Top Tips

Tips from equestrians around the Carolinas.

May’s Top Tip comes from Kristi Shupe, DVM, with Rocky River Large Animal Veterinary Clinic


Keep the water flowing …

Did you know that the average sedentary horse in a thermoneutral environment will need around 25 liters of water?  This can increase to as much as 72 -92 liters if the horse is exercising in a hot environment and losing fluids due to sweat.  In order to facilitate adequate consumption, provide access to cool clean water (45°-65°F optimum) and a salt block or lose salt in feed.  A good rule of thumb for water temperature, if you would not drink it hot or covered in algae neither will the horse!


Dr Witwer- feb tip-w500-h500Dr. Witwer
SC Equine Associates

Why does my horse have a lump in his throat? That is one of the most commonly asked questions I get. The client’s horse has a moveable mass at its throat latch and they are concerned that it is a tumor or, for those that know it is the thyroid gland, think is becoming enlarged. In fact it is the thyroid gland but most instances it is normal. As horses age the upper attachments of the thyroid weaken allowing the gland to drop down and become more noticeable. The normal thyroid gland is smooth, elliptical and, when dropped down, can easily be moved under the skin. For reasons unknown this usually occurs unilaterally (only on one side) even though they have a gland on each side of the neck. If you notice this in your horse periodically monitor the size of the mass. If it is becoming enlarged or gets painful contact your veterinarian immediately.


Robbie J. Whaley, DVMtop tip pic-w500-h500
Piedmont Equine Mobile Veterinary Services

Being able to provide your vet with the horses heart rate during times of illness is a valuable piece of information about the status and urgency of attention. The pulse can be taken by listening with a stethoscope placed firmly behind the left elbow and once the heart beat is heard you can count the number of beats (lub – dub equals One beat) over a timed 15 second period then multiply X 4 for a pulse. normal should be in the 36 to 44 beats per minute range. practice when your horse is healthy to establish a baseline for each horse. if you need help just ask your vet on the next visit.  We are glad to teach.