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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! You can contact Retama Equine Hospital at 210-651-6375 for your large & small animal needs.


information on the risks of transporting horses by sea, as I need to move miniature horses and a donkey south from an island in Alaska. There are two ferries, one goes directly to Washington State, and this is a 36 hour voyage. The animals are not able to be tended to for most of the voyage, other than to be checked on, (fed and wa- tered) every 8 hours. Otherwise they will be below the passenger deck and perhaps only seen once every hour by the watch- man of the vessel. There are two passages where the ship is exposed to open ocean, and so it there could be some rocking motion experienced by the ani- mals for approximately 3 hours for each crossing. Otherwise the trip should not be in rough seas. Another option would be a 6 hour ferry to BC Canada, across some open ocean, and then travel via road for 1000 miles. Due to possible snow when we would be making the trip, I wanted to seek advice on the risks of the longer ferry voy- age, to see if this should even be considered as an option or not. The trailer they would


be travelling in is a stock trailer, with a divider in the middle, to separate the horses and donkey. They do have room to turn around and move a little bit. Thank you. – V. Kellogg, sub- mitted via HorseGazette.com


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directly rather or not trans- portation via sea or a combi- nation of sea and land would be safer. You might get better information if you contact the transport companies or a veterinarian in Washington or


I cannot answer


Transport Sea or Land? I am looking for


Alaska that might be familiar with these methods of trans- port in that particular area. – Dr. Symm


two questions. 1) Can you tell me if


Horses and Cavities? Hello...I actually have


sweet feed causes a horses teeth to rot? My friends swear it does and said their vet has confirmed it. However, I have never heard of this and have not been able to find any information online confirming this one way or the other.


that show a linear relationship between caries (cavity) forma- tion in the horse and sweet feed, nor have I drawn this conclusion in my experience. Horses can develop caries though, which can lead to the destruction of enamel and sub- sequent erosion of the teeth. Unfortunately the exact factors that lead to these problems are not well described/understood in man or the horse. That being said, it is believed that cavity formation is favored by the environment created by the acidic degradation of car- bohydrates. Presumably sweet feeds, which are high in simple sugars or carbohydrates, could lead to an increased incidence of cavities in the horse, as is presumed in man. Keep in mind though, some grass hays are also considered relatively high in carbohydrates. In the meantime, just as it is recom- mended in man, regular dental examinations, by a veterinar- ian, is likely the best way to prevent clinical problems that could develop secondary to caries or any other abnormal- ity that might occur in your


There are no studies


horse’s mouth. - Dr. Symm 2) Have a 9 year


old gelding who all of sudden within months lost a sustain- able amount of weight. From seeing no ribs to seeing ribs and backbone very fast. Vet was out a few weeks ago and suggested somewhere along the way he may have digested some sand. Which would make sense for the fact that he drank live running water on a trail ride couple months ago. We have been giving him Metamucil with his feed, per vets advice. Been doing this now every evening for several weeks but does not look like it’s helping. A week ago we started adding a weight gain booster. He is on hay twice a day and 2 scoops of feed with the Metamucil and now weight gain booster. His diet has changed at all in two years. He’s getting more feed right now than before. He is not a hard keeper. I have not seen any sand in stool. Any other thoughts or suggestions to try or how long it would take to see a difference to know whether it is working or not? I’m getting concerned at the fact if he loses too much more weight it’ll be in overnight care and not real sure what else to do. At this point it doesn’t look like he’s lost anymore nor gained anymore. Thanks for your time and appreciate it. – Jackie Lamb, submitted via HorseGazette.com


a follow-up examination with your local veterinarian to de- termine rather or not another cause for the weight loss is more evident now or if the treatment time has not been long enough. – Dr. Symm


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