Ask Horse Journal: 01/07

Internet Worries

Until I read your article on Internet horse-buying in the August issue, I had never used any horse-related websites except for the ones maintained by breed organizations and the USEF.

After reading the article, I decided to post a picture and ad for a gelding we have for sale on some of the websites listed in Horse Journal. To date the only response I have gotten is from a not-very-bright Internet scammer with a really poor command of English.

When I checked under the topic legal issues on one of the websites where I had advertised, I found a history of postings by other advertisers going back over two years complaining repeatedly about scammers. At least some of the would-be scammers fit the exact description of the one who contacted me; others appeared much more sophisticated.

One advertiser wrote of receiving e-mails from someone who seemed knowledgeable about horses and asked all the right questions. Only after a few more e-mail exchanges did the advertiser figure out that he was being ”set up.”

Most of the scams described are attempts to get people’s personal information, which could then be used to open fraudulent charge or checking accounts or other thefts. However, there were also a couple of versions of the old ”good faith money” trick being attempted as well.

So, for anyone advertising a horse for sale on any of these sites, my advice would be to be very wary and very skeptical about any response received from a potential buyer.

Barbara S. Holstein


Cell Phone Availability

In the November article, ”EquiMedic Fits Every Budget and Barn,” prior to even beginning to read it, I saw a highlight that does not apply to many horse owners I know. It stated, ”Alway keep a charged cell phone with you, so you can be reached and can reach help if you need it.”

This is a wonderful idea if you live in an area with cell-phone service. But many of us do not. We are in an area without cell towers. A better suggestion would be to encourage those who have cell phones to keep them charged, and those without cell service to have a phone line in the barn.

I just felt I needed to remind you that not everyone lives in an area with access to this technology.

Adria Halstead-Johnson


Proud Flesh

I just wanted to chime in on effective ways to heal proud flesh.

For 20 years, I’ve been using Grafco silver nitrate applicators, commonly used in gynecologist offices. My mother is a nurse in such an office, and when the containers expire, instead of throwing them away, she gives them to me.

I seldom have to deal with proud flesh, but when I do, I just take the applicator, which looks like a very long matchstick, and roll the end of the stick around on the offending flesh. The proud flesh turns gray almost immediately.

If there is a lot of proud flesh, I may have to use two sticks, and I may have to re-apply in a couple of days. I have never had to apply the silver nitrate more than twice, and in every instance, it has cleared up the proud flesh within a week. There have never been any adverse reactions, or complications of any kind.

The statement on the container prohibits dispensing without a prescription. Veterinarians may not even be allowed to use this stuff. I don’t know. So this is not something the average horse owner is going to be able to obtain by themselves, but at least I would hope that vets could use and dispense it.

All I know is, this stuff works every time, and very quickly.

Monica Heath


Veterinary Editor’s Note: Silver nitrate is also used to treat granulation tissue and unhealthy wound edges in people, as well as to cauterize bleeding sites, treat ulcerated areas or the bases of polyps after removal, etc. It is highly caustic, can irritate even normal skin, stain clothes or skin gray permanently and is dangerous around the eyes. These are the reasons it’s a prescription item. That said, properly used, it can be very effective for proud flesh.

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