Tag Archives: equine vet

Simply Horses Vet Clinic On Call

Ramblings from a life in Vet Practice…

Hi and I apologise once again to my mother and cat Merlin for the delay on posting. At least I know I have 2 individuals whom read my ramblings on the internet about all things veterinary ๐Ÿ˜‰

Last weekend I was on call again 2nd weekend of 3 and spent 5 hours in the car on Saturday and travelled some 250 miles during the day. However the best was yet to come!! The call came in @ 10pm just as I was starting to relax for a mare foaling. Now it is a veterinary urban myth that if the mare has not foaled by the time the vet arrives it tends to be an epic encounter. However this mare had suddenly started foaling and something long and tubular was hanging from its vulva. On close questioning this was almost certainly intestine and thus the mare was most unlikely to survive. On arriving as quickly as I could, I confirmed my suspicions that this was actually large bowel hanging from the mare due a larger rupture around the cervix and that she would have to be destroyed unfortunately. However we needed to see if we could save the foal. I administered a high dose of painkillers and sedation to the mare and attempted to foal her. However the foals head and both front legs were bent backwards and despite straightening them we could not get the mare foaled normally. Thus an emergency standing caesarean was carried out and a very flat, weak filly was produced which I thought had little chance of survival.

The filly was removed for immediate resuscitation and the harrowing job of putting the mare to sleep was carried out. This was a really brave well behaved mare with a lovely kind owner and everyone involved was deeply upset ;-(

By this time the foal had recovered remarkably well and yet despite this miracle seemed unable to stand. On close examination she was found to have severe bilateral carpal contracture. This is a rare deformity of the front legs where the carpi (knees) are fixed in a flexed position and unable toe be moved even after surgery. Due to the hopeless prognosis it was decided to put the foal to sleep also.

Thus after some 4 hours work and care based on over 26 years in practice I ended up with a dead mare and foal!! No one really tells you about this in vet school and you start to understand why vets have a very high suicide rate especially in new graduates. It can be in many cases a very rewarding but harrowing lonely job in large animal practice.

However 2 days later I did a mare and foal check on a delightful Appaloosa filly foal and as they say life goes on ๐Ÿ˜‰

Then to continue this vein of depression I saw my first case of grass sickness on Wednesday night and that mare was put down also! A 5 year old the best mare on the farm! This particular farm has had grass sickness in the past but not on this field, and not on the premises for 3 years!! Classical symptoms fine body tremor low grade colic signs but pulse rate of 75 beats per minute, very hard cannon ball faeces, low grade drooling from the mouth, reduced gut sounds and a foul smelling breath. Diagnosis can be challenging in some cases but was straightforward here. Due to the mares pain and distress she was put to sleep.

I hope you realise I have had a bad few days and things will get better I hope ๐Ÿ˜‰

Equine Atypical Myopathy

A recent letter in one of our vet journals caught my eye and would be interesting to many of our clients.


We would like to alert practitioners that there has been an extremely high prevalence of equine atypical myopathy this autumn. During October an unusually high number of cases was observed in southern England and throughout northern Europe.

Navicular Disease & Spavin: New Therapies

Efficacy of tiludronate in the treatment of navicular disease Lacy Kamm and others, Colorado State University:
Tiludronate is a bisphosphonate compound used in human patients with diseases of bone resorption and remodelling, such as Pagetโ€™s disease. As Tildren, the compound is licensed for veterinary use in the treatment of bone spavin in the UK and Europe but not in the US. The author reviews studies on its efficacy against equine navicular disease and distal tarsal osteoarthritis (Spavin). He concludes that tiludronate may be beneficial in managing lameness associated with these two conditions by decreasing bone resorption and inflammation. Journal of Equine Veterinaiy Science 28
(4~: 209-214.

Very interesting update on the use of Tildren in the condions of Spavin and Navicular syndrome. Note the MRI diagnosis of Navicular disease should be very useful to see if this therapy may be useful in individual cases. site down Navicular disease is now much better understood but not easier to treat ;-(

Also those of you with horses with very early spavin in young competition horses may find this treatment worth considering. Always discuss with an experienced equine vet first as you need some active bone resorbtion going on for this treatment to work and not all spavins show this.

Paul

Equine Vet Returns To The Internet

Hello and welcome back after a long summer doing equine locum work at Bearl Equine and one day per week at Capontree I am back on the blog trail and updating what is happening in my life. As ever all things podiatry related fascinates me and this recent thread on an Equine Vets Forum led to a brilliant description of the standard Natural balance trim. This is in my opinion the gold standard to try and achieve a healthy equine foot ๐Ÿ˜‰

“True Natural Barefoot hoof trim”–As I understand it, and try to apply it when treating horses for therapeutic issues with feet:ย  An ongoing attempt to balance the hoof medial to lateral, to allow the frog and sole to carry most of the burden of the horse, to trim as best possible to the slope of the pastern, and to resist applying a rim of steel to the hoof wall to raise the frog and sole from contact with the ground.ย  Following the path of the P-3 as reflected in the sulci of the frog to establish medial lateral balance, and to not trim back the calus that forms in the sole over the tip of P-3 on a barefoot horse.ย  To round the hoof wall so that it does not chip, and to attempt to mimic the degree of wall wear that has been observed in untrimmed wild horses that wear off their hoof walls and walk mostly on their soles and frog.ย  This is done by regular trimming, at 4 week intervals, and is to be accompanied by vigorous exercise on mildly yielding surfaces, good planes of nutrition, and weight loss if needed.ย  Oh, and generous amount of time to allow changes to happen.

