“B” Words Your Veterinarian Uses

 Elite Equine Kansasback at the knee: a leg that looks like it has a backward arc with its
      center at the knee when viewed from the side.
bad doer: a horse with a poor appetite, a condition that may be due to
nervous-ness or other causes.
bandage: bandages used on horses’ legs are 3 to 6 inches wide and are made
of a variety of materials. In a competition, they are used for support or
protection against injury. A horse may also wear “standing bandages,”
thick cotton wraps used during shipping and while in the stall to prevent
swelling and/or injury.
bar shoe: a horseshoe closed at the back to help support the frog and heel
of the hoof. It is often worn by horses with quarter cracks or bruised
feet.
barren: used to describe a filly or mare that was bred and did not
conceive during the last breeding season.
basilar (fracture): see sesamoids.
bay: a horse color that varies from a yellow-tan to a bright auburn. The
mane, tail and lower portion of the legs are always black, except where
white markings are present.
benign: referring to a cancerous growth: Not invasive or destructive, and
not tending to spread to other areas of the body.
bit: mouthpiece made of variety of materials, including stainless steel,
rubber or aluminum, jointed or unjointed, and attached to the bridle. It
is one of the means by which a rider exerts guidance and control. Three
common types of bits are the snaffle, Pelham and curb.
black walnut shavings toxicosis: an as-yet unexplained poisoning from skin
contact with wood shavings made from the black walnut tree, most often the
consequence of unknowingly using them to bed a stall. (Anecdotal evidence
suggests that other walnut varieties may also be toxic.) Vasculitis and
laminitis are virtually guaranteed and usually severe. Treament involves
removing the walnut shavings and treating the resultant vasculitis and/or
laminitis.
black: a horse color which is black, including the muzzle, flanks, mane,
tail and legs unless white markings are present.
blaze: a generic term describing a large, white vertical marking of medium
width running the length of the horse’s face.
bleeder (see exercise-induced pulmonary hemorrhage): a horse that bleeds
from the lungs when small capillaries rupture into the air sacs. The
medical term is Exercise-Induced Pulmonary Hemorrhage (EIPH). Blood may be
seen coming out of the horse’s nostrils. This is termed epistaxis.
Diagnosis of EIPH is typically made during a post-exercise veterinary
examination using a fiberoptic endoscope. The procedure is referred to as
an endoscopic examination. Less than one bleeder in 20 shows signs of
epistaxis (blood at the nostrils). Hot, humid weather and cold weather are
known to exacerbate the problem. The most common preventive treatment
currently available is the use of the diuretic furosemide (Salix™).
blister beetle poisoning: poisoning due to ingestion of a beetle,
typically 1/2 inch long, solid black or black with yellow stripes. It
inhabits some alfalfa fields and other forages, and contains a powerful
stomach irritant called canthardin. Most poisonings occur when the beetle
is killed and baled into your horse’s hay, then ingested. The toxin can
cause severe colic due to burning of the stomach lining. Ingestion of only
a few beetles can be fatal to a full-grown horse and treament is
symptomatic and supportive. Prognosis is guarded: As many as half of all
patients die despite vigorous therapy.
blister: counter-irritant causing acute inflammation. Used to increase
blood supply and blood flow, and to promote healing in the leg.
bloodstock agent: a person who advises and/or represents a buyer or seller
of horses at a public auction or a private sale. A bloodstock agent
usually works on commission, often five percent of the purchase price, and
can also prepare a horse for sale.
blue roan: in Quarter horses, a more or less uniform mixture of white with
black hairs over a large portion of the body, but usually darker on head
and lower legs; can have a few red hairs in the mixture.
bog spavin: a soft swelling caused by excess synovial fluid of the largest
joint of the hock called the “tibiotarsal joint.”
bone grafts: utilizing bone taken from one part of the body to promote
formation of bone in another region.
bone spavin: bone spavin is arthritis of the lower portion of the hock.
