Caring for the Senior Performance Horse, Part Two

Palm Beach Equine Clinic emphasizes the importance of proper care for our equine athletes as horses age into their senior years and advances in equine medicine are enabling horses to perform longer at their specific careers.

Last month, we discussed the importance of routine veterinary examinations to ensure top health, appropriate fitness programs to maintain stamina and muscle mass, treatments for physical discomfort, and proper care throughout the hot summer months. This month we would like to continue this discussion by highlighting the evaluation of metabolic function, organ function, and proper parasite control in the senior horse.

Horses from the ages of 12 and older are considered “seniors”. Many horses that are in the prime of their careers are considered “seniors” and may require extra maintenance in order to continue performing at their best. To maintain these athletes in peak condition requires a little more work on the owner’s part with the help of their veterinarian. Preemptive attention for your aging athlete’s needs will keep your equine partner performing longer.

An important component to physical health within the aging equine is metabolic function. As horses age, they are more prone to develop a metabolic disease known as Cushing’s disease. Cushing’s disease, also known as Pituitary Pars Intermedia Dysfunction (PPID), is a dysfunction of the pituitary gland increasing the production of Adrenocorticotrophic Hormone (ACTH) ultimately resulting in an overproduction of the hormone Cortisol. Cortisol is the stress hormone and a surplus of this hormone effects the body negatively. Veterinarians use the fasting test of ACTH that evaluates the hormone levels to screen for possible Cushing’s disease. This hormone test should be conducted every six-months to monitor hormone production, especially in horse’s currently battling the disease.

Cushing’s disease is often detected in older horses typically between 16 to 23 years of age, but it has been documented in horses as young as 8 years old. A few of the clinical signs of Cushing’s disease include change in body conformation such as development of a swayback and pot belly, lethargic attitude and in some horses, the growth of long, “curly” hair with delayed shedding. Horses suffering from Cushing’s disease are at serious risk to develop laminitis without any specific predisposing causes. Occasionally, horses may have Cushing’s disease without showing any outward clinical signs as the onset is quite slow. A simple blood test will be extremely helpful in the early detection of Cushing’s and other metabolic diseases. Additional blood tests can also be evaluated to determine whether your horse has anemia (low red blood cells). Serum chemistry testing can evaluate liver and kidney function to insure these organ systems are working properly. Palm Beach Equine Clinic has the laboratory equipment on site to run the vast majority of these tests for rapid same day results.

Palm Beach Equine Clinic strongly suggests a fecal test to evaluate your horse’s internal parasite count. In Florida, the peak worm season is year round due to the lack of frost. The effectiveness of different dewormers can be measured using a fecal egg count reduction test, which involves performing a fecal egg count 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, available in products such as Zimectrin Gold®, Equimax®, and Quest Plus®.

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. Due to the emergence of new resistant parasites, the recommended method is adding proper barn management for prevention and control to routine rotational treatment with anthelmintic medications. Environmental management is imperative to equine parasite control. Veterinarians recommend removing manure in the pasture at least twice weekly. Mowing and harrowing pastures regularly will break up manure and expose parasite eggs to the sun. If possible, rotate the use of pastures by providing a period of rest or allowing other livestock to graze them. Grouping horses by age in a pasture can reduce exposure to certain parasites. Additionally, reducing the number of horses per acre to a minimum can prevent overgrazing and reducing fecal contamination of the grazing area. Owners should consider feeding horses in a feeder for hay and grain rather than on the ground. Lastly, caregivers should routinely groom all horses to remove bot eggs from the hair to prevent possible ingestion. For parasite control, contact your Palm Beach Equine Clinic veterinarian and he/she will provide you with specific parasite control protocol recommendations.

It is important for owners to consider all of these issues in the senior horse and coordinate with their veterinarian for routine testing in horses 12 years and older. For more information on caring for your senior horse, please contact Palm Beach Equine Clinic at (561) 793-1599.

Caring for the Senior Performance Horse, Part One

Advances in equine medicine are enabling horses to perform longer in their careers than ever before. Palm Beach Equine Clinic would like to highlight the importance of proper care for our equine athletes as they age into their senior years.

