top of page

Search Our Website

68 items found for ""

  • Routine Blood Work Promotes Horse Health

    Why we believe in routine blood work enough to discount it with annual vaccinations: 1️⃣ Early Detection of Health Issues: Annual, routine blood work serves as an essential preventive measure, enabling veterinarians to keep a close eye on your horse's overall health. It helps detect subtle changes in key parameters like red blood cell count, white blood cell count, and organ function. Catching any potential issues early on can prevent them from developing into more serious conditions. Prevention is always better than cure! 2️⃣ Tailored Health Monitoring: Each horse is unique and may have different health requirements. Regular blood work allows veterinarians to customize health management strategies based on the individual needs of your horse. By analyzing blood chemistry, they can identify specific imbalances or deficiencies and develop targeted treatment plans or dietary adjustments. This tailored approach ensures optimized health and well-being! 3️⃣ Performance Optimization: For those involved in equestrian sports or activities, annual blood work becomes even more crucial. It helps evaluate the horse's performance potential by assessing factors like oxygen-carrying capacity, plasma protein levels, and electrolyte balance. This data can guide trainers and riders, helping them fine-tune training, nutrition, and supplementation to enhance the horse's athletic abilities. 4️⃣ Disease Prevention: Blood work aids in early disease detection and prevention. Testing for diseases such as equine infectious anemia (EIA) and tick-borne illnesses becomes possible through regular screenings. By catching infectious or parasitic diseases in their early stages, appropriate treatments can be administered swiftly, minimizing discomfort and promoting a speedy recovery. 5️⃣ Peace of Mind: Lastly, annual blood work brings peace of mind to horse owners. Knowing that your horse is in good health and free from any underlying conditions can alleviate concerns and foster a strong bond between you and your equine companion. Your trusty veterinarian is an invaluable ally in ensuring the long-term health and happiness of your cherished horse! So, fellow horse enthusiasts, let's prioritize the health of our majestic friends by scheduling routine blood work with our horses’ Spring or Fall. It's an investment in their well-being that can provide invaluable insights and contribute to a lifetime of vitality!

  • Which Vaccinations Should My Horse Get?

    The American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) provides guidelines on equine vaccines to assist veterinarians and horse owners in making informed decisions regarding their horses' health. These recommendations are based on the risk of disease, prevalence, geographic location, and the horse's individual circumstances. Here are some commonly recommended vaccines and their rationale: Core Vaccines: The AAEP recommends core vaccines for all horses regardless of their geographical location or exposure risk. These vaccines protect against diseases that pose significant health risks and have a high potential for transmission. Core vaccines include: Eastern/Western Equine Encephalomyelitis (EEE/WEE): These viral diseases spread via mosquitoes and can be life-threatening. Vaccination reduces the risk of neurological damage or death. Tetanus: Caused by bacteria found in soil, tetanus can be contracted through wounds or punctures. Vaccination is crucial as the disease is often fatal. Rabies: Rabies is a fatal neurological disease that affects all mammals, including horses. Vaccination helps prevent transmission and is important from both an equine and human health perspective. Risk-Based Vaccines: These vaccines are recommended based on factors such as regional prevalence, exposure risk, or horse management practices. Some commonly recommended risk-based vaccines include: Equine Herpesvirus (EHV): EHV-1 and EHV-4 are viral diseases that can cause respiratory illness, neurological disorders, and abortions. Vaccination is particularly important for horses that travel, compete, or are kept in high-density environments. Equine Influenza (Flu): Flu is highly contagious and can spread rapidly among horses, causing respiratory illness and impacting performance. Vaccination is recommended, especially for horses involved in activities that involve contact with other horses. West Nile Virus (WNV): Transmitted by mosquitoes, WNV can cause neurological disease in horses. Vaccination is important, particularly in areas where the virus is prevalent. Strangles (Streptococcus equi): Strangles is a bacterial infection that causes respiratory problems and swollen lymph nodes. Vaccination is recommended for at-risk horses or horses within high-risk environments. Potomac Horse Fever (PHF): PHF is caused by bacteria and often associated with water sources. Vaccination is recommended in areas where the disease is prevalent, as well as for horse traveling to or through those areas. It's important to note that these recommendations may vary based on geographic location, horse age, use, and exposure risk. Regular consultation with a veterinarian is essential to develop an appropriate vaccination plan tailored to your horse's needs. Remember, vaccination not only protects individual horses but also helps reduce the risk of disease transmission across the equine population, promoting overall equine health and welfare.

