Roper's Sports News is proud to announce the welcome addition of a monthly column, Vet's View by Dr. Richard H. Galley.
Richard H. Galley, DVM graduated from Colorado State University with a degree as Doctor of Veterinary Medicine in 1965. After serving in Vietnam, he practiced veterinary medicine on major racetracks from 1968 until 1993. He now has a clinical equine practice limited to the equine athlete in Willow Park, Texas.
Dr. Galley is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Assoc., and the Texas Veterinary Medical Assoc. He has presented professional papers and held seminars at various conferences over the years, as well as being a contributing author in equine industry publications.
Dr. Galley has also competed in professional team roping competitions throughout the south-western United States from 1967 to 2007.
I have a young heeling horse (4 years old) that coughs a lot when I ride him. After reading your article about the throat problems I got to worrying about him so I took him to the clinic and they put a scope up his nose and found a bunch of “blisters” in his throat (they called them some big long word….I wrote it down and then lost the paper). Could you please tell me more about them. Will he get over them? Will it hurt to use him?
“Blisters” is a common name for a condition known as pharyngeal follicular lymphoid hyperplasia. The pharyngeal mucosa, or the tissue that lines the pharynx (throat area), is normally smooth with a normal pinkish color. This mucosal tissue contains many small islands of lymphoid tissue. When a horse, especially a young horse that has not been exposed to many of the upper respiratory viral diseases or has not been immunized against all strains of the upper respiratory viruses, is exposed to one or more of theses viruses, these areas of lymphoid tissue become inflamed as they react to the presence of the viruses. When your veterinarian performed an endoscopic exam (or a video-endoscopic exam) these enlarged whitish bumps resembled a pimple or a blister and this is the origin of the common term “blisters”.
I have about had it and don’t know what to do. I have only roped for three years and thought I had bought a couple of good horses (at least they cost a lot). I am a #4 header and have gotten outrun at the last two big ropings I have been to—including the USTRC Finals. I am considering buying a horse off of the racetrack and sending him to someone to train and I know that you spent many years treating horses at the racetrack (my parents had racehorses that you worked on). Since you have roped for a long time, too, I thought you might have time to give me some advice on the ex-racehorse idea. What do you think? Am I wasting my time? What should I look for?
That is a great question. Most of us who rope and have access to ex-racehorses have bought horses off of the track and made team roping horses out of them…or at least, we have tried. There are several things that we need to think about when we consider this, though.
Several years ago I brought you a horse that wouldn’t sweat right when it was really hot. You called him a “non-sweater” and gave me some powder to feed him from April to October every year and it helped him until I sold him three years later. Now I have a horse that can’t stand the heat. He is only 8 years old and he sweats more than any of our other horses during the summer and the other day at a USTRC roping he got what the vet called “heat stroke” and almost went down. Is there any medicine I can feed this one to prevent it?
Heat stress in our team roping horses can be a very serious condition that not only limits their usefulness but can lead to death. This time of year we see it quite often because we don’t plan ahead for the conditions that may contribute to it.
I have a problem that has turned into a big “family” problem and maybe you can help me with it. I bought a heading horse a couple of years ago that used to be a barrel horse and he was on the race track before that. He has always been a lot of horse for me but lately has been really acting up at ropings away from home. My wife is a barrel racer and she hurt her horse last week and so she took my heading horse to the barrel race (she said it would help calm him down for me to rope on). He placed at the barrel race but after she ran him he bled out of his nose. One of my partners used to work on the race track and told me that once they bleed like that they need to be treated or they can die. I told my wife that she had better not run barrels on him until a vet looks at him. Things have not been good at home since we had that conversation. Can you help me?
Wow……I may not be tough enough to help you with this one…….Just how mean is your wife? (JUST KIDDING Ma’am).