The Horse

OCT 2017

The Horse:Your Guide To Equine Health Care provides monthly equine health care information to horse owners, breeders, veterinarians, barn/farm managers, trainer/riding instructors, and others involved in the hands-on care of the horse.

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22 THE HORSE October 2017 gender, intended use, current and past health issues, and location. Nicole Eller, DVM, a Minnesota- based field shelter veterinarian for the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals' Field Investigations and Response Team, says the horse's first veterinary visit might include a thorough physical exam, an ophthalmic exam, fecal egg count sampling, an endoscopic exam to look for ulcers, and a dental exam and possible floating. Depending on what the veterinarian finds, he or she might also perform a lameness exam, take radio- graphs, and complete an ultrasound scan. Williams suggests owners have the vet- erinarian estimate the horse's age based on dental wear, since the previous owner might have misjudged (or misrepresent- ed) his age. For a horse that is thin, aged, or having trouble eating, Eller says, an oral exam, using sedation and speculum, is important for identifying dental issues. Eller says she might test for conditions such as equine Cushing's disease (pituitary pars intermedia dysfunction), depending on the horse and his clinical signs. "A horse of questionable gelding status with no palpable testicles should be blood-tested for anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH, which is produced by certain testicular cells) and testosterone," she adds. A male horse that has retained one or both testes inside the body is called a cryptorchid. If he is confirmed as such, you might need to make plans for castration to prevent stallionlike behavior or inadvertent mare pregnancies. During routine examinations, Eller says she has found quite a few cryptorchids. A cryptor- chidectomy (testes removal) can run from $750 to several thousand dollars, she says. Julia Wilson, DVM, Dipl. ACVIM, executive director of the Minnesota Board of Veterinary Medicine and the president of the Equitarian Initiative, suggests checking mares for pregnancy status so a surprise foal doesn't arrive down the road. If a mare is already pregnant, she says the veterinarian might make specific nutri- tional and vaccination recommendations. During the initial exams Williams also suggests asking the veterinarian and farrier about any conformational defects or other concerns that could affect the horse's future health and soundness. For a horse with an unknown history, Eller suggests having the veterinarian go over the horse with a microchip scanner to see if a chip is present that could pro- vide information about his age and past ownership. If not, you might consider having him or her put one in. "Permanent identification such as a microchip is always a good idea for com- panion animals," she says. "This provides owner information if the horse is ever lost, left behind in a natural disaster, or stolen." Hoof Care Eller says to begin initial hoof care im- mediately. This will provide an opportuni- ty to assess for conditions such as thrush, If the horse has an unknown history, have your veterinarian scan him to see if he's microchipped. ISABELLE ARNON What Does a 'Free' Horse Cost? PART 2 By Austin Davis Biologics Ltd. Scientifi c validation published by Veterinary Clinical Pathology 1 THE HORSE SALIVA TEST FOR TAPEWORM Reasons to use the EquiSal Tapeworm test • Proven accuracy, equivalent to blood testing • Standard worm egg counts are unreliable for diagnosing tapeworm infections due to the way eggs are released • Target tapeworm treatment by incorporating testing every 6 months into existing worm control programs • Only treat horses diagnosed with an infection 2 • Reduce the risk of resistance by testing before deworming KITS ARE AVAILABLE AT WHOLESALE PRICES. CONTACT ENQUIRIES@EQUISAL.COM Visit for latest research news, to fi nd out more or to see a list of USA providers. 1 Lightbody, K. L. et al. (2016) Vet Clin Path, 45: 335–346. 2 Lightbody, K. L., et al (2017), Equine Vet J. doi:10.1111/evj.12742. Patent Granted.

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