On the Cusp of Enlightenment: Speed round!

Looking for answers? In need of advice from a Taurus-sun, Virgo-moon, Gemini-rising? Think you can stump me? Email Simone at simone.a.levy@lawrence.edu with your own questions and you just might be featured in next week’s column.

Seda: What is the best flavor gum? 

Simone: Sweet mint or spearmint. Not cinnamon. 

Bernice: My fingers still smell like lox weeks after my last bagel. Help? 

Simone: So relatable. Try an exfoliating hand scrub after washing your hands. 

Stenis: I am trying to impress my crush. What should I major in? 

Simone: Try anything besides philosophy or film studies. 

Hattie: What’s so good about masking tape? 

Simone: The flavor is very bold and the texture is pleasing. 

Artur: How can I get higher scores on pommel horse? I feel like the judges are shafting me. 

Simone: Try practicing with your ankles bound together and make sure to point your toes. Do not think too hard, but do stay focused. Good luck. 

Jan: I need a farrier for my horse. Any recommendations? I’m located in the UK. 

Simone: I hear Gary Huston gets very good reviews. He is very thorough. 

Deirdre: My dog will not quit pissing on my foot. Help! 

Simone: Try potty-training your dog. That should help out a lot. 

Bessie: Do you prefer hot shoeing or cold shoeing when fitting horseshoes? 

Simone: Hot shoeing without a doubt. Hot shoeing means the hoof and the horseshoe form a seamless bond so that the cut horn tubules are sealed away from any moisture that could interfere with them. It is the only way to get a really good fit for the horse, allowing for the most comfort and stability.

Timothy: Why is my horse limping? 

Simone: If no injury is suspected, it is likely that the horse may have an abscess in its hoof. Call your farrier or vet and have them take a look at it. If it is an abscess, they can drain it and relieve the pressure from the built-up fluid. This will allow the horse to be more comfortable. Your farrier will have to put a special poultice on the hoof, but everything should heal up properly as long as you tend to the foot well. 

Bentley: What kind of nails do you use to nail horseshoes on your horses? 

Simone: I personally use copper-coated steel nails that I make myself in my forge. I believe their antibacterial properties help manage the health of the hoof wall. If you do use copper nails, be sure not to use aluminum shoes. 

Bucky: I think my pony has seedy toe. What does that even mean?  

Simone: I assume you have already contacted your farrier about this issue, but if you have not done so, please do that. Basically, seedy toe happens when there is a discrepancy in the hoof wall from the laminae at the white line. This creates a space in between where dirt, muck and debris of all kinds can find a home, leading to an increased chance of infection. The infection that results from this cavity is called seedy toe. It is a fungal infection that spreads to the healthy tissue inside the hoof, turning it necrotic. This is why your pony’s hooves may smell foul. Seedy toe is also known as white line disease because it affects the white line that connects the sole to the hoof wall. Having your farrier do routine checkups to clean out the cavity and keep it trim will keep your horse healthy. Good luck! 

Deanne: The veterinarian says my horse Pony Soprano has thrush. What is that? I am so nervous. Pony Soprano is my best friend.

Simone: Thrush is a bacterial infection. It is most commonly diagnosed in horses by the gross smell of the feet, which will also appear black. It occurs on the region of the hoof called the frog, which is the bit of the hoof at the bottom in the shape of a triangle. It is the shock absorber of the foot. Thrush is a very common disease and can be treated by regularly picking out the hooves with a hoof pick. 

Lois: My dog eats the trimmings from my horse’s hooves. Is this allowed? Will he get sick? 

Simone: This is totally normal. Just be sure he is not eating too many of the trimmings. If your horse has recently been on deworming medication, refrain from letting your dog eat any part of its hoof.