Ask Horse Journal: 11/04

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Mustang Trims
I have a five-year-old mare who has excellent feet and goes barefoot. My farrier agrees that she doesn’t need shoes. My trainer recently mentioned that there are some farriers that specialize in barefoot horses and do something called a “mustang” trim, part of which involves squaring off the toes. Do you know anything about this'

Mustang trims belong on mustangs, or any horse/pony that travels over identical terrain and puts in the same average daily mileage as a mustang and has feet whose normal proportions are similar to a mustang’s. If your mare is sound and has healthy feet, no chipping or cracking, there is no reason to change her trim. Horses that go barefoot over very abrasive surfaces do often wear the edges of the hoof so that it has a slightly rounded edge, or in the extreme case a snubbed look similar to a squared toe but this is a wear pattern related to ground conditions and not necessarily appropriate for every horse. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it applies here.

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Toothpaste On Sarcoids
The sarcoid on my horse was removed with cryosurgery/freezing, but it grew back. Then the vet surgically removed the new growth. It grew back. Then I did the escharotic treatment, and it again grew back. I was told to try using toothpaste on it. At that point I figured, why not, at least it would not be painful to my poor horse. The sarcoid disappeared in two weeks and two years later is still gone. I understand it may be the mint that is the active ingredient. Do you have any input or experiences with toothpaste'

There are anecdotal reports of sarcoids drying up and falling off when toothpaste is used and also many people who have no resonse at all to toothpaste.

Exactly what the toothpaste may be doing, or what ingredients are responsible has never been studied, but it’s not likely to be mint flavoring. The fluoride, abrasives or possibly other chemicals in the toothpaste might be responsible. It’s also possible that the toothpaste just dries up irritated areas that are stimulating the sarcoid, giving the horse’s own immune system a chance to get on top of it.

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Heavy Parasite Infestations
What type of deworming regimen do you recommend for a horse that is known or presumed to have a heavy parasite load' Is starting a regular (maintenance) deworming sufficient, or does this require a more intensive schedule at first'

I recently acquired an older pony mare who was previously in a group pasture where the horses were dewormed only once a year. I dosed her and my other horse with ivermectin and will do so routinely again in two months, but should I step up the program in this situation'

Ideally you would run a fecal on the newcomer and not turn her out with your other horses until she has had a larvicidal deworming that includes treatment for any tapeworms.

Since you have already treated her once with ivermectin, it may take three to four weeks for a fecal to become positive again, maybe even a little longer, so you really have no way of determining at this point how high her burden of adult, egg-laying forms was.

To be safe, and for best results in your mare’s case, we would suggest deworming her with a five-day, double-dose fenbendazole course as well (appropriate for her weight, of course). After this, put her on the same schedule as the others but be sure to use an ivermectin-praziquantel combination product for her next deworming to remove tapeworms.