Yes, the horse’s foot adapts to what it is standing on, but the point is to allow it to stand on the ground and have the heels have expansion abilities in all directions, rather than have as THE ONLY ANSWER the hoof-wall nailed to an unyielding chunk of iron.

I also find that the whole horse is needed to be seen and addressed, rather than just one aspect of it…the shoe, the trim, the hoof, the rider, the feed, the bite and the bit, the saddle, the discipline, the training and conditioning, and last but not least, the breeding…..

No two horses feet are ever the same and you must look at the whole picture and use your experience to assess horse with peculiar shaped feet before condemning the animal immediately. Many horse with boxy feet are very sound and can work hard, but others will be chronically lame, use good judgement and radiographsย  carefully

Paul Proctor MRCVS

Long Overdue Equine Post and Update

Hello all I hopefully will start posting more regularly now I am back in reins so to speak ๐Ÿ˜‰ I have been working 3 days per week during the summer at BearlEquine and hope to continue this on a regular part time basis if possible and work holds up.

The practice in Blyth is growing nicely and if any fo you have small animals in the Blyth area we would love to see you at the practice, unashamed plug ๐Ÿ˜‰ the website gives you all the details you need to know, http://www.st-clair-pet-care.com

Planning delays have meant the cat practice is somewhat behind schedule but work is slowly progressing and we will let all you who also have cats know whem we should be opeing this. In a strange way cats and horses go together. Sarah has just completed and passed her GP certificate in Feline Medicine. The early site can be seen at http://www.simplycats.net

Ramblings from a life in Vet Practice…

Hi and I apologise once again to my mother and cat Merlin for the delay on posting. At least I know I have 2 individuals whom read my ramblings on the internet about all things veterinary ๐Ÿ˜‰

Last weekend I was on call again 2nd weekend of 3 and spent 5 hours in the car on Saturday and travelled some 250 miles during the day. However the best was yet to come!! The call came in @ 10pm just as I was starting to relax for a mare foaling. Now it is a veterinary urban myth that if the mare has not foaled by the time the vet arrives it tends to be an epic encounter. However this mare had suddenly started foaling and something long and tubular was hanging from its vulva. On close questioning this was almost certainly intestine and thus the mare was most unlikely to survive. On arriving as quickly as I could, I confirmed my suspicions that this was actually large bowel hanging from the mare due a larger rupture around the cervix and that she would have to be destroyed unfortunately. However we needed to see if we could save the foal. I administered a high dose of painkillers and sedation to the mare and attempted to foal her. However the foals head and both front legs were bent backwards and despite straightening them we could not get the mare foaled normally. Thus an emergency standing caesarean was carried out and a very flat, weak filly was produced which I thought had little chance of survival.

The filly was removed for immediate resuscitation and the harrowing job of putting the mare to sleep was carried out. This was a really brave well behaved mare with a lovely kind owner and everyone involved was deeply upset ;-(

By this time the foal had recovered remarkably well and yet despite this miracle seemed unable to stand. On close examination she was found to have severe bilateral carpal contracture. This is a rare deformity of the front legs where the carpi (knees) are fixed in a flexed position and unable toe be moved even after surgery. Due to the hopeless prognosis it was decided to put the foal to sleep also.

Thus after some 4 hours work and care based on over 26 years in practice I ended up with a dead mare and foal!! No one really tells you about this in vet school and you start to understand why vets have a very high suicide rate especially in new graduates. It can be in many cases a very rewarding but harrowing lonely job in large animal practice.

However 2 days later I did a mare and foal check on a delightful Appaloosa filly foal and as they say life goes on ๐Ÿ˜‰

Then to continue this vein of depression I saw my first case of grass sickness on Wednesday night and that mare was put down also! A 5 year old the best mare on the farm! This particular farm has had grass sickness in the past but not on this field, and not on the premises for 3 years!! Classical symptoms fine body tremor low grade colic signs but pulse rate of 75 beats per minute, very hard cannon ball faeces, low grade drooling from the mouth, reduced gut sounds and a foul smelling breath. Diagnosis can be challenging in some cases but was straightforward here. Due to the mares pain and distress she was put to sleep.

I hope you realise I have had a bad few days and things will get better I hope ๐Ÿ˜‰

Paul