Farm Call: Your Questions Answered
May 01, 1999
Q. Q: I've been told I should feed beet pulp to help put weight on my skinny Thoroughbred. But I'm worried about the stories I've heard about beet pulp expanding in the horse's stomach and causing colic -- or worse! Is beet pulp a good addition to my horse's diet, and if so, how can I feed it safely?
A: Beet pulp is the fibrous
March 01, 1999
Q. Q: I have a Morgan mare who, I think, might have something wrong with her teeth. What should I expect from a dental examination for my horse? A: The veterinarian and the owner need to discuss what the owner wants and expects from a dental examination. Dental examinations can vary from a superficial examination to identify major abnormalities only, to a detailed examination that hopefully will
February 01, 1999
Q. I've heard it's necessary to give horses warm drinking water in the winter. Is this true? And if so, how warm should it be? Do you have any suggestions on how I can keep my horse's drinking water warm when it's freezing outside?
January 11, 1999
Q. The "down horse" refers to a horse which has become recumbent and cannot rise. The term is a clinical sign and is a non-specific development of a number of disease conditions; the causes can be many.
December 01, 1998
Q. My horse is constantly rubbing his tail on anything he can find. It has become so bad that the hair at the base of his tail has either fallen out or become matted. Thankfully, I've finished my show season, but what is causing him to do this? He also seems to be losing weight. Are these two problems related?
October 01, 1998
Q. Is a heart murmur in horses the same as a heart murmur in people? What signs will a horse with a heart murmur exhibit? How can a heart murmur be diagnosed?
September 01, 1998
Q. Q: I noticed the other day that my Appaloosa gelding had hair standing up and welts on his skin. A friend suggested that he might have hives. What can you tell me about hives on horses? What kind of treatment should he have? A: The welts or wheals you have noticed on your horse are indeed indicative of the skin condition known as hives... Most cases are allergic in origin, and there are many
July 01, 1998
Q. I have a three-year-old Thoroughbred filly who was shipped from Texas. When she arrived, she had a swelling on her hock that was called a capped hock. What exactly is a capped hock and how should I deal with it? Will it affect her ability to race successfully?
July 01, 1998
Q. Q: With summer upon us, I am concerned about exercising my horse in hot weather. What can I do to make sure my horse is properly cooled out? Are there steps I can take before, during, and after exercise? A: There are many variables involved in this question. The answer depends on how much exercise your horse will undertake and how strenuous the exercise is. Also, it is necessary...
May 01, 1998
I have been told that my horse has an umbilical hernia. What exactly is an umbilical hernia and what can be done to correct it?
A hernia is defined as a "protrusion of an organ or tissue through an abnormal opening." The common hernias affecting the horse involve the herniation of intestine and are inguinal, scrotal, or umbilical in location. The inguinal hernia is
April 01, 1998
We are in the midst of planning our summer vacation. We also are planning to take our horses on this trip so that we can do some trail riding. However, we do have a concern. What if one of our horses becomes ill or injures himself on the trip? What is the best way to find a veterinarian when we are away from home with our horses?
You say you are planning your
January 01, 1998
My filly, which is only a few days old, dribbles milk from her nose when she nurses her dam. The veterinarian who delivered her has been back out to check this, and he tells me that she has a cleft palate. Does this mean the same as it does in humans? What kind of problems am I going to have with this filly?
A cleft palate is an uncommon congenital defect in the foal that
November 01, 1997
Q. I have a 4-year-old Thoroughbred filly that I am preparing for winter. When is it appropriate to blanket her, and when would she be better off without a blanket?
October 01, 1997
I have a 4-year-old hunter who has become lame in his hind end. He routinely goes over 2' 6" jumps, but never anything larger. Being only 5'3", I do not think that my problem is the weight I am asking him to carry. There are no obvious problems with his hind end that I can see. What types of tests can I expect to be performed on him to determine his lameness?
August 01, 1997
My horse has an "uneven" hip that has been called a "hunter's bump" or a "dropped hip" by various people. Can you please tell me what these are, and how they are different?
There is not another group on the planet that has the specialized vocabulary of horsemen; but a "dropped hip" in reference to a horse is a new one on me. It is not recognized terminology in equine
January 01, 1997
Q. Q: My horse was sound when he was turned out one night, and the next morning he was lame in the hind end. It took quite a few diagnostics by my veterinarian before it was determined that he had suffered a slight pelvic fracture. How common is this and what is his prognosis? A: Unlike in small animals, pelvic fractures in horses are much less common. A 1989 article in the Equine Veterinary...
August 01, 1996
My horse has suffered from an injury to his hock that my veterinarian called a capped hock. Can you please explain a little more about what a capped hock is, what caused it, and what I can do for it?
Capped hock, also known as bursitis of the hock, is a fairly common ailment that affects all breeds and disciplines of horses equally. This is an acquired bursitis of the hock
May 01, 1996
Q. Q: I have a horse that cribs all the time. He is always hanging his teeth over his stall or the fence and sucking air. How bad is this for him, and is there any way to stop him permanently? A: Cribbing is when a horse places its front teeth on a horizontal surface, arches its neck, and pulls backwards. This behavior is usually associated with a grunting noise as the horse...
April 01, 1996
What is the first thing I look for to tell if my foal has a respiratory problem, and what are the best things to do to prevent pneumonia and other problems from happening in the first place?
The most important signs of respiratory disease in neonatal foals are an increased respiratory rate (breathing hard), occasionally a cough, sometimes discharge from the nose, and fever.
March 01, 1996
I will be moving my horse from Kansas to Virginia in the near future. What preparations can I make to ensure the health of my horse in transit?
With the very mobile population of the United States, this is becoming a very common question of horse owners. You need to decide well in advance of the trip whether you are going to transport your horse by personal trailer or
February 01, 1996
It's getting close to the breeding season. What are some tips on getting my stallion, my crew, and myself ready for the onslaught?
How you get a stallion ready for the breeding season depends on many things, but basically you can break it down into getting new stallions introduced into the breeding routine, and a refresher course for experienced stallions. With either kind,
January 01, 1996
Q. Q: My mare suffered a dystocia and the foal had to be taken to a local veterinary hospital for care. The veterinarian termed him a "dummy" foal, but said his chances of being a normal adult were very good. What can you tell me about a "dummy" foal? A: The term "dummy" foal is one that is given to foals that act "dumb" at birth, or even hours thereafter. You might have heard them referred to as
January 01, 1900
What I am interested in knowing is at what age does a filly go into heat? We purchased a Haflinger/Arab mix four days ago and were told she was 18 months old. Today we put her in with our other horses and she showed signs of coming into heat. She was not submissive at all. She showed none of the normal submissive actions that a yearling would show. Your help would be greatly