Learn About Palm Beach Equine Clinic’s Dr. Robert Brusie

Wellington, FL – Palm Beach Equine Clinic (PBEC) of Wellington, FL, has a team of 30 skilled veterinarians, including three Board-Certified Surgeons, one of the world’s only Board-Certified equine Radiologists, and numerous other experts in their fields. PBEC’s surgical team leader, Dr. Robert Brusie, is a nationally renowned Board-Certified surgeon whose surgical specialties include orthopedic, arthroscopic, and emergency cases. Dr. Brusie has been the head surgeon with PBEC for the past 20 years and is a beloved part of the team.

PBEC’s surgical team leader, Dr. Robert Brusie, is a nationally
renowned Board-Certified surgeon. Photo by Eques Solutions

Dr. Brusie graduated from Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine. He completed his surgical residency at the Marion DuPont Scott Equine Center in 1989 and has been in private practice ever since. He became a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons in 1994. Dr. Brusie joined Palm Beach Equine Clinic (PBEC) in 1996.

Dr. Brusie is a Board-Certified Surgeon who is recognized for his expertise in colic surgery, as well as for his skill in arthroscopic surgery. His surgical experience expands the clinic’s progressive care in both emergency and elective procedures. He has published articles on numerous topics, including the equine intestinal tract and septic arthritis in horses. Dr. Brusie is married and has three daughters. Read on to find out more!

What was your background with horses growing up?

I grew up on a farm in Michigan. We had usually between 200-600 head of cattle and always between four to six horses. Our horses were cow ponies or driving horses. My dad loved horses and had to have them around. My family has owned our farm for six generations – it pretty much occupied all of our time besides sports and school. Needless to say, we didn’t have much time to show horses.

When and why did you decide to become a veterinarian? Did you know you wanted to be a surgeon from the start?

I decided to become a veterinarian at an early age. I think I was seven or eight years old when I pulled my first calf. One of my dad’s hired men called me ‘doc’ when I was about that age. When I went to college, my plan was to become a large animal veterinarian and live in my hometown and continue to farm part-time with my three brothers. All of that changed when I was in Veterinary school at Michigan State University. Dr. Ed Scott was one of the five surgeons at MSU. He was a gifted surgeon and a great teacher. He kind of steered me into an equine internship at Auburn University. It was one of those things that the more you did, the more you wanted to do to improve yourself. I operated my first colic by myself when I was three weeks out of vet school (32 years ago).

Dr. Brusie is recognized for his expertise in colic surgery, as well as
for his skill in arthroscopic surgery. Photo by Jump Media

 

How did you first start working at PBEC?

I was a surgeon at a clinic in Atlanta. In 1996 I had performed a surgery for a client of Dr. Paul Wollenman’s. He had started this practice in 1975. He asked me if I needed a job. I was planning on staying in Atlanta for the rest of my career. I received phone calls from the other two partners over the next nine months, and eventually with encouragement from my fiancé, now wife Melissa, I took the job.

What do you love most about working at PBEC?

We have an exceptional group of veterinarians and staff here. The depth and scope of our veterinarians is amazing due to the large caseload. On any individual case, there may be two to three doctors that have input on the case to ensure no stone is left unturned.

Additionally, we are so privileged to work on some of the best show, race, and polo horses in the world. It is truly an honor.

What sets the surgical services at PBEC apart?

Between Drs. Gomez, Davis, and myself, we perform just about every soft tissue and orthopedic surgeries that are done in our field.

Personally, my greatest sense of success is when I see a horse back after surgery going as good or better than it was prior to surgery.

What are the biggest changes you have seen in sport horse medicine over the years?

Currently, the most exciting thing we see going on in medicine is regenerative therapy. Twelve to 15 years ago, we were harvesting bone marrow from the sternum and injecting it into lesions in tendons and ligaments. Now we manipulate the bone marrow or other sources of stem cells to promote more rapid and more functional healing of some of these injuries. I can assure you that in 10-20 years what we are doing now will seem stone-aged by then. There are some very clever minds performing some serious research in this field.

Between Dr. Robert Brusie, Dr. Jorge Gomez, and Dr. Weston Davis,
PBEC’s three Board-Certified Surgeons perform just about every soft tissue
and orthopedic surgery that is done in their field. Photo by Jump Media​

How do you stay up-to-date on new medical advances?

Every veterinarian at PBEC tries to attend as many meetings as time allows. We also do weekly journal club at our clinic to discuss recently published papers in veterinary and human medicine and surgery.

What is the most interesting or challenging surgery that you have done?

Dr. Gomez and I had a three-year-old racehorse that had split his P1 (long pastern bone) and cannon bone in the same leg in a race. We were able to piece together both bones perfectly and the horse recovered brilliantly. He probably could have returned to racing, however, the owners elected to retire him to life as a breeding sire.

How do you spend your free time when you are not working?

When I’m not doing something with my family, I really enjoy woodworking. My current project is building a kitchen table for Sarah, my assistant of 12 years. In the summer, I get roped into helping on my brother’s farm.

What is something interesting that people may not know about you?

I have three daughters who I am very proud of and tend to brag on maybe a little too much. My oldest, who was a nationally ranked swimmer, is now an anesthesiologist in human medicine. My middle one is either number four or five (depending on the week) in the nation in debate, and my youngest will probably run the free world (you will have to ask her if she wants to).

How else is the family involved in horses?

My wife (Melissa) and youngest daughter (Kayla) are horse nuts in the true sense of the word. Anything to do with horses (especially show hunters) they are dialed in. Melissa loves riding, and Kayla shows in hunters and equitation.

Dr. Brusie and daughter Kayla at U.S. Pony Finals in 2015.
Photo by Shawn McMillen Photography

What makes PBEC a special place for you?

