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Ready for the long haul? Preparation makes a difference

By DANIEL H. GROVE, DVM - September 1st, 2016

AskTheVetWe are getting closer to the end of the year, and show season is in full effect. As fall nears, many of our show horses will be traveling great distances to compete to see who is the best of the best. In order for our athletes to be at the top of their game, we need to get them there safe, sound and well.

In July of 2013, UC Davis published a group of articles in the Center for Equine Health Horse Report that covered this topic in great detail. Today, we will go over the highlights from my point of view.

Simple steps help keep horses healthy during the heat

By Daniel H. Grove, DVM - August 4th, 2016

AskTheVetWe are smack-dab in the middle of summer, and it is hot, hot, hot!

You and I have the luxury of escaping the heat by going into an air-conditioned environment, but unfortunately, our horses do not. Just like with people, the heat can rob horses of water and electrolytes, leaving them vulnerable to some preventable conditions.

Water is key to keeping your horse healthy during the heat. Horses can drink up to 20 gallons or so a day when they are burning through their bodily fluids to cool themselves. We need to do our best to not only provide this water, but to also keep it palatable. If the water is not clean or is too warm, they may not drink it.

Summer travel time: A few precautions for happy trips

By Daniel H. Grove, DVM - July 7th, 2016

AskTheVetSummer is here and show season is in full force. Many horse owners are traveling whether for shows or just fun with their horses. It is a great time to get your horses out to see new environments, explore the country or ride on the beach. In preparation for traveling, there are some important things to consider.

First, you need to make sure you have the required paperwork. This is going to require a visit from your veterinarian (This is also a good time to make sure your vaccinations are up to date!). For every state, a Coggins test and a certificate of veterinary inspection (Health Certificate) is required. The Coggin’s test detects the disease Equine Infectious Anemia. Once your horse has contracted the disease, it has it for life. The certificate of veterinary inspection is just from your veterinarian stating that the horse was free from clinical signs of disease on the date of inspection. Some states have additional requirements. It is important to check the website of the destination’s state veterinary office to determine any additional requirements.

Show season safety: How do you protect your horse?

While you cannot guarantee that no animal will get sick while traveling to and competing in the show ring, there are some steps that can be taken to minimize the risk.

By Daniel H. Grove, DVM - June 2nd, 2016

AskTheVetShow season is in full swing, and with the recent outbreaks of various infectious diseases, owners and trainers are concerned about how  to participate without our animals getting sick in the process. While you cannot guarantee that no animal will get sick while traveling to and competing in the show ring, there are some steps that can be taken to minimize the risk.

Preventative medicine worth a pound of cure

By Daniel H. Grove, DVM - May 5th, 2016

AskTheVetBenjamin Franklin said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”  I wonder if he really knew how true that is.  Preventing disease is usually much easier on an animal, much more economical, and just a more favorable way to care for our animals.  Today I am answering two questions by discussing vaccinations and deworming, two common preventative medicine measures used by most horse owners.

First, let’s discuss vaccinations. A vaccine contains usually two parts, an antigen and an adjuvant. The antigen(s) is/are the disease or diseases you are vaccinating against. It can either be a killed piece of an organism or toxin, or it can be a living organism that is modified to be less pathogenic, or less likely to cause disease. The adjuvant is put in to stimulate the body to react to the antigen. Without it, the body’s response to the antigen would be minimal and would yield very little immunity to the disease.

What can be done for horses with dreaded ‘navicular’ issues?

By Daniel H. Grove, DVM - April 7th, 2016

AskTheVetNavicular disease is an ugly term in the equine world. It is a dreaded condition that makes people cringe, and if they are looking to buy your horse, they will turn and run at the first mention of the term. Before we discuss the disease, we should talk about what the navicular bone is.
The navicular bone is a small bone in the hoof. Its function is to act as a pivot point for the deep digital flexor tendon. This tendon is what brings the hoof back when the horse is moving. This little bone is not meant to bear any weight in the horse, just make it easier for that tendon to slide around the curve of the lowest part of the digit.

Handling herpes: Good habits reduce risks of exposure

Daniel H. Grove, DVM for the Horsetrader - March 3rd, 2016

AskTheVetA while back, I gave a lecture to a small group of horse owners. I started the talk with a question. I asked,”Who here has herpes?” As expected, the room was silent. I explained that most everyone in there should have raised their hands. Ebstein-Barr virus, Chicken Pox, and of course sexually transmitted herpes are all examples of herpes viruses. Once you get them, you have them for life. In horses, it is the same. After a little explanation, everyone was laughing.

As of right now, there are 9 identified equine herpes viruses(EHV) in horses. The ones typically associated with disease are EHV 1, 3, and 4. EHV-1 , commonly called Rhinopneumonitis, can cause respiratory disease, neurological disease and abortions. EHV-3 is sexually transmitted and has symptoms similar to the dreaded venereal herpes in humans. EHV-4 is mostly just associated with respiratory disease, but can also cause abortions and neurological disease. The one everyone is talking about right now due to the recent outbreaks is EHV-1, so that is where we are going to focus.