Farm Call: Your Questions Answered

Excessive Girthiness

January 01, 2004

Q.

Q: I start young Thoroughbreds for racing, and occasionally I work with a horse that gets really "girthy." Some even get to the point of falling down, and others get a hump in their backs as if they are going to explode. Can you tell me why this happens, what it is called, and what I can do to prevent it?       Vale

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Jutted Jaw in a Foal

January 01, 2004

Q.

Q: Our foal was born with something that our veterinarian called a "jutted jaw." Can you provide any information on this condition and what, if anything, needs to be done about it?

Jody


A: If by "jutted jaw" you are referring to a mandible (lower jaw) that is longer than the maxilla

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Newborns Out of Breath

November 01, 2003

Q.

I'd like to know more about foals who after being delivered, dried, and rubbed well, quit breathing in 10-20 minutes. We have done resuscitation by blowing into their nostrils and pumping their rib cages, and have rubbed them vigorously. The foals were both fine, with no further problems--it was just scary. We worried if we hadn't been there to revive them, would they have started

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Brushing Horses' Teeth

November 01, 2003

Q.

Q: Is there anything we can use on a horse's teeth to get all the gunk off and the grass out of their gums? Is it okay to use toothpaste?      Chantel


A: Horses' teeth are not completely covered in smooth, hard enamel, like dogs, cats, or humans. Instead, they are largely covered with a material called cementum,

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Can Laminitis be Inherited?

October 01, 2003

Q.

Q: I just read your excellent article "The Latest on Laminitis" by Karen Briggs. Is laminitis an inheritable disease? What about founder?     William


A: The terms "founder" and "laminitis" have become somewhat confusing and are often used interchangeably. I suspect

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Ear Teeth?

October 01, 2003

Q.

My yearling Standardbred colt has been diagnosed with a dentigerous cyst by the veterinarian. Can you possibly give me some information on this type of cyst?              Marylee


Dentigerous cysts, also known as temporal odontoma, temporal teratoma, heterotrophic polydontia, or ear teeth, are

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Starting a Rescue Facility

September 01, 2003

Q.

Q: I live in Florida, and I am researching private equine rescue facilities. I am interested in starting one in my area. I see a great need for it! Any info that you could send my way would be appreciated.      Connie


A: Rescuing horses is very rewarding work, but it's also very demanding work. And without a

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Salting Hay for Storage

September 01, 2003

Q.

Q: I was told that using rock salt on hay that is kept in a small area would keep it from molding. Is this true, and would it do anything to the hay other than keep it dry?      Julie


A: The basic answer is yes, salt (sodium chloride) can be effective in inhibiting growth of mold organisms in hay. In earlier

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Pregnant Mares in Heat?

September 01, 2003

Q. Can you supply me with a veterinary explanation on whether a mare that is in foal can come back into season? We have had many discussions about this subject at my barn and are still divided on the answer.  

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Foal Temperature Regulation

August 01, 2003

Q.

Q: I recently clipped my 1-week-old Norwegian Fjord colt as he was having a hard time with the 95-97-degree heat here in Florida. We at first thought he was really sick with a fever, but after ruling out everything else we (me, my veterinarian, other Fjord breeders, and the University of Florida vet school) felt it was the heat. His temp went up to 105 at one point, but

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Reaction to WNV Vaccination?

August 01, 2003

Q.

My miniature horse injured her shoulder last February (it has healed). However, after her first West Nile virus vaccination over a year later, she became lame in that leg/shoulder again. Is this documented as a possible side effect to the vaccination? I am concerned about her receiving the second injection, which is due shortly. She is just now recovering from the first

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Risks of General Anesthesia

July 01, 2003

Q.

Q: Are there health risks simply from the anesthesia for a horse undergoing surgery? If so, what are these risks, and how common are complications from them?        via e-mail


A: Equine anesthesia has made dramatic safety advances in the last 20 years, including better sedatives, induction agents, and

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Wetting the Bed

July 01, 2003

Q.

I just started raising a few minis. This year I have a colt which was born with a urinary problem. He keeps dripping urine, not every minute but especially when he lies down. His genital area will be wet, just like kids when they sleep and just forget to wake up. He is about nine months old now. Can you help me? The veterinarian told me he had never seen this

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Cleaning Water Buckets

July 01, 2003

Q.