Horses from the ages of 12 and older are considered “seniors.” Many horses that are in the prime of their careers may require extra maintenance in order to continue performing at their best. For example, an 18 year old equine athlete would have been rare ten years ago, but in today’s world, there are many horses performing at a high level well into their senior years. To maintain these athletes requires more work on the owner’s part, as well as the veterinarian’s part; however, preemptive attention to your aging equine’s needs may keep your partner performing longer.

There are several areas of care that owners should consider in order to maintain their horse’s top health and ensure continued success. It is important to remember that just as our human body changes with age, the horse’s body does the same. Owners should contact their veterinarians on a routine basis to have their horse’s overall health and fitness evaluated, no matter what the horse’s job is. All regularly performing senior horses should be evaluated a minimum of twice a year. If it is a pleasure horse, it should be evaluated at least once a year.

An appropriate fitness program is imperative to the senior horse’s performance. As horses age, it can become increasingly difficult to maintain their fitness. Any exercise that builds your horse’s stamina and muscle mass is essential, and the more your horse gets out of its stall and moves around the better. Anything from riding lessons to trail riding, or even hand walking can be beneficial. There are new exercise aids available, such as treadmills, which are great for keeping the senior horse in top fit shape. Owners should talk to their veterinarian to help create a great fitness program that works for both you and your horse.

Like any athlete, horses can experience physical setbacks, so it is important for owners to have their horse’s gaits evaluated routinely. Veterinarians can suggest appropriate treatments to avoid creating larger issues; whether the horse needs a little assistance with the flexion in their necks or injecting joints to ease any discomfort.

As we continue to battle the heat in the hot summer months, PBEC would like to stress the importance of providing extra care for our senior horses, as they may have more difficulty dealing with the heat. It is important to make sure that horse’s stalls are maintained for sanitation purposes and that they have a nice bed to lie down in. The stall should be out of the direct sunlight, have fans for effective air movement and plenty of fresh water to prevent overheating. If your senior equine is having a problem with Anhidrosis (not sweating), contact your veterinarian immediately.

It is important for owners to consider all of these issues and coordinate with their veterinarian for routine evaluation in horses 12 years and older. For more information on caring for you senior horse, please contact Palm Beach Equine Clinic at (561) 793-1599.

Get to Know Dr. Bryan Dubynsky

Q. Where did you grow up and what is your background with horses?

A. I grew up in Northern Indiana on a horse farm. I was fortunate enough to breed, show in the Midwest circuit, and train our horses.

Q. When and why did you decide that you wanted to become a veterinarian?

A. My father is a physician and I’ve always grown up with an interest in medicine. Choosing to become a veterinarian seemed to be a natural fit combining my love for horses and medicine.

Q. Who has been the biggest influence in your life or career? What did they teach you?

A. I spent my entire childhood from 8 to 18 years old with a third generation horse trainer from Kentucky. He taught me horsemanship and patience of which are two crucial foundations for successfully working around horses every day.

Q. What is your specialty/main focus as a vet?

A. My main focus and interest is sport horse medicine. I love focusing on improving athletic performance and treating horse-related injuries to help clients get their equine partners back to the top!

Q. When did you join PBEC and what do you like about working there?

A. I joined Palm Beach Equine Clinic in 2009. I love working here for the exceptional medical and surgical capabilities and experiences available. I also love the camaraderie of all the employees; we really work as a team! Teamwork is paramount for making the clinic successful.

Q. What is some advice that you would give someone who wants to become a vet?

A. Pick out the top people in the industry and work with them. Learn as much as you possibly can from the people who have been practicing for a long time.

Q. What are some of your other hobbies or interests?

A. Polo, golf, guitar & music, hiking, seeing family and friends. Spending time with my lovely dog, Ginger.

Q. What do you love about your job?

A. I love the opportunities to travel all over the country and Europe to see really cool places to work with my clients. I love working with the competition horses and the atmosphere of high level competition, as well as caring for the sweet trail horses at home.

