Head Wound - Don't have any pictures due to the severity of Grace's wound.  It was the worst head wound I have seen!  She had sliced open her forehead from center of forehead to the poll, her left  temporal muscle was hanging out and the skin around her ear was hanging off.  It took about three hours to suture her up!  She has a head bandage on right now and I am going out today to check on her and change the bandage. Colic - Called out late at night to see a mare who was clicking.  She had a two month old foal at her side and was very thin, BCS 3/9. Palpation per rectum showed a colon that had shifted and was distended.  Referral, IV fluids were not an option due to costs consideration.  Left her with some enteral fluids via naso-gastric tube and pain medication.  She got painful again the next day and was treated again. She had been fine since!


Equine Scratches - Diagnosis and Treatment

Here is an excerpt from an article I wrote, featured in  Horse Talk Magazine.  Pick up a copy at your feed store (it is free) or go online to read the rest.  Several people have told me already how helpful it is and that makes me feel great! Equine Scratches, Diagnosis and Treatment by Kate Moga, DVM.  Olde Towne Equine, Fredericksburg, Virginia.

“Clean and dry, clean and dry” is what I tell horse owners after treating a patient with pastern dermatitis.

Scratches”, “mud fever”, and “greasy heel” are all familiar terms for pastern dermatitis, a common equine skin problem. Technically, pastern dermatitis is not a single disease but a generic skin reaction to a variety of causes. The dermatitis typically involves the back (caudal aspect) of the pasterns and if not addressed can spread to the front of the pastern. Initially signs may be limited to redness and scaling, but they often progress to oozing of fluid (serum) from the skin, matting of hair, and development of crusts. Chronic cases can become very ugly indeed, as the skin becomes thickened and swollen. It may even develop bumpy, mass-like tissue. This condition is very painful for the horse, and can cause lameness in some cases.

“Scratches” is most commonly seen on white-colored hind legs of all breeds of horses. It can be unilateral (one sided), or bilateral (involving both right and left limbs). It may affect all four legs. Many cases seen in our region are from contact allgery and involve a secondary bacterial infection, but other causes include contact irritation from caustic substances, mites, fungal infection, and photosensitization related to pasture plant toxicity.


To read more go to www.horsetalkmagazine.com



Third eyelid squamous cell carcinoma in a horse

SCC of third eyelid Squamous cell carcinoma


Six months ago, thanks to an observant horse owner who noticed something different in her horse's eye, the horse received prompt diagnosis - third eyelid squamous cell carcinoma based on histopathology - and treatment of this aggressive cancer.  If the owner had delayed getting veterinary attention, the horse could have lost his eye.  Fortunately only the mass was removed and the area was treated with cryotherapy.

SCC is the most common periocular tumor in horses and typically affects depigmented (pink) tissues exposed to UV light.

Equine Gingivitis

OLDETOWNEEQUINE - photo 2 OLDETOWNEEQUINE - photo 1 Today I went to do a routine yearly oral exam and dentistry on a horse.  The gelding is in his teens and his teeth are in good shape for his age, no wave mouth formation, steps, excess transverse ridges or impacted feed pockets.  He did however have very inflamed gingiva, especially above his 102 incisor.  The other upper incisors were also effected but not the lower ones.  He had a small ulcer most likely from a grass awn on his lower lip.  The gingiva has receded from the tooth and left the softer cementum exposed.


Horse with Chronic Hoof Abscess

Two years ago I had an interesting case.  A horse named Riley was chronically lame in his left front foot due to abscesses, a painful condition where pressure builds up the sensitive part of the horse's foot due to pus.  The condition usually resolves on its own in a few days by finding the pathway of least resistance, either out through the coronary band at the top of the hoof or on the bottom of the foot along the "white-line.". The white line is the intersection between the sensitive and insensitive tissues of the foot.  

Riley would abscess every month or so and be in excruciating pain.  He didn't want to put any weight on his limb, and at approximately 1500 pounds this put a lot of stress on his other front limb.  This went on for a year or so.  The farm changed vets and I inherited Riley.  He was not a good patient and was a bit of a big bully.  The farrier didn't like him because he wouldn't keep his feet up to be trimmed.  He was in and out of pain and it led to some unhelpful behaviors.

I recommended radiographs (x-rays) of his foot and we found some inconsistencies between the bone and bottom of his sole.  Using the skilled farrier to pare out the abscess tract we came to realize that 80% of his sole was undermined by another sole underneath it.  There were two soles separated by a layer of pus.  The farrier carefully respected the sole revealing a moderately hard sole that had toughened enough to stand some pressure.  We put a hospital plate on to give him support and protection.


At the thirty day recheck the new sole was hard enough to take the hospital plate off.  Riley hasn't abscessed in two years!!



horse with large hook on cheek tooth

I went out this afternoon to see two middle aged horses, both new to my practice.  Neither had seen a vet in about two years and that was the last time they had an oral exam or dental work.  They had consistent, good care otherwise. The first horse I sedated for a complete oral exam with speculum and found an enormous 206 hook.  The hook was only present on one side which is somewhat unusual.  The rest of the mouth was not unusually bad for a middle aged horse, minimal periodontal disease, small wave formation and sharp points.   The tooth opposing the 206 hook needed some work, the larger tooth had caused uneven wear to the tooth below it.

I guess what made this case interesting to me was the large size of the 206 tooth that was just on one side of the mouth and the fact that I could reduce it with my hand floats.   It did take a lot of work!  I only wish I had taken before and after pictures.  But, it was the last appointment of the day and I needed to pick up my son at day care.


I know I have made this horse more comfortable and it will be able to use its teeth further into old age.  It is very satisfying.