1. What should I do if my animal becomes injured or sick after normal business hours?
For large animal emergencies, please call Sorensen Veterinary Hospital at 406-388-6275.
For other inquiries or to make an appointment, please call during business hours 8am-5pm Monday through Friday, or 9am-1pm on Saturdays.
6. What are signs that my horse’s teeth need to be floated?
Because a horse’s teeth continually grow, they are naturally worn down as the horse chews. The teeth sometimes develop very sharp edges that can cut the tongue or cheeks. Abnormal hooks or ramps may also form in the front or back of the mouth, both of which can cause a significant amount of pain as the horse chews.
Signs that your horse’s teeth need to be examined include dropping feed, reluctance to eat, foul breath, or simply failure to gain or maintain weight. Sedating the horse for placement of a mouth speculum allows our doctor to thoroughly examine the mouth from front to back. Dental floatation (filing down sharp edges on the teeth) can then be performed, along with any extractions or other corrective procedures that are deemed necessary.
7. What are some reasons that my horse is losing weight?
Horses may begin losing weight for many reasons. Causes include poor diet, intestinal parasitism (worms), dental pain (sharp or pointed tooth edges, tooth root abscess, loose or worn teeth), gastric ulceration, chronic colic, or systemic disease. A thorough examination by one of our doctors can help to determine the cause of weight loss, upon which a treatment program can be initiated.
8. What is colic, and what should I do if my horse is showing signs of colic?
Colic is a generic term used to describe any type of abdominal pain. It is considered to be one of the leading causes of death in horses around the world. Horses experiencing colic may roll and thrash violently, or they may subtlety look or nip at their abdomen or flank. Others simply refuse to eat or appear uncomfortable. Colic can be caused by a variety of conditions, including bowel spasm or gas colic, intestinal impactions or obstructions, intestinal torsion or twisting, enteritis or diarrhea, gastric ulceration, or peritonitis (inflammation or infection in the abdomen). Many horses respond to conservative treatments, including pain medications, intestinal lubricants or laxatives, and light exercise in the form of lead walking. Others require exploratory abdominal surgery to alleviate the source of pain and intestinal trauma. It is important to call your veterinarian when your horse begins showing signs of colic. A prompt physical exam is an important step in ensuring that the condition is diagnosed and treated quickly.