Monthly Archives: September 2016

Horse Health Care Tips: Preventative Equine Medicine

Tyler Davis

Regular, routine veterinary care is important to maintaining equine health. Dental care, vaccinations, deworming, and annual physical examinations keep horses healthy and can identify problems early. It is very important that horse owners have a veterinarian who is familiar with their horses and provide routine care.

At Palm Beach Equine Clinic, every veterinarian values the importance of preventative equine medicine, and some have taken a specialty to treatments, including equine dentistry.

Proper dental care is essential to the well-being and peak performance of every horse. Dental maintenance keeps horses working well, performing well, and more importantly, eating well.

It is important to get the horse’s teeth examined and regularly floated at least once a year and sometimes more frequently in older horses. The veterinarians of PBEC are available to visit clients at their farms to perform thorough dental evaluations and “float” the teeth – a term that refers to the veterinarian wearing down the surface of the teeth, usually to remove sharp points or balance out the teeth in the mouth. During the routine examination, the veterinarian will also look for any other dental problems that the horse may have, such as a tooth abscess.

Regular dental care may help to prevent premature tooth loss and promote more complete utilization of feed. A horse with uneven teeth due to wear and tear is going to poorly grind up food creating issues with digestion. This could lead to colic, choke, or other serious complications. Sharp or uneven teeth can also cause pain due to the misfit of a bit on uneven teeth and contribute to poor performance or misbehavior. These problems can quickly be alleviated and prevented with proper care.

With PBEC’s advanced technology, the veterinarians are able to perform more cutting-edge, specialized treatments beyond routine dentistry. Veterinarians are able to perform tooth extractions as needed for horses suffering from a tooth abscess or fracture. With the surgical staff at PBEC, which includes three board-certified surgeons, dental surgeries, sinus surgeries, or similar procedures are easily performed at the clinic.

Along with dental care, PBEC offers further preventative care services, including worming protocols for parasite control and routine vaccinations.

PBEC strongly suggests a fecal test to evaluate your horse’s internal parasite count on a routine basis. In Florida, the peak worm season is year-round due to the lack of frost. The effectiveness of different dewormer products can be measured using a simple fecal egg count reduction test, which involves performing a fecal test before and after deworming your horse. Equine tapeworms are also difficult to identify in fecal examinations. Deworming for tapeworms is strongly recommended annually with a product containing Praziquantel.

Establishing an effective deworming program for equine parasites has become an open topic for discussion on which method is most effective. Veterinarians have changed their views on worming in recent years, noting that minimal parasite load within the horse’s hind gut is actually helpful in producing a natural immunity; however, it is crucial to control the parasitic load.

Environmental management is imperative to equine parasite control. Due to the emergence of new resistant parasites, preventative measures in proper barn management should be added to routine rotational treatment with anthelmintic medications to properly control parasite exposure.
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PBEC also stresses the importance of vaccinating horses against infectious diseases, especially with horses that travel. Highly contagious diseases such as Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE), the Equine Herpes Virus (EHV-1), and the West Nile Virus are just a few illnesses that often result in equine fatalities and should be taken very seriously.

Routine vaccinations are imperative to protecting horses from disease and are also a requirement to attend many horse shows. PBEC can prepare horses for travel, whether within the U.S. or going to or from Europe.

The best defense for horse owners is to maintain current equine vaccinations to protect their horses. Vaccinating at the proper time of the year is critical, and boosters should be given regularly. Consult with your veterinarian for further guidance on when and how frequently different vaccinations should be administered.

Preventative care is extremely important to the health of every horse. Whether it is a top level show horse or a backyard pet friend, the veterinarians of Palm Beach Equine Clinic are here to help with all maintenance needs. For questions or more information, please call Palm Beach Equine Clinic at 561-793-1599 or visit www.equineclinic.com.

Advances in Equine Podiatry

Dr. O'Grady

Palm Beach Equine Clinic (PBEC) is proud to have beneficial consulting relationships with many equine medical professionals throughout the country, including Dr. Stephen E. O’Grady, DVM, MRCVS, of Virginia Therapeutic Farriery. Dr. O’Grady provides advanced services in equine podiatry, offering comprehensive diagnosis, treatment, and maintenance for a variety of foot conditions using medical therapy as well as therapeutic shoeing.

PBEC features the services of Dr. O’Grady throughout the winter season in Wellington, FL, and works closely with Dr. O’Grady for consultations year round. With the experience and expertise of its world-class veterinarians, in addition to Dr. O’Grady’s wealth of knowledge, the clinic is able to provide the very best in advanced treatments in equine podiatry.

There is no structure on the horse that is as susceptible to injury, disease, or “wear and tear” than the equine foot. Proper, timely hoof care can often make the difference between a sound performance horse and one with chronic lameness. Some of the problems that Dr. O’Grady consults on include: Hoof Diseases, Laminitis, Severe Infections, Advanced White Line Disease, Therapeutic Horseshoeing, Hoof Wall Defects, and Juvenile Orthopedics.

Therapeutic farriery requires an extensive knowledge of foot anatomy, physiology, biomechanics and imaging, as well as the farrier skills necessary to implement specialized shoeing. The combination of being educated as both a veterinarian and a professional farrier allows Dr. O’Grady to treat each foot problem with an understanding of the medical physiology and the mechanics involved. This blending of the two professions allows him to comprehensively diagnose, treat, and design a maintenance plan for a variety of foot conditions using medical therapy as well as therapeutic farriery. Dr. O’Grady also works together with referring veterinarians on difficult cases to discuss and assist with a plan that works for all parties.
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The advanced imaging equipment at Palm Beach Equine Clinic, in combination with Dr. O’Grady’s expertise, allow for comprehensive diagnosis and treatment of all hoof-related conditions. PBEC offers a Hallmarq standing MRI that can provide a detailed diagnosis of any foot issues. Medical therapy, such as surgery and various medications, are often combined with therapeutic farriery for the best possible results. Dr. O’Grady’s methodology centers around using the basic principles of farriery, and when necessary, combining these principles with advanced technology and improved farrier products available on the market.

Equine podiatry consultations can be used for a variety of complicated hoof conditions where the problem is severe, chronic, and non-responsive to the present treatment. Hoof problems can include severe injuries, acute or chronic laminitis, hoof wall defects (non-healing quarter or toe cracks), hoof capsule distortions (club feet, long toe under-run heels), and severe hoof disease (infections, WLD, canker). There are many hoof-related problems that benefit from the advanced technology and farrier techniques available today.

For more information on equine podiatry and the service of Palm Beach Equine Clinic and Dr. Stephen O’Grady, please call 561-793-1599 or visit www.equineclinic.com.