Jump Into Spring with Leatherstocking Veterinary Services
~ CH Staff
Regardless of how the weather looks outside your barn door today Spring will be here. Maybe not soon enough after all the North-East storms that have blasted though but soon.
Along with Spring comes show season and perfect riding and barn time. Are you prepared? Horse health is front and center all year long but the higher activity level means more to organize to keep it that way. Catskill Horse check in with local veterinary practice Leatherstocking Veterinary Services for a few tips to get your horse on the right track for optimum health and see what is going on in their neck of the woods.
Leatherstocking Veterinary Services offer one of the most comprehensive list of services in Central New York. Operating an ambulatory service within a 45-mile radius of New Berlin, New York, the practice has grown considerably since its inception by Dr. Bill Johnson and his wife Lisa in 2004. New veterinary professionals continue to be added to the practice, with an extended list of sister facilities across the Central New York area.
The facilities it now encompasses are impressive. Located on 380 acre property that was once the Borden dairy farm, the practice still treats a myriad of animals with a strong emphasis on equine care.
The main barn has 28 matted stalls and 4 heated foaling stalls with mattresses and a 24-hour high definition video monitoring system keeps an eye on the occupants. For breeding services there is a heated treatment room with a breeding area replete with phantom, tease chute and stocks. Attached is a lab equipped with the latest breeding technology. The facility is a USDA Certified Semen Export Center.
In one of the original buildings of the property there is a heated quarantine stall that has 24-hour monitoring for critical horses that need to be isolated and for the busy Spring season there is a 10 stall shed row for additional horse. Ample turnout is provided with six paddocks and three large pastures. At LVS auxiliary farm across Route 80, there is room for an additional 20 stalls, 5 paddocks and several large pastures.
Choose what services you need from a vast array of professional help:
• Routine & Emergency Care
• Reproduction Services
• Herd Health
• Hospital & Surgery
• Sports Medicine
• Dental & Eye Care
Here's some updates and tips on the care of your horses from the medical team at LVS:
CH: What’s new in 2018 for Leatherstocking Equine? Any new services coming or additions to the vet team and office support?
Dr. Bill: Dr. Judy Fry will be joining Leatherstocking Veterinary Services in June. She is a Cornell DVM graduate and has been working in Northern NY for the past 5 years. Judy grew up in New Berlin, NY. We are excited to have her back home.
Judy grew up in New Berlin, NY and was actively involved in horseback riding and 4-H. She attended Cornell University for her undergraduate work, getting a degree in Animal Science. She then went to Cornell University for veterinary school, graduating in 2013. For the first five years out of school she worked as a large animal veterinarian up in northern NY, with an interest in both dairy and equine medicine. In her free time Judy likes to spend time with her husband, Matt, and two young children, as well as ride her two horses.
Dr. Bill: We have a new state of the art radiology unit. The pictures that it takes are amazing!
CH: What is the primary type of vet business that the Leatherstocking Vet Team finds themselves handling? Breeding? Hospitalization clinic?
Dr. Bill: All of the above. Our team of veterinarians is on the road and in the clinic every day.
Dr. Rachel: Already this winter we have had a sick mare post foaling, several sick newborn foals and a handful of in-hospital medical colics.
CH: What advice can you give horse owners as we jump into Spring? For example, I saw there was an EHV1 outbreak at New Bolton, PA. What are the primary vaccines horse owners should consider?
Dr. Bill: This winter we have seen flu outbreaks in barns around the area.
Dr. Rachel: There are a dew geographic pockets where we see Potomac horse fever, such as Bainbridge and along route 5 in Vernon/Oneida.
CH: Some other vet practices offer a Spring Clinic ambulatory vaccine/teeth float program where vets cover a certain region on specific dates to get the Spring work complete. Does Leatherstocking offer that?
Dr. Bill: Yes. In Feb & March we offer a discounted farm call and vaccine deal. We usually offer a dental program in the Autumn.
CH: I know you have a significant breeding business at Leatherstocking Equine. How many foals have hit the ground already and how many mares are you expecting to foal out this season?
Dr. Bill: We usually foal out 40-50 mares starting in February.
Dr. Rachel: We have had 2 foals born at our clinic already, a Standardbred colt and a reining Quarter Horse filly. Several other mares are due any day.
CH: We’ve been having a variant temperature and weather issue through the winter and early Spring. What advice can you offer horse owners to protect their horses from suffering a colic episode? What other issues can occur? What are signs of frostbite for e.g. and does it happen?
Dr. Bill: Offer plenty of water, keep it from freezing using heated buckets. The #1 problem is impaction colics this time of year.
Dr. Rachel: Monitor intake of hay and grain as well as manure output.
Dr. Christine S.: Provide fresh, ample water. Always have hay available. Always be cautious with ice and slipping. “Spring brings lacerations!”- Horses are enjoying the weather, run and get hurt.
Dr. Heidi: Make sure older horses have good weight or are blanketed.
CH: Do you have any advice for someone that is interested in pursuing a veterinary related career?
Dr. Bill: Study hard and get good grades. Get some practical experience to be sure it’s something you want to do.
Dr. Kathy: Get as much experience as possible.
Dr. Christine S.: Get as much exposure in many different fields.
CH: Do you have any job openings right now?
Dr. Bill: Yes, we are looking to fill 2 mixed animal veterinary positions.
CH: How many vets are on staff today? Can you give us a brief introduction to them?
Download the Doctor's Bios: AllDoctorBios.pdf.
CH: What is your ambulatory coverage by radius from New Berlin and are you taking on new clients?
Dr. Bill: 45 miles for horses. Yes, we are accepting new clients.
CH: Aside from horses, what other animals do you see? For example, on a farm visit do you offer Lyme testing/heartworm testing/vaccines? I know many equine vets offer this.
Dr. Bill: We see cows, goats, sheep, llamas, alpacas and Dr. Christine S. sees pigs. We can only offer limited small animal services to clients on the farm. We have several small animal clinics in the area.
Leatherstocking Veterinary Services encompasses a large staff and obviously treat a variety of animals. Over the past several years its exponential growth has been appreciated by local livestock owners, for the region was previously seriously underserviced.
While the Leatherstocking practice does a great job of covering the Central New York area, the Catskill region is still in need of a similar scale practice with a specialty experience in equines and a willingness to offer breeding/repro services on an ambulatory basis and a specialist level of equine lameness and disease diagnostics, care and high tech field equipment.
If you are fortunate enough to live in the Leatherstocking Veterinary Services ambulatory service area consider yourself fortunate and take full advantage of their expertise.
Visit their website at http://leatherstockingvetgroup.com/ to learn more about the full range of services they offer. You can even make appointments online.