Frequently Asked Questions

horse and sunset

As an equine hospital, we get asked a very broad range of questions daily. Here is a list of  the ones we encounter most often.

What is a Coggins test?

A Coggins test is a blood test done to test for Equine Infectious Anemia (EIA). EIA  is an incurable and fatal viral disease that is transmitted between horses by flies (horse flies and deer flies) or by the transfer of blood from an infected horse by needles or other contaminated equipment. Since flies may move from farm to farm, there isn't a way to prevent them from staying away from your horse.  There is a risk of EIA developing even if your horse never travels. In North Carolina, proof of a negative Coggins test is required by law to participate in equine activities, such as organized trail rides and horse shows, equine boarding, inter-state animal movement and for the sale of horses and donkeys. A negative Coggins test (and a health certificate) is also required when traveling across state lines.

My horse seems to be losing weight and his food falls out of his mouth when he eats, what can I do?

 Often when a horse is dropping it’s feed it’s a sign that he needs to have an oral exam and maybe even have his teeth floated. Horses need their mouths and teeth checked annually  with some special cases needing to be seen every six months. Older horses often need to have their teeth checked more frequently than younger ones with a good rule of thumb being that a horse of 20 years or more should have their teeth floated yearly as needed.

My goat usually just eats goat feed, is this okay?

Though it can be inexpensive and is easily found at all feed stores, they REALLY should not be eating it. This is not something that is advertised so there is really no way any goat owners know until they have a bad experience with a blocked goat. Grain causes urinary stones that can prevent them from urinating, which is often referred to as "being blocked". These are similar to kidney stones but much harder to treat and this isn't always a cure. A blocked male goat has a poor prognosis and will often be referred to the vet school for further treatment. It is in your goat's best interest to feed it a strict diet of grass and high quality grass hay. Don't forget a good mineral source (mineral blocks work great!)

How often does my horse need to be vaccinated?

Horses should be vaccinated twice a year. The second round of the vaccine is a booster that helps keep the horse safe against disease. Vaccines like the West Nile vaccine, Flu/Rhino, and Tetanus/Eastern/Western (TEW) can be done every six months while the rabies vaccine is only done every 12 months. Flu/Rhino is required to attend horse shows and competitions.

Which dewormer should I use on my horse?

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It is recommended that fecal egg counts be performed in order to develop a strategic deworming plan that is specific for your horse.  The over use of dewormers can lead to the faster development of resistant parasites in your horse.  Consult with your veterinarian to develop a parasite control strategy that is tailored to your horse’s needs.

What are symptoms of colic?

  • Anxiety or depression
  • Pawing at the ground
  • Frequently looking at the flank area
  • Rolling or wanting to lie down
  • Playing with their water but not wanting to drink
  • Lack of defecation
  • Lack of appetite
  • Parking out as if to urinate but being unable to

*If you think your horse is colicking or is in distress do not hesitate to us at 336-349-4080!

My horse cut itself, can I wait or does it need to be seen immediately?

Lacerations should be seen as soon as possible. Lacerations can be life threatening depending on the location of the wound. Lacerations on or close to the joint are considered emergent.

For more information or to schedule an appointment, contact us.


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