Horse Health Blog

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It is sad how many horses have to do their jobs while in less than sound condition. So often, riders, trainers, even judges fail to notice lameness. They shrug it off as just poor ability, or poor performance. When horse people are not trained to detect lameness, it often gets missed and horses suffer. Whether a horse is in light, […]

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Equisul SDT Aurora Pharm

Flash had a small wound on his lower leg that had taken forever to heal. His vet recommended an antibiotic for a week, but the owner didn’t think the wound was healing fast enough. She discussed this with her friend, not her vet. Her friend happened to have another antibiotic in her tack trunk. They added that one in too. […]

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Bella, sedated and with the wound cleaned up.

Bella came to our veterinary practice with a long-standing, non-healing wound of her right throatlatch.   History: The wound had been there over 6 months, and to the owner’s knowledge she didn’t have an accident that caused it. Over that time, she had been to a few different veterinarians and had been on antibiotic courses, wound cleaning and flushing. But the […]

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The Letting Go

Jackson photo from twin Willows

  Jackson was one of my absolute favorites, of all the tens of thousands of horses I have put my hands on, over almost 27 years as an equine vet. He was something special – a distinguished dark bay Quarter Horse gelding with a beautiful and refined face – and gray around his big, soft, brown, kind eyes. When I […]

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The cut section of a hoof, showing the important anatomy. Yellow- navicular bone, Green- navicular bursa, Turquoise- Deep Digital Flexor Tendon. The DDFT runs over bursa and bone and attaches on underside of P3. Image adapted from a photo in Denoix- The Distal Limb.

  Navicular Syndrome (also called Podotrochleosis, Podotrochlitis, Palmar Foot Pain, Caudal Foot Pain,Heel Pain, and Chronic Heel Pain, among many others), typically involves degeneration of the navicular bone and the adjacent anatomy of the back half of the hoof, resulting in chronic lameness that usually involves both forefeet.    Conditions affecting the navicular bone and the surrounding structures are extremely important; […]

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Adult Parascaris equuorum taken from the small intestine of a severely ill 4 year old mare. Seeing these parasites in adult horses is very unusual.

Equine parasites are becoming resistant to our de-worming compounds. This blog post addresses why this is a HUGE CONCERN not only for your horse, but for the entire horse industry.     Recently I had to euthanize a world-class 4-year-old Quarter Horse mare, a real tragedy. She had badly damaged intestines, and after 2 colic operations, we decided to put her […]

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Golden Eagle- from

Note: This blog post is not about horse health. Instead, it is a personal story about another animal I care deeply about. Please take some time to read and share this blog post.  I truly believe this is an important and worthy cause. My Personal Story I have been a practicing equine veterinarian for 25 years.  Before that, I grew up […]

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Paint Horse Suffering from Clostridial myonecrosis

Sunny, a 10 year old paint gelding, was given his routine vaccinations. A day later, there was some swelling at one of the injection sites in his neck.  After talking to her veterinarian, the owners gave him some bute. He seemed to improve for a while, but suddenly the swelling worsened, he spiked a fever of 104, and he stopped […]

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 Fancy, a 20 year old quarter horse sustained a severe heel bulb laceration. Her owners had tried a variety of topical wound ointments, but the wound actually became larger, and developed severe proud flesh. We first saw Fancy 3 months after injury. We removed excessive proud flesh and kept the limb bandaged for 30 days. The wound improved, but stopped healing at […]

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qr equine hoof sole branded

While there are several more common diagnoses for a horse that is suddenly, inexplicably SEVERELY lame, sole (foot) abscess is the most common cause. Most horses with sole abscess are very lame at the walk, and some cannot bear weight at all. Early or small sole abscesses may cause less severe lameness. In most cases, horses with sole abscess become increasingly lame […]

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Lameness Exam - In Movement

WHAT IS EQUINE LAMENESS? Lameness is a term used to describe a horse’s change in gait, usually in response to pain somewhere in a limb, but also possibly as a result of a mechanical restriction on movement. We all think of lameness when a horse is obviously limping, but lameness may only cause a subtle change in gait, or even just […]

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ADR lighter

#1 Abdominal Pain, Colic Signs Perform Whole Horse Exam™ (WHE) Assess Color of Mucous Membranes Assess Demeanor or Attitude Assess Gut or Intestinal Sounds Assess Manure Assess Capillary Refill Time (CRT) by examining Gums Give Intramuscular (IM) Injection Give Oral Medication Sand Sediment Test Handle Horse With Colic #2 Lower Leg Wound Assess Wound Assess Lameness at the Walk Bandage Limb […]

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Why I Created Horse Side Vet Guide

This cartoon is obviously a joke, but as a long-time equine veterinarian, scenarios like this are too familiar to me. Misinformation (usually found on the Internet – a/k/a “Dr. Google”) leads caretakers to make guesses about their horse’s condition rather than contacting a veterinarian.     Of course, many horses heal fine without veterinary help, and sometimes the information found online is […]

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Horse loading onto a trailer because of colic

Over the years, I have heard many stories about how horse owners “cured” their colicy horse by loading it onto a trailer and driving it around for a while – the so-called “Trailer Ride Cure” for colic. It is a little more complicated than that… Remember that the word “colic” simply refers to the signs a horse shows when it is in abdominal pain due […]

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The Value of a Diagnosis

Male Equine Model BW with Question Mark

Jake, a 20 year old Hanoverian gelding, showed signs of colic (looking at his side, not eating) and also seemed to be having difficulty urinating (based on his stretching out, dropping his penis as if to urinate, but having only a few drops of urine dribble out.) Jake’s owner, after doing a Google Internet search and armed with powerful drugs […]

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See You at Equine Affaire!

Equine Affaire Ohio image

  Tomorrow we are off to Columbus, Ohio to speak at Equine Affaire, a fantastic gathering of all things equine. If you are in the area, please stop by!   If you cannot make it, here are the written materials that we will be handing out: Smartphone Apps for Horse Owners Equine Affaire Handout Common Equine Emergencies & Skills for Equine […]

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Horse inside a venn diagram

In the equine world, there is great interest in “non-western” or “alternative” therapies for horses, including acupuncture, acupressure, chiropractic, cold laser therapy, energy work, reiki, herbal medicine, homeopathy, essential oils, magnetic therapy, massage, and many others. My geographic area of practice – Santa Fe, New Mexico – is particularly rich in providers of these therapies. (When these approaches are combined […]

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