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What is the quote regarding handling gentle vs. mean/unexperienced horses?
More people are injured by "gentle" horses that do unexpected things than by mean or unexperienced horses.
Where should you touch a horse? Where should you not touch a horse?
You should touch them on their withers. Don't touch their face.
How should you approach a horse?
Approach from the front left at a 45 degree angle (the "near" side), avoid blind spots.
Where should you and the restrainer stand by the horse?
Both the restrainer and the examiner should stand on the same side (in case the animal decides to kick, easier to restrain).
Where can horses not see?
They can't see directly behind, directly in front of the tip of their nose, directly between the eyes and the forehead, and the area directly above their head and between the ears
Where should you not stand when restraining a horse?
Don't ever stand the horse by a wall (SQUASH!) underneath a horse, or directly behind a horse
What do the 3 different ear positions tell you about the horse's behavior?
If their ears are back: aggression (like a cat) Ears to the side: they are chill Ears forward: they are paying attention to what's forward (horses pay attention to where there ears are positioned) Can tell you if they are deaf if no ear movement
What are 8 methods that can be used to restrain a horse?
1) Halter and lead rope 2) Covering the eyes 3) Tying to lead 4) Lead rope with chain 5)Tail tie 6) Twitching 7) Elevating one leg 8) Stocks
How do you put a halter and lead on a horse?
Hold lead and halter in your left hand, approach horse at 45 degree angle on Left side, place hand on shoulder, say "whoa." Wrap rope around base of neck of the horse for control, move up to the back of the ears (poll). Strap the halter around from the top of the head first starting from the right side over. Then place muzzle part around the mouth and secure. Hold lead accordian style, grab rope. Then walk forward w/out looking back at horse with confidence and leadership, elbow out and leave space. Walk beside head and neck.
What is a chain lead?
A chain that adds additional control and restraint to a horse. The chain wraps around the bridge of the nose and runs underneath the upper gums. Used to get attention when the sound "snaps." Also, possible accupuncture sight, releasing endorphins and calms the horse. "Over the bridge and through the woods (gums)"
Tying to a Lead in a Horse
Not recommended, dangerous and rarely necessary in medicine. If used, use a quick release knot tied to a STURDY structure (steel pole--not fence). DON'T TIE FOR MEDICAL PROCEDURES!
What's important that you should always carry in your pocket when dealing with horses? Why?
A pocket knife in case you need to cut the rope in emergency situations. Horses can freak out, rear up and fall backwards and die if they are attached to a rope.
How does covering the eye of the horse help with restraint?
You can block the area behind the eye with your hand so the horse doesn't see someone drawing blood, not necessary to cover the entire eyes.
How is elevating one leg on a horse useful for restraint?
Good for hoof care, requires mild restraint, decreases movement of the horse, and decreases the chance of kicking
How does a tail tie work in restraining a horse?
Horses actually have very strong tails like a mouse, they can be tied to help assist stabalizing an ataxic horse. Should not be tied to solid objects, and you should avoid tying the vertibrae. Use quick release knot for tying
What are two theories of why twitching is useful for restraining a horse? Which horses should you NOT twitch?
1) Accupressure (releases endorphins) 2) Distraction. Never use on foals
What is the natural technique of twitching a horse?
Used without devices. MUST BE HALTERED (or they'll just walk away). You can use your hands to pinch the shoulder skin or neck skin, then twist. Causes slight pain to get their attention. Only twist and release, don't hold (can damage skin). Can also grab the ear base or upper lip.
What is the mechanical technique of twitching a horse?
Place a rope (or chain) attached to a pole around the upper lip. Don't occlude the nostrils. Always better to use a longer handle just in case the horse rears. Rope twitches are more gentle than chains
What is the humane twitch?
Consists of two handles that function as a scissor-type clamp on the nose. Can close and open the arms of the clamp. Limited in usefulness. Shorter length of handle and can be a potential weapon if horse decides to swing its head.
What are stocks, and how are they used to assist in restraint of a horse?
Stocks are rectangular enclosures made of wood or metal used to confine a horse and restrict movement (1-2 feet only allowed). Never place horse in cattle stock (they are very different). Good for performing rectal palpations (horses usually go down) and for surgical procedures. Horses tend to avoid moving into stalks--may require sedation depending on patient.
What is the construction of a horse stock?
The sides are adjustable depending on size or horse, contain 2 gates (one at each end). Gates open and close. Contain a few bars and no ceiling. Horses should never be left unattended in a stock.
