Farm Call: Your Questions Answered

Joint Supplements and Vitamins

December 01, 2004

Q.

Q: I have a 2-year-old Quarter Horse gelding who has been in training for three months. When should I start giving him a joint supplement? Also, when should I begin giving him a vitamin supplement?

Sarah


A: Well, to be honest, your question supposes that you need to be givin

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Is Tubal Ligation a Viable Choice?

December 01, 2004

Q.

Has laparoscopic unilateral tubal ligation reached a level of safety and success for mares, or is it a procedure yet to be useful and/or effective or cost prohibitive? Why or why not?      Samantha


Laparoscopic tubal ligation has been shown to be feasible by Patrick McCue, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ACT, associate professor of equine science at

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Don't Bypass a Veterinarian

November 01, 2004

Q. I have an older Tennessee Walking Horse with Cushing's disease. She has been on Cipro for some time. She foundered long before I got her, but it has become chronic. I have been able to maintain her to a point, but she is losing weight and I have a difficult time getting her to eat. She has a lump under her throatlatch that seems to change in size when I put her on Bactrim antibiotics. Is it

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Is Millet a Problem in the Pasture?

November 01, 2004

Q.

I am considering moving my two mares to 10 acres of land that had been planted with millet feed last spring. Because of the lack of moisture, the millet only grew to be about five inches high, then dried out and died. I am going to wait and see what comes up in the 10 acres this spring, but I'm wondering if it would be bad for my horses to graze on if it came up again in the 10

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Is Arthritis Genetic?

November 01, 2004

Q.

Q: My 14-year-old Thoroughbred mare was diagnosed with arthritis about a year ago. She competed in low-level horse trials for about six years and only recently began to show signs of arthritis, but 14 seems to be a little young for such a severe case. My hope had always been to breed her at about this point in her life, but it seems a shame to breed a horse with this gene (if

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Clean Hooves Before Treating Thrush

October 01, 2004

Q.

My 13-year-old Morgan has had very bad thrush for six years. The most recent treatment our vet recommended is soaking the feet in Epsom salts and packing them with iodine-soaked gauze. He's stalled when it's wet, and the stall is cleaned daily. We've tried this for about six weeks; as with the other treatments, we've seen little to no improvement. Do you know any other treatments or possible

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Feeding the Cushingoid Horse

October 01, 2004

Q.

Can you provide more information on feeding the Cushing's horse? My dressage horse has Cushing's and is on cyproheptadine and Thyro-L, grass hay, and a quarter-cup of 10% sweet feed. I am worried he is not getting the essential vitamins.              Anita


The truly Cushingoid horse is glucose

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Dexamethasone Use in Pregnant Mares

September 01, 2004

Q.

Can you help me locate information on steroids given to a mare during pregnancy? The mare has been receiving dexamethasone for cancer up until two months before her due date. The cancer then returned. I would like to help research further treatments.      Katie Fennimore


It is not clear why the mare is on dexamethasone, so I am assuming

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Hyperkalemic Periodic Paralysis and Colic

September 01, 2004

Q.

Q: I have a 4-year-old Quarter Horse gelding who is HYPP N/H positive. This horse is very gassy and tends to colic once a month, which causes a minor HYPP attack. I have tried everything, from changing his diet (no grain) to just oats, beet pulp, and grass, to giving him Prozyme and other products that have not worked. I think he seems a little anxious (worried) most of the

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Corneal Endothelial Degeneration

August 01, 2004

Q.

My horse has corneal endothelial degeneration. My veterinarian and I have been using a "control" schedule for some time, but I would like some information about the condition.    Janine


The cornea of the horse eye is slightly thicker than 1 mm. It consists of outer layers of epithelial cells, a middle stroma made of protein, and a single layer

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Cryptorchidectomy Surgery

August 01, 2004

Q. My stallion is going in for a cryptorchidectomy surgery (removal of a retained testicle). He has never bred any mares and is well behaved. This spring, his testicle started swelling on hot days and my veterinarian recommended the surgery. What is the expected recovery time and how long do I need to wait until I can turn him out with mares?

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Confusion About Substitute Drugs

August 01, 2004

Q. Until approximately two years ago, I had my retired Quarter Horse on both Legend and Adequan. A change in our choice of vets convinced me that her "generic" MAP-5 and Chondroprotect were just as good and cheaper. Can you address this?

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Protecting the Elbow From the Shoe

July 01, 2004

Q.

