Ask an Expert

Protecting Your Equine Facility From Disease

March 23, 2015

Requiring proof of health and vaccinations at your equine facility can protect your horses.

ask expertQuestion:

I am an owner of an equine facility. I require my boarders to have appropriate vaccines as instructed by our veterinarian. Many of our boarders haul in and out for events, hence they are exposed to different environments. However, it is not local protocal to require proof of vaccines for horses that are hauling in for lessons or an event held at my facility. How do I assure my boarders that haul-in horses do not put the board horses at risk of additional exposure without proof of vaccinations? I am also concerned about diseases to broodmares that are present at my facility.

We consulted the experts at the American Association of Equine Practitioners for answers. Read the rest of this entry »

Determining a Horse’s Age by His Teeth

March 16, 2015

Examining your horse’s teeth can give you a rough estimate of his age.

ask expertQuestion:

I bought a mare a while ago but am not sure how old she is. Her corner teeth show the Galvaynes groove down to the bottom of her tooth, and the grinding part is totally white with no dental star. She also has a sway back, but the veterinarian said she could have been born with it or carried several foals. My vet thinks she is 16 years old, but what do you think?

We consulted the experts at the American Association of Equine Practitioners for answers. Read the rest of this entry »

Breeding Mares After Foaling

March 9, 2015

Most mares will go into heat around seven days after foaling.

ask expertQuestion:

How soon after delivery can a mare be bred back to another stallion? What are the positives and negatives for not allowing suitable time for recovery from foaling?

We consulted the experts at the American Association of Equine Practitioners for answers.

Answer:

Most mares foaling during the breeding season (long days), will come back into Read the rest of this entry »

Treating Bone Chips and Soft Tissue Damage in Horses

March 2, 2015

Damage to bones and ligaments in a horse’s leg can be frustrating to deal with but are not impossible to treat.

ask expertQuestion:

I have a 14-year-old American Quarter Horse gelding that I show in English flat and western pleasure, and he also gives horsemanship lessons. He came up lame on his right front several months ago. Radiographs showed he had bone chips in front of his fetlock joint, which we thought needed to be removed. After diagnostics, the veterinarian did not feel the bone fragments were the problem. The MRI showed soft tissue damage; The ligament that attaches to the coffin joint was enlarged three times its usual size, and there was swelling of the navicular bursa. To date, he has had radiographs, ultrasound and a MRI. The fetlock joint was injected and the navicular bursa and coffin joint were also injected with no results. We have tried stall rest and bar shoes, neither of which have worked. Any suggestions?

We consulted the experts at the American Association of Equine Practitioners for answers.

Answer:

As you have found, this can be a very frustrating problem, and yours is complicated by the fact that there were bone chips found on Read the rest of this entry »

Cleaning a Stallion’s Sheath During Breeding Season

February 23, 2015

Cleaning a stallion’s sheath during breeding season is an important part of proper management.

ask expertQuestion:

How often should a stallion’s sheath be cleaned during the breeding season?

We consulted the experts at the American Association of Equine Practitioners for answers.

Answer:

Cleaning a stallion’s sheath during breeding season is an important part of proper management. The horse should be teased so that he achieves an erection, and washed with warm water. Do not use soaps or disinfectants. If Read the rest of this entry »

Fecal Egg Counts

February 16, 2015

It takes the correct equipment to perform fecal egg counts to maintain your horse’s health.

ask expertQuestion:

Can you tell me if fecal egg counts are to be performed solely by a veterinarian, or can any person who is educated on the process do them? I am trying to decide where to send mine, as my veterinarian does not offer this service, but a local farrier is trained on it and can do them.

We consulted the experts at the American Association of Equine Practitioners for answers.

Answer:

Fecal egg counts are usually done by a laboratory technician under the supervision of a veterinarian.

Correct technique is important to get an accurate result. The feces must be Read the rest of this entry »

Horse Vaccination for West Nile Virus and Equine Encephalitis

February 9, 2015

These two mosquito-borne diseases require different vaccinations.

ask expertQuestion:

I am located in Maryland and wondered if I should administer the West Nile virus and equine encephalitis vaccines? Or are they the same thing? 

We consulted the experts at the American Association of Equine Practitioners for answers.

Answer:

Both of those vaccines protect against mosquito borne disease. Maryland most likely has mosquitoes, and it is recommended to vaccinate against both.

West Nile virus is a different disease than eastern and western Read the rest of this entry »

Itchy Ears in Horses

February 2, 2015

A horse that frequently scratches its ears is likely looking for relief from biting insects.

ask expertQuestion:

My 13-year-old mare has dry gray, scaly, flaky ears and small knots or hives on both of her ears. She constantly scratches her ears on anything she can find. It started about a month ago and is getting worse. What is it, and how do I help her?

We consulted the experts at the American Association of Equine Practitioners for answers.

Answer:

Are you in a particularly “buggy” area?

First, you will have to treat the itch with a good over-the-counter steroid Read the rest of this entry »

Bone Cancer in Horses

January 26, 2015

Osteosarcoma is a bone cancer that is rarely seen in horses.

ask expertQuestion:

Do horses get bone cancer? If so, what bones are most likely affected?

We consulted the experts at the American Association of Equine Practitioners for answers.

Answer:

All cancer in horses is not common, and in my 28 years I have never seen bone cancer in a horse. In an article in The Horse magazine (May 2004) it was reported that “Osteosarcoma” Malignant bone cancer occurs rarely Read the rest of this entry »

Recovering from Equine Protozoal Myeloencephalitis

January 19, 2015

Bringing your horse back from a serious illness is possible with the correct treatments and exercise.

ask expertQuestion: 

I have a 9-year-old American Quarter Horse mare that was just diagnosed with a blood test coming back with a 1.5 titer for equine protozoal myeloencephalitis. She was also tested for lyme and vitamin E/selenium deficiency. She was tested as part of a lameness exam for on-again, off-again lameness. After 30 days on medication, I was told I could put her back to work, staying on another 30 days of medication. What is the chance she will be able to be shown successfully in the future? 

We consulted the experts at the American Association of Equine Practitioners for answers.

Answer:

As a vet, I always like to see if conservative treatment, such as Read the rest of this entry »

Strange Eating Habits

January 12, 2015

Horses that eat bark off of trees are usually displaying signs of one of two problems.

ask expertTom R. Lenz, D.V.M., M.S., Dipl. A.C.T., offers some sound advice that can apply to many horses who eat unusual things. Dr. Lenz is an American Association of Equine Practitioners member veterinarian and a regular columnist in The American Quarter Horse Journal.

Question:

I have a 14-year-old Quarter Horse on 15 acres that eats the bark off my hardwood trees. She’s killed 15 of my trees so far. What can we do to stop her from eating the bark? Please help. Read the rest of this entry »

Horse-Training Solutions: The Jigging Horse

January 5, 2015

Do you have a jigging horse on your hands? AQHA Professional Horseman Ken McNabb knows just how to fix your horse’s bad habit.

ask_expertQuestion:

My horse jigs on the trail – bad. How can I fix this problem?

We consulted AQHA Professional Horseman Ken McNabb in the May 2014 America’s Horse for help with this common problem. Read the digital edition of America’s Horse instantly. Read the rest of this entry »