I am blessed to have three good men as business partners. They are my good friends and great people. We are very lucky to have 20-plus veterinarians working with us who are very knowledgeable and caring individuals. We feel like a little practice, but with a lot of people who just get the job done.

Palm Beach Equine Clinic provides experience, knowledge, availability, and the very best care for its clients. Make Palm Beach Equine Clinic a part of your team!

Palm Beach Equine Clinic Sets the Bar in Regenerative Sport Horse Medicine

Learn About Stem Cell and PRP Therapies

Wellington, FL – Palm Beach Equine Clinic (PBEC) of Wellington, FL, is consistently on the forefront of advances in sport horse medicine. Two resources that have become increasingly popular to treat equine injuries are the use of stems cells or Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) to encourage regeneration of injured tissue. Read on to learn more about regenerative sport horse medicine and what is offered at Palm Beach Equine Clinic.

What Are Stem Cells?

Stem cell therapy can be used for many soft tissue and intra-articular problems, including severe cartilage damage, meniscal disease, tendon/ligament pathology, or any injury where the veterinarian would want to encourage a regenerative response. Stem cells can decrease re-injury rates in tendon bows, yield improved outcome in horses with meniscal tears, and may also have benefit when used in regional profusions for laminitic horses. Stem cells help to orchestrate an improved repair process in the site of injection and have anti-inflammatory properties.

Stem cells help to orchestrate an improved repair process in the site of injection
and have anti-inflammatory properties.

 

How Can You Collect Stem Cells?

There are three different ways to collect stem cells from the horse. The first comes from bone marrow origin, where a collection of bone marrow from the sternum in a standing procedure. The bone marrow is sent to the lab for processing and expansion, which expands the cells up to a predetermined number (generally between 10 to 20 million cells).

Stem cells can be procured from harvesting fat. The veterinarian may extract a significant quantity of fat from around the tail head and gluteal region of the horse. The fat will be processed in the lab, stem cells in the fat are concentrated, and the cells are re-injected into the injury site.

The third option is to acquire allogenic stem cells, meaning stem cells from another animal of the same species. University programs offer commercially available stem cell lines where anywhere from 10 to 30 million stem cells are shipped for use the next day.

PBEC’s Board-Certified Staff Surgeon, Dr. Weston Davis, is one of the top surgeons that has made clinical advances in stem cell therapy. Remarking on the three methods of obtaining stem cells, Dr. Davis detailed, “I think the advantage of the bone marrow cells is that they are the most researched version of stem cells. The nice thing about the fat cells is that you can basically harvest the fat, process it, and inject it back on the same day. The allogenics are noninvasive to the horse that you are performing the procedure on. You don’t have to do a pre-surgical procedure to get your cells; you just call up and have your cells the next day to implant. One of the unique properties of stem cells is that they do not have immunologic markers, so if you inject the cell into another horse, that horse does not recognize that it is foreign. So generally speaking, there is no immune reaction to implanting the cells into another horse.”

An ultrasound guided technique is often used to inject stem cells
into an injured area.

 

There are also different methods of implanting the stem cells into the horse at specific areas of interest. Dr. Davis explained, “If we were treating a meniscal injury or cartilage damage in a joint, implantation would be as simple as a joint injection technique. If you are going to implant cells into an injured tendon or ligament, then we will most often do an ultrasound guided technique where we watch and direct the needle precisely into the lesion so we can put these regenerative cells right into the damaged area.”

How Does Platelet Rich Plasma Work?        

Another therapy that can be applied on its own or in conjunction with stem cell therapy is the use of Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP). Platelets are very small blood cells that are a crucial part of the body and play an integral part in the blood clotting process to stop hemorrhaging from any wound. Because platelets are among the very first cells to accumulate at an injured site, they are very important orchestrators and stimulators in the repair process. Platelets contain granules filled with growth factors (the elements that aid in healing) and stimulate specified tissue to heal at an increased rate.

In order to treat a horse with Platelet Rich Plasma, the veterinarians at PBEC are able to take a sample of the horse’s blood and concentrate the platelets in a high-speed centrifuge on-site.

 

In order to treat a horse with Platelet Rich Plasma, the veterinarians at PBEC are able to take a sample of the horse’s blood and concentrate the platelets in a high-speed centrifuge on-site. This harvest and processing procedure takes approximately 30 minutes. The concentrated platelet rich sample is injected back into the horse at the specific area of injury using sterile technique and guided by ultrasound.

PRP treatment has had great success in tendon and suspensory ligament injuries and increasingly used in the treatment of intra-articular joint injuries. It can also be used following surgery in the joint to encourage a faster healing response.

Platelet Rich Plasma is injected into an injured area to encourage a more
robust healing response.

Dr. Davis spoke of PRP use in more detail, stating, “We harvest a large quantity of blood, anywhere from 60 to180 milliliters, and we process that to concentrate the segment that is very rich in platelets. We get a high concentration of platelets – we are hoping for five to eight times the concentration that you would get from normal blood – then we take that platelet rich extract and inject it back into an injured area to encourage a more robust healing response. Whenever you have an injury, platelets are one of the first cells that get there. They will aggregate, clump, and de-granulate. They release these granules, which are very rich in growth factors, and signal the body to start the healing process.”

Cost is one thing that dictates the difference in the use of stems cells versus PRP for many owners. PRP tends to be more economically affordable, while stem cells can be a more expensive and aggressive therapy.

What New Technologies Are Available?

Both stem cell and PRP therapy are cutting-edge in the horse world right now, as veterinary medicine researches how to further use the body’s own healing mechanisms to repair injuries. These regenerative therapies are part of a continually advancing field that has made exciting developments in both human and equine sports medicine.