I'm desperate to find some way to prevent my 20-year-old Thoroughbred mare from cutting her elbow on her egg-bar shoe when lying down. She has been wearing egg-bars on her front feet to give her a little extra support since she pulled her front right suspensory for the second time. The egg-bars themselves seem to be fine; she is going great in them, jumping small jumps, and primarily doing

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Can Horses React to Poison Ivy and Poison Oak?

July 01, 2004

Q.

Q: There is quite a bit of poison oak and poison ivy on the acreage where I keep my horses. I have recently added a 2-year-old Thoroughbred mix, and she immediately broke out on her legs and muzzle with small rash-like, raised bumps that remind me of my allergic reactions to poison oak. I am trying to isolate her from it, but it is difficult, as it seems to be everywhere

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Patent Urachus

June 01, 2004

Q.

I have a 10-day-old orphaned foal. When she urinates, it also comes from her navel. I have talked to our vet, but would like to read more about this condition.              via e-mail


Patent urachus is the term used to describe the condition of urine dripping from the navel. When the fetus is in the

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Mangoes Toxic to Horses?

June 01, 2004

Q. Q: In our horse paddock there are four mango trees. Our horses often eat the mangoes that fall off the tree. We were wondering if it is possible for our horses to get sick from eating too many mangoes. A: Mango has not been reported to be toxic to horses. The skin of the fruit, leaves, and bark does contain some compounds similar to the compound in poison ivy that can cause a

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Chickens, Ducks, and Horses

May 01, 2004

Q.

Q: My horse is on a neighbor's land that is on loan. I pick up the pasture and run-in twice a day. My concern is that my neighbor bought over 100 different species of chickens and ducks that run free. They are constantly in my horse's shed, her pasture, and our backyard. Their feces are everywhere. He then purchased several goats and four sheep. The chickens wander into their

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Are Grass Clippings Toxic to Horses?

May 01, 2004

Q.

Q: A friend swears that I put my horses at serious risk of "grass tetanus" by mowing my pasture with a rotary finish mower. He says that all of the short pieces produced by small, high-speed equipment expose so much of the grass juices that horses can get very sick. Is this true? Peter


A: It's usually not recommended that horses be fed

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Surgery for Septic Osteitis?

May 01, 2004

Q.

I read "Septic Osteitis--One Laminitis Complication." My horse has this, and I don't think my vet has had much experience in this and feels that surgery would be detrimental. I'd like to talk to someone with more experience, maybe the vet interviewed in the article, for more information. Jeanna


If the

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Too Sore to Nurse

April 01, 2004

Q.

Q: I have an 8-year-old mare which delivered a filly recently and since the second feeding, she is protective of her teat area. She is constantly nipping when the baby tries to nurse from her. Is there anything I can do to make this a little less painful for my mare? I am afraid the foal might end up discouraged and stop trying to nurse.     Nancy

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Alsike Clover Poisoning

April 01, 2004

Q.

Q: I'd like to see more information on alsike clover sensitivity, especially in horses with large areas of white skin such as Paints, pintos, and Appaloosas. All the information I can find suggests that the only problem you will encounter is a severe sunburn on the white areas with sloughing of the damaged skin.

My Paint horse's first signs were severe itching all over

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Eye Protection from the Sun

March 01, 2004

Q.

I have a 14-year-old Paint/Quarter Horse with one blue eye that has been diagnosed with a "detached iris." His iris appears wide open or not even there. My vet suggested providing his eyes with protection from the sun. What is available? I would also appreciate any information about the problem itself. via e-mail


A "detached iris" is actually an ophthalmic

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Oranges for Treats?

March 01, 2004

Q. Can horses eat oranges? I just bought a 4-year-old gelding who apparently loves oranges, but I don't want to feed them to him if his digestive system can't handle the citric acid. The young girl who had him fed him an appalling amount of junk food...

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Owner-Performed Fecal Exams

March 01, 2004

Q.

In the interest of checking fecal samples for types of worms actually present in individual horses, and since I have the equipment, I'd like to do fecal checks here at home. Can you direct me to a chart or a book containing information and illustrations of eggs of various parasites? My veterinarian is an integral part of my horses' health, and he agrees that I could perform this task

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Round Pen Injuries

February 01, 2004

Q.

Has there has been an increase in hind limb lameness since the round pen has become more popular? I feel like I ruined my dream horse with round pen work starting when he was about six months old. He is nine now and mostly unridable due to a degenerative condition in his hips. I had written this off as bad luck until my friend's mare began to exhibit the same problem. The only things thes

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