Local News

N.C. State Equine Center Offers Global Help for Horses

Posted January 9, 2007 6:09 p.m. EST
Updated January 10, 2007 7:26 a.m. EST

Molly is a brown-eyed girl who weighs half a ton. Her foot was in the tender care of veterinarian Dr. Dick Mansmann on Tuesday as she recovers from a severe hoof infection.

"A month ago, quite honestly, I thought we'd have to put her down,” said Molly’s owner, Marvin Covault. “She was in pain. She was in bad shape."

Molly is a patient at North Carolina State University’s Equine Health Center, which is based in Moore County — home of more than 400 horse farms.

"We can get all the wisdom and expertise of N.C. State's veterinary school down here in horse country,” Covault said.

Services at the 80-acre spread vary. The Equine Health Center offers services in ophthalmology, podiatry and rehabilitation for injured horses.

On Tuesday, a blacksmith shaped a horseshoe that glowed red-hot from a 1,500-degree furnace.

Nearby, Dr. Carlos Pinto removed semen samples from liquid nitrogen that was 340 degrees below zero. Pinto works in the center's reproductive clinic, where researchers study horse infertility.

The equine center also receives horses from around the world to be quarantined for several weeks before being released to American farms. They're tested for a bacterial infection called contagious equine metritis, or CEM.

"Right now, the U.S. doesn't have this disease in this country,” said center manager Tammy Stewart. "In North Carolina, we're the only CEM quarantine facility approved by the (United States Department of Agriculture.)"

As for Molly, Mansmann sent his patient home on Tuesday. In three weeks, he'll check her progress again.