Ask the Equine Vet

Ask the Equine Vet: Holiday Hazards

Author: Sallie S. Hyman, VMD, DACVIM, CVA The holiday season is upon us. For many people, this means the fun and creativity of decorating the house for each holiday. And for many, it also means decorating the barn, or at least their own horse’s stall. While getting our equine friends into the holiday spirit may…

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Ask The Equine Vet: Saddle Fitting

It has been said that a correctly fitting saddle is as important to an equine athlete as correctly fitting shoes are to a human athlete.  In fact, proper saddle fitting is important for both horse and rider.   The saddle on our horse’s back is our connection to him when we are riding.  Anatomically, that…

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Ask the Equine Vet: Equine Leg Protection

The distal limb of the horse is a delicate structure comprised of not much more than bone, tendon/ligaments, and skin. There is little natural protection for this area, unlike more proximal portions of the leg where thick muscles cover the area and protect the underlying structures from injury. The main structures of the distal limb…

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Ask the Equine Vet: When is it Too Hot to Safely Ride My Horse?

When is it too hot to safely ride my horse?  Knowing how your horse thermo-regulates will help you better understand how to keep him cool. Horses’ bodies produce heat when they work. They have several mechanisms that get rid of this heat. The most important mechanism is evaporation. Most heat is generated from a horse’s…

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Ask the Equine Vet: All About Lyme Disease in Horses

Borrelia burgdorferi, the causative agent of Lyme disease, is maintained in a complex life cycle of small wild mammals and immature stages of the black legged tick, Ixodes scapularis (formerly called Ixodes dammini) and Ixodes pacificus. Larval and nymphal stages of the tick acquire the organism when they feed on infected mice. Adult ticks feed…

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Ask the Equine Vet: Dental Care for Horses

Dental care is critical for the health and wellbeing of your horse. Horses prehend and chew their food with their teeth, turning fibrous grasses into digestible calories and energy sources. When something goes wrong with your horse’s dentition, severe medical problems can arise. Horses are obligate herbivores. Their diet consists entirely of plant materials, in…

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Ask the Equine Vet: Grazing Muzzles and Metabolic Syndrome

Does My Horse or Pony Have Metabolic Syndrome? We’ve all seen them, the horse in the field looking like Hannibal Lector in a muzzle. It’s not keeping them from biting; it’s keeping him from eating! Grazing Muzzles have become an unfortunate necessity for many horses today. Much like people, horses are suffering from the effects…

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Ask the Equine Vet: Rain Rot

Every horse owner has experienced or knows someone whose horse has experienced Rain Rot. Those painful, oozing, crusty scabs that can seemingly appear overnight and seem to spread at the speed of light. What is Rain Rot? Dermatophilosis, more commonly referred to as “Rain Rot” is an infection of the epidermis of the skin by…

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