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Post Posted: Oct 21, 2010 12:24 pm 
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My horse has the runs, we did change him over from straight alfalfa to mix there's more grass than alfalfa in the new hay, we change him over slowly. He was sand cleared 2 weeks ago although I only did 1 scoop instead of a scoop and a half. he is on equine senior 2 x daily whole coffe can full.

He does have a history of sand colic, I went and got some more sand clear, I started it again 3 days ago. He seems to have got some better but he is still having watery poop with not much consiticey. He does not seem irritated by this either, he is still eating and drinking normal. So how long should I wait before having him checked out?

He's 19 years old Quarter horse gelding and had his teeth done in July, he's over all in good health, he has not travel anywhere in a year or his pasture mate.

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 Post subject: Ask a Veterinarian
Post Posted: Oct 21, 2010 1:26 pm 
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My dog has 2 little "bumps" that I think could be ticks that are under the skin. What should I do about it?


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 Post subject: horse with the "runs"
Post Posted: Oct 21, 2010 8:03 pm 
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Trotting along: a change in feed can certainly cause a transient looseness to the stools, but if it lasts more than a week I would be concerned that there might be another problem. The sand clear is a good idea, because sand in the GI tract can also cause diarrhea. You may need to treat for up to 30 days straight to clear a significant amount of sand. If the horse seems to be feeling well; eating and drinking, I think a week is reasonable and then you should have a veterinary exam if the diarrhea continues - possibly to check for parasite eggs in the stools and run some blood tests. If the horse seems at all lethargic or colicky, I would have someone out right away. If you have any more questions, please feel free to ask.

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 Post subject: dog question
Post Posted: Oct 21, 2010 8:07 pm 
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Kodiak:

Ticks are not usually under the skin, so although possible, the bumps are probably something else. How long have you noticed them? Have they changed in size at all? The best course of action is to have your veterinarian examine them. He/she might want to place a small needle into the bumps to take a sample and examine it under the microscope. Or it could be something as simple as a clogged gland like a pimple.

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 Post subject: Winter feeding for horses
Post Posted: Jan 10, 2011 9:39 pm 
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With cold weather here it is important to think about feed considerations for your horse. Horses will burn more calories during the colder temperatures in order to maintain body temperature, however, the amount of increased calorie consumption can vary depending on where a horse is kept. Horses kept in a stall and blanketed will not have to work as hard to maintain their body temperature as those kept out in pasture and exposed to the elements, and horses that are not fed enough calories will use up their fat and muscle stores and lose weight. The main thing to remember about winter management is that hay should be the main source of feed.

As the fiber in hay is digested in the cecum and large intestine, it generates heat which horses use to help maintain their temperature. Grass hay is usually adequate for most horses with a ration balancer supplement. Many people think that they need to feed their horse a “hot” feed such as grain to help the horse stay warm, but grain is digested in the small intestine and the heat given off is significantly less. There is also an increased risk of colic or founder if too much grain is fed. Most horses need to eat 1.5-2% of their body weight in feed daily to meet their energy requirements (depending on their level of exercise, metabolism, etc.). For a 1000 lb horse, this might mean feeding 15-20 lbs of dry matter feed daily. Some “easy keepers” with slow metabolisms or horses getting minimal exercise may need less. “Hard keepers”, older horses, and horses in intense exercise may need more. On average, for every 1F drop in temperature below 40F, there is an increase of 1% of the energy requirement for a horse at maintenance. As previously mentioned, increasing the amount of roughage such as grass hay is usually the best way to meet these increased needs. For picky eaters or older horses without good teeth for chewing hay, you may consider a complete ration pellet instead.

It is important to check your horse’s body condition during the winter to make sure he/she is being fed adequately. It can be challenging to get an accurate assessment due to the long hair coat which is why it is important to periodically run your hands over your horse. An estimate can be made by feeling along your horse’s topline and along the ribs. The ribs should have slight fat covering but still be able to be felt, and there should be a thin layer of tissue along the side of the backbone forming a shallow upside down ‘V”. If the ribs are hard and easy to feel and the topline forms a deep “V”, the horse is too thin. If you cannot find the ribs or the backbone, the horse is too fat. Any changes in feed should be made gradually over 5-7 days.

Another important consideration is maintaining adequate water intake. The average 1000lb horse drinks about 10-12 gallons of water per day. In colder temperature this amount can decrease since horses typically don’t like to drink water below 40F. Drinking less water can lead to increased incidences of impaction colic so it is important when temperatures are below freezing to check your horse’s water supply and break any ice that may have formed on the top. Water heaters are useful to keep the water at an appropriate temperature and tend to encourage horses to drink more water.

If you have questions about what feed is appropriate for your horse please call the hospital and any of the doctors are happy to discuss a feeding program for your horse.

Ashleigh Olds, DVM & Shannon Harland, DVM
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Post Posted: Jan 10, 2011 9:48 pm 
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thanks for the reminders. I was trying to recall the "extra" amount of food for the drop in temp. MtRider


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 Post subject: To blanket or not?
Post Posted: Feb 1, 2011 12:14 pm 
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I hoe that everyone and their critters are staying warm enough today!

