Tennessee Walking Horses of Minnesota
Ever wonder what is going on inside your horse? Do you ever wonder if you are doing the right thing for your horse's health? Even though we have incredible new tools to evaluate our wonderful equine friends, such as digital x-ray, video endoscopy, and ultrasound, there is a simple way to check their health that is quick, gives us a broader picture of what is going on, and is less invasive than these other modalities. Taking blood from your horse and submitting it to the lab allows us to see how some of the most important parts of the body are functioning.
Routine blood work is a great way to get a picture of your horse's health from the inside. It also gives us a baseline for future use. Routine blood work over time can show us trends in health that we may not pick up on otherwise. This could help us to recommend changes to their lifestyle that could keep them healthier longer. We also find that blood work at the time of a health crisis gives a picture that would become much clearer with previous results from when the horse was healthy. Because of the great benefits that come from routine blood work, we recommend having routine blood work done annually.
Routine blood work gives us feedback about several areas that help us. It will give us information about the red blood cells in the body - the carriers of oxygen to the tissues. It gives us information about the immune system that tells us how the body is reacting to insults from the environment. It gives us a window into some of the major organs and how they are functioning. Blood work also lets us know about the electrolytes that are circulating. Maintaining the proper level of these is required for the proper function of all cells in the body. The results will also show us if there is any active inflammation present.
As you can see there is a lot of information that comes from an annual blood test that can make a huge difference in the health of your horse.
Choose hay that is as fine-stemmed, green and leafy as possible, and is soft to the touch.
Ask the Expert: Hay Bales
By: K. Martinson, PhD, Univ. of Minn.
Q: How many small square‐bales are in a round‐bale?
A: It depends on the weight of both the large and small‐square bales. For example, if the round‐bale weighs 1,000 pounds, then 20 50‐pound small‐square bales would be equivalent to 1 round‐bale. If the large round‐bale weighs 1,200 pounds and the small‐ square bales weigh 40 pounds, then 30 small‐square bales would be equivalent to 1 round‐bale. It important to know the weight of hay bales both for feeding and economic efficiencies.
Thrush In Horses
What is thrush?
Thrush is an unpleasant infection of the horse's frog that is predisposed by moist, damp, dirty ground or stall conditions.
What causes thrush?
Thrush is an infection of the central and lateral sulcus of the frog of the horse's foot, most often involving bacterial infection, occasionally fungal infection. One species of bacterium (Fusobacterium necrophorum) is particularly aggressive, invading and destroying the frog, sometimes exposing the deeper sensitive tissues. Long heel conformation encourages the development of deep narrow frog sulci that are more prone to the development of thrush, if environmental conditions are right.
How is thrush treated?
The horse should be moved to a dry clean environment. The foot should be thoroughly cleaned out, removing necrotic debris from within the affected frog sulcus, and then pared out down to healthy tissue, allowing air to reach any remaining damaged tissues. The frog and its sulcus should be scrubbed daily with dilute iodine solution.
Tetanus antitoxin must be given, if the horse is not fully vaccinated up-to-date or if vaccination status cannot be confirmed.
Thereafter, the horse should be kept in clean, dry stall conditions and the frog should be cleaned and treated regularly until the infection is controlled and the tissues heel.
How can thrush be prevented?
Prevention is better than cure and thrush can be avoided by good stall management, and regular foot care and inspection. Stable your horse in clean dry conditions and have your horses' feet regularly trimmed and shod to avoid the development of long heel conformation and to keep the frog healthy.
With early treatment and good stall and environmental management, the prognosis for complete recovery for cases of thrush is good. Treatment will usually be required for 7-14 days. The prognosis for complete resolution is good unless the infection has been allowed to become chronic and/or there is extensive involvement of deeper tissues.
Make sure that your horses are always fully vaccinated against tetanus, an invariably fatal infection that can gain access through a damaged frog.
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