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Babies, Babies, Babies!

- May 5th, 2020

By Daniel H. Grove, DVM

Foals are hitting the ground left and right. It is a rare day for me right now to not be doing a new foal exam (or two or three!). A new foal exam and care in the first few days is vital to keeping a healthy herd, but the first year of life for foals requires some special care that is a bit different than for the adults.

Bio-security in pandemic times

- April 1st, 2020

By Daniel H. Grove, DVM

Los Angeles Equestrian Center photo

The COVID-19 global pandemic has bio-security on everyone’s minds. Let’s revisit biosecurity and you may appreciate similarities between some of the recommendations here for your horse and the ones we are receiving now from the government for ourselves during this outbreak.

First off, make sure you are up to date on your horse’s vaccines. Vaccines are designed to help the body fight off an infectious agent if it comes into contact with it. They usually require 10 to 14 days to work. The body is exposed to the antigen and has two ways it can work to fight it off: The first is to develop antibodies; the second is what is called “cell mediated immunity.” Different vaccines have different protocols to follow for them to be their most efficacious, so either read the full label or have your veterinarian perform the series properly so they are able to give you the best protection possible.

Vet visit, then meds

- March 3rd, 2020

By Daniel H. Grove, DVM

Here is a question that can be a point of contention between many veterinarians and their clients:

“Why does my veterinarian need to see that before I get medication? This is a simple problem, and I just need the medication.”

Ask the Vet

Let us take a look at why it is necessary for a patient to first be seen before dispensing or prescribing medication.

I will start with the client’s point of view. The client may be a very experienced horse person who has been doing this for 30-plus years. They have a minor cut on the horse that they are comfortable cleaning and wrapping to allow it to heal. They have had the veterinarian out for 10 of these in the past and the treatment is always the same: put them on some antibiotics, give them some bute and give a tetanus shot. Why can’t they just pick up some antibiotics and treat the horse without the expense of the veterinarian seeing the horse?

Why all of these tests?

- February 5th, 2020

By Daniel H. Grove, DVM

alpineequine.net photo

Veterinary medicine parallels human medicine in a lot of ways. The way it evolves is a major one. A hundred years ago, the doctor or veterinarian would examine their patient and give a diagnosis and decide a course of treatment. Sometimes the patient would get better and sometimes not.

Newborn foal exams

- January 3rd, 2020

By Daniel H. Grove, DVM

It is January and the foals are coming. I thought a review of what I look for in a newborn foal exam was worth revisiting. Twelve to twenty four hours after birth, it is an excellent idea to have your newborn evaluated by your veterinarian. This month, I would like to discuss what I do on my new foal exams and why. I do them in the same order everytime so that I do not miss anything. I start at the tail and work my way forward.

By Daniel H. Grove, DVM

Horses are extremely good at dealing with a drop in temperature. I have driven through snow-filled states in temperatures in the teens and watched horses happily walking through the snow without a care in the world, no shivering or any other sign of a low body temperature. I have been in Southern California when it was 50° F out and I have full-grown adult mares coming into the barn to be palpated—and they were shivering like no tomorrow. What is the difference? Mostly, human management! Yes, there are certain circumstances where an individual may not be capable of proper thermoregulation without human interference, but by and large, with a little help, they can usually do it very well on their own.

Going viral: be vigilant

- November 8th, 2019

By Daniel H. Grove, DVM

In the United States, we have two viruses that are currently a hot topic for those of us traveling with our horses. The first is Equine Herpes Virus. I have discussed this previously in this forum. It is a group of viruses from the herpes family. There are nine different known varieties, but three of them are the most important, 1, 3, and 4. They can cause respiratory disease, neurological disease, venereal disease and abortion, depending upon which one you are dealing with. There are vaccines available to protect our horses. Vaccination along with bio-security are your best tools to prevent this being an issue for your horse.

When to start dentistry?

- October 1st, 2019

By Daniel H. Grove, DVM


Ask the Vet

In the past, we have discussed the importance of dentistry or floating of teeth. I am often asked, “When should a horse receive its first float?” I think is a great starting point is around the age of one year. I understand people want to stave off putting out money when they can, but hopefully we can show you why it is important to get it done early.

In my practice, I get to do many young horses’ teeth. They are usually 14-20 months old and are going to start getting a bit put in their mouths. All of the horses in these pictures are from the same farm. They have not ever had any bit or other device in their mouths, and they are all 14-16 months old.

When to call the veterinarian

- September 3rd, 2019

By Daniel H. Grove, DVM

Ask the Vet

“When do I call my veterinarian?”

That is a question many clients tend to struggle with. In my opinion, it is better to make that phone call and discuss your concerns rather than waiting too long and having a more challenging time resolving a case. I would much rather have someone call during normal business hours with questions about a mild colic rather than 10 o’clock at night with a colic that is now dire. It is hard to give a recommendation on times not to call without having an examination of the patient to make a determination. So, here are some key times when I think it is prudent to get on the phone and at least discuss the situation with your veterinarian.

Heat

- August 1st, 2019

By Daniel H. Grove, DVM

Every year around this time, I like to remind everyone how important it is to keep an eye on some things to help your horse navigate its way through this time of year.

As with all year round, water is very important. With the added stress of hot weather, it is very important to supply endless cool, fresh and clean water. Things that can decrease water intake are hot water, dirty water, different water or contaminated water. Please, check the water often to make sure it is pristine. If traveling, a trick my assistant likes to use is to give her horse a second water bucket with a sports drink mix in it for about a week prior to going to the event. Then, at your destination, you can add the sports drink mix to the new water to hide the different taste!