A Horse, Of Course

October 1, 2015
Don Blazer
Don Blazer

There are those who say warts are caused by a defective state of the skin which is suffering impaired vitality.

There are those who will tell you warts are often caused by a neglect of cleanliness.

I’ll tell you warts are the result of playing with toads.

“What are you doing?” I asked Walter. He had his nose on the ground moving all around his stall like a peanut roller.

“Kissing a toad,” he said without lifting his head.

“All kissing toads is going to do for you is put warts all over your nose and lips,” I informed him with conviction. When you know certain things, you simply know them.

“No, no, no,” Walter said. “No, warts do not appear on defective skin suffering impaired vitality. No, warts are not caused by a neglect of cleanliness. And no, you do not get warts from playing with toads.”

Walter had now assumed his full stature as a professor. “Warts,” Walter began his lecture, “are papillomatosis caused by a horse specific parvovirus. The virus,” according to Walter, “produces the common wart of cattle and horse.”

Walter said the wart appears as a dry, horny, cauliflower-like growth on the skin.

Warts on horses are confined to the muzzle, nose and lips, are sessile (attached by the base) and quite small.

According to the professor, the incubation period is considered to be three to eight weeks. Once the warts appear, they may persist from five to six months. Rarely do they remain as long as 18 months.

Some people recommend rubbing warts with castor oil and others say the skin of a potato peel. I generally tell young girls who have touched the warts that the only way to rid the horse of the plague and save themselves is with lemon juice five times a day.

Walter doesn’t agree with any of the remedies.

“Let the warts alone and they will go away in about a month,” Walter says. “Treat the warts with anything and everything, and they will go away in about a month.”

There is the medical theory that if the wart is surgically removed, then ground; the resulting autogenous vaccine can be applied to the remaining warts. If the vaccine is applied with increasing dosage at four-day intervals, for about a month, the warts will disappear.

Walter does not advocate any kind of surgery for warts.

“If you do nothing, the warts will go away as quickly as if you do something. And if you do nothing, there is no danger for me,” Walter advised.

Prevention and control procedures are not normally instituted in the case of papillomatosis, according to Walter, because of the unpredictable nature of the disease.

Personally, I say you can’t control or prevent warts because you never know when a horse is going to kiss a toad. I left Walter with my opinion, and headed off to lunch.

When I returned later in the afternoon, there was a beautiful palomino filly in what had been an empty pen next to Walter.

Walter wore a silly grin.

No. It can’t be. Can it?

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