EQUUS: Hands On Pop Quiz Final Exam Part 5

Test your equine knowledge with Part 5 of the EQUUS: Hands On Pop Quiz Final Exam--a 10-question Pop Quiz from the editors of EQUUS magazine, covering many aspects of horse health and care.
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As you work your way through this Pop Quiz, you'll find that each question is on its own page. The question is repeated with the corresponding answer on the following page.

Question 1

Vitamins and minerals are essential to life, and sometimes deficient horse diets have to be supplemented with micronutrients. But excesses from overzealous supplementation or environmental conditions can lead to serious illness and death. Which of the following nutrients are potentially toxic and which are not known to be toxic, even in large doses?

a.Biotin

b.Selenium

c.Iodine

d.Vitamin E

Answer on next page >



Question 1

Vitamins and minerals are essential to life, and sometimes deficient horse diets have to be supplemented with micronutrients. But excesses from overzealous supplementation or environmental conditions can lead to serious illness and death. Which of the following nutrients are potentially toxic and which are not known to be toxic, even in large doses?

a.Biotin

b.Selenium

c.Iodine

d.Vitamin E

Answer 1

Nontoxic: A and D. Overdose with biotin or any B vitamin except B6 is almost unheard of in horses because the equine kidney is very efficient at eliminating excesses. Neither has vitamin E toxicity been reported in horses or any other healthy animal, for that matter. However, because vitamin E is stored in the liver and, theoretically, could interfere with other fat-soluble vitamins stored there, the National Research Council recommends an upper safe limit of 10,000 international units a day, an amount difficult to exceed when feeding standard feeds and supplements.

Toxic: B and C. Selenium can produce both acute and chronic toxicosis. Very large doses in horses can produce apparent blindness, colic and staggering. Chronic low-level poisoning, which can occur when a horse is given selenium supplements while grazing on selenium-rich soil, is characterized by hair loss and hoof sloughing. Iodine toxicity, occurring in horses fed very large amounts of supplemental iodine, causes hair loss and enlargement of the thyroid glands.

Question 2 >



Question 2

Phenylbutazone, usually shortened to "bute," is one of the most commonly administered non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs in equine medicine. Chances are, you have some bute in your tack or feed room right now. But how much do you really know about this widely used medication? Which of the following statements about bute are true and which are false?

1.It takes 12 hours for the effects of bute to be felt by the horse.

2.Bute reduces fever.

3.Bute will cause gastric ulcers when given daily for more than three days.

4.Small doses of bute can be safely taken by people.

Answer on next page >



Question 2

Phenylbutazone, usually shortened to "bute," is one of the most commonly administered non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs in equine medicine. Chances are, you have some bute in your tack or feed room right now. But how much do you really know about this widely used medication? Which of the following statements about bute are true and which are false?

1.It takes 12 hours for the effects of bute to be felt by the horse.

2.Bute reduces fever.

3.Bute will cause gastric ulcers when given daily for more than three days.

4.Small doses of bute can be safely taken by people.

Answer 2

1.False. Bute is absorbed quickly into the bloodstream, and the effects are usually felt by the horse within two hours.

2.True. In addition to relieving musculoskeletal pain, bute reduces fever caused by viral or bacterial infection. Bute does not cure the infection but simply decreases the associated signs.

3.False. Bute has been implicated in the development of gastric ulcers and other digestive problems, but such complications are usually associated with overdoses or many months of daily use. Individual reactions vary, so it's not possible to set absolute guidelines about its gastric effects. That said, it is always wise to consult with your veterinarian before giving bute to any horse and to follow the dosage guidelines on the label.

4.False. Although phenylbutazone was originally developed for human use, it was withdrawn from that market in the United States due to serious side effects, including jaundice, kidney failure and heart problems. Bute-induced comas have also been reported in human medical literature. The "safe" human dose of bute is unknown. Never take bute yourself.

