q.

Q: I'm concerned about keeping our horse's water buckets clean. In summer and winter (heated buckets) there is always scum on the inside. So far, I have spritzed them every day with a weak bleach solution followed by a spritz of club soda with separate sponges. My friend commented that I might not be getting all the bleach out; however, I do rinse with plain water as the last

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What Makes a Horse Yawn?

June 01, 2003

Q. What makes a horse yawn? Does this help the horse get lots of air in his lungs like with people? Is it a sign of anything in particular?

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Wrapping a Bowed Tendon for Exercise

June 01, 2003

Q.

Q: We have a 4-year-old Thoroughbred with a bowed tendon. He has been laid up for about a year and is now in training and doing well. My question: When we race him, should we wrap his leg to support the bow or leave it open? I say that we should wrap it to support the bow, and my husband says that this will only bow the leg worse.     Rose

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Colt Fertility

June 01, 2003

Q. Q: My husband and I have a mare in heat. I had suggested that we use a 2 1/2 year old stud that we own. He said that the stud is too young and that the foal would probably come out with some form of defect. I am having a hard time finding an answer to this question. Can you help?      A: Most colts are capable of achieving pregnancy in fertile mares by two years of age, and the capacity for

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Why the White Spots?

May 01, 2003

Q.

I'd like to ask a question about my horse's skin problem--depigmentation. He is a 10-year-old chestnut Hanoverian gelding with dark eyes and eyelids. But now there is a pink spot on his left upper eyelid and I think it's getting larger. The skin hasn't changed, only the pigmentation. At first I thought it was an injury, but his keeper disagreed. I have read about lack of copper, but his

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Lyme Disease From Contaminated Feed?

May 01, 2003

Q.

Q: Is it possible for a horse to get Lyme disease from eating a tick with his pasture grass, or from eating an infected tick or other source of the bacteria in his hay or feed?         Ty


A: I have checked with two colleagues here at the Gluck Equine Research Center, and we all believe that a horse

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The Whites of Their Eyes

May 01, 2003

Q.

I have a 3-year-old filly which has prominent white around her eyes. Most farriers and several others tell me this is a sign of madness in a horse. I always thought that this was an old wives' tale, but this particular filly does appear to be very nervous. Could you please clarify this for me or direct me to some articles I can read on the subject? Jane

I think it means the hors

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Caring for a Newly Blind Horse

April 01, 2003

Q.

Q. We have a 19-year-old Appaloosa gelding that is going blind fast from a genetic disease. He is not coping with it well; he stumbles around, runs into things, leaves the herd, then gets confused and panics. Any advice or information would be greatly appreciated.    Amanda


A. Horses which become blind quickly

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Foaming at the Mouth

April 01, 2003

Q.

Q: My friend's 3-year-old filly plays with her tongue so much that she foams at the mouth (without a bit). She also plays with the rails in her stalls at feeding time such that she has foam all over. She is not cribbing or sucking air. What could be the problem?    via e-mail


A: Between the ages of 2 1/2 and

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Mare vs. Stallion Genes

April 01, 2003

Q.

Q: I hear people talking about how genetic lines all trace through the paternal side of the horse. What about the mares? What quality of foal would you get if you doubled on the maternal side, linebreeding (mating related individuals to concentrate on genetic material) on the mare's side (providing she has the quality)? Is there a difference?    Barb

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Braces for Horses?

March 01, 2003

Q. I read in a magazine that you can have braces put on a horse to correct an overbite. How can I learn about this? I have a super nice filly that is show quality except for the overbite. If I can get this corrected on my filly, I will show her.

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Fescue Allergy?

March 01, 2003

Q.

I have a 6-year-old Arabian gelding who used to spend up to about 12 hours a day on our fescue pasture. As a 4-year-old, he developed lesions on his three white legs on the cannon bone area that were crusty, raw underneath, very sore, and made him lame. His hind legs swelled terribly. One veterinarian said it was scratches, one said a systemic allergy to fescue grass, and one had no idea.

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Frozen Feed?

December 01, 2002

Q.

