Archive for December 2012

The Guardian

Every night before turning in I do barn check. By the time I get there my donkeys have almost always “put themselves to bed” by coming into their shared stall from the paddock. Invariably Shiloh stands at the stall door facing out at the world. His buddy Shamus is stretched…

More

The Decision

The call came in mid-morning. Gail was distraught. “It’s Ben, He’s bad. Real bad! Can you get here right away? I’m real worried about him. He’s down and thrashing.” I told Gail I would be there within the hour. I thought about Ben as I drove to her farm. The…

More

Stall Accidents

Every so often you will hear about horses running back into their burning barn. Why is that? It’s because they are scared and confused and headed back towards ultimate safety, their own stall. What a shame that not all stalls are safe. Whenever I am asked to look at the…

More

Stable Air

It was a mid-November day when her call came in. The owner of a stable that I had never been to wanted me to check out a horse with a persistent cough. I told Sandra to expect me at her barn the next morning. I got an early start that…

More

Blocking Out

Most lameness can be diagnosed by using our senses. If we are watching from the ground, our eyes tell us that the horse is not moving right. If we are riding, our seat bones tell us. Our ears can tell us which leg is hitting the ground the hardest. By…

More

It’s The Law

Several months ago I was asked to look at a two year old gelding who was wearing a big ugly bump on his skull.   He had banged his forehead full force, just above the eyes.  The injury was the result of rearing.   With the exception of the Spanish riding school…

More

Up the Nose

My phone rang at 10:30 PM that winter night.   In a vet’s house when the phone rings after 9:00,  you can bet it’s not a social call. I had been Julie’s vet over 15 years, but I didn’t recognize her voice right off.  She was panicked. “Dr J!   You know…

More

Thoughts on Strangles

As I write this article the racetrack at Saratoga, NY has shut down their facility for 2 weeks because of an outbreak of the upper respiratory disease we call strangles.   What we know about strangles today is pretty much what has been known for decades.   Strangles is caused by the…

More

The Stall Door

There are two things that I like to see hanging on the door of every horse’s stall.  One is an information paper, under plastic, that gives information about that particular horse.  The other thing is the horse’s halter, with lead attached. An incident that happened several years ago in a…

More