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By Daniel H. Grove, DVM

Horses are extremely good at dealing with a drop in temperature. I have driven through snow-filled states in temperatures in the teens and watched horses happily walking through the snow without a care in the world, no shivering or any other sign of a low body temperature. I have been in Southern California when it was 50° F out and I have full-grown adult mares coming into the barn to be palpated—and they were shivering like no tomorrow. What is the difference? Mostly, human management! Yes, there are certain circumstances where an individual may not be capable of proper thermoregulation without human interference, but by and large, with a little help, they can usually do it very well on their own.

Going viral: be vigilant

- November 8th, 2019

By Daniel H. Grove, DVM

In the United States, we have two viruses that are currently a hot topic for those of us traveling with our horses. The first is Equine Herpes Virus. I have discussed this previously in this forum. It is a group of viruses from the herpes family. There are nine different known varieties, but three of them are the most important, 1, 3, and 4. They can cause respiratory disease, neurological disease, venereal disease and abortion, depending upon which one you are dealing with. There are vaccines available to protect our horses. Vaccination along with bio-security are your best tools to prevent this being an issue for your horse.

When to start dentistry?

- October 1st, 2019

By Daniel H. Grove, DVM


Ask the Vet

In the past, we have discussed the importance of dentistry or floating of teeth. I am often asked, “When should a horse receive its first float?” I think is a great starting point is around the age of one year. I understand people want to stave off putting out money when they can, but hopefully we can show you why it is important to get it done early.

In my practice, I get to do many young horses’ teeth. They are usually 14-20 months old and are going to start getting a bit put in their mouths. All of the horses in these pictures are from the same farm. They have not ever had any bit or other device in their mouths, and they are all 14-16 months old.

When to call the veterinarian

- September 3rd, 2019

By Daniel H. Grove, DVM

Ask the Vet

“When do I call my veterinarian?”

That is a question many clients tend to struggle with. In my opinion, it is better to make that phone call and discuss your concerns rather than waiting too long and having a more challenging time resolving a case. I would much rather have someone call during normal business hours with questions about a mild colic rather than 10 o’clock at night with a colic that is now dire. It is hard to give a recommendation on times not to call without having an examination of the patient to make a determination. So, here are some key times when I think it is prudent to get on the phone and at least discuss the situation with your veterinarian.

Heat

- August 1st, 2019

By Daniel H. Grove, DVM

Every year around this time, I like to remind everyone how important it is to keep an eye on some things to help your horse navigate its way through this time of year.

As with all year round, water is very important. With the added stress of hot weather, it is very important to supply endless cool, fresh and clean water. Things that can decrease water intake are hot water, dirty water, different water or contaminated water. Please, check the water often to make sure it is pristine. If traveling, a trick my assistant likes to use is to give her horse a second water bucket with a sports drink mix in it for about a week prior to going to the event. Then, at your destination, you can add the sports drink mix to the new water to hide the different taste!

By Daniel H. Grove, DVM

With our animals, we usually have to cover the costs of healthcare instead of having insurance or the government paying for it. This leads us to look for ways to save money anywhere we can often times. One of the ways is by looking for less expensive medications for our animals. Often times, compounded medications can be less, but there is a reason for it.

Brand name and generic medications are commercially prepared. These drugs must past FDA approval. This is a long and detailed process with studies done as to the efficacy, consistency, and safety of a drug. The FDA monitors these drugs even after they are approved for use. They monitor side effects, and production continuously to ensure the safety of the patients receiving them. With this oversight and regulation, the companies manufacturing these products have to maintain their production facilities with strict adherence to the regulations. It is not uncommon for production of a medication to be stopped for a period of time for updating a manufacturing process or plant to comply with FDA changes that occur. While no one probably lacks appreciation for this safety in the pipeline of medication manufacturing, many of us do not like the idea that it does cost money. Since we are the consumers of the product, we have to pay for this service. Also, if something goes wrong with the use of the medication, most of these companies will stand behind their products and want to make it right with their customers. They will help with testing and treatment of side effects.

By Daniel H. Grove, DVM

Kondrashov Mikhail Evgenevich photo

The vaccine debate is not limited to whether or not to vaccinate your children. The debate continues over into our pets also. With horses, some people have the unfortunate experience of vaccine reactions that give the pause for future vaccines. So, with such concern over the vaccination of animals, we will review what is considered the minimum vaccines for all horses and what the optional ones are. First, let’s answer the question, “Do I really need to vaccinate my horse?”

By Daniel H. Grove, DVM


This year has been an extra wet one for most of our country. Some of us have needed it badly and others, not so much. This month I think it is prudent that we discuss some conditions that may become more prevalent this year due to the extra moisture in our environments. If we take some extra steps in care and observation, pests can be minimized, diseases can be prevented, and extra veterinary bills can be avoided.

Flies

Flies are a huge nuisance to our livestock. They also can transmit some diseases. With all the added moisture to our environment, we are likely to see an increase in flies. Last year I wrote an article on methods of fly control. I discussed some good control measures including fly sprays, fly bait, feed through fly control and fly predators. If you are not already including these in your husbandry, it may be a good time to evaluate your situation and see if additional measures are warranted. One horse with a bad case of summer sores will definitely make you think twice about neglecting to control flies.

Tips when changing horse homes

- April 1st, 2019

By Daniel H. Grove, DVM

Moving to a new barn is not only stressful to your horse, but also for you. Bonds will be broken and new bonds made. Feed may change. Water may be different. Different diseases may be present. All of these things should be on your mind, and I will try to give you some pointers to help minimize the stress!

Moving to a new herd
Horses are herd animals. They are encoded to pack together for their own safety. They tend to make bonds with the horses around them and consider them part of the group, even if they are not all in a pasture together. When you disturb this bond, some horses get very upset. If you are moving and you have multiple horses, this may not be as big of an issue since they may be happy with just one or two others. If not, expect a few days of excessive vocalization and worry. You can discuss with your veterinarian the use of a product called Zylkene® that is made from colostrum. It is natural and makes the horse feel at home.

Cold weather care

- March 1st, 2019

By Daniel H. Grove, DVM

Cold, wet weather presents a few challenges that can usually be mitigated with a few extra precautionary tips. Horses are designed to be able to survive in a variety of climates, but through our manipulation and care, sometimes we impede their ability to thermoregulate in the winter time. Let’s discuss some key points on winter care.