Question 3 >



Question 3

The normal equine gestation period is 340 days--about 11 months--but anyone who has been on foal watch knows that mares don't always stick to the schedule. To better predict impending foaling, horsemen watch for a number of signs, some reliable and some not. Which of the following are reliable indicators of imminent arrival?

a."Bagging up" or swelling of the udder

b.Wax-like substance forming on the teats

c.Refusal of food or water

d.Change in appearance of the tail head

Answer on next page >



Question 3

The normal equine gestation period is 340 days--about 11 months--but anyone who has been on foal watch knows that mares don't always stick to the schedule. To better predict impending foaling, horsemen watch for a number of signs, some reliable and some not. Which of the following are reliable indicators of imminent arrival?

a."Bagging up" or swelling of the udder

b.Wax-like substance forming on the teats

c.Refusal of food or water

d.Change in appearance of the tail head

Answer 3

A, B and D are reliable indicators that the mare will soon foal but they represent varying degrees of urgency. In the final month of gestation, the udder increases in size, a condition called "bagging up." By the time this occurs, you'll want to have a foaling stall ready, but it's probably too early to start camping out in the barn.

In the final week before foaling, a bead of "wax" usually forms on the teat openings, but not all mares produce these telltale signs. Night watches are justified once you see a mare "waxing up."

The pregnant mare's pelvic ligaments begin to soften over the final month of pregnancy to make room for the birth, but a noticeable flaccidity of the tail head and sunken look over the croup indicate that the foal will be delivered within a few days. Test for this loss of tone by lifting the tail and feeling for resistance.

Refusal of food and water is not a reliable sign of foaling. In fact, many mares stop mid-labor to munch on hay. Loss of appetite and failure to drink can be signs of serious trouble in the pregnant mare, deserving of veterinary attention.

Question 4 >



Question 4

Diseases of the nervous system, such as equine protozoal myeloencephalitis, tend to loom large on horse owners' worry lists because of their often-subtle physical signs. Yet neurological testing is fairly straightforward, because injury of the locomotor nerves produces predictable behavior. Which of these signs indicate possible neurological impairment?

a.Consistent dragging of a hind toe

b.Difficulty rising from recumbency

c.Unsteadiness when the tail is pulled to the side

d.Stumbling

Answer on next page >



Question 4

Diseases of the nervous system, such as equine protozoal myeloencephalitis, tend to loom large on horse owners' worry lists because of their often-subtle physical signs. Yet neurological testing is fairly straightforward, because injury of the locomotor nerves produces predictable behavior. Which of these signs indicate possible neurological impairment?

a.Consistent dragging of a hind toe

b.Difficulty rising from recumbency

c.Unsteadiness when the tail is pulled to the side

d.Stumbling

Answer 4

All answers are signs of nervous-system damage when considered in the context of a complete physical exam. A dragging hind limb (a) and stumbling (d) are often early and easily overlooked signs forewarning seriously debilitating nervous-system disease. When a horse has trouble rising (b) or can't resist the pressure of a sideways tail pull (c), he is in a more advanced stage of neurological compromise. All these signs indicate the need for veterinary attention.

Question 5 >



Question 5

Your yearling colt is cavorting with his herdmates when he slams chest-first into a fence post. You witness the crash and rush to investigate. As you approach, you see that he can't move his right foreleg. You can't find any breaks in the skin or any swelling or painful areas on the leg. When you straighten the leg and place the foot on the ground where it would normally be, the colt will bear weight on it, but he still can't move it forward on his own. What sort of injury would cause no visible wounds yet produce such dire results? What should you do about it?

Answer on next page >



Question 5

Your yearling colt is cavorting with his herdmates when he slams chest-first into a fence post. You witness the crash and rush to investigate. As you approach, you see that he can't move his right foreleg. You can't find any breaks in the skin or any swelling or painful areas on the leg. When you straighten the leg and place the foot on the ground where it would normally be, the colt will bear weight on it, but he still can't move it forward on his own. What sort of injury would cause no visible wounds yet produce such dire results? What should you do about it?