Q. What is one of the most interesting cases you have worked on?

A. My horse Batman. He was an abandoned polo pony suffering from West Nile Virus. He was paralyzed for three days and no one wanted to treat him. We treated him with intensive care for three days and used a tractor as a last ditch effort to get him to stand. He has since made a full recovery and is currently playing polo.

Palm Beach Equine Clinic at the Pan American Games

The 2015 Pan American Games were recently held in Toronto, Ontario showcasing exciting equestrian competition in the disciplines of Show Jumping, Dressage and Eventing. Countries from North, South and Central America as well as the Caribbean all fielded teams for the important event, which served to secure qualifications for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Palm Beach Equine Clinic was proud to have two of its finest Sport Horse veterinarians in the middle of the action, providing veterinary support to the world’s elite horses. 

Palm Beach Equine Clinic’s Dr. Jorge Gomez was in attendance at the Pan American Games to care for many of his competing clients throughout the event. Dr. Gomez is not only a top sport horse practitioner but is also a Board Certified Surgeon. Dr. Natalia Novoa was also one of the treating veterinarians at the Games, where she provided conventional veterinary services as well as alternative medicine including chiropractic adjustments and acupuncture for many of the equine stars.

Drs. Gomez and Novoa were witness to great sport and tremendous results during their time in Toronto. The show jumping portion of the Games was held July 18ththrough 25th awarding medals for individual and team events. Both Doctors were fortunate enough to watch the team competition with the Canadian Show Jumping Team winning gold. Argentina went home with the silver medal and the United States earned bronze. They also proudly watched several of their own clients earn top finishes in the individual competition. McLain Ward (USA), Andres Rodriguez (VEN), and Lauren Hough (USA) earned the gold, silver and bronze medals respectively.

There is a great deal of work that is vital to maintaining a world class performance horse in peak condition for an event such as the Pan American Games. Dr. Gomez was selected to be the Team Veterinarian for Venezuela and Guatemala. Dr. Gomez teamed up with Dr. Novoa to provide veterinary support for silver medal winner Darlon van Groenhove with Andres Rodriguez (VEN) and sixth place finisher Hardrock Z ridden by Emanuel Andrade (VEN). Dr. Novoa was honored to work with and care for many of the event’s most successful horses, including Canada’s Tripple X III (Tiffany Foster) and Coco Bongo (Eric Lamaze), Argentina’s Abunola (Luis Pedro Biraben) and Cannavara 9 (Matias Albarracin), and Venezuela’s Darlon van Groenhove (Andres Rodriguez), as well as Hardrock Z (Emanuel Andrade). 

“Such success is attained with the contributions of a number of people, including the riders, trainers, owners, grooms, veterinarians, farriers and other support personnel, and I wish to take this opportunity to congratulate each and every person involved,” Dr. Novoa stated. “It is my honor and pleasure to provide veterinary care to such top caliber horses. It is truly exciting to watch these athletes compete at the highest level, earning personal bests, such as Andres Rodriguez winning the Individual Silver Medal for Venezuela! Good luck to everyone in the preparations for the Olympic Games in Rio in 2016!”

Palm Beach Equine Clinic, the industry leader in sport horse veterinary care, features a renowned list of veterinarians who are experts in their respective fields, and available to provide services to clientele throughout North America and around the world in the various horse sport disciplines.

PBEC Offers the Best in 24-Hour Emergency Care

Palm Beach Equine Clinic is renowned for its full-service surgical center and intensive care hospital located in the heart of Wellington, Florida. Board certified surgeons, primary care veterinarians and hospital technicians are scheduled 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to treat, monitor and care for critical cases. With world class veterinarians and a full staff of highly trained technicians, both clients and patients of PBEC are in the best hands possible.

Palm Beach Equine’s surgical suite and staffis prepared to handle all kinds of emergencies, day and night. The large team of 24 veterinarians includes three Board Certified Surgeons who rotate on call duties for all emergencies. This aids Palm Beach Equine veterinarians and all of the Southeast with the ability to treat their emergencies requiring surgical assistance quickly. The state of the art intensive care hospital is equipped with digital video cameras for the clinicians to easily monitor their patients from any location, at any time.

