Monthly Archives: December 2015

Palm Beach Equine Clinic Returns as Official Veterinarian of the 2016 WEF and AGDF Winter Circuits

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Palm Beach Equine Clinic (PBEC) proudly serves as the official veterinarians of the world-renowned Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) and Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) in Wellington, FL. Adjacent to the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in the heart of Wellington, PBEC’s state-of-the-art facilities and world-class team of 28 veterinarians are there for every equestrian’s needs throughout the WEF and AGDF circuits. PBEC is proud to work for its multi-discipline clientele with the aid of the most advanced technologies and medical treatments available.

“Wellington is a fabulous place, and I have watched the growth of WEF as well as AGDF over the years, and it has been exponential,” said Dr. Scott Swerdlin, President of Palm Beach Equine Clinic. “For us to be part of that growth, and part of the explosion of the sport horse industry here in Wellington is a real honor. We want to give back to the community, as well as contribute to all of the great things that Mark Bellissimo has done for the horse show world.”

“I love to see the good horses return, and every year it seems like better and better horses are competing from all over the world,” Swerdlin added. “The quality of horses and the quality of competition always continues to improve. To watch these fabulous horse and rider combinations in all of these different disciplines is such a treat.”

With top horses and riders from around the world spending their winters in Wellington, PBEC is proud to have veterinarians on the team that represent many different countries. PBEC currently employs veterinarians from Argentina, Uruguay, and Colombia. It is a privilege for the team at PBEC to work together with many of the best veterinarians from all over the world as they travel to Wellington with their clients.

Palm Beach Equine Clinic features its full-service surgical center and intensive care hospital located only minutes from the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center show grounds. Board certified surgeons, primary care veterinarians and hospital technicians are scheduled for emergency on call assistance 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to treat, monitor and care for critical cases. With exceptional veterinarians and a staff of highly trained hospital technicians, PBEC’s surgical suite and staff are prepared to handle all kinds of emergencies, day and night.

The Palm Beach Equine Clinic facility houses the most advanced imaging technologies available, including a standing Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), Nuclear Scintigraphy (Bone Scan), Ultrasonography, Digital Radiography and Endoscopy. PBEC is unique in that a Board Certified Radiologist is on site to interpret images and assist with diagnosis for rapid results. PBEC’s on-site, full-service laboratory equipped with hematology, chemistry, and microbiology equipment provides veterinarians with the ability to quickly evaluate blood tests for critical cases.

The newest addition this year for PBEC is the Annex Veterinary Office located on the show grounds at the Winter Equestrian Festival. The wooden barn located at the beginning of the north grounds entrance is now an office space, pharmacy for supplies and medication pick up, and examination areas.

For more information on the facility or in case of an emergency, please call (561) 793-1599 to contact an on-call veterinarian.

Learn More About PBEC Staff Surgeon Dr. Weston Davis

Dr. Weston Davis

Dr. Davis is a second-generation veterinarian from South Florida. His father is recently retired from veterinary medicine and his family raises beef cattle in Clewiston, FL. Dr. Davis graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Florida College Of Veterinary Medicine in 2008. He was awarded the Barbaro Gulfstream Scholarship (a veterinary scholarship named in honor of the amazing Barbaro), the Calder Race Course Scholarship, and the Student Award for Excellence in Large Animal Surgery.

After graduation, Dr. Davis completed his internship in Sports Medicine and Surgery at Oakridge Equine Hospital, followed by a residency in Equine Surgery at North Carolina State University. In 2012, he became board certified in Large Animal Surgery by the American College of Veterinary Surgeons. Before joining Palm Beach Equine Clinic, Dr. Davis spent 1.5 years as a staff surgeon at a private practice referral center in Texas.  He has authored and co-authored publications on topics ranging from colic surgery to advanced imaging and novel surgical techniques. In 2014, he was awarded the BEVA Trust Peter Rossdale EVJ Open Award for a research publication on return to performance following colic surgery.  He has spoken at several national and state meetings.

Dr. Davis is an avid sportsman himself, and his hobbies include fishing, hunting, waterskiing and almost any outdoor activity.

Q. Will you tell us more about your background with horses growing up?

A. I started riding horses when I was so young I can’t remember.  We had some amazingly kind horses that packed us around and took care of us (and a couple that didn’t). Riding as a child was mostly business – for the purpose of working cows. Somewhere around 14, I began team roping for pleasure and competition. I roped throughout college, but lost the required free time when I began practicing veterinary medicine. I’ll probably get after it again when I am retired and much too old to be doing that sort of thing!

Q. When and why did you decide to become a veterinarian and why did you choose to pursue a career as a surgeon?

A. I decided to be a veterinarian very early in life.I had a father and uncle who were both successful and happy veterinarians whom I looked up to, so it was a logical path to follow.  The surgical interests started as a kid watching my father do surgery, something I always thought was amazing and he was very skilled at. My decision to pursue the surgical avenue came during vet school when I realized that I wanted to specialize and knew surgery was my passion.  