Q: I live in northeastern Ohio, and it gets pretty cold here at times. My question is: Have you heard of horses getting colic from frozen sweet feeds? I have had horses for the past 40 years and have yet to come upon this happening, but have a friend who is quite certain that this can happen. Any suggestions? I have mixed oats with my feed at times and supplemented with

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Recovering from the Flu

December 01, 2002

Q.

Q: There was recently a flu-like breakout at the barn where I board, and some other boarders disagreed on how long, or even if they need to, keep horses in and relatively isolated. Some folks are turning them out soon after the fever breaks, and others are screaming that they should be kept in for a week.     Charles

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Soothing Itchy Eyes

November 01, 2002

Q. My 20-year-old Appaloosa mare seems to have increasingly puffy, swollen eyes each spring and summer. I think the problem is allergy-related, and it seems to be getting worse just the last couple of years.

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Guinea Grass Toxicity

November 01, 2002

Q.

I have a 12-year-old gelding that can't eat guinea grass (Panicum maximum), not even for three days, because it causes the hair around his face, neck, and belly to fall out in patches. As soon as he stops eating it, his hair grows back within a week or two; by four weeks you wouldn't even know he had lost his hair. He is otherwise healthy, and it doesn't seem to hurt him in any other way.

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Vaccinating Geriatric Horses

November 01, 2002

Q. Can you help me find a list of geriatric horse vaccinations (for whichever diseases affect geriatric horses, how much and how often to give them, and any other information you can provide)? I have lists for broodmares, pleasure horses, competition horses, yearlings, and foals--but I am missing a vaccination chart for geriatric horses. Lija

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Finding a Suitable Cooled Semen Facility

October 01, 2002

Q. Q: I'm considering using shipped cooled semen for my mare. I want to find a reliable farm/facility to take the shipment and breed her. How do I find a qualified facility? What questions do I need to ask about quality? Is there a site or a book to inform me about this? A: Equine practitioners offering ambulatory services can often provide this service on the farm. However...

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Probiotics and Yeast Cultures

October 01, 2002

Q.

My personal experience has been very positive in using probiotics and yeast in the equine diet. My question is about the best formulation of the products. Does using only yeast culture with no bacteria diminish the effects? Which bacteria are beneficial, and which are just "cosmetics" that aren't necessary? What is the minimum number of these organisms that must be present in order to be

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What's a Thumper?

September 01, 2002

Q.

My training is in equine myotherapy; I specialize in sports massage, stretching, and hydrotherapy. Sometimes I get asked about a thumper. I have an idea of what it is and its use, but am not sure if I'm correct. The only thing I am sure of is that I heard one horse sustained a serious back injury from the use of a thumper. Can you supply me with information on this tool and perhaps what i

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Eye Removal

August 01, 2002

Q.

Q: I was just informed that my 2-year-old Quarter Horse needs to have his right eye removed. He is a rescue that I received through the court, and when I got him he was blind in his right eye. My veterinarian says that it looks like he was hit with some type of blunt force, leaving him with no chance of sight. I need to know what the procedure consists of. His eye seems to be

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Skunk Cabbage Toxic to Horses?

August 01, 2002

Q.

Recently our horses have begun eating skunk cabbage that grows on the property. They have not done so before. They have plenty of grass plus hay and grain, all of which they also eat. One veterinarian says it is harmful to them; another says it's OK but that it has no nutritional value. I am concerned and am wondering if you have any information about this problem. We live in coastal

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Mare Milking Early

August 01, 2002

Q.

I have a Paso Fino mare whose due date is three months away and her milk bag is full, hot, and dripping very white milk. She has been waxed over for about a week now, but thankfully she seems to be in no distress. I can find no one with this experience so I am asking for any advice I can get. I am concerned about many things. Will she go full-term? Will she have lost all her colostrum?

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Forging in Young Horses

July 01, 2002

Q. Q: My trainer says that my 1 1/2-year-old Thoroughbred colt is forging, but only at the trot. Is there something that can be done to correct this problem (i.e., specific exercises)? Is this common in young horses?

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