PBEC has the most advanced imaging technologies available on site, including Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), Nuclear Scintigraphy (Bone Scan), Ultrasonography, Digital Radiography and Endoscopy. PBEC has a Board Certified Radiologist on site to interpret images to assist with diagnosis. They also have a full-service laboratory on-site equipped with hematology, chemistry, and microbiology equipment to quickly help with the evaluation of each case.

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

Benefits of Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) in Tendon Injuries

A leader in Sport Horse Medicine, Palm Beach Equine Clinic is always on the forefront of advances in regenerative therapy. One treatment that has become widely used in modern equine medicine is the use of Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) for soft tissue injuries.

Platelets are very small blood cells that are a crucial part of our body. Platelets are an integral part of the blood clotting process to stop hemorrhage from any wound. Platelets also contain Growth Factors – the elements that aid in healing and stimulate specified tissue to heal at an increased rate.

In order to treat your 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 high-speed centrifuge using procedures, filters and equipment. The concentrated platelet rich sample is injected back into your horse at the specific area of injury in a sterile procedure usually ultrasound guided.

A sample is pulled from the bloodstream in the exact method one would draw blood from the jugular vein. The pulled blood sample is then processed in the sterile laboratory on site at Palm Beach Equine Clinic to extract and concentrate the platelets in a condensed sample. The prepared PRP sample is injected into a tendon lesion or ligament or even into the joint space to provide natural growth factors to increase the tendon rate of healing and aid in the repair of the injury. 

PRP treatment has had repeated great success in tendon and suspensory ligament injuries and is increasingly used in the treatment of intra-articular joint injuries. It can be very helpful to help repair cartilage and soft tissue injuries within the joint space.

Palm Beach Equine Clinic prides itself on continuing to remain State of the Art on continuing medical advancements. Along with PRP, Stem Cells are also frequently used with PRP. The growth Factors are combined with regenerative Progenitor Cells. This cutting edge therapy is part of a continually advancing field that has made exciting developments in both human and equine sports medicine.

PBEC veterinarian Dr. Richard Wheeler considers PRP to be one of the best-studied regenerative therapies offered.

“The nice thing about PRP is that you are using the body’s own healing mechanisms,” Dr. Wheeler explained. “It is very natural; it is all endogenous. You are using the horse’s own cells to repair injuries, and it can be really useful.”

“Regenerative medicine is a very explosive field at the moment,” Dr. Wheeler continued. “We are improving and finding out new things all of the time. PRP is being used extensively in human medicine as well. It has good science behind it, so I think it will stand the test of time.”

Every regenerative therapy program is different and it is important to consult your veterinarian and understand the options and specific applications for each treatment. To find out if PRP therapy is right for your horse, contact Palm Beach Equine Clinic for more information at 561 793 1599.

Bal a Bali Makes a Comeback with Palm Beach Equine Clinic

Thoroughbred Brazilian Triple Crown winner Bal a Bali was admitted to Palm Beach Equine Clinic (PBEC) on August 3, 2014. The elite athlete was treated for life-threatening laminitis by Staff Surgeon Dr. Weston Davis of PBEC in conjunction with Dr. Vernon Dryden just months after his Triple Crown win in March of that year.

Brazil’s 2014 Horse of the Year, Bal a Bali (Put It Back—In My Side, by Clackson) took an impressive win in the Grande Premio Cruzeiro do Sul (Brz-I) to become the country’s 12th Triple Crown winner. He finished the race in track-record time at Gavea racecourse.

Following his last start in June 2014, Bal a Bali was purchased by Fox Hill Farm and Siena Farm and imported to the U.S. in late summer, but unfortunately contracted laminitis during his travels. Bal a Bali was in a Florida quarantine scheduled to fly to trainer Richard Mandella’s stable in California when the problems developed.

Bal a Bali was quickly moved to Palm Beach Equine Clinic where he was received by Dr. Weston Davis, who would oversee his care in hospital for the next three months. PBEC set aside a barn as a quarantine unit to meet the horse’s final import requirements where he was treated with aggressive cryotherapy – a gold standard of laminitis care. Hospital Staff monitored Bal a Bali in the cold-water spa continuously for the next several days through the severe acute phase of his disease, and then he was gradually weaned out of the spa as he improved clinically.

