Farm Call: Your Questions Answered

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Training Age and Soundness

October 01, 2008

Q. Does the fact that cutting horses are started so young have any effect on their future soundness? Is it best to wait another year before starting them in training?

A. Read the Vet's Answer

Seeing Stars

October 01, 2008

Q. My mare stares into lights, both electric lights and the sun or moon. She'll stare for a while when she first gets into the arena and when she's just turned out, then she goes about her business. Why might she be doing this?

A. Read the Vet's Answer

Mosquito Dunk Danger?

August 01, 2008

Q. Q: Has there been any research on the safety of using "BTi mosquito dunks" in horse water troughs and buckets? A: Mosquito dunks are a form of the solid-dwelling Bacillus thuringiensis bacteria

A. Read the Vet's Answer

Obesity: Big-Boned Beastie

August 01, 2008

Q. Obese horses should be taken off pasture, except for very short (30-minute) turnout periods two or three times a day for exercise, and a grazing muzzle should be used at these times.

A. Read the Vet's Answer

Managing Navicular Pain

July 01, 2008

Q.

Q: My horse was diagnosed with navicular syndrome about five years ago. He was put on isoxsuprine and half a gram of Bute twice a day, and we changed his shoeing regimen. He has been sound since, and he remains sound, as long as he gets the Bute and is trimmed on a regular basis. He is now 19 years old. He occasionally becomes lame when the ground is hard--like during the

A. Read the Vet's Answer

Diagnosing Muscle Soreness

June 01, 2008

Q. Q: Last year my 18-year-old Quarter Horse mare became very sensitive to touch on her back and hindquarters. It progressed to a slight hind limb lameness. She would stand with her back feet close together until eventually she would lean and prop her haunches against the barn wall. When the lameness was most severe, she could not walk straight, although only the hindquarters seeme

A. Read the Vet's Answer

Umbilical Issues

May 01, 2008

Q.

Q: My 11-day-old Walking Horse stud colt came down with tetanus, which was apparently contracted through his umbilical cord. His cord was leaking urine. When should a colt be vaccinated for tetanus to prevent this, and does a leaking umbilical cord ever seal off without surgery? Is the mare apt to have another colt with this problem? Should I put iodine or anything on the

A. Read the Vet's Answer

Stiff Hocks and Knees

April 01, 2008

Q.

Q: My husband and I have raised several hundred horses over the last 40 years, but we have never seen an issue like the one affecting my 4-year-old Quarter Horse gelding. He does not like to bend his knees and hocks. When I ride him, he feels like he is walking on stilts. He does not like to go downhill and seems most comfortable at a slow lope.

I had a vet check him out

A. Read the Vet's Answer

Cross-Species Deworming

March 01, 2008

Q.

Q: We have a stable yard with over 50 horses. The horses are on a quarterly deworming program. In the middle of the summer, we deworm the horses for tapeworms. How do the worm infestations of horses and domestic pets, such as dogs and cats, correspond with each other, if at all? If we deworm the horses now, but horse owners' pets are carrying a load of worms, can these animal

A. Read the Vet's Answer

Tough to Swallow

March 01, 2008

Q.

Q: My 3-year-old pony mare developed a purulent (discharging pus) head infection last summer and was subsequently diagnosed with a stenotic (narrowing) left guttural pouch, which required two laser surgeries to correct. Surgeons constructed an opening to allow the infection to drain. The infection cleared up, but she now ends up inhaling feed and water when she eats and

A. Read the Vet's Answer

"Swayback" In a Young Horse

February 01, 2008

Q.

Q: I have a 3-year-old gelding. I bought him when he was almost 2, at which time he appeared somewhat swaybacked. He had, and still does have, very high withers. He was still growing, so I thought that as he aged and grew he would appear less swaybacked. On the contrary, the swayback has worsened as he's gotten older. I requested pictures of him as a weanling and yearling, an

A. Read the Vet's Answer

Genetic Test for "Sow Mouth"?

February 01, 2008

Q.

Q: I read the article "Orthodontics for Horses," authored by David O. Klugh, DVM, FAVD/Equine (available on TheHorse.com at article #9671). In regard to the Class III malocclusion (the lower jaw is longer and teeth are not in a position of normal occlusion), he mentions that this can be either hereditary or a

A. Read the Vet's Answer

Hair Club for Horses?

January 01, 2008

Q. I have a 9-year-old bay Quarter Horse gelding. He is losing his hair, and it's not just typical shedding--he's getting bare spots of skin. Any hints as to what it could be?

A. Read the Vet's Answer

Pain in The Neck

December 01, 2007

Q. A 10-year-old Icelandic gelding has a tendency to hold his head to the right while at a walk

A. Read the Vet's Answer

Needing a Pick-Me-Up

December 01, 2007

Q. I have a 20-year-old Quarter Horse, and I have had trouble putting weight on her for the past few years. She also sleeps a lot. Is her lack of energy due to the low weight? What are the other possible causes? Is there something else I can feed her?

A. Read the Vet's Answer

Belching Horse

November 01, 2007

Q. I have a 16-year-old Tennessee Walking Horse gelding who appears to be in perfect physical condition, except for one thing--he belches. Often. Can anything other than ulcers cause this?

A. Read the Vet's Answer

Stopping the Flow

November 01, 2007

Q. I have a mare that is still lactating heavily months after weaning her foal. What is the cause of this? And how can it be cured or prevented?

A. Read the Vet's Answer

Sticky Stifles

October 01, 2007

Q. I had my vet come out when I first got my horse to investigate a strange popping sound I heard when he turned in a small circle. My vet said it was in his stifles, but I'd like to get a second opinion. What questions should I ask?

A. Read the Vet's Answer

Nip a Bone Spur in the Bud?

September 01, 2007

Q. Can bone spurs be surgically removed, as in osteochondritis dissecans cases? If not, is there something that can be done?

A. Read the Vet's Answer

What to Expect from a Veterinarian?

September 01, 2007

Q. I am looking for general information regarding my veterinarian and horse care. What should I expect from the veterinarian? Is there a set protocol or standard that I should be asking for?

A. Read the Vet's Answer

Rude Noises

August 01, 2007

Q. My new mare had trouble foaling her colt three years ago and ended up tearing, requiring stitches. Now she is constantly "sucking air" (into her vulva). Is there anything that can be done to rectify this or minimize the air intake?

A. Read the Vet's Answer

PHF Vaccine Efficacy: Better Safe than Sorry?

August 01, 2007

Q. Has there been new research completed on the available vaccines for Potomac horse fever (PHF) or are they what veterinarians gave years ago? Are our vaccines up-to-date as far as preventatives?

A. Read the Vet's Answer

Recuperating Back Muscles

July 01, 2007

Q. My 17-year-old Half-Arabian gelding underwent colic surgery, recovered well, but he has lost tone in his belly muscle and his back has dropped, and his saddle doesn't fit at all anymore. How can I get his back to recuperate?

A. Read the Vet's Answer

Hitch in the Giddy-Up

June 01, 2007

Q. Question:I have a Trakehner/Thoroughbred cross that starts flexing his hind legs rather noticeably when trotting and/or beginning to canter. He usually does not do this unless he gets excited in the trot, is striking off in the canter, or is transitioning to trot from canter. He never does this at the walk. He is three years old and quite big, and he is probably still growing. His hind legs appear

A. Read the Vet's Answer

Clunking Hocks

June 01, 2007

Q. My two Miniature Horses, one yearling and one weanling, have a horrible clunking sound that definitely comes from their hocks. I only hear it when they walk, never at the trot or canter. What is this condition and can it be treated?

A. Read the Vet's Answer

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