Farm Call: Your Questions Answered

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When is a Young Horse Ready to Ride?

January 22, 2013

Q. I have a fine-boned 3-year-old Welsh/Quarter Horse cross that I would like to start in regular work and training, but I'm reluctant for fear of placing too much stress on her young spine. When is it safe to start and ride her on a regular basis?

A. Read the Vet's Answer

Loose Stools in Old Age

January 15, 2013

Q. My 27-year-old gelding is generally healthy. However, this year he developed loose stools. He's on a dewormer program and has his teeth regularly floated. Is there something I'm missing?

A. Read the Vet's Answer

Encouraging Cold Weather Water Consumption

January 08, 2013

Q. Is it a good idea to add a little salt to your horses' diet in the winter to get them to drink more water?

A. Read the Vet's Answer

Resolving a Common Swelling

January 01, 2013

Q. My mare's rear legs swell around the tendon and fetlock area overnight after exercise. She is not lame or sore, but I wrap it when it swells. Is this swelling common, what it could be, and are there any prevention steps I could take?

A. Read the Vet's Answer

Bute for Old Bones

December 25, 2012

Q. I have a 38-year-old grade gelding with huge, arthritic knees. He fell three weeks ago. X rays show nothing broken or fractured. My veterinarian wants him on bute forever. Is there anything else that could help him with no side effects?

A. Read the Vet's Answer

Managing Navicular Syndrome

December 18, 2012

Q. I have a 5-year-old old Irish Sport Horse mare, recently diagnosed with navicular syndrome. I was wondering what is the best way to take care of her and try to prevent things from getting worse?

A. Read the Vet's Answer

Bacteria in Semen

December 11, 2012

Q. I'm wondering if there is a bacterial component that can be present in stallion semen. We have a stallion that will settle mares easily one year and then not be able to settle mares the next.

A. Read the Vet's Answer

EPM and Pregnancy

December 04, 2012

Q. I know there are many treatments available for equine protozoal myeloencephalitis (EPM), but are there any that are safe for use in pregnant mares? Would sulfadiazine/pyrimethamine (Rebalance) be a safer option over either of these?

A. Read the Vet's Answer

Body Heat and Thermal-Neutral Temperature

November 27, 2012

Q. What is a thermal-neutral temperature?

A. Read the Vet's Answer

Cold-Weather Equine Ear Protection?

November 20, 2012

Q. Do horses living outside need their ears protected during cold weather?

A. Read the Vet's Answer

Age for Onset of Osteoarthritis

November 13, 2012

Q. At what age is osteoarthritis likely to start in a horse?

A. Read the Vet's Answer

Osteoarthritis Versus Arthritis: What's the Difference?

November 06, 2012

Q. What's the difference between osteoarthritis and other types of arthritis?

A. Read the Vet's Answer

What Causes Equine Cushing's Disease?

October 30, 2012

Q. What causes Cushing's disease, and why does it seem like it's so prevalent in our horses?

A. Read the Vet's Answer

Crestfallen

October 01, 2012

Q. My 13-year-old pony stallion was quite well-muscled and stocky with a pronounced crest when he was younger. After a leasing period, he returned seriously underweight with significant muscle atrophy and a soft, almost floppy crest. Can we remedy this?

A. Read the Vet's Answer

Dry Feet

October 01, 2012

Q. My horse, who is kept in a barn at night but out in a pasture during the day, had very dry, cracked, and brittle hooves this spring--it's hard to keep shoes on him. This never happened when he was kept in a barn at all times. Why the change?

A. Read the Vet's Answer

Inguinal Hernia in Horses

October 01, 2012

Q. My gelding has been diagnosed with a hernia between the omentum and the inguinal ring. He hasn't had signs of discomfort, his bowel movements have been the same, and he doesn't have any problems with urination. What should I know prior to surgery?

A. Read the Vet's Answer

Fusion for Bone Spavin

September 01, 2012

Q. My horse has bone spavin. A study on alcohol joint fusion's effect on this disease says once the joint fuses the horse is no longer in pain. But my vet says he doesn't like to destroy joints. Isn't that what's happening now? Is fusion a good choice?

A. Read the Vet's Answer

Speedy Splint Recovery

September 01, 2012

Q. Do you have any suggestions for speeding the time it takes for proximal splints (in the forelimbs) to resolve?

A. Read the Vet's Answer

Grazing on Lawn Grass

September 01, 2012

Q. We intend to bring our mare home where most of the pasture was our lawn. We've never used chemicals but I am not sure what the grass may do to her. What should I do to help prevent founder and colic on the grass? Is it safe to put her on the grass?

A. Read the Vet's Answer

Preventing Pigeon Fever

August 01, 2012

Q. We have 20 horses that live in various pastures on our property. Last fall we had five cases of pigeon fever. How long is the incubation period of this bacterial disease?

A. Read the Vet's Answer

Bread for My Horses?

July 01, 2012

Q. Do you have any information about what would happen if you were to feed a horse bread? I understand that bread is starch, which horses don't digest very fast, and that it could be toxic if fed in excess. What are your thoughts?

A. Read the Vet's Answer

Vaccine Reactions

July 01, 2012

Q. My horses have been vaccinated every year. The last couple years they have reacted to their three-way vaccination with fevers and symptoms of lethargy, depression, and being off feed. Is this harmful for their immune systems if it occurs every year?

A. Read the Vet's Answer

Mare and Foal Nutrition

July 01, 2012

Q. When feeding my mare and her 7-month-old foal, should I add and/or substitute alfalfa pellets or beet pulp to meet their calcium requirements?

A. Read the Vet's Answer

Premature Partuition

June 01, 2012

Q. We have a 19-year-old broodmare that bagged up and developed edema (fluid swelling) on her belly starting nearly six weeks before her due date. Her prospective due date is June 1. She bagged up on April 9. What could this be a sign of?

A. Read the Vet's Answer

Post-Body Clipping Hives

June 01, 2012

Q. My horse was body clipped this winter so he could dry more quickly after being bathed. He developed a case of hives within a few weeks after clipping. Can clipping horses' body hair off for the winter cause hives? And are there any remedies?

A. Read the Vet's Answer

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