Trivia Challenge: So You Think You’re a Vet?

Answer the questions, then check at bottom for the key. For more fun and interesting information about horses and horsemanship, read H&R’s ‘The Ride’ newsletter. (Not getting it? Sign up below.)

Illustration by Navah Rae Adams

1. What does ‘OCD’ refer to in horses?

A) obsessive behavior patterns

B) medication for chronic colic

C) a disease of cartilage and bone

2. A Coggins test detects a horse’s exposure to

A) equine infectious anemia.

B) equine herpes virus.

C) strangles.

3. ‘Laminae’ are found in a horse’s

A) lungs.

B) hooves.

C) cecum.

4. Which of these may be referred to as ‘horse aspirin’?

A) bromide

B) bolus

C) bute

HOW’D YOU DO? (Answers below.)

1. C is correct. When you’re talking horses, the shorthand “OCD” generally refers to osteochondritis dissecans. That’s a relatively common developmental disease affecting the cartilage and bone in the joints of horses. The other meaning of OCD–obsessive compulsive disorder—is generally applied to humans, though it does occur in horses. When it does, however—in the form of behaviors like cribbing, wind-sucking, or stall-walking—we call it a stereotypy.

2. A is correct. The Coggins test, developed in 1970 by a veterinarian of the same name, checks for equine infectious anemia antibodies in a horse’s blood. EIA disease, which is caused by a virus of the same family as HIV, has no vaccine or cure. And it can be fatal. That’s why Coggins testing, typically required to take your horse to a large event or transport him across state lines, has been a godsend–helping to drastically reduce the incidence of equine infectious anemia worldwide.

3. B is correct. The laminae secure the hoof wall to the coffin bone inside the horse’s foot. Some of the laminae are filled with nerves and blood vessels that help support the horse’s lower leg and hoof. Laminitis is an inflammation of the laminae, which causes extreme pain and can lead to the instability of the coffin bone in the hoof. (Check here for what to do if you suspect laminitis.)

4. C is correct. Bute or phenylbutazone, an analgesic in the family of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), is one of the most common painkillers used for horses. Bute is often casually referred to as horse aspirin, although real aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid) can also be used for horses, typically for ophthalmic (eye) problems.

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