“There is constantly new research,” Dr. Davis pointed out. “They have done some of the initial studies looking at the efficacy of both. Right now they are working on ways to refine their use. We want to get higher platelet yields out of our PRP, and we are tweaking the properties of the PRP to modify the number of white and red cells for particular injuries. For stem cells, they are researching different matrixes to apply them with, so that the cells integrate better at the injection site. Then they are working on triggering the stem cells, and trying to put in signaling cytokines or chemicals to make them differentiate to the specific cell type that you want. Actually directing the stem cells to become the exact type of cells you want is definitely still in its infancy, but it is on the horizon.”

In December, several of the veterinarians at PBEC took part in the12th annual World Stem Cell Summit (WSCS), which welcomed the equestrian community to a special conference, held at the Palm Beach County Convention Center in West Palm Beach, FL.

The Equine World Stem Cell Summit presented an exciting opportunity for an array of researchers, veterinarians, and equestrians to actively engage in the single largest conference uniting the global stem cell community.

As part of the opportunity to bridge both the equine and human applications of stem cell therapies, vets of Palm Beach Equine Clinic, including Dr. Robert Brusie, Dr. Jorge Gomez, and Dr. Richard Wheeler, hosted a question and answer session addressing how regenerative medicine is changing and benefiting Palm Beach Equine Clinic’s clients. Attending the session were fellow veterinarians, human and equine researchers, biochemists, and others who were able to actively engage in beneficial conversation on numerous facets of regenerative medicine.

Brandon Ames, CEO of AniCell BioTech, with Dr. Scott Swerdlin, Dr. Robert Brusie, Dr. Richard Wheeler, and Dr. Jorge Gomez, all of Palm Beach Equine Clinic at the Equine World Stem Cell Summit.

 

Every regenerative therapy program is different and it is important to consult a veterinarian and understand the options and specific applications for each treatment. To find out more about stem cell therapy or PRP treatment, please visit Palm Beach Equine Clinic at www.EquineClinic.com or call 561-793-1599.

 

 

 

Palm Beach Equine Clinic Saves Horse Owners Time and Money Through Early Diagnosis

Palm Beach Equine Clinic (PBEC) in Wellington, FL, has the most advanced state-of-the-art surgical and diagnostic imaging equipment available. With board-certified Radiologist Dr. Sarah Puchalski, PBEC uses their Equine Standing MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) and a Nuclear Scintigraphy camera to quickly and accurately diagnose injuries for their clients.

Every horse owner dreads seeing signs of lameness or discomfort in any horse, whether it is a backyard companion or a top-caliber sport horse. For performance horses, however, one of the first questions many owners ask upon contacting a veterinarian about a problem is, ‘Can the horse safely and comfortably return to work?’ Using PBEC’s cutting-edge technology, Dr. Puchalski can quickly and accurately answer that question.

The Equine Standing MRI produces highly detailed images in several different planes to capture a complete image of a desired area. An MRI is best used to further define a specific area of both bony or soft tissue that has been pinpointed as the origin of lameness. The process can be completed while the horse is in a standing position and requires only light sedation.

Equine MRI by Jump Media-4536The Equine Standing MRI produces highly detailed images in several different planes
to capture a complete image of a desired area. Photo by Jump Media

Equine MRI by Jump Media-4521An MRI is best used to further define a specific area of both bony or soft tissue
 that has been pinpointed as the origin of lameness. Photo by Jump Media

Similarly, the process of a Nuclear Scintigraphy is a bone scan that begins with the injection of a radioactive isotope, specifically named Technetium 99. The isotope attaches to the phosphorous proteins localized within the bone and is absorbed over a few hours’ time. A specialized nuclear isotope gamma ray camera is used to capture images of the skeletal anatomy with a 360-degree view. Points of interest “light up” on the image to indicate increased metabolic activity and the site of injury.

Lameness or performance problems are most frequently approached through routine x-rays and ultrasounds, which can appear normal. Thus, it is difficult to diagnose subtle problems because the most common tools are not sensitive enough to diagnose in every case. At PBEC, the Equine Standing MRI and Nuclear Scintigraphy equip veterinarians with an advantage when troubleshooting a lameness issue and helps them to determine a correct diagnosis in a timely manner.

Nuclear Scintigraphy Scan by Jump Media-4743The process of a Nuclear Scintigraphy is a bone scan that begins
with the injection of a radioactive isotope. Photo by Jump Media

Nuclear Scintigraphy Imaging by Jump Media-4775A specialized nuclear isotope gamma ray camera is used to capture
images of the skeletal anatomy with a 360-degree view. Photo by Jump Media

Coupled with advanced technology, PBEC is also one of very few equine practices in the U.S. with a Board Certified Radiologist on staff, and thanks to Dr. Puchalski, hundreds of MRI and bone scans are read each year at PBEC. In addition to being state-of-the art diagnostic tools, the technology also affords economic benefits to owners.

“MRIs can give a definitive diagnosis, and that saves time and money in the long run,” said Dr. Puchalski. “For example, if a horse goes lame and is examined and treated empirically, which is a diagnosis based on likely problems through common diagnostic procedures, it either stays sound or it becomes lame again or even non-functional in three to six months. This method sets back the commencement of the appropriate therapy.

“What the MRI does is allow the horse to be treated early and correctly,” continued Dr. Puchalski. “Otherwise, you may not be treating the correct issue, and the horse could end up lame again very soon.”

Board Radiologist Dr. Sarah PuchalskiCoupled with advanced technology, PBEC is also one of very few equine practices in the U.S.
with a Board Certified Radiologist on staff, and thanks to Dr. Sarah Puchalski, hundreds of MRI
and bone scans are read each year at PBEC. Photo by Eques Solutions

Nuclear Scintigraphy does not produce a scan that is as specific, but it gives Dr. Puchalski the opportunity to procure a concrete diagnosis, as well as evaluate the whole horse for secondary problems.