On two occasions, Dr. Davis performed Intravenous Regional Perfusions of the feet with state of the art Stem Cells. A myriad of other medical therapies were administered though the course of his stay. Progression of laminitis was monitored closely with the use of radiographs, and advanced farrier management for the optimal sole support and mechanics to decrease strain on his fragile lamina. By October, the horse was cleared to travel to Siena Farm in Kentucky. There, Dr. Dryden continued to treat the horse and he was then flown to California in January.

After a nine-month recovery process, Bal a Bali made a miraculous return to the track for his North American debut in May 2015. He cruised to victory in the $100,000 American (G3), a one-mile turf race for three-year-olds and up at Santa Anita Park. At that point, the five-year-old horse had captured 12 of 13 career starts and earned $570,078. Bal a Bali’s comeback was no doubt a result of the outstanding care he received at Palm Beach Equine Clinic under the extraordinary supervision of Dr. Weston Davis and Dr. Vernon Dryden. Thank you Fox Hill Farm and Siena Farm for the trust you placed in PBEC.
 photo takenby: R A Y E T T A    B U R R/ B E N O I T   P H O T O

Palm Beach Equine Clinic Offers World Class Sport Horse Care: Focus on Veterinarian Dr. Richard Wheeler

As you prepare to compete, the partnership with your veterinary team is critical for your sport horse’s health and success. It is comforting to know that the finest equine hospital and sport horse care in the Southeast is less than one mile away from the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center and across the street from the Global Dressage Festival.  The veterinarians and staff of Palm Beach Equine Clinic are respected throughout the industry for their advanced level of care and steadfast commitment to the owners and horses alike.

Palm Beach Equine Clinic is proud to provide their services as the Official Veterinarians of the Winter Equestrian Festival and the Global Dressage Festival, the world’s largest international and national dressage circuit.  Palm Beach Equine Clinic’s team of veterinarians graciously attend all the competitions to provide their services during the winter season in case of any emergency situations. This dedication has become invaluable over the years to many competitors that have needed their expertise in veterinary medicine.

As the consistent leader in sport horse medicine, Palm Beach Equine Clinic provides 24-hour coverage at their impressive on-site hospital; complete with full surgical and internal medicine facility, laboratory, pharmacy and advanced diagnostic imaging center.

State-of-the-art diagnostic imaging services include: standing MRI, Nuclear Scintigraphy, digital ultrasonography and radiography. Furthermore, Palm Beach Equine Clinic performs thorough lameness examinations, extensive pre-purchase evaluations, dentistry, podiatry consultation, and complete reproductive services. Palm Beach Equine Clinic also provides alternative medicine services such as chiropractic and acupuncture therapies, as well as, resourceful preventative medicine programs.

At the heart of this comprehensive facility is a veterinary sports medicine support group of twenty-six veterinarians, including three Board Certified Surgeons: Drs. Robert Brusie, Jorge Gomez and Weston Davis and additionally, a Board Certified Radiologist, Dr. Sarah Puchalski.

The veterinarians and staff of Palm Beach Equine Clinic are respected throughout the industry for their advanced level of care and for leading the way in new innovative diagnostics and treatments. They are top-level academics frequently published in popular equine magazines and national veterinary journals.

One of the more recent members to the board of directors at the Palm Beach Equine Clinic is Dr. Richard Wheeler, whose primary area of interest is equine lameness and sports medicine. He is passionate about his role in maintaining sport horses to enjoy a long and successful career.

What are the latest innovations that allow you to administer state-of-the-art care to sport horses?

Dr. Richard Wheeler:  There are many exciting new developments in equine sports medicine. The addition of imaging modalities such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computed tomography (CT) together with recent improvements in digital radiography, ultrasound and Nuclear Scintigraphy allow us to be more specific with our diagnoses and image areas of the horse that we were previously unable to image.  Furthermore, regenerative therapies such as platelet rich plasma (PRP), bone marrow concentrate and the use of stem cells offer exciting opportunities with regard to the treatment of a wide variety of conditions, including soft tissue and joint injuries.

