Ponti Veterinary Hospital

25007 E Wellesley Avenue
Otis Orchards, WA 99027



Our Large Animal Facility accomodates most of the large animals:  Horses, Cows, Pigs, Goats, Sheep, Alpaca, Llama, Reindeer and the occasional Camel and Zebra.


  The following is general information about our equine friends.
   Routine health information

   Their average temperature is between 99-100 degrees Fahrenheit.

   The vaccines for your horse can depend a lot on where your horse is living. Here are the most common vaccines for horses

      Encephalomyelitis; Eastern, Western and Venezulan          




      West Nile


   There are some areas or situations where not all of these vaccines are necessarily needed. You should talk to your veterinarian and set up a vaccine schedule for each horse.
   Most horses need to be dewormed at least once yearly. The type of dewormer and how frequently it is used depends on several factors. Horses that are in smaller areas or have large numbers of horses in one area will probably need to be dewormed more frequently. Some areas of the country have different parasites than others.   Another factor is resistance to our medications by parasites. To help prevent resistance your veterinarian may recommend that your horse's stool sample is checked to see if there are any parasites. It is important to talk to your veterinarian and decide on a schedule that works for you. 
   A Coggins test is a blood test that checks for equine infectious anemia. It is spread by mosquitoes and is highly contagious. Most equine facilities require a negative test to board or use their facility. It is also a requirement to travel with your horse.
   The wolf teeth are small little teeth that sit right in front of the premolars. They are usually seen in male horses but female horses can sometimes have them. In some cases the wolf teeth can interfere with the bit and need to be removed. Our veterinarians will remove the wolf teeth when they geld a horse.
   When your horse drops his/her food it may mean that your horse needs to have his/her teeth floated. The teeth of a horse continually grow throughout their life. Over time they can get sharp points on their teeth, which can cause chewing to be painful.
   A horse may need to have their teeth floated when sharp points develop on their teeth. Your veterinarian will file down the sharp points. Most horses need to have their teeth floated every 1-2 years but should be checked yearly.
   Sheath cleaning is important because over time dirt and smagma build up on and around the penis. Beans are a build up of this substance in the tip of the penis. If the beans are not cleaned out, the can become painful and even start to block the flow of urine. Usually the male horse needs to have his sheath cleaned yearly or at least checked. A good time to check the sheath is with his annual exam and vaccinations.
   The age to geld a horse varies depending on individual preferences, use of horse, and your veterinarian's recommendations. Most horses are gelded between 12-24 months of age. 
   Cryptorchid means that either one or both of the testicles have not fully descended into the scrotum. A retained testicle is also more prone to becoming cancerous. Because cryptorchidisim is genetic and can be passed to future offspring, cryptorchid males should not be breed and should also be gelded as soon as possible.
Emergency Illnesses
   Colic in horses is defined as abdominal pain. Several different things can cause colic. The most common reasons for colic are impaction of the digestive tract, gas colic, sand colic and torsion (when the gut twists on itself). Signs of colic include but are not limited to: looking at the sides of their body, rolling, kicking at their belly, and/or other signs of pain. Colic is very serious and can be life threatening.   If you see signs of colic you should call your veterinarian immediately.
   Choke in horses is when food gets stuck in the throat. This can be a result of a horse being greedy when eating or hay/grass or grain balling up in the throat. Signs of choke are lots of saliva coming from the nose or mouth (which can have grain or feed mixed in with it), or if the horse is having trouble breathing. Choke is very serious and is life threatening. If you see signs of choke you should call your veterinarian immediately.
   Laminitis, which is frequently called founder, can be seen in horses, ponies, miniatures, donkeys, and mules. Laminitis is when the tissue that connects the hoof wall to the bone inside becomes inflamed. This inflammation is very painful and can cause rotation and/or sinking of the bone inside the hoof.   Signs of laminitis are unwillingness to walk, sensitivity of the hooves (especially the front), rocking back on the hind hooves and decreasing the weight on the front. You may also notice heat of the hooves and around the cornary band (where the hoof meets the hair).  
Laminitis (foundering) can be caused from several things. One of the most common scenarios is grain overload or fresh green grass overload. This overload causes a chain reaction in the body that results in the inflammation of the lamina (the tissue that holds the bone to the hoof wall). If you want to give your horse grain or put on pasture it is always wise to start off slowly and in small increments. If you think you horse could be foundering you should have him/her examined right away. 
   Some websites to help answer questions and provide info 
 http://completerider.com  Lots of information about your horse