Leatherstocking Vet Services Share UTD Info For Horse Owners
By CH Staff
As Spring finally arrives there are lots of new rules and regulations for show season this year and more options on the table for treatment of diseases and lameness than ever before. Let’s catch up with the team at Leatherstocking Vet Services (LVS) and get up to date with all that’s new!
CH: As we jump into Spring, what should horse owners be aware of that is new in the way of treatments on offer from LVS?
LVS: We are excited to offer many new things this Spring and for the remaining 2019 year for our clients! We recently bought a new ultrasound for our reproductive, abdominal and lameness evaluations.
And we continue to be very pleased with our Cuattro system radiology unit we purchased last year. This radiology unit brings up images in under 2 seconds on its light and portable tablet screen. The wireless x-ray plate is easy to move around most horses without making them nervous and now we only need access to a single electrical outlet to get excellent quality radiographs in your barn. This new system allows us to image areas that have previously been out of our reach. We are enjoying being able to acquire spinal radiographs (on most horses), stifles, and improved skull imaging on top of excellent images of the lower legs and foot.
If you are looking for a doctor to perform pre-purchase exams, joint injections or any lameness evaluation, Dr. Ram Singh joined our Leatherstocking Veterinary Group in August 2018. He is available on Wednesdays by appointment only. Give our office a call at 607-847-9990 to schedule an evaluation within our 50-mile coverage radius from New Berlin, NY. You can also schedule an appointment to haul your horse in to our clinic.
Leatherstocking is utilizing the SAA stall-side test. SAA stands for Serum Amyloid A. It's a biomarker protein produced in the liver in the face of inflammation caused by infection. It is performed by one of our veterinarians with a simple blood draw and you can find out within hours if your horse currently is ill due to an infection.
Dr. Christine is attending an acupuncture certification course in April. Stay tuned for her return and when we will be offering acupuncture appointments!
CH: I understand there was a 5-way vaccine coming out and wondered if you could share more information about it. Has the LVS team used it yet and if so how is it working out? i.e. is there a higher risk of side effects when a multi-faceted vaccine is used?
LVS: This year we are pleased to provide a new combination vaccine which contains five of the recommended core vaccines (Rabies, EEE, WEE, tetanus and West Nile) in a single highly effective injection. Although it is newly released, it has been tested in large trials to be 99.7% reaction-free due to a new purification process.
Zoetis is so confident in their vaccines they provide an Equine Immunization Support Guarantee. This ensures that if a horse vaccinated with a Zoetis vaccine by your veterinarian exhibits clinical signs of a disease for which it was vaccinated, they will cover the cost of diagnostics and therapies for that disease up to $5000. This is the highest guarantee offered in the industry.
CH: I know you offer a full breeding clinic. Can you share news of any recent case studies that LVS has experienced in regard to foaling out or mare care issues? Hopefully ones with happy outcomes!
LVS: We have added 3 new Standardbred stallions to our facility, bringing us to a total of 5 stallions currently standing at Leatherstocking Equine Center. We offer full breeding services, fresh or frozen semen and phantom training for all horses year-round.
As for our foaling cases, we have had several babies born already! Our interesting cases (all with happy endings) have included a meconium impaction, a foal with a ruptured bladder and a foal with Neonatal Isoerythrolysis (NI) plus an inguinal hernia. Neonatal Isoerythrolysis means the destruction of a newborn foal’s red blood cells. The mare’s antibodies attack her foal’s red blood cells, and can be lethal for a foal due to the resulting liver damage and other problems. The pregnancy might appear completely normal, but the foal’s blood type could be incompatible with his dam’s antibodies when they mix during the foal’s first meal (colostrum). With intensive hospital care, this foal has recovered and is doing well.
The foal with the meconium impaction and ruptured bladder both required surgery and are doing very well!
CH: There are many tick-borne diseases popping up and it is hard to keep track of them all. Can you offer any advice to horse owners on the key points they should be aware of in tick borne disease prevention?
LVS: Our veterinarians can’t emphasize enough the importance of routinely checking your horses (don’t forget yourself and other pets) for ticks. While performing daily tick inspections, pay close attention to leg skin folds, under manes, and throats. Prompt removal is the key to helping prevent the spread of tick-borne diseases. We have found it especially handy to use a lint roller/pet hair remover on your horse and yourself after any rides to help “grab” any ticks onto the sticky paper. In addition to routine body scans, consider using tick repellents in the spring, summer and fall.
CH: What tests are available in the field for tick-borne diseases and what are their approximate costs? How reliable are they?
LVS: Leatherstocking has a Lyme and Anaplasmosis snap test that is quite reliable, especially for quick and easy on-farm testing. Only a small amount of blood is needed, and the results are present within 10 minutes. We can also perform an in-house blood smear to observe intracellular parasites. These options are faster and cheaper for owners. However, we also can send blood to Cornell for their multiplex test for titers. The Cornell Multiplex is more expensive, but also more accurate, identifying whether a horse has a chronic or acute Lyme infection.
CH: What should horse owners have in their emergency kits and in regard to prescription products like Banamine, SMZ’s etc. what should be included.
LVS: Every horse owner should have access to a first-aid/emergency kit at home and on the road. Some things Leatherstocking Veterinary Services advises all kits should be stocked with: thermometer, tourniquet, vet wrap, triple antibiotic ointment, bandage supplies, syringes, tube of banamine paste, eye lavage or saline, stethoscope, latex gloves, and duct-tape. Sedatives and antibiotics should be used on a case-by-case basis per a veterinarian’s discretion. Before administering any medication, please consult your veterinarian.
CH: Show season is around the corner. Any vet tips on what horse owners should do to help ensure their horses’ wellbeing during transport and on the showgrounds?
LVS: Always practice loading your horse in the trailer. Whether you plan to compete, trail ride, or stay at home, in the event of an emergency you want your horse ready and willing to load for transport. And if you are traveling with your horse, always have your own buckets and supplies (grooming tools, saddle pads, etc.). Never share supplies. If your horse is staying in accommodations other than his trailer, clean and disinfect the stall before he enters. Think about your horse’s vaccines and Coggins early in the year to prevent lab and paperwork delays (and stress). Make sure your horse is current with all vaccines and always have water available!
CH: What new events do you have coming up?
LVS: Save The Date: Join us April 10th (6:30 – 8:30 PM) for an equine lameness seminar with our veterinarian, Dr. Ram Singh at Leatherstocking Veterinary Services. Discussion topics will be announced soon. You can stay updated by following our Facebook page.
Our education seminars are free and open to the public. Bring the whole barn. Light refreshments will be available. Please RSVP with Mary to confirm plenty of seating and refreshments.
RSVP by April 5th with Mary at firstname.lastname@example.org or text 607-226-6411.