My horse will not eat and has some white foam in his mouth. What could be wrong?

Any time a horse is unwilling to eat, there is reason for concern.

With foam coming from his mouth, one of the first problems to consider is choke (a blockage in the esophagus). If the problem does not resolve in an hour, your veterinarian will need to pass a stomach tube to check/resolve the choke.

Other possibilities that need to be considered are colic, respiratory problems, foreign bodies in the mouth/tongue, etc. All these problems are made worse in the …

How toxic is Clematis to horses? Is it toxic all the time or only when it's flowering? Is it palatable to them or is it bitter where they will leave it alone?

In general, horses will avoid plants that are poisonous, provided they have adequate sources of nutrition. It is always best to avoid planting poisonous plants where horses can access them even if it is only occasionally.

Clematis contains irritating substances that cause mouth irritation, excessive salivation and diarrhea if eaten in quantity. Excess diarrhea can lead to dehydration, which can lead to more serious health issues. There is no readily available information on the palatability of clematis. The plant contains …

Do you have information on chigger bites on horses?

When you are riding, you can put petroleum jelly on the coronet area of the horse’s legs to prevent the chiggers from climbing and biting. After they have bitten, there is very little well-known treatment available, other than treating the itch. Contact your veterinarian to see if other appropriate bite remedies are available.…

Is the shrub called a red-tipped photinia poisonous to horses? I would like to plant it close to a fence line, but I'm not sure if it is poisonous.

We are not familiar with any harmful or poisonous effects of red-tipped photinia. However, the shrub is classified as “invasive” in several states. Invasive means that the shrub can “escape” the area where it was planted, with the potential to displace native shrubs, trees, and other vegetation. Also, several university Web sites state that red-tipped photinia is susceptible to diseases, insects, and root issues.
When choosing shrubs and/or trees to place in or near a horse pasture, avoid the following, …

Is equine thrush of the hoof contagious to other horses?

Thrush is an anaerobic bacteria that is not contagious.
The best control for thrush is proper sanitation. Be sure that the horse’s hooves are cleaned daily and that the stall is cleaned daily with removal of wet spots and manure. If the horse is kept in a run-in shed, the area should be cleaned weekly to help minimize the buildup of organic matter. Copper Tox and Thrushbuster work well for treating thrush. Iodine-based products, such as Povidone, are also very …

My horse has a lump under its jaw with no other symptoms of strangles. What else could it be?

The lump could be caused by a number of things. Even though there are no other symptoms of strangles, you may not be able to rule that out. Other possible conditions could be an abscessed tooth or a swollen lymph node that may be caused by some other health condition.
We cannot diagnose these conditions online. We recommend that you contact your veterinarian for a complete assessment. You can provide your veterinarian with good information such as the horse’s vital …

My horse has crusty brownish red stuff forming in his ears. When wiped with a damp cloth it softens and is bloody. The problem seems to be getting worse as the summer progresses. What should I do?

The crusty brownish red stuff in your horse’s ears is likely dried blood, resulting from insects biting/feeding in your horse’s ears. Black flies are often involved in causing the problem. As to solutions, there are several things that can help reduce the biting. First, if your horse is not a show horse, do not clip the hair out of his ears. The hair is there to help keep the insects from easily getting to the skin. Using a fly repellent …

How quickly do paste wormers work to eliminate worms and bots? How can I be sure that worms have been eliminated in my horse?

Different dewormers act in different ways. Some kill the parasites quickly, while others kill more slowly. Also, some dewormers control both adult and immature parasites, while others only control parasites in the intestinal tract. Only the avermectins (ivermectin and moxidectin) control bots.
To determine if the product used is working, have a fecal flotation exam done before deworming and again about 14 days after deworming. There should be at least an 80 to 90% drop in egg count. The reason …

Are persimmons potentially harmful to horses?

The American persimmon can be poisonous to horses. The problem is associated with tannins in the fruit. The tannins can precipitate from the fruit in the stomach and form a sticky mass. This mass can cause ulcers in the stomach and even lead to rupture of the stomach if the horse was to eat a large quantity of the fruit. This can also cause colic due to impaction in the stomach or the small intestine. Signs are colic and weight …

Is there a formula or recipe for making an electrolyte supplement to be given to horses during or after events in hot weather?

Many people think their horse needs electrolytes during the summer. Provided the horse is conditioned properly and is consuming a properly balanced diet, supplemental electrolytes probably are not necessary. However, during extremes of temperature and humidity, the horse may need an electrolyte solution, but it should not be needed or given on a daily basis. If you think a solution is needed, make sure the horse has a choice between the solution and plain water.
A horse that is working …