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Summer Sores

- August 2nd, 2020

By Daniel H. Grove, DVM

Ask the Vet

Summer sores are a big problem for horses in climates that are warm and moist. We discussed them a few years ago, but I think it is time to revisit them. I am seeing them very frequently, and so are many other practitioners. Let’s delve into what they are, some treatment strategies and prevention.

Habronema and Draschia are the names of the nasty little parasites that causes this sometimes-challenging-to-deal-with disease. They are two of the stomach worms of horses. and in their normal life cycle, do not seem to cause much harm. When the parasite gets deposited in an area of the skin or other external area, they can wreak havoc. They cause a non-healing wound that often times increases in size. It can be bordered by a layer of scar tissue that makes it challenging to get drugs to the source of the problem to kill them off. Often times, small granules are associated with the lesions. If in doubt, a simple biopsy of the lesion can often diagnose the problem. This can be an important part of the diagnosis, as some lesion can mirror other problems.

Fly control

- June 30th, 2020

By Daniel H. Grove, DVM

If you have horses, you likely have to deal with fly problems at least part of year. Flies are necessary to the environment. They help to breakdown waste products and can even be beneficial in cleaning up infected wounds. Flies also can transmit diseases and spread infection to wounds. They also can cause stress to our animals just from their annoyance. This month, let us discuss some methods for controlling flies.

Fly Sprays

Fly sprays come in either concentrated or ready to use forms. I find they do not usually last very long. It can be helpful to switch brands periodically as the flies become accustomed to one mixture so trying a different one is sometimes helpful. There are also all natural solutions that some owners prefer.

Allergies

- June 2nd, 2020

By Daniel H. Grove, DVM

First off, I hope everyone is doing well during the COVID-19 times. It is very tough for some out there with lack of work and/or sickness, so take care of yourselves and your horses. We are smack dab in the middle of spring and some people know all about what this month’s article is about. Allergies. Horses are no different than you or I when it comes to allergies. Let us discuss what an allergic response is, how it is manifested and some possible treatments.

Babies, Babies, Babies!

- May 5th, 2020

By Daniel H. Grove, DVM

Foals are hitting the ground left and right. It is a rare day for me right now to not be doing a new foal exam (or two or three!). A new foal exam and care in the first few days is vital to keeping a healthy herd, but the first year of life for foals requires some special care that is a bit different than for the adults.

Bio-security in pandemic times

- April 1st, 2020

By Daniel H. Grove, DVM

Los Angeles Equestrian Center photo

The COVID-19 global pandemic has bio-security on everyone’s minds. Let’s revisit biosecurity and you may appreciate similarities between some of the recommendations here for your horse and the ones we are receiving now from the government for ourselves during this outbreak.

First off, make sure you are up to date on your horse’s vaccines. Vaccines are designed to help the body fight off an infectious agent if it comes into contact with it. They usually require 10 to 14 days to work. The body is exposed to the antigen and has two ways it can work to fight it off: The first is to develop antibodies; the second is what is called “cell mediated immunity.” Different vaccines have different protocols to follow for them to be their most efficacious, so either read the full label or have your veterinarian perform the series properly so they are able to give you the best protection possible.

Vet visit, then meds

- March 3rd, 2020

By Daniel H. Grove, DVM

Here is a question that can be a point of contention between many veterinarians and their clients:

“Why does my veterinarian need to see that before I get medication? This is a simple problem, and I just need the medication.”

Ask the Vet

Let us take a look at why it is necessary for a patient to first be seen before dispensing or prescribing medication.

I will start with the client’s point of view. The client may be a very experienced horse person who has been doing this for 30-plus years. They have a minor cut on the horse that they are comfortable cleaning and wrapping to allow it to heal. They have had the veterinarian out for 10 of these in the past and the treatment is always the same: put them on some antibiotics, give them some bute and give a tetanus shot. Why can’t they just pick up some antibiotics and treat the horse without the expense of the veterinarian seeing the horse?

Why all of these tests?

- February 5th, 2020

By Daniel H. Grove, DVM

alpineequine.net photo

Veterinary medicine parallels human medicine in a lot of ways. The way it evolves is a major one. A hundred years ago, the doctor or veterinarian would examine their patient and give a diagnosis and decide a course of treatment. Sometimes the patient would get better and sometimes not.

Newborn foal exams

- January 3rd, 2020

By Daniel H. Grove, DVM

It is January and the foals are coming. I thought a review of what I look for in a newborn foal exam was worth revisiting. Twelve to twenty four hours after birth, it is an excellent idea to have your newborn evaluated by your veterinarian. This month, I would like to discuss what I do on my new foal exams and why. I do them in the same order everytime so that I do not miss anything. I start at the tail and work my way forward.

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.