Farm Call: Your Questions Answered

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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Ear Teeth?

October 01, 2003

Q.

My yearling Standardbred colt has been diagnosed with a dentigerous cyst by the veterinarian. Can you possibly give me some information on this type of cyst?              Marylee


Dentigerous cysts, also known as temporal odontoma, temporal teratoma, heterotrophic polydontia, or ear teeth, are

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Starting a Rescue Facility

September 01, 2003

Q.

Q: I live in Florida, and I am researching private equine rescue facilities. I am interested in starting one in my area. I see a great need for it! Any info that you could send my way would be appreciated.      Connie


A: Rescuing horses is very rewarding work, but it's also very demanding work. And without a

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Salting Hay for Storage

September 01, 2003

Q.

Q: I was told that using rock salt on hay that is kept in a small area would keep it from molding. Is this true, and would it do anything to the hay other than keep it dry?      Julie


A: The basic answer is yes, salt (sodium chloride) can be effective in inhibiting growth of mold organisms in hay. In earlier

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Pregnant Mares in Heat?

September 01, 2003

Q. Can you supply me with a veterinary explanation on whether a mare that is in foal can come back into season? We have had many discussions about this subject at my barn and are still divided on the answer.  

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Foal Temperature Regulation

August 01, 2003

Q.

Q: I recently clipped my 1-week-old Norwegian Fjord colt as he was having a hard time with the 95-97-degree heat here in Florida. We at first thought he was really sick with a fever, but after ruling out everything else we (me, my veterinarian, other Fjord breeders, and the University of Florida vet school) felt it was the heat. His temp went up to 105 at one point, but

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Reaction to WNV Vaccination?

August 01, 2003

Q.

My miniature horse injured her shoulder last February (it has healed). However, after her first West Nile virus vaccination over a year later, she became lame in that leg/shoulder again. Is this documented as a possible side effect to the vaccination? I am concerned about her receiving the second injection, which is due shortly. She is just now recovering from the first

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Risks of General Anesthesia

July 01, 2003

Q.

Q: Are there health risks simply from the anesthesia for a horse undergoing surgery? If so, what are these risks, and how common are complications from them?        via e-mail


A: Equine anesthesia has made dramatic safety advances in the last 20 years, including better sedatives, induction agents, and

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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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