Part 4: Care of the Horse

IV. Care of the Horse

A. Feet
1. Must stay dry
2. Frequently packed with clay
3. Proper fitting shoes
4. Massage legs after heavy exercise
B. The stable *
1. Built to special codes
a. No smoking
b. Night light
c. Name over his stall
d. Stalls always clean
e. Stable Sgt (in garrison lived in stables)
f. Stable guard
1) In each company the Cpl has charge of the stable guard.
2) Responsible for security for stables
3) Relieved Q 2 hrs
4) Armed with saber
g. Stable police
Two or more men were detailed daily as stable police whose work was carried on during the hours between morning and evening stables under the supervision of the stable sergeant. At night one or more lamps would burn through the period of darkness to aid the stable Sgt's tour of inspection.
C. The Picket Line *
1. Purpose
a. A place to secure horses
b. May be used in garrison, camp or on the march
c. Placed here during the day
d. Grooming and feeding can take place here
2. Location
a. In front of stalls
b. Angled to allow drainage
c. Trenched
d. Impromptu
3. Description
a. A rope strung high 6 ft or low
b. Between posts, trees, wagons, stilts
c. Horses tied about 1 yd apart
d. If placed low would use side lines
D. Sick Call
1. Visited by the Veterinary sergeant 1861-63

a. Vet M.D. hit or miss
b. Usually officer or NCO

2. Common problems

a. Saddle gall or sore back
b. Thumps: Asynchronous diaphragmatic flutter-(thumps) a contraction of tne diagram in synchronous with tne heart beat after strenuous exercise. Affected horses have a noticeable twitch or spasm in the flank area which may cause an audible sound, hence the term "THUMPS" most commonly seen in electrolyte depleted/exhausted horses the condition resolves spontaneously with rest
c. Colic
d. Epizootic
3. Hoof diseases
a. Scratches: A chronic, seborrheic dermatitis characterized by hypertrophy and exudation on the caudal surface of the pastern and fetlock. It often is associated with poor stable hygiene, but no specific cause Is known. Heavy horses are susceptable and the hindlegs are more commonly affected. Standardbreds frequently are affected in the spring when tracks are wet. The use of limestone on racetracks has been associated with the condition.
Cllnical Flndings: The disease may go unnoticed for some time because it is masked by the "feather" at the back of the pastern. The skin is itchy, sensitive and swollen during the acute stages; later, it becomes thickened and most the hair is lost. Only the shorter hairs remain and these stand erect. The surface of the skin is soft and the grayish exudate has a fetid odor. The condition tends to become chronic and vegetative granulomatous growths appear. Lameness may or may not be present. It can be severe and associated with generalized ceilulitis of the limb. As the condition progresses, there is thickening and hardening of the skin of the affected regions, with rapid hypertrophy of subcutaneaous fibrous tissue.
Treatment: Persistent and aggressive treatment is usually successful. This consistss of regular washing and cleansing with warm water and soap to remove all soft exudate, drying, and applying an astringent dressing. If granulomatoid lesions appear, they should be cauterized. Cellulitis requires systemic antibiotic therapy and tetanus prophylaxis.
b. Grease heel: Same as scratches

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