Farm Call: Your Questions Answered

A Rash of Questions

May 01, 2009

Q. Q: We have a Paint mare that is mostly white. In the spring and summer she has a rash-type skin problem around her nose and moving to her shoulders. It starts out looking like what we were told was dew poisoning, but it has spread to the point of bumps, scabs, raw sores, and bleeding. What could be causing this? Are there any preventive measures we can take? What are our

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"Sticky" Third Eyelid

April 01, 2009

Q. Q: Twice, my 12-year-old Paint gelding has gotten his third eyelid "stuck" over the top of his eyeball for 10 or 20 seconds. The first time was when water splashed in his eye during a bath. He tossed his head, rolled his eye upward, and the third eyelid stuck over the top of his eyeball, blocking his vision. Today the same thing happened when he rubbed his eye on his knee. He

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Insulin Resistance and Layup Time

April 01, 2009

Q. Q: My 18-year-old Percheron/ Morgan gelding was diagnosed with insulin resistance. Just prior to being confined to stall rest for a connective tissue injury, his insulin was 67 microIU/mL. The vet did a dexamethasone suppression test to rule out pituitary pars intermedia dysfunction (PPID), and it was well within normal bounds. After a six-month layup and a very controlled diet

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Abnormal Sheath Buildup

April 01, 2009

Q. Q: I have searched the Internet and asked everyone I know about the abnormal sheath buildup on my 17-year-old palomino gelding. Ever since we bought him, we noticed a large, crusty buildup all over him. We have been cleaning him once a month for three years because within four weeks, he is crusty and dirty again. We use a sheath cleaner every six months, and we use Vaseline or

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Vaccine Reaction: Calculated Risk?

March 01, 2009

Q. Q: I own a 12-year-old Percheron/Thoroughbred gelding who started to have severe allergic reactions to vaccinations last year. He's been receiving the same vaccinations for the past several years--a five-way and West Nile virus (WNV). Last spring, we decided to separate the vaccinations to make the effect less toxic. He received the five-way only, but he still had an allergic

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Glucosamine in a Cushing's Horse?

December 01, 2008

Q. Q: As soon as my 20-year-old gelding was diagnosed with equine Cushing's disease, I eliminated glucosamine from his diet. However, he appears to have become gradually and increasingly stiff and short-strided without it. I really think that it helped him, and I'd love to put him back on the supplement if I could safely do so. Based on current thinking, would it be at all possible

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Protein Levels and Seizures?

November 01, 2008

Q. My 37-year-old pony has suffered seizures on and off for about two years. I have noticed that when protein in her feed is increased, the seizures occur more frequently. Is it possible that high protein levels can cause seizures?

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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?

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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?

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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

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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.

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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"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

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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

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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?

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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

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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?

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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?

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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?

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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?

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