Q. Does my horse need to be dewormed during the winter months?
A. Absolutely!! Ideally, every horse should be on a daily deworming program. For those that are not, we recommend they be dewormed every 8 weeks YEAR ROUND. Even when it is below freezing outside, the inside of your horse is still a toasty warm paradise for parasites. See our deworming recommendations
Q. At what age should my horse begin to have regular dental checkups?
A. Regular dental check-ups should begin as a weanling. This is a good time to check the wear of the teeth as well as jaw alignment. Preventative care will be the most beneficial for the growing youngster. Good teeth will aid in the proper digestion of food thereby allowing the foal to absorb all the nutrients possible to help him grow big and strong.
Q. What causes my horse to rub its tail?
A. Often times this is an indication that it is time to deworm your horse. If that has been done recently, take a good look at the tail and check for dry skin, ticks and other irritants. If this search proves negative, there is probably an itch somewhere else. Often times geldings and stallions who need their sheaths cleaned will rub their tails. If you have a mare, consider cleaning between her teats. It is not uncommon for them to get a build up of dirt, sweat and dead skin cells causing them to itch.
Q. What are those white bumps in my horse’s ear?
A. They are called “aural plaques,” a type of wart that rarely causes problems and treatment is usually not necessary. While these typically do not get worse, they usually do not go away either.
Q. I was out in my horse’s paddock and there are reddish pink spots in the snow where my horse urinated, is he urinating blood?
A. No. It is very common in the winter to see such spots in the snow ranging from orange to pink and sometimes red. This is a result of the urine reacting with the snow. There is a protein in horse urine that oxidizes in cold weather and appears orange to red in snow. You will sometimes see the same thing happen in the shavings of a horse that is stalled.
Q. What is the difference between Bute and Banamine?
A. In reality, they are very similar drugs; both are considered to be NSAIDs (Non-steroid Anti-Inflammatory Drug.) Both are used to reduce swelling and pain. Bute (phenylbutazone,) is typically better for musculoskeletal problems such as lameness. Banamine™ (flunixin meglumine) is typically better for soft tissue inflammation such as eye injuries or colic. In addition, Banamine can help combat endotoxemia caused by colic or illness.
Q. What is the difference between the regular rhino vaccinations that all my horses receive and the rhino shots pregnant mares should have?
A. There are two separate vaccinations available. Both vaccines protect against Equine Herpes Virus.“Rhino” is short for Rhinopneumonitis which literally means inflammation of the respiratory tract. (Rhino=nose, pneumo=lung, itis=inflammation.) Symptoms of the respiratory form include fever, nasal discharge and cough, Equine Herpes Virus is the most common cause of a cough. The vaccination for “Rhino” (often combined with influenza or “flu”) should be given every 3-6 months depending on the horse’s exposure level. Horses traveling to shows or clinics or in boarding situations with high levels of horse movement should be vaccinated more frequently. Equine Herpes Virus Type 1 can cause a pregnant mare to abort her unborn foal. The Pneumabort K vaccine helps to prevent abortion. A pregnant mare should be vaccinated at 5, 7 and 9 months gestation.
Q. Spring is coming, how quickly can I allow my horses on to the new grass?
A. Allowing horses on to new grass too quickly can cause a variety of problems including laminitis/founder and colic. Start slowly. Allow the horses to graze for 1-2 hours per day for the 1st week and gradually increase that amount by 1-2 hours per week. Horses that are obese or have had previous problems with laminitis/founder or have been diagnosed with Cushing’s disease may not be able to be on lush pasture grass at all. If you are ever unsure, it is always best to err on the side of caution and call us with any questions or concerns.