What do you find separates the most successful equine competitor from the rest?

Dr. Richard Wheeler:  Across the field of disciplines I believe attention to detail and a good team are the most important factors.  As a veterinarian, I try to work closely with the owner, rider, trainer, farrier, groom and often many other support staff.  I will often examine the high level horses every week during the intense winter season and we will work together to make subtle adjustments to keep the horse performing at their very best.

How do you feel about your move to the USA and Palm Beach Equine Clinic ten years ago?

Dr. Richard Wheeler:  Time has gone fast!  There is nowhere in the world like Wellington, it is a wonderful place to live and practice veterinary medicine.  Palm Beach Equine Clinic is an amazing family with a wealth of experience and knowledge to draw on.  I think our greatest strength is our team approach; we will spend hours discussing and debating the best approach to cases and I think this is incredibly valuable to our clients.  It is of great value to me as a veterinarian to have the high quality equipment we have invested in as well as the support of our Board Certified Surgeons (Drs. Brusie, Gomez and Davis) and our Board Certified Radiologist Dr. Puchalski. I am a strong believer in developing a specialty as a veterinarian so having the depth of support at Palm Beach Equine Clinic allows me to concentrate on lameness and sports medicine with the capability to provide my clients with doctors who specialize in other areas such as alternative therapies, reproduction and dentistry.

Dr. Wheeler’s extensive experience with a variety of equine performance sports advanced after graduating from the Royal Veterinary College in London in 2002.  Dr. Wheeler completed an internship at the world-renowned Newmarket Equine Hospital, specializing in surgery and sports medicine, before moving to Palm Beach Equine Clinic in 2005. Licensed to practice in Florida, Kentucky and New York, as well as the United Kingdom and Europe, Dr. Wheeler is an FEI official veterinarian. A horseman himself, Dr. Wheeler has competed in a variety of equine sports including eventing, dressage, show jumping and polo.

Many international Grand Prix riders, such as one of the United States’ top Dressage riders, Tuny Page, attributes the health and soundness of her horses to Dr. Wheeler and the Palm Beach Equine Clinic team. “Richard is a fine veterinarian with great depth of experience and super instincts. On top of that, he communicates beautifully with me as the client and my grooms as my horse’s managers. Richard is very secure in his positions about diagnosis and treatment of the horses, which allows him the ability to communicate openly with other veterinarians and therapists. This works particularly well when I am traveling with the horses and need to have open communication between other veterinarians and Richard. Richard has always treated my staff with the respect and integrity they deserve and the result is tremendous trust within our team. The most important recommendation for Dr. Wheeler is, quite simply, that my horses are happy, healthy and sound,” said Tuny Page.

Additionally, International Dressage star, Mikala Gundersen (DEN), who recently won the FEI Grand Prix Freestyle CDI 4* knows the importance of equine health and states praise for Dr. Wheeler. “Dr. Wheeler from Palm Beach Equine Clinic has a good eye and feel for what a horse needs, and he is the best veterinarian for a sport horse.”

Palm Beach Equine Clinic is committed to provide care for your equine athlete throughout the year and across the globe, and support at shows across the USA, Europe and South America.

Meet World Renowned Radiologist Dr. Sarah Puchalski

Dr. Sarah Puchalski is a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Radiology whose specialty includes the interpretation of bone scans, MRI, ultrasound, radiographs and other diagnostic imaging techniques. With her addition to the staff, Palm Beach Equine Clinic is one of the few equine hospitals in the country to employ a full-time radiologist on-site. In addition to working with horses locally and assisting veterinarians around the world, Dr. Puchalski is also competing this season in the Medium and High Amateur Owner Jumpers at the Winter Equestrian Festival. It is important for clients to get know our doctors so we asked Dr. Puchalski to share a little about herself.

Q: How do you like being in Wellington and having the opportunity to compete at the Winter Equestrian Festival?

A: I think it is a really unbelievable opportunity to ride in the most competitive rings in the country regardless of the level at which you are competing.

Q: How do you like working at Palm Beach Equine Clinic?