  • Optimizing Equine Health with Annual Dental Care

    Professional equine dental care plays a critical role in maintaining the health and overall well-being of our beloved horses. Let's explore the importance of annual equine dental care and how it benefits our horses. 1️⃣ Optimal Dental Health: Just like us, proper dental care is essential for horses. Regular equine dentals performed by veterinarians help maintain oral hygiene, reducing the risk of dental issues that can lead to discomfort, pain, and difficulty in eating and performing. These procedures ensure healthy teeth, gums, and a balanced bite, allowing horses to enjoy their meals and live comfortably. 2️⃣ Prevention of Dental Problems: Equine dentals allow veterinarians to detect and address dental issues before they escalate. Sharp points, uneven wear, hooks, and other abnormalities can be effectively identified and corrected during routine exams. By addressing these problems early on, equine dentals help prevent more severe issues such as periodontal disease, tooth decay, and even sinus infections. Prevention is the key to avoiding unnecessary pain and complications! 3️⃣ Improved Digestion and Nutrient Absorption: Efficient chewing is crucial for proper digestion in horses. Irregularities in dental alignment or damaged teeth can hinder the chewing process, resulting in inadequate breakdown of feed and nutrient absorption. Equine dentals ensure a well-aligned bite, enabling horses to adequately grind their food, improving digestion, and maximizing nutrient utilization. This leads to better overall health and performance. 4️⃣ Enhanced Performance and Comfort: Horses with dental issues may experience discomfort, pain, or behavioral problems while being ridden or performing various tasks. Equine dentals help eliminate these issues, allowing horses to focus on their training and perform to their full potential. By ensuring dental comfort and well-being, we contribute to their happiness, trainability, and overall performance. 5️⃣ Collaborative Care: Equine dentals provide an excellent opportunity for collaboration between horse owners, trainers, and veterinarians. Through regular dental exams and treatments, veterinarians can educate horse owners on proper dental care practices, offering recommendations on diet, feeding strategies, and dental hygiene that can complement the professional dental procedures. A team effort ensures the best possible dental care for our equine friends! Let's prioritize the dental health of our horses by scheduling regular equine dentals performed by qualified veterinarians. By doing so, we ensure their long-term well-being, comfort, and performance. Healthy teeth, happy horses!

  • The Blanketing Dilemma

    The question of whether horses need to be blanketed is a common one, and the answer depends on various factors. Let's explore the considerations that can help you make an informed decision about whether to blanket your horse or not during colder weather. 1️⃣ Natural Adaptability: Horses are remarkably adaptable animals and have evolved to withstand different weather conditions. Their thick winter coats provide insulation, which helps them regulate body temperature and stay warm in cold weather. In general, healthy horses are capable of coping with cold temperatures without the need for extra blankets. 2️⃣ Climate and Environmental Factors: The climate and environment in which your horse lives should be taken into account. Horses living in areas with extremely cold, wet, or windy climates might benefit from a blanket to provide that extra layer of protection. Similarly, horses with limited access to shelter, especially older or thin-skinned horses, may benefit from added warmth during inclement weather. Assessing your horse's living conditions is vital. 3️⃣ Individual Horse Considerations: Each horse is unique, and their individual characteristics and health conditions should be considered. Factors such as age, body condition, breed, workload, and overall health can influence whether a horse requires blanketing. Young, elderly, underweight, or sick horses may need extra protection to maintain their body temperature and prevent unnecessary stress. You may also want to blanket horses that are clipped and have a vigorous workload, once they have been cooled out and are no longer sweaty. Consultation with your veterinarian is valuable for evaluating your horse's specific needs. 4️⃣ Blanket Fit and Safety: If you decide to blanket your horse, it's crucial to ensure that the blanket fits properly and doesn't impede their movement. Ill-fitting blankets can lead to discomfort, chafing, or even accidents. Regularly check the blanket's condition and adjust it as necessary. Additionally, remember that blanketing may require additional care, such as daily removal and proper drying to prevent skin issues and overheating in changing weather conditions. Safety is paramount! 5️⃣ Monitoring and Flexibility: Continuously monitor your horse for signs of discomfort or overheating while blanketed. Sweating excessively or appearing restless can indicate that the horse is too warm and may warrant adjustments to the blanketing routine. It's essential to remain flexible and responsive to your horse's individual needs throughout the season. Observation and adaptation are key! Ultimately, the decision to blanket your horse depends on multiple factors including climate, living conditions, individual needs, and monitoring their well-being. Consider the overall health and comfort of your horse, and consult with professionals such as your veterinarian or equine specialist for personalized advice. By doing so, you can make the best choice to keep your equine friend happy, healthy, and comfortable throughout the year!