What are the steps to restraining a foal? (In sequential order?)
1) ALWAYS first control and restrain the mare, keep foal close to mare. (Foals follow dams, so leading the mare will result in leading the foal). Also, mares may be aggressive and protective if not restrained, allow her to see whats going on. 2) Place one arm around shoulders (withers) and base of neck. Control hindquarters by placing arm around hinquarters or using tail hold. 3) Never place hand above head-can buck and injure restrainer. Foals are more rambunctious and not used to being handled.
How do you tail restrain a foal?
Hold the tail base, point it straight up while holding around the neck (usually will rear up).
What's the best way to get a good history on a horse from the owner?
Asking open-ended questions first, ("what are their eating/bathroom habits?") instead of "are they urinating more?" then questions more specific to a disease. "change in appetite?" "last time teeth filed?"
What are some important facts required for obtaining a good history?
Vaccine hx, deworming hx, foot care/shoeing, excercise (working/racing/pet/riding?), transportation (viral dz), Housing, Diet (pasture, grain, hay), diet change (very sensitive to this), water access, attitude change, cribbing
What is cribbing?
A bad vice of horses where they bite and chew on fences and walls. They suck up air during this, which can lead to health problems or even death.
What should you do after a horse dies?
Perform a postmortem to prevent infection esp if the animal dies unexpectedly
What are 4 the different types of physical exams on horses?
1) Special purpose exams (pre purchase, insurance) 2) Standard (performing full exam) 3) "Over the fence" (determine whether or not the animal is sick enough to where it is worth examining) 4) Owner lead (where owner restrains) be cautious of this method (liability issues) call ahead to let owner restrain horse before you get there.
Normal Temp of Horse? Types of thermometers and the differences. What are some methods you can use to take a rectal temp on horse?
99-101.5 F. Can use mercury or digital thermometer. Mercury therm. are longer, but dangerous that it contains glass and mercury. Digital ones aren't as long. Attach string to thermometer to prevent horse from aprirating it. Run your hand along the back before you insert to avoid startling horse, stand to the side no behind the horse, and stay in view. Avoid rectal balls and keep close to the mucosa.
Where can you naturally twitch a horse?
Shoulders (Shoulder roll/skin twitch) or Ear twitch, (grasping by base of the ear only).
What is an insurance examination?
Required by the insurance company before the horse can receive insurance coverage. Can range from basic exam to thorough, in-depth exam.
What is a pre-purchase examination?
Conducted before completing the sale of the animal, common in equine practice. Often sources of lawsuits against the vet usually because of a misunderstanding of the purpose of the exam. (Not a guarantee of the horse's future performance).
What is a basic/standard physical exam?
TPR, heart and abdo auscultation, hydration status, exam of mm, height/wt. Begin after you've assessed behavior
What is the biggest complaint of the clients after a PE is performed by a vet?
That they don't listen.
What is a pet peeve of Dr. Yates when taking temps?
Don't dip the thermometer in the lube!! Place lube on gauze.
What are 3 ways to measure the RR in a horse?
1) using a stethoscope 2) using hand to feel the movement of air around the nostril 3) (most common) counting chest excursions
Whare are some normal/abnormal signs of respiration in a horse?
They have costoabdominal breathing (use thoracic and abdo muscles to breathe). Mouth breathing NOT normal. Sign of heat stress or distress (heat stress if over 85 degees)=normal
Lung sounds are abnormal. Should not have wheezing, whistles or snores. Note on inspiration or expiration if present.
Where should you auscult the lungs in a horse?
Both the right and left sides. Cranioventral, midthorax, and caudaldorsal regions. Part of the cranioventral area is obscured by the shoulder and cannot be heard. Absence of lung sounds indicates fluid presence.
How can you make a horse take a deep breath?
Place a trash bag around the horse's mouth (re-breathing bag) tied around the halter.
The lung sounds on a horse should be...
Normally quiet. Sometimes difficult to hear due to external sounds.
Respirations of a horse should be characterized by what 2 things?
Effort and depth. (shallow, deep, labored, gasping, etc).
What is the most convenient artery for palpating a pulse rate on a horse? Where is it located?
The facial artery. Over the ventral aspect of the mandible rostral to the origin of the masseter muscle. Press firmly and be patient, pulse rate is much slower than small animals.
What are some other places you can palpate the arteries of a horse for a pulse rate?