Answer 5

Your colt most likely has injured his radial nerve, which runs near the point of the shoulder and serves the forelimb's extensor muscles. Trauma to this nerve can result in passing or prolonged paralysis of the muscles that advance and straighten the foreleg. The colt's ability to still bear weight on the affected leg indicates that the collision did not injure other shoulder structures. You'll need to call your veterinarian, who many prescribe anti-inflammatory medications, possibly including intravenous DMSO. If the colt improves in the first few minutes, his chance for full, rapid recovery is good. Even when paralysis lingers, recovery usually progresses steadily over a period of months until the leg becomes fully functional again.

Question 6 >



Question 6

Proud flesh, the lumpy, raw-looking mass bulging from an unhealed wound, is the product of tissue reconstruction run amok. Defined as exuberant growth of granulation tissue, proud flesh is a disorganized overgrowth of replacement support cells.

Once it gets started, proud flesh can delay or prevent healing until surgery or medication returns the wound to like-new condition and the injured tissues can reunite properly on the second try. Which of the following statements about this troublesome complication are true and which are false?

1.Proud flesh is more likely to form on the lower legs than elsewhere on the body.

2.Wrapping a wound minimizes the formation of proud flesh.

3.Proud flesh is a sign of infection.

4.Proud flesh is less likely to form in sutured wounds.

Answer on next page >



Question 6

Proud flesh, the lumpy, raw-looking mass bulging from an unhealed wound, is the product of tissue reconstruction run amok. Defined as exuberant growth of granulation tissue, proud flesh is a disorganized overgrowth of replacement support cells.

Once it gets started, proud flesh can delay or prevent healing until surgery or medication returns the wound to like-new condition and the injured tissues can reunite properly on the second try. Which of the following statements about this troublesome complication are true and which are false?

1.Proud flesh is more likely to form on the lower legs than elsewhere on the body.

2.Wrapping a wound minimizes the formation of proud flesh.

3.Proud flesh is a sign of infection.

4.Proud flesh is less likely to form in sutured wounds.

Answer 6

1.True. Proud flesh is much more likely to appear on leg and foot wounds. This tendency is likely related to the reduced blood supply and the extreme tension of the skin in the legs, both of which make healing harder.

2.False. Controlled studies suggest that wrapping a wound may actually increase proud flesh formation. Wrap a leg wound only under the direction of your veterinarian and only as long as needed to allow the defect to fill and to prevent contamination.

3.False. Proud flesh may accompany infection, but it is not a sign of infection.

4.True. Suturing a wound closed (whenever conditions permit and stitching is appropriate) is one of the surest ways to prevent proud flesh. With the injured tissues held in close contact by the sutures, granulation is kept to a minimum, making it unlikely that overgrowth will occur.

Question 7 >



Question 7

Horses don't have accents, so a French horse's whinny sounds essentially the same as a Florida horse's whinny. Yet the manner in which people in different nations express that horse sound in their own languages varies remarkably. Can you deduce the languages that use the four following representations of the equine whinny?

1.Pruh

2.Hee hee

3.Ih-ih-ihaaa

4.Hiiiii

Answer on next page >



Question 7

Horses don't have accents, so a French horse's whinny sounds essentially the same as a Florida horse's whinny. Yet the manner in which people in different nations express that horse sound in their own languages varies remarkably. Can you deduce the languages that use the four following representations of the equine whinny?

1.Pruh

2.Hee hee

3.Ih-ih-ihaaa

4.Hiiii

Answer 7

1.Danish

2.Thai

3.Turkish

4.French

Question 8 >



Question 8

Your horse is powered by three muscle types: the heart's cardiac muscle; smooth muscle lining internal organs and driving involuntary actions, such as movement of food through the intestines; and skeletal, or voluntary, muscle attaching primarily to bones to move body parts under direction of the central nervous system. Which muscle predominates in your horse's body, and approximately how much of his total weight does it account for?