“Oftentimes the primary problem in one place is making a horse sore in other places,” she said. “Owners like to know the root problem, but to also quickly diagnose secondary problems so the entire horse can be treated at once.”

As the official veterinary hospital of the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) and the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF), PBEC sees a high concentration of sport horses in need of care. In turn, owners of those horses are eager to see their horses quickly and happily return to competition.

“The biggest benefit to PBEC and the Wellington community as a result of these MRI and Nuclear Scintigraphy scans is accessibility,” concluded Puchalski. “Anyone can call from the horse show to the clinic, get a scan scheduled quickly- in and out, get results fast, and then their training program can be changed immediately.”

About Dr. Sarah Puchalski

Dr. Puchalski is from Davis, CA, where she was an associate professor at the University of California in their Department of Surgical and Radiological Sciences. In 1995, she received her BS in biology from Simon Fraser University in British Columbia, and in 1999 earned her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon, where she received the ACVS Outstanding Large Animal Surgery Student award that same year. Dr. Puchalski interned in Field Service and Sports Medicine at New Bolton Center at the University of Pennsylvania in 2001, and completed her residency in radiology at UC Davis in 2005.

Dr. Puchalski has devoted her career to teaching and improving equine health through the development and refinement of diagnostic techniques. In 2011, she contributed to two books on the topic of equine lameness. Her recent contributions include chapters in “Diagnosis and Management of Lameness in the Horse,” edited by Ross and Dyson, as well as in “Veterinary Computed Tomography and the Clinical Veterinary Advisor: The Horse, Equine Colic and Veterinary Clinics of North America.” She also has contributed close to 50 scientific articles concerning the diagnosis of equine lameness to many periodic journals, including Veterinary Radiology & Ultrasound: the official journal of the American College of Veterinary Radiology and the International Veterinary Radiology Association; Veterinary Pathology; Equine Veterinary Journal; the American Journal of Veterinary Research; Equine Veterinary Education; Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association; and Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine.

Palm Beach Equine Clinic provides experience, knowledge, availability, and the very best care for its clients. Make Palm Beach Equine Clinic a part of your team!

Premier Medical Services Draw Equestrians of the World to Palm Beach Equine Clinic

Wellington, FL – Palm Beach Equine Clinic (PBEC) is proud to serve as the local headquarters for emergency services and equine diagnostics during the winter show season in Wellington, FL. As the official veterinary hospital of the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) and the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF), PBEC has been the premier surgical facility in Wellington for over three decades.

While competing in South Florida, horses and riders from around the globe have access to Palm Beach Equine Clinic’s state-of-the-art hospital for all of their sport horse needs. PBEC has a team of 30 veterinarians, which includes three Board-Certified Surgeons, a Board-Certified equine Radiologist, and numerous other experts in their fields. All competitors and their traveling veterinarians are welcome for the support of services and collaboration throughout the season.

Horse in surgery by Jump Media-4824At PBEC, the advanced imaging and surgical technology is unmatched. Photo by Jump Media

The referring relationship between veterinarians is most commonly seen in the specialty departments of surgery, internal medicine, ophthalmology, and advanced diagnostic imaging. At PBEC, the advanced imaging and surgical technology is unmatched, and the three Board-Certified Surgeons are skilled in many procedures that require high levels of expertise and advanced current equipment. As a result, many veterinarians refer their clients to the facility for specialty services.

Weston Davis surgery by Eques Solutions

Dr. Weston Davis, one of three Board-Certified Surgeons on the staff at
PBEC, works with many referral cases. Photo by Eques Solutions

Dr. Weston Davis, one of the Board-Certified Surgeons on the staff at PBEC, works with many referral cases. Throughout the year, veterinarians from all over Florida frequently refer their clients to PBEC for surgical procedures and advanced diagnostic imaging. The referring veterinarians may range anywhere from general practitioners to other surgeons that do not have access to surgical facilities or the most modern imaging modalities while on the road.

“As a rule, we are friendly with referring doctors and take care of their clients with as much high-level care and professionalism as possible,” Dr. Davis stated. “It is important to us to maintain good relationships with the veterinarians that refer into us for specialty work. We always try to facilitate whatever level of involvement they desire. If they want to come and be there for the surgical procedure, we make that happen, and if they just want to send the case and not be as involved, we can do that as well. However, we also always collaborate with the referring veterinarian and the client as a team. If they send a horse in for a surgical procedure, we are going to do the procedure and then connect the client with the referring physician for the follow up.”

Repairing fracture by Jump Media-4877
Among the hospital’s features, the latest in surgical technology enables less invasive
operations that result in faster recovery times for the horse. Photo by Jump Media

The cutting-edge services available at PBEC are made possible by the expertise of the hospital’s talented surgeons, along with the assistance of state-of-the-art imaging and comprehensive surgical and medical resources. The combination brings many of the best veterinarians in the world to Palm Beach Equine Clinic for assistance with their most complex cases.

Among the hospital’s features, the latest in surgical technology enables less invasive operations that result in faster recovery times for the horse. Dr. Davis explained how imaging is used during surgery to help guide procedures and assure the best possible result.

“Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and other advanced imaging modalities can often be used for three-dimensional mapping to help enhance the surgical technique,” he noted. “There are some fractures in particular where the surgeon can map out the exact configuration of the fracture off of the MRI scan. We are then able to place markers with the MRI to guide a more exact, refined surgery.

“Intra-operatively, x-rays are taken to view progress, particularly for fracture repairs,” Dr. Davis continued. “The digital radiographs allows us to view the fracture in two planes to ensure optimal screw placement and fracture repair. Ultrasound is also frequently used in surgery for some of the more delicate procedures, specifically with soft tissue.”

