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January 31, 2012

Dr. Mark shares a few tips on the physiology of horses

by DePaolo Equine Concepts
Often times Dr. Mark shares great thoughts and tips with his clients when he is out in the field.  We have recently asked him to start writing them down so they can be shared with all horse owners.  Here are a few regarding horse physiology and general horse care:
  1. If your horse is chronically sore in the low back one easy thing to rule out is a negative P3 angle.  Have your farrier put 3 degree wedge pads on both hind feet.  Some horses will be better the next day, some take 10-14 days before you see a difference.
  2. If your horses’ teeth “clack” instead of grind when he closes his mouth his incisors are too long and they need to be reduced.  If you have had his teeth done within the last 6-10 months, find a different veterinarian to do your dentistry. 
  3. Many horses’ will have chronic tendon and ligament sensitivity and even lameness when the toes are too long.  This problem is very common, you need to talk to your farrier or maybe find a new one who will back the toes up to speed break-over.
  4. Many sore-backed horses have a hind gut acidosis that can easily be cured with a good digestive conditioner.  If your digestive conditioner doesn’t do the trick, check him or her for negative P3 angles in the hind feet.
  5.   If your horse cribs, chews wood or is cinchy/girthy it is very likely that he or she is suffering from ulcers.
  6.   I don’t recommend “scoping” a horse for ulcers because you can only rule in or out damage to the stomach lining; you can’t tell if your horse has ulcers of the hind gut.  If you are concerned about ulcers I believe that you should treat your horse, you will get your diagnosis based on the response to therapy.  If he or she responds to the treatment what else could it have been but an ulcer, and really, who cares what it was as long as your horse is better. 

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