Educational Articles

  • The term colic simply means abdominal pain. There are many causes of colic and symptoms range from very mild to violent.

  • The term 'contracted tendons' describes a condition where the leg is excessively straight, usually at the fetlock or coronary band, i.e., corono-pedal joint, but it occasionally also affects the knees.

  • Corns are specific types of bruises of the sole, specifically occurring at the angle of the sole between the hoof wall and the bars, i.e., at the 'seat of corn', most commonly affecting the medial (inside) aspect of the front feet.

  • Parasitic worms live in the intestines of horses and ponies. Small numbers of worms can be tolerated, causing no effect on well-being.

  • Dexamethasone is given on and off label, by mouth or injection, to treat various inflammatory, autoimmune, and adrenal gland conditions. It can also be used off label as a diagnostic test. Common side effects include increased drinking, urination and/or appetite, dull/dry haircoat, weight gain, pot-bellied appearance, muscle weakness, panting, vomiting, or diarrhea. Do not use in pets that are allergic to it, have systemic fungal infections, diabetes, or stomach or intestinal ulcers, or are taking NSAIDs. It should not be used in rabbits or in surgical pets. If a negative reaction occurs, please call your veterinary office.

  • Diarrhea means the production of feces that are softer than normal. Normal equine feces are produced in formed, non-offensive smelling, greenish-brown, semi-solid portions that will break up in the hand, revealing varying degrees of fibrous content depending upon diet.

  • Diphenhydramine is given by mouth or as an injection and is used on and off label to treat allergic reactions, motion sickness, and to induce sedation. Side effects include sleepiness, and less commonly dry mouth and gastrointestinal upset. Diphenhydramine should not be used in pets that are allergic to this medication and should be used cautiously in pets with glaucoma, enlarged prostate, thyroid or heart disease, or are lactating. If a negative reaction occurs, please call your veterinary office.

  • Potential purchasers of yearlings and even foals at public sales increasingly ask for endoscopic examinations ('scoping') of the larynx and pharynx to be performed in an attempt to assess 'soundness of wind'.

  • Epistaxis means simply bleeding from the nose. The term can therefore cover anything from a tiny trickle down one nostril to a heavy gushing from both nostrils. Blood that appears at the nostril can originate from anywhere in the upper or lower respiratory tract including the sinuses or other closely related structures of the head.

  • Horses and ponies are efficient herbivores and one of the key adaptations that evolution for a life of grazing has equipped them with is a set of hardwearing and specialized teeth.