Surgeons looking at radiograph by Jump Media-4838

Advanced imaging is used during surgery to help guide procedures
and assure the best possible result. Photo by Jump Media

Radiograph of fracture repair by Jump Media-4902

Intra-operatively, x-rays may be taken to view progress, particularly for fracture repairs.
Shown here, digital radiographs allow the surgeons to view a fracture in two planes to
ensure optimal screw placement. Photo by Jump Media

Other surgical procedures may be guided with Arthroscopy, which aids in visualization of a joint;
Laparoscopy, which uses a camera inserted into the abdomen; or Endoscopy, which is used in upper airway procedures. With the most advanced imaging technology onsite, PBEC is the go-to hospital for equine owners and referral veterinarians from around the world during the winter season in Wellington.

Palm Beach Equine Clinic provides experience, knowledge, availability, and the very best care for its clients. Make Palm Beach Equine Clinic a part of your team! To find out more, please visit www.equineclinic.com or call 561-793-1599.

Palm Beach Equine Clinic Leads the Industry in Veterinary Referrals and Sport Horse Care

2015-wef-approved-logogdf-adequan-2017_no-year

Palm Beach Equine Clinic (PBEC), of Wellington, FL, is located in the epicenter of the world’s leading winter equestrian destination. With horses and riders traveling from around the globe to compete in various disciplines, the top equestrians need look no further than PBEC’s state-of-the-art hospital for all of their sport horse needs. PBEC has been the premier surgical facility in Wellington for over three decades and continues to expand!

PBEC serves as the official veterinary hospital of the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) and the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) in Wellington, and is proud to serve as the local headquarters for emergency services and equine diagnostics.

During the 2015-2016 season, PBEC added a support 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 offers an on-site office space, a pharmacy for supplies and medication pick up, as well as examination areas. Veterinarians from PBEC are always on the grounds when competition is underway, and are always available for daily lameness evaluations, pre-purchase examinations, medical assessments, or any other needs.
pbec-wef-annex-rs

The Referral Relationship

Palm Beach Equine Clinic has a team of 30 veterinarians, which includes three Board-Certified Surgeons, one of the world’s only Board-Certified equine Radiologists, and numerous other experts in their fields. All competitors and their traveling veterinarians are welcome for consultations and other services throughout the season.

Dr. Richard Wheeler and many of the vets from PBEC travel around the country and the world to provide support services for clientele throughout the year. While abroad, PBEC veterinarians consult with various veterinarians and utilize the support services from their home base clinics. As the veterinarians of the world have shown generous hospitality for PBEC into their home locales, PBEC reciprocates the hospitality to all visiting veterinarians in Wellington.

richard-wheeler-by-jump-media-4650

“In our travels, we work with veterinarians around the world,” Dr. Wheeler explained. “We may share clients with people who spend their summers in Europe or the northeast, some of which we will fly to take care of throughout the year. We often consult with other veterinarians, and it is always interesting and rewarding to share views on different cases. We get to meet people from different countries with different opinions and techniques. I think it is always beneficial for all of us to broaden our horizons a bit by working together with people in different areas of the world. We are able to glean expertise from them and hopefully help them out with their clients as well.

“At PBEC we welcome a lot of team veterinarians and veterinarians from around the country, and we work alongside them with their clients,” Dr. Wheeler continued. “We reciprocate what we do over the summer. The equine vet world is pretty small, so we know most of these veterinarians pretty well and have worked with them a lot. It is a good relationship that goes both ways.”

The referring relationship between veterinarians is most commonly seen in the specialty departments of surgery, internal medicine, ophthalmology, and radiology or diagnostic imaging. At PBEC, the advanced imaging and surgical technology is unmatched, and the three Board-Certified Surgeons are skilled in many procedures that require high levels of expertise and advanced equipment. Therefore, many veterinarians refer their clients to the facility for specialty services.

One equine professional that PBEC works with closely is Dr. Kit Miller, of Miller & Associates, based in Brewster, NY. Dr. Miller travels to Wellington each winter to work with his many clients that are there to compete, and he maintains a great relationship with PBEC. Alternately, when the veterinarians of PBEC are in New York, they are always welcomed to the support of Miller & Associates.

“I have worked with PBEC since I started going to Wellington in the early 90s. They are a valuable resource; they are good friends and good colleagues,” Dr. Miller stated. “Mainly, we refer horses in for imaging and for surgeries. PBEC has been very progressive in getting some of the best imaging equipment available. It helps our practice provide better care for our clients in terms of the quality of the diagnostics, and also just the resources in terms of veterinarians there.”

pbec-mri-horse-by-jump-media-4539

Dr. Miller added, “We have a facility in New York, and we do make it available to any of PBEC’s veterinarians when they are in the area. Ours is not a full hospital, so it is really more of an outpatient facility, but just as PBEC’s doors are open for us in Wellington, our doors are open for them when they are up here. We collaborate well. If we have clients that are in locations that we are not, then we routinely call on PBEC vets. If they are available, then we are happy and comfortable to have them taking care of any of our clients, and vice-versa.”

Sport Horse Maintenance

Top international competitors are happy to have the amazing resources of PBEC at their fingertips while competing in Wellington.

Top professional show jumper Georgina Bloomberg uses Palm Beach Equine Clinic to keep her horses in the best shape for the Wellington winter season and year-round.

“Palm Beach Equine Clinic is incredibly helpful in keeping our horses healthy and sound. We work very hard to make sure they feel good and are happy in their jobs, but if any lameness or issue does come up, they are always there to get a quick diagnosis and a plan to treat them. Proper preventative maintenance is key for our equine athletes,” she said.