Answer on next page >



Question 8
Your horse is powered by three muscle types: the heart's cardiac muscle; smooth muscle lining internal organs and driving involuntary actions, such as movement of food through the intestines; and skeletal, or voluntary, muscle attaching primarily to bones to move body parts under direction of the central nervous system. Which muscle predominates in your horse's body, and approximately how much of his total weight does it account for?

Answer 8

Skeletal muscle makes up 45 percent of your horse's body weight, far more even than the bones. In addition to powering locomotion and movement, these strong, blood-rich, elastic structures protect the skeleton by distributing force and absorbing shock.

Question 9 >



Question 9

Genetics is a tough subject, and this test poses a double challenge. First, unscramble the following letter combinations to disclose four important genetic terms, then match them with their appropriate definitions.

1.Pnyethep

2.Tengypoe

3.Mogozohyus

4.Geezyothruso

a.An individual's full complement of genes, half inherited from the sire and half from the dam, some expressed and some not apparent.

b.Having a matched pair of genes-either two dominants or two recessives-for a single trait.

c.The expression of genes that can be readily observed, such as color, conformation and gaits.

d.Having a mixed pair of genes for a single trait, one dominant, one recessive; though the dominant gene is expressed in the individual, the recessive gene is just as likely to be passed on to the offspring.

Answer on next page >



Question 9

Genetics is a tough subject, and this test poses a double challenge. First, unscramble the following letter combinations to disclose four important genetic terms, then match them with their appropriate definitions.

1.Pnyethep

2.Tengypoe

3.Mogozohyus

4.Geezyothruso

a.An individual's full complement of genes, half inherited from the sire and half from the dam, some expressed and some not apparent.

b.Having a matched pair of genes-either two dominants or two recessives-for a single trait.

c.The expression of genes that can be readily observed, such as color, conformation and gaits.

d.Having a mixed pair of genes for a single trait, one dominant, one recessive; though the dominant gene is expressed in the individual, the recessive gene is just as likely to be passed on to the offspring.

Answer 9

1.Phenotype, C

2.Genotype, A

3.Homozygous, B

4.Heterozygous, D

Question 10 >



Question 10

Colic is not a specific disease but rather a blanket term for abdominal pain. Test your knowledge of this all-too-common equine affliction by determining which of the following statements are true and which are false.

1.A colicking horse must be walked to prevent him from rolling and getting a twisted gut.

2.The gut always goes ominously silent in a severely colicking horse.

3.After a bout of colic, a horse should be fasted for 24 hours.

4.Heart rate can be a reliable indicator of colic severity

Answer on next page >



Question 10

Colic is not a specific disease but rather a blanket term for abdominal pain. Test your knowledge of this all-too-common equine affliction by determining which of the following statements are true and which are false.

1.A colicking horse must be walked to prevent him from rolling and getting a twisted gut.

2.The gut always goes ominously silent in a severely colicking horse.

3.After a bout of colic, a horse should be fasted for 24 hours.

4.Heart rate can be a reliable indicator of colic severity

Answer 10

1, 2 and 3 are false; 4 is true. A colicking horse will not twist an intestine by rolling, although the pain of an already-twisted gut often causes violent rolling in the miserable horse. When a colicky horse is willing to stand or lie quietly and is not at risk of injuring himself, he's better left alone to rest and conserve his energy.

Impactions and other conditions that stop gut peristalsis cause the abdomen to go silent, but gas colics can be as noisy as they are painful; either extreme on the sound scale can indicate colic.

Fasting may be necessary following severe colics or abdominal surgery, but horses recovering from mild cases may safely nibble on leafy, clean hay or grass (no grain) as they show a returning interest in food.

Finally, heart rate tends to increase with increased pain, making that vital sign a good indicator of a colicky horse's condition. Mild colic is generally associated with heart rates of 38 to 48 beats per minute (bpm), moderate colic with 48 to 60 bpm and severe cases with more than 60 bpm.

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