Our hospital has been receiving many calls and questions about whether horses should be blanketed during this cold spell. The answer to this question is not the same for every horse, but in general your horses should be just fine during this cold weather without a blanket so long as they have some sort of shelter and protection from the wind. Just realize that they will be burning more calories to stay warm and would likely benefit from some extra grass hay througout the day and evening. Grain and alfalfa are not good choices for extra feeding since they don't really warm the horse and may increase the risk of colic. Also keep in mind that water tanks will need to be checked frequently for icing over.

The exception to this would be older horses, or very thin horses that do not have extra body fat. Placing a blanket on these guys will help them stay warmer and burn less calories. Also, horses without shelter may need a blanket.

Of course horses that are already used to wearing a blanket and those that are body clipped should continue to be blanketed and may even need an extra layer for the next day or two.

Of course if you want to blanket your horse today or tonight, you certainly can.

If you have specific questions about your horses' needs, please feel free to ask.

Ashleigh

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 Post subject: Sand Colic
Post Posted: Aug 24, 2011 1:47 pm 
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We haven't had any questions for a while, so I wanted to remind everyone that you can feel free to ask anything, even dog and cat questons if you like. As a side note, I thought it would be a good reminder that Sand colic is a big issue for horses in Colorado. Whether it is the fine sand from the denver metro and eastern plains or the large, coarse decomposed granite from the mountains, it can build up in the intestines. Sand in the GI tract can cause weight loss, colic, diarrhea, impaction, and many other problems for horses..... Preventions and treatment strategies are aimed at reducing sand intake by using feeders, rubber mats, or a cement pad in feeding areas. Treatment with psyllium products on a regular basis can also help reduce sand accumulation in the intestines.

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Post Posted: Aug 24, 2011 2:47 pm 
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Hi Ashleigh,

I was wondering if you can recommend a joint supplement for my horse that is similar to Cosequin w/MSM that might be more cost effective? Is Cosequin the best in your opinion?

Thank you!!


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Post Posted: Aug 25, 2011 1:45 pm 
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Thanks for the great question.

I do think the Cosequin ASU w/MSM is the best product out there for a number of reasons. It is one of only a few that has the Avocado/Soybean in it. This is thought to have potent anti-inflammatory properties. In addition, CSU has done research on horses that found that the ASU had a synegistic effect on reducing joint inflammation when combined with Glucosamine and chondroitin. There are many joint supplements out there, but very few of them have so much scientific research and data behind them.

There are also dog (Dasuquin) and human (Cosamin ASU) versions of the same product. I personally have experienced much reduced joint pain on the human product and have seen dramatic results in arthritic dogs on the Dasuquin.

Finally, it is important to consider that there is essentially no FDA regulation on joint supplements. So there is no guarantee that what is on the label actually matches what is in the product or that there hasn't been any chemical contamination. Some products such as Cosequin have allowed independent outside lab testing to confirm the quality of their products. With this in mind, there are probably other joint supplements out there that are as good or maybe even better for an individual animal, but often the high qulaity, reputable brands are going to all be about the same cost. I would be wary of products that are significantly less expensive.

Another thought, depending on what you are using the Cosequin for (prevention vs treating actual joint disease), you might consider injectable products. I have many clients that give Adequan injections in the muscle either in combination with or instead of daily oral supplementation. Adequan can be a bit pricey the first month during the loading period, but then is actually slightly less than most of the oral supplements.

This is probably more information than you were looking for, but your question was a good one. If anyone wants more information about this topic or any others, please feel free to ask.

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 Post subject: Whats wrong with my horses feet?
Post Posted: Sep 19, 2011 11:07 pm 
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My horse Romeo is a 14 yr. old, purebred Appaloosa. He's strong and healthy as can be, except for his feet. We keep our horses barefoot and have their trimmer come out regularly. The farrier was out about 2 weeks ago, and Romeos feet were perfect. But after a ride one day I noticed that his Lamina (I think thats the right word) is seperating from his hoof wall in some places. What could be wrong? and what can I do to help him?


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Post Posted: Sep 20, 2011 4:39 pm 
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Thank you for the question. Unfortunately it is hard to truly diagnose without seeng the foot itself. It is most likely and possible that the hoof wall was slightly long or that he hit a sharp rock while you were riding and chipped away some of the hoof wall from the rest of the hoof. If this is the case, you can prevent further damage by having the farrier out to rasp the cracked section and using protective boots while riding (especially trail riding where is it rocky). Old Macs or a similar type of boot are great for the front feet on barefoot horses if you are noticing any tenderness or cracking. On the other hand, what you are describing could truly be "white line disease" where the outer hoof layer starts to separate from the inner hoof layer. If this is the case, you may need a radiograph (x-ray) of the foot and to make a plan between your vet and farrier. The best bet would be to have your farrier re-examine the horse and then make a decision about whether you need a vet exam. I hope this is helpful.

Ashleigh

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