  • The Itchy Horse: Insect Bite Hypersensitivity

    By Zoe Davidson, DVM, MRCVS While we are all still reveling in the glorious months of summer, this time of year can bring a number of health issues to our equine friends. One of the most common conditions is Insect Bite Hypersensitivity. Insect Bite Hypersensitivity (IBH, Queensland itch, sweet itch, equine summer eczema) is the most common pruritic ( itchy) disease of horses. Definitely a common topic of discussion within the equine world, but yet not fully understood and frequently mismanaged. The goal of this article is to provide a quick simple run down of the cause, classic symptoms, and what we can do as vets and owners to keep our horses happy and healthy! Cause Allergic sensitivity to the saliva of Culicoides spp., biting midges; and a variety of insect species. There is a genetic component that does predispose some breeds to a more severe reaction than others. Your horse can develop hypersensitivity and associated symptoms even if you do not see your horse being actively bitten. There is much more than meets the eye going on below the skin surface. Simply put, the severity of the clinical signs is not always correlated with the number and frequency of insect bites, but rather the severity of their individual immune mediated reaction. Certain horses develop a much stronger reaction to the saliva than others, and once their system is primed, worse the clinical signs are. Classic Itchy Horse Symptoms IBH can look different in each horse. Most commonly the symptoms include urticaria “hives”, generalized pruritis (“itchiness”) leading to lesions associated with self trauma (e.g skin thickening, lesions, scaling, crusting, hives, and hair loss, which can result in extreme discomfort.) In severe cases the secondary lesions induced by self -mutilation cause open sores and become infected. Lesions in horses are usually found on the trunk, face, mane, tail, and ears, with locations varying depending on the biting characteristics of the particular insect(s). The external signs can be accompanied by a dull, depressed, lethargic temperament. Luckily, it is one of the most well understood of the allergic skin diseases of the horse which means we have developed very effective management practices to help keep our horses happy and healthy this season! TOP MANAGEMENT TIPS: 1. Catch Early - prevention is always the best cure! Monitor your horse twice daily for the signs mentioned above! 2. Fly Control - prevent the flies from biting! Effective fly spray applied 2X/day Routine sheath cleanings Comprehensive fly mask and fly sheet Clean out stalls 2X/day; place manure piles far from barn Place a fan on your horse's stall door! Fun Fact: Flies are actually pretty weak fliers! 3. Supplements: Platinum Performance Skin and Allergy as well as Kinetic Vet Equishield (Skin and Allergy) have been proven to be effective! Omega-3 fatty acids can aid in reducing skin inflammation. When to call a Vet? Hives accompanied by agitation, elevated respiratory rate, effort and/ or depressed lethargic demeanor, Lesions on the head, neck, mane, tail and or belly (ventral midline) that are being rubbed raw, swollen, runny eyes cough. Sometimes your horse may be reacting to a variety of different stimuli, and in this case a thorough examination and further testing is indicated in order to diagnose and effectively treat. Medical Treatments At this time, there are only a few effective treatments once your horse has developed more extensive IBHS. Our options include antihistamines and corticosteroids, both of which are variably effective and do not come without their own potential side effects. In more severe cases, your vet may discuss drawing your horse's blood for an allergy panel. Subsequently, the exact cause of the allergy can be identified, and a specific immunomodulator developed to help reduce their symptoms. A pricey, length and often not always effective option! With this in view, prevention and management are by far the best methods of keeping your horse comfortable, happy and healthy! If you are concerned about your horse, and eager to discuss any of the above information further, please do not hesitate to reach out. We would love to hear from you! Download a PDF of this article... Related resources you may also be interested in: “Equine Allergies” (Video) by Amanda Hedges, DVM, cVA, CVSMT “Equine Allergies” (Article) by Amanda Hedges, DVM, cVA, CVSMT