Q: I'm concerned about keeping our horse's water buckets clean. In summer and winter (heated buckets) there is always scum on the inside. So far, I have spritzed them every day with a weak bleach solution followed by a spritz of club soda with separate sponges. My friend commented that I might not be getting all the bleach out; however, I do rinse with plain water as the last

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What Makes a Horse Yawn?

June 01, 2003

Q. What makes a horse yawn? Does this help the horse get lots of air in his lungs like with people? Is it a sign of anything in particular?

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Wrapping a Bowed Tendon for Exercise

June 01, 2003

Q.

Q: We have a 4-year-old Thoroughbred with a bowed tendon. He has been laid up for about a year and is now in training and doing well. My question: When we race him, should we wrap his leg to support the bow or leave it open? I say that we should wrap it to support the bow, and my husband says that this will only bow the leg worse.     Rose

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Colt Fertility

June 01, 2003

Q. Q: My husband and I have a mare in heat. I had suggested that we use a 2 1/2 year old stud that we own. He said that the stud is too young and that the foal would probably come out with some form of defect. I am having a hard time finding an answer to this question. Can you help?      A: Most colts are capable of achieving pregnancy in fertile mares by two years of age, and the capacity for

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Why the White Spots?

May 01, 2003

Q.

I'd like to ask a question about my horse's skin problem--depigmentation. He is a 10-year-old chestnut Hanoverian gelding with dark eyes and eyelids. But now there is a pink spot on his left upper eyelid and I think it's getting larger. The skin hasn't changed, only the pigmentation. At first I thought it was an injury, but his keeper disagreed. I have read about lack of copper, but his

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Lyme Disease From Contaminated Feed?

May 01, 2003

Q.

Q: Is it possible for a horse to get Lyme disease from eating a tick with his pasture grass, or from eating an infected tick or other source of the bacteria in his hay or feed?         Ty


A: I have checked with two colleagues here at the Gluck Equine Research Center, and we all believe that a horse

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The Whites of Their Eyes

May 01, 2003

Q.

I have a 3-year-old filly which has prominent white around her eyes. Most farriers and several others tell me this is a sign of madness in a horse. I always thought that this was an old wives' tale, but this particular filly does appear to be very nervous. Could you please clarify this for me or direct me to some articles I can read on the subject? Jane

I think it means the hors

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Caring for a Newly Blind Horse

April 01, 2003

Q.

Q. We have a 19-year-old Appaloosa gelding that is going blind fast from a genetic disease. He is not coping with it well; he stumbles around, runs into things, leaves the herd, then gets confused and panics. Any advice or information would be greatly appreciated.    Amanda


A. Horses which become blind quickly

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Foaming at the Mouth

April 01, 2003

Q.

Q: My friend's 3-year-old filly plays with her tongue so much that she foams at the mouth (without a bit). She also plays with the rails in her stalls at feeding time such that she has foam all over. She is not cribbing or sucking air. What could be the problem?    via e-mail


A: Between the ages of 2 1/2 and

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Mare vs. Stallion Genes

April 01, 2003

Q.

Q: I hear people talking about how genetic lines all trace through the paternal side of the horse. What about the mares? What quality of foal would you get if you doubled on the maternal side, linebreeding (mating related individuals to concentrate on genetic material) on the mare's side (providing she has the quality)? Is there a difference?    Barb

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Braces for Horses?

March 01, 2003

Q. I read in a magazine that you can have braces put on a horse to correct an overbite. How can I learn about this? I have a super nice filly that is show quality except for the overbite. If I can get this corrected on my filly, I will show her.

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Fescue Allergy?

March 01, 2003

Q.

I have a 6-year-old Arabian gelding who used to spend up to about 12 hours a day on our fescue pasture. As a 4-year-old, he developed lesions on his three white legs on the cannon bone area that were crusty, raw underneath, very sore, and made him lame. His hind legs swelled terribly. One veterinarian said it was scratches, one said a systemic allergy to fescue grass, and one had no idea.

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