Letters: 09/03

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Farnam On Ivermectin
Your readers read the news in your July 2003 issue that ivermectin kills up to 25 additional species and stages of parasites, mostly small strongyles, than previously known or included on deworming packaging.

As you stated, ivermectin as an active ingredient has not changed. But label claims can change or be added when manufacturers file for and receive approval from the FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM) for such claims. We want to repeat the information you gave consumers in your article that they have been getting that additional protection with ivermectin all along.

From an FDA standpoint, all ANADA 1.87% ivermectin pastes must show they are bioequivalent to the pioneer drug using the same active ingredient. Consumers are free to make their ivermectin choices based on key factors, such as the syringe design, product price and the dewormer’s availability at the retailers they like to patronize.

-Gina DePinto
Public Relations Director, Farnam Companies

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Antacid Dosage
We read the short piece in your July 2003 issue that ulcers may cause cribbing and want to try an antacid on one of our horses to see if that’s the cause of his cribbing. Can you give us the dosages'

-Emily Elek
Stonewell Farm
Wisconsin

You can start with generic human- liquid antacids, four to six ounces every four to six hours for a few days, then stretch it out to two or three times a day after symptoms start to respond (usually two to three days).

If using an equine powdered or pelleted product (we suggest Nature’s Own U-Gard www.equine-america.com 800-838-7524 or Kentucky Equine Research’s Neigh Lox www.ker.com 800-772-1988), start by feeding a full dose (4 oz.) with every grain meal. Dr. Eleanor Kellon, our veterinary editor, usually gives a dose mixed into a paste and given by syringe in between and a dose before bedtime (if convenient) for the first two to three days, then doses with every meal for about a month, then cuts doses in half for maintenance if needed.

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Corona For Ear Bugs
Oh, my gosh, can I relate to your July 2003 piece on insects and ears. Not only have I skipped the trims on my horses’ ears to help them combat the bugs, I’ve tried everything, from repellent creams specifically formulated for ears to expensive flymasks that become tug-of-war toys.

I swear by Corona Ointment. It makes for a gooey mess in the ears, but even my snooty warmblood prefers sticky ear hair to bug bites. The bugs won’t go for a slick, sticky ear, and that suits us just fine. We reapply every three days or so, and she cleans up beautifully when it’s show time. I also give my mare a big swath of it along her ventral line, where those nasty gnats like to bite and she has so little recourse.

-Erin Jaffarian
California

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Clover Notes
After reading your July 2003 article on clover, I went out to my pasture and picked samples of red, white and hop clover. Readers should be aware that hop clover flowers are set in a similar manner as the alsike clover, and I was relieved to learn that I don’t have alsike clover in my pasture. Hop clover flowers are smaller and have a bright yellow appearance. Hop clover isn’t toxic to horses, but it is unpalatable and will take over a pasture if not aggressively eradicated.

Thanks for this article. I have friends who had alsike clover in their pastures, and their horses experienced the symptoms you described. Unfortunately, these people believe that all clover is bad and spray their pastures to kill all broadleaf plants. Their horses then miss out on the forage variety.

-Lynn White
Idaho

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Treat Horses With Dignity
I want to thank Eleanor Kellon VMD for writing July’s editorial, “A Will to Live.” So many “horse people” feel that horses are so expendable, more like equipment than living creatures. I have learned from my equine companions the intelligence, humor and sensitivity these creatures possess, yet humans are still so quick to euthanize as a solution when these animals are not suffering but just are not “useful” to the human anymore, or are suffering with an ailment that can be remedied with medication or medical attention. I hope the day soon comes when all horses will be treated with the respect and dignity they deserve throughout their life.

-Pat Brown
Washington

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Poignant Editorial
Dr. Eleanor Kellon’s July editorial was especially poignant for us as we struggle with too many horses, many of which are lame or have behavior problems. We decided that one will be euthanized before this winter, after he got cast twice in the snow last winter and I realized that if I hadn’t been home he’d have frozen to death. It’s always a difficult decision. Many people we know just throw away the lives of “used up” animals. I hope Dr. Kellon’s article will bring conscience to some people.

-Paula Vervaet
New York