In addition to her equine athletes, Palm Beach Equine Clinic also cares for the rescue pig and goat that Bloomberg has at her Wellington and New York farms.

Australian top professional dressage rider Kelly Layne moved to Wellington in 2009 and stables her horses at the Palm Beach Equine Sports Complex at PBEC. From the central location, Layne has easy access to both the clinic and the show grounds of the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival.

“It is such a luxury to have all of their services available,” Layne stated. “If I have an ill horse at 5 p.m. on a Saturday afternoon, I just walk it over to the clinic, and I know that the horse will be taken care of amazingly. There is always someone available. You’re not staying up all night worrying and checking on the horses. That is just such a nice service that they have, and it is definitely one of the advantages of being in this location.”

Layne continued, “Palm Beach Equine has amazing equipment for completing MRI, bone scans, and of course they have Dr. Sarah Puchalski, who is absolutely one of the best in the world for Radiology. To have her here during the season is incredible. She is a very knowledgeable horse person because she rides high level show jumping horses herself. We are so spoiled to have everything in one location. In the summer, I went to Germany for three months and we were so isolated. I would have to travel to get an MRI or I would have to travel to a certain vet that maybe had a shock wave machine. You couldn’t get everything in one location.”

kelly-layne-udon-p-by-jump-media-4605

Layne also appreciates the many experienced veterinarians that PBEC has to choose from, with various specialties and areas of expertise.

“I think it is just amazing to have so many great minds all in one place,” she acknowledged. “One of the reasons I moved to Wellington is because the resources are amazing. At Palm Beach Equine Clinic, you have a lot of veterinarians to choose from. You have a vet for every different specialty. I use a lot of different vets at the clinic – a certain vet for lameness, another vet for internal health, and it is nice to have that variety.”

Among the extensive list of services offered by PBEC, on-call veterinarians are available for 24-hour emergency coverage and intensive care, 365 days a year. The state-of-the-art hospital features comprehensive surgical and medical resources, including the latest in surgical technology for less invasive operations that result in faster recovery times for the horse. The advanced on-site diagnostic imaging resources are also unparalleled, including a standing MRI unit, a Nuclear Scintigraphy gamma ray camera, ultrasonography, radiography, and a bevy of additional equipment.

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Palm Beach Equine Clinic provides experience, knowledge, availability, and the very best care for its clients. Make Palm Beach Equine Clinic a part of your team! To find out more, please visit www.equineclinic.com or call 561-793-1599.

photos by Jump Media

 

 

 

Palm Beach Equine Clinic Helps to Bring Chinese Herbal Medicine West

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Chinese herbal medicine is a relatively new treatment among equine veterinarians in the western world, but the philosophy of herbals for healing has existed for thousands of years as part of Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine (TCVM). Helping to lead the Chinese herbal medicine charge westward, Palm Beach Equine Clinic has incorporated the use of herbs and herbal treatments as an integral part of their alternative therapy options for patients.

As humans adapt to using all-natural methods to treat illness, herbal medicine for animals also utilizes ancient Chinese formulas aimed at treating the underlying causes of a disease or illness to help the body heal itself, rather than only temporarily treating the presented symptoms.

One Palm Beach Equine Clinic veterinarian who has found these all natural methods as an benefit in her treatments is Dr. Janet Greenfield-Davis, who specializes in both acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine.

“There is an herbal product for anything,” said Dr. Greenfield-Davis, who found herbal medicine six years ago when she started specializing in acupuncture, which joins Chinese herbal medicine as two of the most common forms of TCVM therapies. “Herbals treat a variety of ailments from sore muscles to problems affecting the liver, heart, kidneys, joints, and more. I pair the herbals with my acupuncture, which is traditionally the ancient Chinese way.”

In TCVM, once a symptom of disharmony in the body or disease is identified, treatment proceeds through four possible branches, including acupuncture, food therapy, a form of Chinese medical massage called Tui-na, and Chinese herbal medicine. From topical treatments, including salves and powders, to edible treatments; Chinese herbal medicine not only draws on natural products, but also on the natural tendencies of the horse itself. Being herbivores, horses ingest herbs found in the wild while they are grazing.

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While the traditional methods date back thousands of years, the treatments developed within Chinese herbal medicine are ever-evolving and coupled with modern technology, historical and ancient Chinese wisdom are still very effective. In addition, the treatments utilize the properties of many common herbs with widely known uses. Such as ginseng for fatigue, chamomile for calming, garlic as an antibiotic, and arnica as an anti-inflammatory, the recipes used in herbal medicine draw from only natural sources. This fact is making herbal treatments more common among sport horses that undergo drug testing for banned substances while competing.

“The competitive world is accepting herbal medicine more and more every year,” said Dr. Greenfield-Davis. “It provides an alternative for horses at high levels, especially in FEI, that need a little extra support. They aren’t drugs, they don’t test, and they are a natural product.”

Dr. Greenfield-Davis believes that offering such alternative treatment options is a sizeable advancement for Palm Beach Equine Clinic, in that herbal medicines provide owners with another option when traditional western medicines may not be their answer.

“It enhances our practice because it gives owners a place to turn,” she said. “There is a lot of stigmatism behind using particular western drugs, and I think this gives people a choice; they don’t have to use the traditional western medicines anymore because they can now turn to eastern medicines.”

While it is a personal choice to use a more holistic or all-natural approach to veterinary care for some horse owners, herbs also represent a practical alternative. According to Dr. Greenfield-Davis, herbal medicine is the perfect choice when treating a horse with an aversion to needles, or for horses that do not respond to particular medicines or therapies.

“We are able to work in a more natural way instead of using steroids and things of that nature,” added Dr. Greenfield-Davis. “In some cases, I will use solely herbals and the treatments produce a lot of wonderful results.”