Q. What is the best advice that your father has given you as a veterinarian?

A. My father is a man of few words. However, by watching him, I learned one of the biggest life lessons, which is to be calm and content with your career and your life.

Weston surgery

Q. What do you enjoy about speaking publicly and sharing your knowledge?

A. I think mentoring, sharing knowledge and teaching the hands-on skills to the next generation of veterinarians is one of the most fun and rewarding parts of my job.  Observing a student as content and excelling in their career with a skill set that you contributed to, even in a small way, is a beautiful thing.

Q. What is the most interesting or rewarding surgical case you have worked on? 

A. Although minimally invasive arthroscopic type surgeries are my favorite to perform, I think colic surgeries are one of the most rewarding.  They are often difficult surgeries and inevitably in the middle of the night, but you take a horse who would most certainly die without you, and save a life.  Helping a horse who was in excruciating pain or has a life-threatening devitalized piece of intestine recover back to feeling comfortable and eating in their stall the next day is about as good as it gets.  

Q. If you were not a vet, what would you be doing?  

A. Living in a van, down by the river…Ugh.  I don’t have any idea.

Q. What are your goals for your career now?

A. My goal is to expand the surgical and outpatient sports medicine referrals at PBEC. I am currently the coordinator for the intern and resident program. I plan to expand and improve on the quality of these mentoring programs within the industry.  I am also working on the development and description of some novel minimally invasive surgical techniques.  I aim to continue authoring 1-2 publications annually in the refereed equine literature.

Q. When not roping, fishing, hunting or waterskiing, what other things do you do with your free time? 

A. Most of my non-equine time lately has been devoted to some real-estate interests and house renovations.  I am also a big reader.

 

Palm Beach Equine Clinic Named Exclusive Florida Distributor of DJM Sole Supports

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Palm Beach Equine Clinic (PBEC) is proud to be the exclusive distributor of DJM Sole Supports for the state of Florida. DJM Sole Supports can safely be used to give instant relief for many common hoof ailments in horses. They are especially helpful for horses suffering from laminitis, punctured soles, infections, foot abscess, pre- or post-surgery support, foot and heel soreness, sole pressure related issues, barefoot trims and extra support to travel long distances. DJM Sole Supports are 100% breathable, easy to apply and provide instantaneous relief due to uniform support for the entire foot. The supports can be used in conjunction with any medicated gel to help an injury or infection. Once the pad has formed its shape, it will not alter. The supports can be washed in warm salty water, allowed to dry naturally and reused for up to two weeks. The pads can also be left on for several days at a time. However, if there is a discharging wound, the pad should be removed, cleaned thoroughly and reapplied every 24 hours.

The DJM Sole Support engineering was developed by farrier David Mangan, who now solely devotes his time and knowledge into designing innovative products for horses. The Sole Support is unique and superior to other products due to its patented composition. When a horse’s foot is sore and inflamed, the sensitive laminae swells, causing pain from any load or movement. The DJM Sole Support aids in reducing the sole’s movement, evenly distributes the pressure and minimizes the downward movement of the sole from loading.

Proper application of a DJM Sole Support will give rapid relief to the horse in a majority of cases. In the case of Laminitic horses, DJM Sole Supports can provide relief by supporting the sole to reduce the pull of sensitive inflammatory tissues (Laminae) as it separates from the hoof wall. Sole Supports can also offer full protection and comfort while travelling long distances by trailer or plane. Horses that are preparing or recovering from surgical procedures can benefit from the use of Sole Supports to reduce the loading on supporting limbs and stabilize the injured leg. In cases where horses suffer from corns or stone bruises, the Sole Support can reduce inflammation, provide protection and comfort with, or without, a shoe. The supports will also give instant relief to horses that are sensitive to shoeing and typically require a few days to recover. The sole supports are an excellent, clean alternative to “hoof packing” after a hard day’s work. Additionally, for horses that have lost a shoe and rely heavily on those shoes for soundness, the Sole Support may be used to protect the foot while waiting for the farrier to arrive.

DJM Sole Support pads are available in three sizes to fit most horses. If the pad is larger than the foot, it is safe to allow excess to cover the heels and or provide a rolled toe. The support pads are available in either “soft” or “firm” types, with the softer compound more suitable for the very tender footed horse.

Always on the forefront of medical advances, Palm Beach Equine Clinic is proud to distribute DJM Sole Supports in Florida. For more information, please visit www.djmperformance.com/products/sole-support.html or call the experts at Palm Beach Equine Clinic at 561-793-1599.

The Growth of Palm Beach Equine Clinic

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We interviewed Dr. Scott Swerdlin, DVM, MRCVS, and President of Palm Beach Equine Clinic to learn more about Palm Beach Equine Clinic’s simple beginnings to become one of the largest veterinary practices in the United States.