A: Palm Beach Equine Clinic is great place to work. It is very vibrant and busy. I like the energy that comes out of the place and the imaging equipment is world-class.

Q: Why do you feel it is important to have a Board Certified Radiologist on site?

A: My full time job is image reviews which takes a high level of specialization that provides support for all veterinarians ranging from field veterinarians to surgeons. It is very rare for an equine hospital to have a full-time radiologist so having one on board offers a step up in the quality of service. When a horse comes in for an MRI or bone scan everything can be reviewed before the horse leaves the clinic so if any other care is needed it can be handled in one visit.

Q: What ways do veterinarians use radiologists?

A: There are a couple ways. One is that I read complicated images such as bone scans and MRIs. Most veterinarians do not have the training to read these images. The second way is to provide a second opinion on routine diagnostic techniques such as radiographs and ultrasounds. Clients and referral veterinarians will also use my opinion for pre-purchase examinations.

Q: How did you develop such and impressive reputation throughout the world?

A: I did two internships in field service and sports medicine at New Bolton Center Hospital at the University Of Pennsylvania School Of Veterinarian Medicine. I spent four years at the University of California, Davis in imaging. I stayed there as faculty for eight years doing research instruction and clinical service. I have published more than 50 scientific articles and performed over 100 presentations all over the world on lameness diagnosis and Diagnostic Imaging in Sport Horses.

Q: What would you like veterinarians and owners to know about you?

A: My philosophy is to support all veterinarians, whether it be a veterinarian from Palm Beach Equine Clinic or a referral veterinarian. I read cases from all over the world on a daily basis. Many owners ask their veterinarian to consult with me for a second opinion. I view my role more as a support role for all veterinarians to help provide the best care for the horse.

Palm Beach Equine Offers New State-Of-The-Art Nuclear Scintigraphy Equipment

Palm Beach Equine Clinic is excited to announce the addition of the most advanced Equine Nuclear Gamma Ray Camera available for Equine Imaging. Last winter, Palm Beach Equine Clinic announced the grand opening of an eleven-stall barn for intensive and postoperative care. Four new offices were built for the additional seven veterinarians that joined the practice. This fall we will complete the renovation of the Nuclear Scintigraphy (bone scan) lab in addition to installing the new top of the line Nuclear Scintigraphy camera manufactured by Medical Imaging Electronics. 

The new Equine Scanner H.R. designed by MIE reduces the time required to scan the horse and provides more defined images. The new technology behind the Equine Scanner H.R. assists with the ability to produce high-quality images even if the horse moves slightly while taking an image. Image acquisitions will not have to be repeated as frequently which reduces the length of time required for a scan. The camera is equipped with special software that is designed to acquire images with sharper contours for a more precise, effective diagnosis of the lameness or specific point of injury. MIE describes their new gamma-ray camera as “an ingenious combination of mechanics, electronics and special software algorithms, which allows unique scanning on standing horses.” 

Palm Beach Equine Clinic is one of very few equine practices in the U.S. with a Board Certified Radiologist on staff. World-renowned Radiologist, Dr. Sarah Puchalski, is on site to read and interpret images immediately so clients have results as quickly as possible. Dr. Puchalski is excited about the renovation and the new Equine Scanner H.R. machine. “The addition of this scanner places Palm Beach Equine at the forefront of diagnostic imaging the world over. Excellent motion correction software and the largest field of view allows for accurate, rapid scanning of large parts such as the pelvis, back and neck in addition to the more routinely imaged limbs. It is very exciting to be able to work with these tools in Wellington,” said Dr. Puchalski.

Often times horses may have multi-limb lameness that makes it difficult for your veterinarian to pinpoint the problem. Dr. Puchalski gladly accepts referrals from other veterinarians and is happy to assist in the specific diagnosis of your horse’s ailments. Palm Beach Equine Clinic has performed over 3,000 bone scans in the last decade. We remain the leader in Equine Imaging. Please contact your veterinarian to schedule an appointment with the Director of Imaging Barbara Lanigan at Palm Beach Equine Clinic by calling (561) 309 – 3008 or call the clinic at (561) 793 – 1599.

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Palm Beach Equine Clinic
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