Articles by Heather Smith Thomas

Horses Are At Risk For Rabies And You Can Be, Too

Know the warning signs and urge your clients to vaccinate their animals against this deadly virus
We generally don’t think about horses when someone mentions rabies. The first images that come to mind are “mad” dogs frothing at the mouth, or wild animals such as skunks, foxes, raccoons and coyotes becoming aggressive and attacking people.
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Product Knowledge

Wrap It Up Right

Farriers dealing with first aid situations should know how to properly apply a bandage — but also know when a vet needs to be called in
There are times a farrier must administer first aid for a foot or leg injury, and it's handy to know what products/materials might be helpful, and some do's and don'ts for proper bandaging.
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Balance: More About The Trim Than The Shoes

Montana vet-farrier has found trimming to conformation is often enough to restore lame horses to soundness
Whenever farriers talk about feet, there's a lot of discussion about hoof balance. For sound, healthy feet, balance is crucial, but the concept of balance is not always understood.
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Deciphering Gait Irregularities

Not all faults are foot related, but farriers will often be the first people asked to do something about them.
Gait faults are not always due to issues in the leg, but farriers will often be the first people to be asked about them by trainers and horse owners. Farriers can greatly enhance their value to their clients by learning to read shoe wear and how to differentiate between gait faults that are due to conformation defects, and those that might be related to a lameness issue.
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Product Showcase

A Sampling of Soaks and Poultices

Hoof treatment manufacturers and distributors list what they find are the benefits of using their products
Hoof poultices and soaks are used for hoof injuries, abscesses, puncture wounds, thrush, white line disease and other foot problems. Not a recent discovery, poultices of various types of clay and mud have been used for human afflictions for thousands of years, and eventually for their animals as well.
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Hoof-Care Focus

Dealing with Wounds on Horses' Feet

Fast and accurate assessment often required
Often, horse owners call farriers first whenever there’s a problem with a horse’s foot. Farriers may find themselves being asked to do the first aid or wound assessment when a horse suffers a puncture, cut or some other injury to the hoof, coronary band or lower leg.
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Therapeutic Shoeing

Proper Planning, Teamwork Play Big Role

Advancements in materials and techniques offer hope for serious injuries, but place premium on continuing hoof-care education
Therapeutic shoeing has made great advances in the past few decades, partly because there’s more interest in this specialty, and also because of the development of better methods for dealing with therapeutic situations.
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American Farriers Journal

American Farriers Journal is the “hands-on” magazine for professional farriers, equine veterinarians and horse care product and service buyers.
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