Most commonly, bone spavin appears as a hard swellling on the inner
(joint) surface, where the hock meets the cannon bone. It also can occur
in the lower aspect of your horse’s hock joint without visible
enlargement. Lameness is common but can be difficult to detect because
both hind limbs are often affected. Pain is often associated with flexing
and advancing the affected the affected limb(s), causing your horse to
carry the leg(s) abnormally and/or drag his toe, as revelaed by unusual
wear patterns there.
boots: any of a number of devices strapped or hung from a horse’s legs and
coronets designed to offer protection from injury.
bottom line: a horse’s breeding on the female side. The lower half of an
extended pedigree diagram.
bottom: 1) stamina in a horse. 2) subsurface of a racing strip.
botulism, forage poisoning: disease caused by the nerve-poisoning toxin of
the bacteria Clostridium botulinum which live in certain soils, wounds and
in decaying organic matter. The first signs in adult horses can include
loss of tongue, tail and eyelid tone, resulting in subtle changes in the
face and tail carriage that often go unnoticed. As the disease progresses,
swallowing can become difficult, resulting in quidding, drooling, tongue
lolling and/or bad breath, followed by weakness, gait instability,
collapse and death by respiratory paralysis. Intensive-care treament,
including administration of botulism antitoxin, is successful in
approximately 70 percent of cases.
bowed tendon: tendonitis. The most common injury to the tendons is a
strain or “bowed tendon” so named because of the appearance of a bow shape
due to swelling. The most common site of injury is in the superficial
digital flexor tendon between the knee and the ankle behind the cannon
bone. Despite aggressive treatment with anti-flammatory drugs, physical
therapy and rest, horses frequently reinjure the tendon when they go back
into competition. Two surgeries are felt to aid horses to come back to
competition: tendon splitting at the lesion site to release accumulated
fluid and blood, and superior check ligament desmotomy (dissection of the
ligament). The latter surgery, which involves severing one of the upper
attachments of the tendon, is designed to reduce forces on the tendon when
the horse returns to training and competing. Diagnostic ultrasound is the
most common method of diagnosing this condition and monitoring the healing
process.
brace or bracer: rubdown liniment used on a horse after a workout.
breakdown: when a horse expereices a potentially career-ending injury,
usually to the leg involving a fracture. Some can be repaired with surgery
and physical therapy.
breastplate: piece of tack that fits across the horse’s chest and is
attached to the saddle. Its purpose is to prevent the saddle from slipping
backward.
breather: easing off a horse for a short distance in a speed effort to
conserve or renew its strength.
bred: 1) a horse is considered to have been bred in the state or country
of its birth: Secretariat was a Virginia-bred. 2) the past tense of
“breed.”
breed: 1) a sort or type of horse. 2) to reproduce.
breeder: owner of the dam at time of foaling unless the dam was under a
lease or foal-sharing arrangement at the time of foaling. In that case,
the person(s) specified by the terms of the agreement is (are) the
breeder(s) of the foal.
breeding fund: a state fund set up to provide bonuses for state-breds.
breeze (breezing): working a horse at a moderate speed, less effort than
handily.
bridle: a piece of equipment, usually made of leather or nylon, which fits
on a horse’s head and to which other equipment, such as a bit and the
reins, are attached.
brush: injury that occurs when one hoof strikes the inside of the opposite
limb.
bucked shins: inflammation of the covering of the bone (periosteum) of the
front surface of the cannon bone. Usually seen in two-to three-year-old
Thoroughbreds. See periostitis.
bulbs of the heel: the two areas on either side of the back of the foot,
similar to the heel of the hand.
bursa: a sac containing synovial fluid (a natural lubricant). Acts as a
pad or cushion to facilitate motion between soft tissue and bone. Most
commonly found where tendons pass over bones.
bursitis: inflammation in a bursa that results in swelling due to
accumulation of synovial fluid. Capped elbow is inflammation of the bursa
over the point of elbow (olecranon process of the ulna). Capped hock is
inflammation of the bursa over the point of the hock (tuber calcis).
bute: short for phenylbutazone, a non-steroidal anti-flammatory
medication.
buy-back: a horse out through a public auction that did not reach a
minimum (reserve) price set by the consignor and so was retained. The
consignor must pay a fee to the auction company based on a percentage of
the reserve, to cover the auction company’s marketing, advertising and
other costs.
BVMS: Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery. Equivalent to DVM.
Awarded in United Kingdom.
BVSc: Bachelor of Veterinary Science. Equivalent to DVM. Common veterinary
degree description outside the United States.

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