Farm Call: Your Questions Answered

Folliculitis in Horses: What to Do?

January 31, 2011

Q. I own a 28-year-old thin mare that I have been treating for folliculitis (inflammation of the hair follicles) with Betadine surgical scrub baths, and she has many bald spots on her rump. What can I use to help grow the hair back quickly?

A. Read the Vet's Answer

Corneal Ulcers

January 01, 2011

Q. I was wondering about corneal ulcers in horses. I have a 30-year-old horse that has lost eyesight in one eye from age, and I am treating him now for a corneal ulcer. I read your article on eye problems (November 2010 issue) and was wondering what medications are usually used for treating this problem. I know I am using (antibiotics) neomycin and polymyxin B and bacitracin, zinc ointment, and

A. Read the Vet's Answer

Eye Color and Blindness

December 01, 2010

Q. I have a 5-year-old horse that has one blue eye and one brown eye. I have been that told he is going blind in the blue eye and will proceed to go blind in the other within the next couple years. Is it common for a horse with blue eyes to lose sight?

A. Read the Vet's Answer

Monitoring Fetal Heart Rate in Horses

December 01, 2010

Q. Is it possible to hear a fetal horse's heart rate with a high-quality stethoscope? If so, at about what stage of gestation, and what is the optimal position of the drum?

A. Read the Vet's Answer

Can Horses Get Grave's Disease/Bilateral Goiter?

December 01, 2010

Q. Have you ever heard of a bilateral goiter in a horse? My gelding has had a goiter all his life that has not caused any problems. I've noticed a second lump, and possible goiter, on his neck. Can horses get Grave's disease?

A. Read the Vet's Answer

Sudden Conformation Change in an Aged Mare

December 01, 2010

Q. Q: I have a 20-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare that I have owned since she was born. She has been in extensive training and showing since she was four and has been awarded high honors in breeding quality status. However, over the past two years she has become increasingly over at the knee and bobbles her knees just standing in her stall. She fell down while I was riding her not long ago

A. Read the Vet's Answer

Rabies in Horses: Exposure and Clinical Signs

November 02, 2010

Q. What are the more common ways that a horse would contract rabies? What are the symptoms that one would look for?

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Lethargic Horse, Trouble Urinating, What Is It?

November 01, 2010

Q. My 13-year-old Quarter Horse gelding is lethargic and has trouble urinating. He stretches a lot and lies down; he's just not his jovial self. He has been eating, but he doesn't show enthusiasm about his food. What could be affecting my horse?

A. Read the Vet's Answer

Vasculitis Concerns

November 01, 2010

Q. My vet said my filly had vasculitis and started her on steroids and other drugs, in conjunction with hosing and wrapping her swollen legs. If we get through this episode, can this disease recur for the rest of her life, or is it now cured?

A. Read the Vet's Answer

High-Protein Diet Okay for HYPP Horse?

November 01, 2010

Q. My 13-year-old Quarter Horse is HYPP +/-. He's worked moderately twice a week and is on turnout with access to grass and hay. I've switched his feed, but it contains 14% protein. I've heard high levels of protein make sa horse "hot." Is this true?

A. Read the Vet's Answer

My Horse Might Have Rabies ... What Now?

October 18, 2010

Q. What should you do if you suspect that your horse has rabies? How should you handle him to keep from getting it yourself?

A. Read the Vet's Answer

Wetting/Soaking Hay for Horses with Respiratory Problems

October 12, 2010

Q. My vet recommended I soak my mare's hay for an hour, but I see some indications to just wet it down. Is it just unnecessary to soak or actually harmful in some way?

A. Read the Vet's Answer

Deworming Horses: Can You Overdo It?

October 04, 2010

Q. Can you overdo deworming?

A. Read the Vet's Answer

Laminitis Survivors: Getting Back on Grass?

September 27, 2010

Q. After a horse has had a bout with laminitis, can she be brought up slowly on grass again, for say, 20 minutes daily? If so, how soon can this be done?

A. Read the Vet's Answer

Behavior Changes in West Nile Virus Survivors

September 20, 2010

Q. My horse contracted West Nile virus (WNV) before there was a vaccination for it. I've heard some horses have been reported to have very different personalities after having WNV and would like to know if any were able to be safely used afterwards.

A. Read the Vet's Answer

Gastric Ulcers in Horses: Frugal Management

September 06, 2010

Q. I have just had two sale horses diagnosed with Grade 2 ulcers. Considering the frequency of serious ulcers in performance horses and the cost of treatment, has anyone come up with any more affordable alternatives?

A. Read the Vet's Answer

Vaccinating Horses With EPM

August 24, 2010

Q. What is your opinion on giving half-doses of routine vaccinations to horses with EPM? I've read that a half-dose of vaccine in an adult horse is worthless. My horse has already received half-doses of everything. What can I do to protect him?

A. Read the Vet's Answer

Rabies Vaccination in Pregnant Mares

August 17, 2010

Q. Q: Can you address off-label use of the rabies vaccine in late-term broodmares? My therio vet won't give it because it's off-label usage. So I arrange for another vet in her practice to vaccinate my late-term mares. I cannot imagine my foals not having that protection from his or her first moments.
A: Rabies vaccination can be administered in the last trimester of pregnancy prior to delivery

A. Read the Vet's Answer

A Sticky Situation: Getting Tar Off Your Horse

August 01, 2010

Q. I painted some boards with tar rather than black paint. Of course my bay and white Pinto mare got some in her mane and on the white part of her neck. She has very sensitive skin. How can I remove the tar from her hair coat and skin safely?

A. Read the Vet's Answer

Disinfecting a Rented Stall

July 27, 2010

Q. I show during the spring and summer season and wanted to know how I can safeguard my horse before putting him in a wooden, concrete or metal stall that could have contained a sick horse the weekend before--without burning his lungs from bleach.

A. Read the Vet's Answer

Vaccinating for West Nile Virus at High Altitudes

July 18, 2010

Q. I live at almost 8,000 feet in the mountains of Colorado. As far as I know we have yet to have a case of West Nile virus above 6,000 feet, and only have mosquitoes for a few months anywhere in the state. Do I really need to vaccinate twice a year?

A. Read the Vet's Answer

Deworming and Boarding

June 22, 2010

Q. Q: In a boarding situation, does it make sense to test your horse's manure for worms or should they all be tested? A: If the horses at a boarding stable all share common pasture, your worm control program is only as good as the worst one there. It's essential that all horses at a boarding stable be on a uniform program, but I'm always amazed at how few establishments seem to be able to...

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Is She Ready to Foal Yet?

June 22, 2010

Q. How do I know if my mare is getting close to her delivery date?

A. Read the Vet's Answer

Vaccinating Older Horses

May 01, 2010

Q. Reader questions whether older horses need to be vaccinated against equine influenze ("flu"); Dr. Justin McCormick's answer discusses vaccination, vaccine efficacy, antibody titers, and increased risk of influenza infection in horses that travel.

A. Read the Vet's Answer

Does Hand-Feeding Treats Promote Biting?

May 01, 2010

Q. I've been told that hand-feeding treats to horses promotes biting. What is the "industry" stance on this issue? In my limited experience they seem to enjoy it and almost all horses I've hand-fed take it gently with their lips.

A. Read the Vet's Answer

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