Illness & Injuries
A horse would do well to have one week of rest for every day they ran a fever. However, if complications arise or secondary bacterial infections occur, rest recommendations are likely to be extended by your primary care veterinarian.
Yes, but only AFTER you’ve softened the scabs. Apply an ointment directly to scabs and let it sit. When scabs become pliable, you can gently remove them. Then follow your primary care veterinarian’s instructions for ongoing treatment.
Avoid aggressive scrubbing or picking of crusty dry scabs – it is painful.
An important key to resolving scratches is housing the horse in a clean, dry environment. Modifying the living situation until the infection is under control may be necessary.
White Line Disease is caused by spore-forming bacteria. To date, twenty-two different types of fungal spores have been identified. The condition occurs when pathogens invade a weak or compromised hoof wall where they deteriorate the non-pigment portions of the horn wall.
Radiographs confirm a diagnosis of white line disease by capturing the presence of gas trapped in the hoof wall. Treatment includes removal of the diseased hoof wall, allowing oxygen to reach and kill the bacteria.
The disease is often associated with laminitis.
Yes, fall pasture grass can cause laminitis. As the air gets cooler and the leaves begin to change, so does your pasture grass. The sugars in grasses rise as new growth explodes with cooler temperatures and fall rains, increasing the risk of laminitic episodes. If a horse looks foot sore contact your veterinarian and start soaking their feet in ice water as soon as symptoms appear.
Take extra care when fall grazing horses who suffer from metabolic disorders. Their bodies do not metabolize sugar properly and are at a higher risk of pasture-induced laminitis.
We have probably all heard we should not place ice directly on the skin. This is true when treating horses, too. While ice freezes at 32 degrees Fahrenheit it is often much colder. Ice from a typical kitchen freezer can be as cold as -20 F.
Burn occurs when ice is placed directly on the skin. The skin begins to freeze, and ice crystals form within the cell structure causing damage, or “ice burn”.
To avoid crystal formation and ice burn, soak foot and leg injuries in a bucket of ice water. For injuries that cannot be soaked, place a layer of cloth between the ice pack and the skin.
Corneal ulcers develop when bacteria and/or fungi gain access to the interior of the cornea, generally as the result of trauma. This ‚Äútrauma‚Äù is generally a non-event and goes undetected. When we think of trauma we think of a catastrophic event. In many cases the traumatic event is simply a piece of hay that scratched the cornea.
Horses eating large round bales are at an increased risk because they prefer the better hay in the center and will bury their heads trying to reach the better hay. This creates an increased risk of scratching the cornea. Other possibilities include foreign bodies lodged in the eye, or blunt force trauma such as a stick, fence post, or even another horse. The cornea doesn‚Äôt have blood vessels, consequently these injuries don‚Äôt bleed and this often delays owners from noticing subtle signs of impending problems.