What is a Kissing Spine?
A kissing spine describes a painful condition in a horse, otherwise known as overriding dorsal spinous processes. A kissing spine is usually brought about by poor posture causing the vertical protuberances of each spinal vertebra to rub together, leading to pain and swelling.
Signs of Kissing Spines
Horses with this condition tend to tense their backs under the weight of a rider, thus resulting in a hard and stiff back with little ability to side-bend. From this the horse’s performance will deteriorate and the rider will feel uncomfortable when riding the horse. If the painful structures are jarred by a rider landing heavily on the horses back or by the horse tripping, it can go into a sudden fit of bucking or pigrooting.
As mentioned before, poor posture is a large cause for a horse to develop a kissing spine. Dr Bidstrup views that one of the most common causes of back pain and poor posture is that of the residual neurological effects of birth canal trauma.
Veterinary diagnosis of the condition will generally start with palpation and followed to confirmation with a number of tests. Local anesthetic is injected in between the vertebrae suspected of painful kissing to see if the signs of pain are eliminated from this test. There are many scans that may also be used but they require a large amount of expense. According to Spinal Vet Br Bidstrup in many cases much can be done before such expense could be necessary. He and colleagues of the Australian Veterinary Chiropractic Association believe that kissing spines are part of a complex postural issue, and in most cases is readily treatable by taking the ‘whole horse approach.’
Soreness from kissing spines can be alleviated by rest, and the problem may be resolved by extensive periods of rest. “Many people are too impatient to see this course of action” states Dr Bidstrup. ” And without dealing with the causes the problem is very prone to re-occurrence.”
According to conventional veterinary practice, surgery combined with physiotherapy based on massage and exercises is considered the most successful solution. The kissing spine soreness in some horses can be settled also by the approach of cortisone injections into the spine.
Simple Trick To Keep A Horse Calm During Travel
If you have any experience transporting horses, you’ve probably already noticed that they seem much more comfortable when travelling with a companion.
This is true; their heart rates and body temperatures are lower, they make less noise and less signs of discomfort.
But what if you have to transport a horse alone? Is there a way to keep them calm even without a companion?
The simple trick is: Put a mirror into the horse float.
Just being able to see another horse (even if that horse is their reflection!) makes horses more comfortable when travelling.
Solitary horses that could see themselves in a mirror made few noises and tossed their heads much less often than horses travelling alone.
So if you have an old mirror lying around, why not use it to comfort a solo-traveller?
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How to make hanging horse treats.
Hanging treats can be great for giving your horse something interesting and tasty to do when they’re stuck in a small barn.
This recipe is super easy and your horses will love it.
Ingredients: 1 cup of flour, 2 cups of molasses, 500 grams of grain, half a cup of raisins.
- Combine the ingredients in a bowl. Mix together until the grain is even covered.
- Let the mixture stand for an hour so the moisture of the molasses soaks into the grain.
- Pack the mixture into trays or roll into firm bowls. Use a chopstick to poke a hole through treat.
- Bake at 180 degrees Celsius for 15 – 20 minutes.
- Remove and cool. You can now thread twine through the treat and hang them up.
Keep it interesting: If there’s a flavour you know your horse loves, add it to the mixture. Some grated apple or carrot will give your treat an extra hit of flavour.
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