As Palm Beach Equine Clinic continues to advance its alternative medicine therapies, the equestrian community is also learning to accept new possibilities. For Palm Beach Equine Clinic and Dr. Greenfield-Davis, Chinese herbal medicine is a step into the future with a nod to ancient Chinese history.

About Dr. Greenfield-Davis

Dr. Greenfield grew up in Northern California and her passion for horses started during her time showing hunters on the “A” circuit, which later led her to study veterinary medicine at California Polytechnic State University. She graduated from veterinary school at the University of Glasgow in 2010 and has since specialized in equine acupuncture and herbal medicine. Dr. Greenfield hopes to continue her studies in holistic medicine by incorporating food therapy into her treatments at Palm Beach Equine Clinic.

PBEC Proud to Sponsor the Equine World Stem Cell Summit

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West Palm Beach, Florida – For the first time since its inception, the World Stem Cell Summit (WSCS) welcomed the equestrian community to a special, tailored track of the 12th annual conference, held December 7-9, 2016, at the Palm Beach County Convention Center in West Palm Beach, FL.

This inaugural focused track, the Equine World Stem Cell Summit, presented an exciting opportunity for an array of researchers, veterinarians, and equestrians to actively engage in the single largest conference uniting the global stem cell community.

“It’s a great opportunity to get together with some of the scientists who are in the lab looking at this from the opposite level,” said Dr. Richard Wheeler of Palm Beach Equine Clinic, a sponsor of the 2016 Equine World Stem Cell Summit.

Wheeler and fellow Palm Beach Equine Clinic colleagues, Dr. Robert Brusie and Dr. Jorge Gomez, were among the actively practicing veterinarians who spoke on the impact that regenerative medicine is having on equine medicine.

Get to Know PBEC’s Dr. Sarah Allendorf

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Dr. Sarah Allendorf grew up in London, Ontario, Canada, and completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Guelph in Ontario. She earned her Master’s degree in Experimental Surgery from McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, and then earned her Veterinary degree at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. After completing an internship at Fairfield Equine & Associates in Newtown, Connecticut, Dr. Allendorf joined the team at Palm Beach Equine Clinic in September 2015.

Read on to find out more!

What is your background with horses?

As a child, I was not the most athletically gifted; I could not throw or catch a ball to save my life. In an attempt to combine my interest in animals with an after school activity, my father suggested trying horseback riding lessons. Over the course of the next decade, I went from riding Western Pleasure to showing in the Hunter/Jumper discipline. I competed until I was about 16 when my education began to take priority, though I still ride for my own personal enjoyment.

When and why did you decide to become a veterinarian?

I wanted to become a veterinarian since I was approximately three years old. Once it was explained to me that there were individuals in charge of the health and welfare of animals, I never wanted to do anything else.

My journey began by attending the University of Guelph and obtaining an Honours Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences. I went on to earn a Master’s degree in Experimental Surgery with a specific focus in Orthopaedics from McGill University. Upon completion of my MSc, I was granted the opportunity to study veterinary medicine at the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland.

Several of the veterinarians at PBEC have studied in the UK. What was that experience like for you?

I really enjoyed living in Scotland – it is such a beautiful country! The University of Edinburgh’s veterinary program is very practically based, and we received a lot of hands-on experience doing animal husbandry training, in addition to the medical aspects. I had the opportunity to spend two weeks working on a dairy farm and three weeks lambing in the English countryside. Apart from the world-class education, another of the biggest perks of living in the UK is the amazing travel opportunities, including two weeks working in South Africa with a wildlife veterinarian.

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Was there anyone influential in your career?

I have worked with a lot of amazing people throughout my training and career, not just veterinarians, but technicians, hospital staff, and owners. It is difficult to say which one person influenced me the most. What I attempt to do in all interactions is observe how each professional approaches a situation, the strategies they use, and the different techniques individuals employ. This has given me an arsenal of knowledge that helps me to adapt to each patient and each situation.

Do you have a specialty?

My main focus is Sport Horse medicine including lameness exams, performance evaluations, and diagnostics. I am available for general health work ups, preventative care, and emergencies – basically whatever my clients need at any given time, day or night.

Additionally, I am currently getting certified in Acupuncture at the Chi Institute of Chinese Herbal Medicine in Ocala.

What do you like most about working at PBEC?

Palm Beach Equine Clinic has a fantastic team. There are many veterinarians and specialists on-site, which provides a unique opportunity for collaboration and continual professional growth. It is also incredible to work in Wellington during the season here; in the equine world, it is the place to be in the winter.

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Are there any unique experiences that you have had working at PBEC?

I had the unique experience to travel on a private plane to Puerto Rico for the day to perform a pre-purchase examination with my boss, Dr. Jorge Gomez. Not only was that an educational experience, but it was a lot of fun. Not that many jobs allow for international day trips.

During the summer season, I am on the road moving between Kentucky, North Carolina, and New York. As a permitted FEI treating veterinarian, I was available to clients at the Tryon International Equestrian Center and the Kentucky Horse Park as well as the Hampton Classic, HITS Saugerties, the American Gold Cup, and the Rolex Central Park Horse Show. In the future, I would like work towards becoming an Official FEI Delegate.

What are some of your other interests?

Watching Grand Prixs, under the lights of course. Not only do I go to competitions to support the athletes, both human and equine, but I go because I admire the sport. Being an equine veterinarian is not a 9-5 job. You have to love what you do, because then it’s never considered work.

Get to Know More About PBEC’s Dr. Tyler Davis!

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Dr. Tyler Davis graduated from the University of Glasgow School of Veterinary Medicine in Glasgow, Scotland, and performed his undergraduate studies at Pennsylvania State University. He then became a member of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons.

