Letters: 11/00

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Smoke Alarms In Barns
When I built my barn, I installed several household smoke alarms. Within a short period of time they began to go off frequently. I determined that the dust in the barn set them off. Smoke alarms are not practical in dusty settings. I do think that having multiple fire extinguishers and a water source that is located outside the barn with sufficient hose may be more practical. The recent barn fires (July 2000) are a reminder to check the status of our fire extinguishers, wiring, and such.

-Nancy Bacot
Riverwalk Tennessee Walking Horses
Gloucester Point, VA

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Barn Fire Arson
Regarding the list of multiple-death fires in your July issue, Bergen Beach Stables was burned to the ground on June 9, 2000, killing 20 horses, two of which were New York City Park Enforcement Patrol Mounted horses. Two ponies and a mare escaped a horrible death. This fire was set by an arsonist, who was caught. Most of those animals were owned by families and kids.

-Cpl.Laura Teeple
NYC Parks Enforcement Mounted

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Tail Rubbing
I agree with the August 2000 article on thinning tails that discusses tail rubbing as a common cause. An often overlooked reason for tail rubbing is physical discomfort. I have an 18-year-old warmblood in excellent health. When he started rubbing his tail, I eliminated the common causes, i.e. cleaned his sheath, washed his rear every day, scrubbed his tail with just about every product suggested — all to no avail — he still just kept rubbing it out.

Finally, I looked for other causes, considering diet, supplements, shampoo, you name it. I ruled them all out. Then, finally, it dawned on me that it was physical. I called the chiropractor out for an adjustment and he stopped rubbing his tail the next day — it seems his back or hip can get tight or twisted and cause discomfort.

-Brenda Bender
Orange, CA

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Pill Smashing
I cringe at the idea of crushing sulfa pills in a coffee grinder (July 2000). My husband agreed to treat one horse for a boarder who “helpfully” ground her sulfa tablets and brought applesauce to mix them in. The powder simply wouldn’t dissolve well or mix in easily.

We suggest you put a little water on the tablets instead. They will soak it up like little sponges and make a wonderful paste, as thick or thin as you desire, that will mix with applesauce or other flavor.

-Florence Butler
Malta, IL

We haven’t had the problem grinding and mixing sulfa tablets you describe. However, your suggestion to soak the tablet before mixing it in is a good one.

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Pro-Formula Ingredients
The ingredient list for Sound Solution (Pro-Formula), which appeared in our September 2000 liquid joint supplements article, was incomplete. This formula also contains joint supportive ingredients of the sulfate form of glucosamine (the form found in the body), the sulfur-containing amino acid L-methionine 6% for joint and connective tissue strength, highly bioavailable manganese ascorbate at 80 mg. (cartilage formation) and copper gluconate 6.4 mg. (connective tissues), as well as the connective tissue nutrient and antioxidant ascorbic acid at 1,063 mg. to assist in rebuilding damaged tissues over the long term.