Jan 312020

By Patty Wilber

We have a new resident here at the place!

She is an nine-year-old bay mare with scoliosis and belongs to Mary Ann S.  The S might stand for “Soft Hearted”.

Here is what scoliosis might look like in a person.

The picture came off a pop up info panel when I googled “scoliosis”, so not sure how to cite it…


Here is what Breeze’s back looks like. You can see the curvature.

Breeze is kind of dirty (I brushed her prior to this “photo shoot”, I swear!) because she really, really likes to roll and she can roll all the way over, both directions!  Not all able bodied horses can do that.

When Mary Ann acquired this mare, they went for consultations to two different vets (Dr. Dixon and Dr. Dralle). The vets agreed that while Breeze moves a little crookedly, she is basically ok, but might benefit from previcox/equioxx.  (An anti-inflammatory pain killer with few known side-effects in horses).  Breeze gets a quarter pill per day, which, oddly, is about the same amount you would give a rhino, according to Dr. DeBlanc, who recently did a stint in Africa working at Care for Wild Rhino Rescue.

Scoliosis, a curvature of the spine, is most often attributed to congenital vertebral malformations, possibly associated with malposition of the fetus in the uterus.

However, researchers have linked cases of acquired scoliosis presented at Cornell University to migration of a parasite only recently reported in horses.

Amy Johnson, DVM, a resident in Large Animal Internal Medicine at Cornell, discussed this issue at the 2008 American Association of Equine Practitioners convention, held Dec. 6-10 in San Diego, Calif.”

Mary Ann believes Breeze was born with hers and did not get it from the aberrant migration of a nematode through her spinal column!

Breeze enjoys evenings in her own pen and days out in a big lot with Coco and Birdie (of last week’s Buddy Horse Training fame), LT and Lucy.  These five mares get along really well. Birdie likes to pretend she is the boss of Coco and Breeze, but LT is the actual leader of those five. Penny, the ultimate boss mare on the place, gets to join the herd in the afternoons.

Before the sun was all way over the ridge to our east, Jim took this photo. Breeze and Birdie eating together with Coco in the background.

I tried to get some more quick group shots Thursday afternoon, but someone wanted to follow me around, so I ended up with this.

Breeze! It always cracks me up when I take pictures and it is only afterwards that I see I got a shot with a tongue! LT and Lucy (barely) are in the background.

Breeze is doing well both mentally and physically and has obviously made friends. Sometimes she even entertains us with running and bucking demonstrations!

I might con Mary Ann in to teaching her to do tricks at liberty.

Welcome, Breeze!

  2 Responses to “Scoliosis in Horses”

  1. That is an…interesting…back. From a place of ignorance about scoliosis in horses…it looks like it would make work under saddle impossible. Yes? No?

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