What was the genesis of Palm Beach Equine Clinic- why was it started, how big was it, how many vets worked in the beginning, what kinds of services were offered?

In 1979, Dr. Paul Wollenman came to Wellington, Florida to principally care for Lion Country Safari’s exotic animals. Dr. Wollenman started to build the physical structure of Palm Beach Equine Clinic in 1981. I joined PBEC in 1983 and it was the beginning of a remarkable partnership. Dr. Wollenman strengths and my strengths complemented each other well. I had recently resigned my Captaincy in the United States Airforce Veterinary Core and was excited to come back to where I grew up.

In 1991, we enticed Dr. Robert W. Brusie to join us from his successful surgical practice in Atlanta, GA. Dr. Brusie joined us to build the modern foundation of Palm Beach Equine Clinic. I was extremely fortunate to have these two extraordinary veterinarians as mentors. Shortly after Dr. Brusie joined us, we had an exceptional surgical service routinely cutting colics and performing orthopedic surgeries. The final piece of the puzzle was to bring on a remarkable veterinarian from the next generation. We found that missing piece in 2003, when Dr. Richard Wheeler joined the team.

When did PBEC evolve into its current state?

The evolution of Palm Beach Equine Clinic has been constant and ever increasing. The growth of PBEC mirrored the growth of the show horse industry through 2005. Ten years ago, we witnessed an exponential growth in the Dressage discipline. From our simple beginnings, we now have twenty eight veterinarians. What I take great pride in in my job is to keep twenty eight veterinarians happy and explore additional opportunities to continue to grow and improve. Almost 30 years ago, Palm Beach Equine Clinic bought the first ultrasound for equine practice in South Florida. Twenty five years ago, Palm Beach Equine Clinic installed the first gamma ray camera to perform bone scans (Nuclear Scintigraphy). Twenty years ago, we developed Computed Radiography (CR) for horses. Currently, Palm Beach Equine Clinic has the most advanced state-of-the-art surgical and diagnostic imaging equipment for the horse. Onsite, we have a Hallmarq standing MRI unit, MiE gamma ray camera, Digital Radiography, Video Endoscopy, and a bevy of additional diagnostic equipment. Palm Beach Equine Clinic is dedicated to providing exceptional veterinary service for the horse.

What are the most important parts of PBEC?

No question, it is our staff. Palm Beach Equine Clinic is dedicated to providing a culture of respect and excellent communication. Palm Beach Equine Clinic encourages every technician and employee to embrace their position not just as a job, but as a career. Many of our technicians and administration staff have been a part of PBEC for over 10 years. I want every person who works here to feel as though they are part of a team. Unequivocally, the most important part of PBEC is its family of employees.

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How was PBEC changed in the past several years?

Over ten years ago, we were fortunate to have Dr. Bill Patterson, Dr. Gary Priest, Dr. Bob Smith, Dr. Hilary Clayton, Dr. Jordan Lewis, and Dr. Kathleen Timmins join Palm Beach Equine Clinic to contribute to the culture and the success that we currently enjoy. In the past several years, we have added multiple, additional extraordinarily talented veterinarians. Dr. Jorge Gomez, Dr. Weston Davis, Dr. Sarah Puchalski, Dr. Bryan Dubynsky, Dr. Janet Greenfield, Dr. Tyler Davis, Dr. Daren Tamplin, Dr. Natalia Novoa, Dr. Ryan Lukens, Dr. Selina Passante-Watt, Dr. Jamie McAnly, Dr. CJ Caniglia and Dr. Sarah Allendorf have all recently joined the Palm Beach Equine Clinic team within the past five years. We have updated all of our technical capabilities and we have added an Annex Office on the WEF show grounds in Wellington, Florida.

What do you see PBEC adding in 2016?

For Palm Beach Equine Clinic, 2016 will be an exciting year for expansion of our physical facility. PBEC plans on adding an additional 4,000 square feet of air conditioned examination areas, an additional surgical suite and recovery stall, as well as climate controlled isolation quarantine stalls. Under the guidance of Dr. Sarah Puchalski, our in house Board Certified Radiologist, Palm Beach Equine Clinic hopes to add the first equine Computed Tomography service (CT scans) to our diagnostic imaging expertise.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

Palm Beach Equine Clinic owes all of its success to the horsemen and horsewomen of South Florida. We thank you for trusting our Doctors and staff with your precious family member, your horse. PBEC Veterinarians volunteer their time for many projects in our community. It is our pleasure to support Vinceremos Therapeutic Riding Center, Charity Challenge, One World, and many other local charities. Our Doctors also contribute their time to providing veterinary care for the Winter Equestrian Festival and Global Dressage Festival as the Official Veterinarians. Palm Beach Equine Clinic is dedicated to providing exceptional care to your horse and is committed to improving our relationship with our clients, as well as our community.