Dr. Davis was born in Linesville, Pennsylvania, and is married to Dr. Janet Greenfield, also a Palm Beach Equine Clinic veterinarian. He enjoys fly-fishing and spending time with his wife and their two children.

 How did you get your start with horses?
Entering vet school, my intentions were always to work in large animal medicine.  I actually thought I might focus on farm animals, having grown up in a farming area in Pennsylvania.  My focus turned to horses alone after starting to work with the university research ponies and spending more time around the equine hospital in my first year of vet school.

When and why did you decide to become a veterinarian?
My interest in veterinary medicine started in middle school.  I participated in 4-H, raising animals for our county fair, and had friends who were farmers.  Between the two I met many of the local vets and experienced the veterinary profession.  When offered to ride along with them on calls, I agreed.  While I did investigate other degrees within the science/biology field, I settled on veterinary medicine.

What was the experience attending veterinary school in another country, and how did that enhance your education?
I was lucky to have the opportunity to attend vet school at the University of Glasgow in Scotland.  Attending vet school in a different country afforded me the opportunity to visit places and experience cultures I would have otherwise never had.  Also, I believe the experience allowed me to see agricultural practices in a different light, when compared to those practices in the USA.  I participated in externships both in the UK and in the USA (knowing I wanted to move back home following graduation) while attending vet school, allowing me to discover different qualities from each.
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Why did you choose to focus on dentistry? 

I think that I have a strong focus in dentistry but have a number of other skills as well.  When starting at PBEC there were only 1-2 other doctors in the practice performing routine dentals floats and the like.  I enjoyed the dental work and began steering my focus on the topic through wet labs, continuing education seminars, etc.

What kinds of work are involved with equine dentistry?
My focus in dentistry goes beyond simply floating teeth.  While routine dental floats do take up a large portion of my dentistry duties, there are other aspects of the field, which I participate in as well.  I also see horses for dental examinations when we may think there is a relationship between the dentition/head and their ability to perform at their desired level. Tooth extractions make up another portion of the dentistry I perform.  Occasionally we find infected or fractured teeth on the routine dental exams, but more often these horses are referred to us, either with a diagnosed tooth problem or with a related complaint (not eating, plays with bit during work, throwing head, etc.).  We are able to bring these horses to the clinic to be “worked up” (diagnosis through x-ray, oral exam, etc.) and treated (oral tooth extraction, sinus flush, etc.).  We have a great facility offering versatility with cases.  I work closely with our surgical staff so that if needed, we can put a horse under general anesthesia if more invasive surgical procedures are merited.

What do you love about working at PBEC?
Palm Beach Equine Clinic has both a great facility and a great staff. It is a joy working here.
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What are some of your other interests?
My other interests include archery, fishing, and woodworking.  Typically if I am not working then I am spending time with my beautiful wife and daughters.

What is something interesting that people may not know about you?
Growing up in Pennsylvania, I am actually a pretty good Polka dancer.

Palm Beach Equine Clinic Warns Florida Horse Owners to Check Their Pastures for Toxic Creeping Indigo

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The veterinarians at Palm Beach Equine Clinic in Wellington, FL, caution horse owners of recent toxicity cases that have arisen in South Florida suspected by the low growing weed, Creeping Indigo. Although Creeping Indigo is not native to Florida and has been reportedly growing in the state since the 1920s, the plant has recently spread from the past summer’s humid conditions. Most toxic plants are not palatable to horses and therefore do not pose as much risk; however, it appears that horses are eating Creeping Indigo with suspected fatal effects. The only real treatment is to recognize and remove the poisonous plant from all grazing areas.

Palm Beach Equine Clinic’s Dr. Kathleen Timmins explained that veterinarians in South Florida are suspecting Creeping Indigo cases more often and in more places than ever before. Many people are unaware of the problems this toxic plant can cause.

“Toxicity from Creeping Indigo can present itself through a number of different symptoms, which can make it difficult to recognize and definitively diagnose,” Dr. Timmins noted. “There is no test or treatment, and the damage that it causes can be irreversible. The only true treatment is limiting their exposure to it.”
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The most important step to avoid illness is to eradicate the plant from all pastures and grazing areas. Horse owners should walk through their property and review grass areas for the plant. Creeping Indigo is a prostrate plant that is commonly found in high traffic areas of grass, such as parking lots, turf, roadsides, medians, and overgrazed pastures. Flowers arise from the base of the leaves and are pink to salmon in color. It often grows under the grass, and when it is not flowering, it can be difficult to see. It also has a very deep root, so it is not easy to pull up.

Both neurologic and non-neurologic signs are documented, and researchers are uncertain how much Creeping Indigo a horse needs to consume before clinical signs appear.

The most notable signs are neurologic; horses may seem lethargic or have less energy than usual. Head carriage is often low, and there may be rhythmic blinking and jerking eye movements. An abnormal gait may be noticed, characterized by incoordination and weakness in all limbs.

Non-neurologic signs may include high heart and respiratory rates, high temperature, watery discharge from the eyes, discoloration of the cornea or corneal ulceration, or ulceration of the tongue and gums.

“There are so many varied symptoms that it is often not the first diagnosis you would think of,” Dr. Timmins explained. “There are also many other toxic plants, but if horses have access to good quality feed or grazing, they will not usually eat the toxic plants. The best solution is to find the plant, get rid of it, and not have to find out if it has been consumed.”

Horses that are quickly removed from the plants may recover completely, but there is no effective treatment, and symptoms may persist. The best way to prevent poisoning is to stop access to paddocks where Creeping Indigo is present and to remove plants by physical means or herbicide application.

Palm Beach Equine Clinic suggests that horse owners check their paddocks and grazing areas prior to use. For more information, call PBEC at 561-793-1599.