  • 10 Signs Your Horse Needs a Dental Exam

    Equine dentistry is more than just floating teeth. It's much broader and examines the horse’s health more systemically, which is why it’s important to have your veterinarian perform annual dental exams. The general goals of equine dentistry include: Improving the chewing of food Relieving pain and treating or curing infection and disease Promoting general health, productivity, and longevity Preventing more painful and costly problems later According to the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP), these 10 signs suggest that your horse needs a dental exam:

  • E.O.T.R.H.

    E.O.T.R.H. (Equine Odontoclastic Tooth Resorption and Hypercementosis) is a disease process of the incisor and canine teeth mostly seen in older horses. For reasons unknown, the body begins to resorb the bone and surrounding gum tissue. With increased loss, pockets will form causing feed to accumulate between the teeth and a subsequent infection occurs. The infection can further destroy the bone along with ligaments holding the teeth in place. Cementum (the hard covering of a horse’s tooth) proliferates near the gum line causing the incisors to take on a characteristic rounded and overgrown appearance. This disease process can be painful and cause the horse to become reluctant to eat. E.O.T.R.H. can be treated with partial or full removal of the incisor teeth. Many clients wonder, “How will my horse eat without front teeth?” But horses tend to do well and typically go back to normal feed within 24 hours after the procedure. Steinbeck Peninsula Equine Clinics Surgery Director and dental specialist Dr. Nick Carlson routinely performs this surgery and explains, “By the time the disease has progressed enough to warrant complete incisor removal, the horse has likely already adapted to using their tongue and cheeks to graze and chew.” This procedure can be done in the hospital and usually only requires a 1-night stay. The extractions are done with the horse standing, using intravenous sedation and local anesthesia. The horse is typically fed a wet pelleted mash that evening and begins back on normal feed the following day. Owners have reported significant improvements in behavior following extraction, such as increased energy, brightened attitude, eagerness to eat, and lessened facial sensitivity. If you believe your horse might be experiencing this or any other dental problem, please call to schedule an appointment with a member of our team.

  • Awakening the Dormant Dragon

    Neurological form of Equine Herpesvirus-1 — Important information about EHV and EHM from the CEH Horse Report, a publication of the UC Davis Center for Equine Health, UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine.

  • How To Place a Foot Poultice/Bandage

    Your veterinarian may recommended a foot poultice to treat a sole bruise, foot abscess or other condition. (Note that if your horse is shod, the shoe will need to be removed to place the poultice. Your veterinarian will advise you regarding shoe removal.) Wrapping a bandage around your horse’s hoof to keep the poultice in place can be tricky. In this video, Dr. Jacquelyn Dietrich shows you how to place a foot poultice and securely wrap a bandage around the hoof. (Be sure to turn up your sound!)

  • How To Bandage the Lower Leg

    In this video, Dr. Danielle Price shows you how to securely wrap a bandage around a horse’s lower leg. (Be sure to turn up your sound!)

  • How To Give a Horse Oral Medications

    In this video, Dr. Amanda Hedges shows you how to administer liquid medications, supplements and dewormers with a syringe. (Be sure to turn up your sound!) Related resources you may also be interested in: British Equine Veterinary Association (BEVA): Don’t Break Your Vet - Worry-free Deworming McKee-Pownall Equine Services: How To Give Oral Medications

  • How To Take a Horse’s Vital Signs

    In this video, Dr. Nora Grenager shows you how to take your horse's vital signs. (Be sure to turn up your sound!) Related resources you may also be interested in: “Emergency Horse Care” (PDF) “Emergency First Aid on the Trail” (PDF) Steinbeck Peninsula Equine Clinics Emergency Services

bottom of page