Transverse facial artery: horizontal depression about 1 inch caudal to lateral canthus of the eye, just below zygomatic arch. Coccygeal artery: ventral midline of the tail. Dorsal metatarsal: between cannon bone and splint bone (metatarsals 3 and 4) on hind legs. Can also feel heat from hoof wall (indicates good circulation)
What is a common normal irregularity in the heart rate of horses?
2nd degree AV heart block, or a dropped beat. Caused by failure of electrical impulses from atria to reach the ventricles. "blockage" occurs.
(ex. LUB DUB...DUB, LUB DUB...) Dropped beat but in a regular pattern. typically every 3rd or 4th heart beat is dropped
What are three qualities for assessing the heart rate in horses?
1) strong 2) weak 3) bounding
Should be strong. Bounding indicates cardiaz dz.
Where should you place a stethoscope for ausculting the HR in horses?
between the olecrannon (elbow) and shoulder under the tricep muscle (dorsoventral position of heart) Between the 4th and 5th intercostal space. Place stethoscope deep between the shoulder and elbow. May have to move the horse's front limb forward. Should always auscult both right and left sides
What heart sound abnormalities are common in horses?
Murmurs, 2nd degree heart block. Ejection murmurs are common and should go away once horse is excercised. Systolic or diastolic.
What's the best way to palpate a horse's heart rate and pulse rate?
Simultaneously. Any decrease in pulse rate from heart rate indicates pulse deficit.
What are some areas in the horse's body where you can identify the mucous membrane color?
1) gingiva 2) conjunctiva 3) nostrils 4) vulva (in females)
How can you get a horse to open its mouth?
Place fingers in interdental space and pressing on hard palate. Can also bring tongue to the side.
What does the color of the mm tell you? What does the moisture tell you?
Color: oxygen level and blood perfusion. Moisture level: hydration status. If tacky=dehydration
Where do you pinch a horse for the skin turgor test? AKA?
Pinch the neck or press on the eyelids. AKA "skin pinch test"
What is the normal CRT in horses? How many seconds would indicate severe dehydration or shock?
Less than 2.5 seconds. Severe dehydration/shock= 5 to 8 seconds!
Where do you auscult the abdomen in a horse?
The flank (area between the pelvis and the caudal margin of the ribcage). Flank is normally slightly depressed. Auscult the 4 regions: upper left, upper right, lower left and lower right quadrants. auscult on both sides of abdomen
What is the point of ausculting the abdomen of a horse? What are intestinal motility sounds called?
Listen for GI motility. Borborygmi. (sounds like thunder rumbling or an approaching freight train).
What is the normal rate for abdominal sounds in a horse? How is it rated?
Should be at least 1-3 motions per minute per quadrant.
0= no motility heart
Active vs. Passive abdominal sounds.
Active sounds means the intestines are functioning normally and can be ausculted. Passive sounds are sounds created by movement of gas and liquids without any propelling movement of the intestines, which does not necessarily indicate a normally functioning GI system.
How can height in a horse be measured? What are two methods?
Rough estimates or precise measurements. Roughly: height/weight tape. Tape is measured in hands up to the highest point at the last mane hair on the withers of the horse. Precise: measuring rulers.
How is weight estimated in a horse?
Girth tape. Encircles the horse at the girth (area behind the withers just behind the forelimb. Can also use large animal scales if handy.
What do you check EENT (head) of horse for?
check for symmetry (right and left sides). Ears can be difficult, nostrils should have pleasant smell, throat can be difficult to evaluate like a rabbit. Breath should have pleasant smell, may need sedation for dental exam. Can check mm, CRT, breath and teeth (sometimes) if dental dz
How do you check BCS of horse?
Check for muscle mass at the withers. Can also check palpation and visualization of the ribs. Can differentiate from saddle placement.
Usually check this before the exam. "over the fence"
What do you check lower limbs for in a horse?
Flexion and extension, crepitis, pain, digital pulse, abnormalities.
Where do you palpate the lymph nodes in horses? Are they palpable? What's the name?
Submandibular.Normally not palpable.
Called the retropharyngeal lymph nodes.
What does edema around the caudal triceps of a horse indicate?
Heart problems in the horse create ventral edema occumulation around caudal triceps.
Why should you keep a horse closeby to another herd animal?
Because they are naturall suspicious. They are weary with predators. It's their buddy!
What's a good tip on how much effort you should put into restraining a horse?
Use the least amount of restraint and the shortest amount of time. The longer you hold, the more frusterated they will get.
What is a general exam?
An exam where the vet looks at ALL areas of the horse
(ex: horse presenting cough and fever may also have laminitis without that being primary complaint.)
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