Unfortunately, a decrease in the temperature can mean an increased risk for colic, specifically impaction colic. Impaction colic is when feed material forms a blockage in the large colon. There are several locations in the large colon where the diameter narrows, and this is where blockages tend to form.
How does cold weather play a role?
In colder temperatures, horses tend to drink less water. This leads to dehydration, which can lead to impaction colic: Dehydration slows gut movement and causes feed content to be very dry. These two factors combined increase the likelihood of impactions forming. However, just because the weather becomes cold does not mean your horse will form an impaction.
With all the wet weather we've had over the past couple of months, skin problems have been a big topic of conversation with our clients. The most popular? "Scratches."
What is Scratches?
"Scratches" is a long-term skin irritation/infection located on the lower limb, especially the heel bulb and pastern, although it can extend up higher. It is more common in breeds with "feathers" on their legs - think drafts - but any horse can get this condition.
What causes this?
It is caused by an invasion of bacteria into the skin - so somehow the normal barrier of the skin has become compromised. Although horses standing in constant unsanitary conditions are very likely to have such issues, usually it...
With our recent hurricanes, it has been a good reminder of the importance of microchipping your horses. Microchipping is the best form of permanent identification for animals, yet very few people tend to use it. We thought an FAQ might help address some questions our clients might have!
Q: Why is it the best form of identification?
A: Not only does the microchip list the information for the horse, but it lists the owner's information also. Unlike paperwork, this cannot be lost, stolen, faked, or manipulated. Some states are even requiring microchipping for Coggins. If you show in USEF competitions, as of December 1, 2017, your horse will need to be microchipped. If you think about it more prac...
It's the same deal every year. You're getting ready to leave for an event, then you realize your Coggins test is out of date. Or you've lost it. Or maybe you never got it in the first place.
This test is seemingly pointless, as horses NEVER come back positive, right?
So, it begs the question: Why is Coggins testing in horses so important?
With a positive test in North Carolina this week (click here for info), it brings to the forefront the importance of Coggins testing. This test is required annually in the US for any horses that are travelling, showing, or boarding. It may seem like a waste of money, but the federal screening requirements in the US are so effective that you only rarely hear o...
Heaves is a persistent condition that affects the lungs of horses. It is a similar condition to COPD in people. It occurs due to an inflammatory reaction from particles found in the horse's environment. When a horse inhales these particles, the small airways in the horse's lungs narrow and eventually become obstructed.
How can you tell your horse has heaves?
Increased breathing rate
Flaring the nostrils
What should you do?
Do have your horse examined by a veterinarian.
Depending on the severity of the case, your horse may need certain medical treatments to help ease your horse's breathi...
In horses, choke is a condition that occurs when food or some other material becomes stuck in the esophagus. The term choke can be a bit confusing since in people, choking can refer to having something lodged in the trachea (airway).
A few reasons this occurs are because the horse is not chewing properly or the horse is eating too quickly.
What are signs of choke?
Discharge (sometimes containing feed material) coming from both nostrils and/or mouth.
Some horses may make repeated, unsuccessful attempts to swallow.
Not wanting to eat or drink
What should you do if you suspect a horse is choking?
Summer is the time of year we always see pokeweed growing everywhere throughout the Grand Strand. You can't miss it. It's big. It's got a bright red stem and dark berries when mature. Although most horses will not eat this, it is toxic, and horses will eat it if they run out of better feed options.
The roots are the most toxic part of the plant, but horses can become poisoned from eating the leaves and berries. The toxin in this plant can cause burning in the mouth, diarrhea, and colic.
Even the large bushes are very easily cut down or pulled out, so we strongly encourage you to get these bushes out of your pastures. With this being so easy to identify and remove, go ahead and...
Name: Equine Odontoclastic Tooth Resorption and Hypercementosis (EOTRH)
Species: Equine (although cats and humans get a similar disease)
Age: Usually senior horses, age 20 and older
Breed/Sex Predilection: None
What is it? Resorption (or "eating away") of the roots of the teeth by the body. Hypercementosis is when the body lies down new bone where it is not normally present, forming sometimes very large "balls" at the base of the roots. This disease is most common in the incisors, but also occurs in the canines and cheek teeth. It is considered to be variably painful, depending on its stage.
Diagnosis: Based on clinical appearance, pain level, radiographic changes. Teeth may...
Name: Deer Worm, or Meningeal Worm, or Moose Sickness
Species: Goats, sheep, llamas, alpacas, camels, moose, and some exotic hoofstock. There is no age or breed predilection. However, disease is generally more severe in camelids and moose than other species.
Age: Any age
Breed/Sex Predilection: None
What is it? Infection with deer worm is a parasitic disease that causes severe central nervous system inflammation. It usually occurs in the Fall and early Winter in the Southeast.
Cause: The parasitic nematode worm Paraelpahastrogylus tenuis, better know as the “deer worm.” It is carried by White Tailed Deer.
Diagnosis: Animals lose their ability to walk and stand normally. Often times, the ani...
The number one killer of horses is colic. Colic is not a disease, but rather a combination of signs that alert us to abdominal pain in the horse. Colic can range from mild to severe, but it should never be ignored. Many of the conditions that cause colic can become life threatening in a relatively short period of time. Only by quickly and accurately recognizing colic and seeking qualified veterinary help can the chance for recovery be maximized.
While horses seem predisposed to colic due to the anatomy and function of their digestive tracts, management can play a key role in prevention. Although not every case is avoidable, the following guidelines from the American Association of Equine Prac...