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THE HORSE GAZETTE ask the vet Gnat bite reaction?


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and there were a lot of gnats around my horse, didn’t think a lot about it, its spring and everything’s coming to life. But I was brushing him and noticed that on his belly in front of the sheath it was crusty and kind of gritty feeling, damp and a little bloody not real bloody but kind of seepy. It was irritated and on both sides where the skin is usually soft it was little gritty filing there. And also just back from between the front legs. A couple of weeks ago, it was re- ally muddy here in Indiana, and cool. They had been lying in the sun, and he had a lot of mud in the areas that are irritated now. And I like to never get it off. But when he was shedding it would come off in chunk with the hair. I didn’t know what it is, or how to treat it. I put some antibiotic ointment cream on it. My husband thought his urine looked a little thick tonight. Of course I didn’t see that. Any idea of what I should do? He ‘so eating fine just acts aggravated and swishes his tail to get rid of the gnats and lifts his back legs to get them off. Thank you for any help, it will be greatly ap- preciated. Submitted by Shir- ley via

you are describing under the belly, in front of the sheath, is a common place for horses to get insect bite reactions. I would recommend you have your lo- cal veterinarian examine your horse to make a definitive diag- nosis and prescribe treatment. If it is an insect hypersensitivity there will likely be a good treat- ment available. – Dr. Symm

horse has been lame for just over 2 months now and the prognosis seems to be getting worse and I don’t know what to do.

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The Horse Age: 8 Breed: Warmblood Height: 17.3h Performance Level: Horse has been in a program since 5. I bought the horse at the age of 6 and has now been in competi- tion for a solid year (show sea- son ended in October) ending competitively at 1.20M with the potential for 1.40M+.

The Facility Stalls: Softstall matting Arena: 120’ x 60’ with NARRS footing

slightly unsound on the right front at the walk. With some slight exercise at the walk and a small amount of trot, his sound- ness at the walk improves. This light exercise twice daily

The Timeline February 8th – Horse

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * Help please! My

Dear Shirley, The location that

I went out tonight, continues.

There is a significant lapse in the time between when these questions are sent in and when the answers appear in the Gazette newspaper and online. If you feel your horse needs to be seen by a veterinarian do not wait for a response. Call a reputable equine veterinarian in your area and let him/her examine the horse!

vet comes and does another lameness exam; the horse is unsound in the corners and es- pecially tracking to the left. The vet conducts a ultrasound on the right front and determines that there might be a strain on the collateral ligament (MCL) however it appears to be slight. The horse continues with stall rest with 20 minute tack walks in the arena tracking to the right.

down the straight line in the arena is added to the talk walks, beginning with 10 long sides and progressing to 20 long sides by the end of the week. By the weekend the horse is feeling good, however keeping the rearing and bucking at bay is proving to be difficult. March 8th – Fol-

March 1st – Trotting

Horse very unsound now, with any exercise there is heat in the right pastern and fetlock. Horse is put on stall rest with 15 minute hand walks in the arena twice daily. February 22nd – The

February 18th –

appears to move the left front shoulder normally but when it comes time to put pressure on the hoof landing, the shoulder shifts backwards in avoid- ance. The acupuncturist vet determines this movement is resulting not from lameness but from a nerve issue in the shoulder. The acupuncturist vet begins the first round of regular acupuncture with a chiropractic massage of the left front shoul- der. The horse is prescribed thiamine. The horse’s blood is taken for testing, not sure what tests were conducted but the tests came back clean. March 31st – The

lowing the weekend, the horse appears to be unsound and heat is evident in the right pastern and fetlock . The vet comes out and determines that the leg has not improved to a point of stability. The horse is blocked at the coffin joint and this im- proves lameness dramatically. The coffin joint is injected with a small dose of hyaluronic acid to reduce inflammation (heat) to allow for natural healing. The hyaluronic acid dose is expected to last for 6 weeks, the horse is to return to the control program of 20 minute hand walks and tack walks in the arena tracking to the right. In addition the horse will have Omega Alpha Chill before exercise to keep playfulness in control.

appears sound and continues with the control program. The vet conducts some xrays on the right front to eliminate other causes of lameness, xrays are clean.

has started to appear lame at the walk, but sound at the trot. The vet conducts a lameness exam and has determined that the issue is not in the right front but is in the left front shoulder. The vet believes the left front shoulder is not extending prop- erly and that some stretching should improve. The vet also recommends that perhaps some light alternative therapy could be added, such as massage or acupuncture. The vet pre- scribed the horse Isoxsuprine to increase circulation to assist in healing.

acupuncturist vet conducts a lameness exam and determines that, while the horse appears totally sound at the trot in both directions, at the walk the horse

March 29th – An March 22nd – Horse March 15th – Horse

horse’s walk continues to im- prove, the horse appears sound at the trot. However, something does not feel right with the horse’s trot on the right front again, but the horse appears sound even tracking to the left and into the corners. Following exercise there was heat in the right pastern and fetlock. At this point we are

puncturist vet conducts the first more intensive round of electro acupuncture. We plan on 2-3 more sessions over the next couple weeks. The main vet is kept up to date and approves of the current plan of action. Apr i l 8th – The

horse’s soundness at the walk improves, especially if a small amount of trot on the long sides tracking to the right is added. The horse continues with 20 minute tack walks with 10 longsides of trot both tracking to the right twice daily. April 5th – The acu-

now waiting for the main vet to come out again next week and I have put the horse back to a control program of 20 minute hand walks twice daily. – submitted by Ashley via Hor-

Dear Ashley, Many times the cause

of lameness can be difficult to definitively identify. It sounds like your veterinarian is trying to localize the cause of your horse’s pain. If a definitive diagnosis is not made, prognos- tication is virtually impossible. It sounds as though your horse might need to be referred to a veterinarian who specializes in difficult lameness issues. This could be something that you could discuss with your veterinarian. – Dr. Symm

cant lapse in the time between when these questions are sent in and when the answers ap- pear in the Gazette newspaper and online. If you feel your horse needs to be seen by a veterinarian do not wait for a response. Call a reputable equine veterinarian in your area and let him/her examine the horse!

Retama Equine Hospital at 210-651-6375 or visit www.

You can contact There is a signifi-

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