Palm Beach Equine Clinic (PBEC), an exceptional equine healthcare facility, will return as the Official Veterinarian of the 2022 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) and Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) running through April 3, 2022, at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) and Equestrian Village in Wellington, FL. PBEC also provides Official Veterinarian services for the 2022 season at the International Polo Club Palm Beach.
Palm Beach Equine Clinic is celebrating its 40th anniversary of providing top equine health care to both the year-round residents as well as horses coming for the winter season. The state-of-the-art facility is located at the intersection of Southfields and Pierson Roads in the center of Wellington, right down the road from PBIEC, the Equestrian Village, and the International Polo Club Palm Beach.
The team at Palm Beach Equine Clinic includes more than 35 veterinarians and provides expertise in almost all areas of equine health and treatment. Palm Beach Equine Clinic offers specialized sports medicine with trusted veterinarians and staff that understand the commitment it takes to care for a high-level equine competitor. The talented team offers a wide variety of services such as internal medicine, emergency care, reproduction and fertility, alternative medicine, regenerative medicine, dentistry, podiatry, and more.
Palm Beach Equine Clinic provides cutting-edge technology paired with knowledgeable and dedicated staff. The facility offers advanced diagnostic imaging with board-certified radiologists on staff as well as surgical services with three board-certified surgeons. Additionally, all primary veterinarians can refer clients to Palm Beach Equine Clinic for their innovative imaging technologies and surgical center.
In addition to the full-service equine clinic, Palm Beach Equine Clinic veterinarians will be on the showgrounds at the annex office located adjacent to the WEF stabling office on the PBIEC showgrounds. Palm Beach Equine Clinic veterinarians will be onsite daily during WEF and AGDF to assist all competing horses throughout the shows with performance evaluations, diagnostics, and treatments, as well as emergency care and standard horse care needs.
“It’s always an honor to take care of the best horses in the world that come to Wellington each winter,” said Palm Beach Equine Clinic President Dr. Scott Swerdlin. “Being on-site at the showgrounds really allows us to provide high- quality and immediate veterinary care for all of the horses competing.”
Offering exceptional knowledge, capabilities, and commitment, the team at Palm Beach Equine Clinic is thrilled to once again help equine athletes perform to the best of their abilities during the Wellington winter show season and beyond.
What To Expect After the Unexpected Strikes
Featured on Horse Network
Every owner dreads having to decide whether or not to send their horse onto the surgical table for colic surgery. For a fully-informed decision, it is important that the horse’s owner or caretaker understands what to expect throughout the recovery process.
Palm Beach Equine Clinic (PBEC) veterinarian Weston Davis, DVM, DACVS, assisted by Sidney Chanutin, DVM, has an impressive success rate when it comes to colic surgeries, and the PBEC team is diligent about counseling patients’ owners on how to care for their horse post-colic surgery.
“After we determine that the patient is a strong surgical candidate, the first portion of the surgery is exploratory so we can accurately define the severity of the case,” explained Dr. Davis. “That moment is when we decide if the conditions are positive enough for us to proceed with surgery. It’s always my goal to not make a horse suffer through undue hardship if they have a poor prognosis.”
Once Dr. Davis gives the green light for surgical repair, the surgery is performed, and recovery begins immediately.
“The time period for the patient waking up in the recovery room to them standing should ideally be about 30 minutes,” continued Dr. Davis. “At PBEC, we do our best to contribute to this swift return by using a consistent anesthesia technique. Our team controls the anesthesia as lightly as we can and constantly monitors blood pressure. We administer antibiotic, anti-inflammatory, anti-endotoxic drugs, and plasma to help combat the toxins that the horse releases during colic. Our intention in the operating room is to make sure colic surgeries are completed successfully, but also in the most time-efficient manner.”
Colic surgery recovery often depends on the type and severity of the colic. At the most basic level, colic cases can be divided into two types – large intestine colic and small intestine colic – that influence the recovery procedures and outlook.
Large intestinal colic or impaction colic is characterized by the intestine folding upon itself with several changes of direction (flexures) and diameter changes. These flexures and diameter shifts can be sites for impactions, where a firm mass of feed or foreign material blocks the intestine. Impactions can be caused by coarse feeds, dehydration, or an accumulation of foreign materials such as sand.
Small intestinal colic or displacement colic can result from gas or fluid distension that results in the intestines being buoyant and subject to movement within the gut, an obstruction of the small intestine, or twisting of the gut. In general, small intestinal colics can be more difficult than large intestinal colics when it comes to recovery from surgery.
“Many people do assume that after the colic surgery is successfully completed their horse is in the clear,” said Dr. Chanutin. “However, during the first 24 to 48 hours after colic surgery, there are many factors that have to be closely monitored.
“We battle many serious endotoxic effects,” continued Dr. Chanutin. “When the colon isn’t functioning properly, microbial toxins are released inside the body. These microbials that would normally stay in the gastrointestinal tract then cause tissue damage to other bodily systems. We also need to be cognizant of the possibility of the patient developing laminitis, a disseminated intervascular coagulation (overactive clotting of the blood), or reflux, where a blockage causes fluids to back up into the stomach.”
Stages after surgery
While 30 minutes from recumbent to standing is the best-case scenario, Dr. Davis acknowledges that once that time period passes, the surgical team must intervene by encouraging the horse to get back on its feet.
Once a horse returns to its stall in the Equine Hospital at PBEC, careful monitoring begins, including physical health evaluations, bloodwork, and often, advanced imaging. According to Dr. Davis, physical exams will be conducted at least four times per day to evaluate the incision and check for any signs of fever, laminitis, lethargy, and to ensure good hydration status. An abdominal ultrasound may be done several times per day to check the health of the gut, and a tube may be passed into the stomach to check for reflux and accumulating fluid in the stomach.
“The horse must regularly be passing manure before they can be discharged,” said Dr. Chanutin. “We work toward the horse returning to a semi-normal diet before leaving PBEC. Once they are at that point, we can be fairly confident that they will not need additional monitoring or immediate attention from us.”
Drs. Davis and Chanutin often recommend the use of an elastic belly band to support the horse’s incision site during transport from the clinic and while recovering at home. Different types of belly bands offer varying levels of support. Some simply provide skin protection, while others are able to support the healing of the abdominal wall.
Two Weeks Post-Surgery
At the 12-to-14-day benchmark, the sutures will be removed from the horse’s incision site. The incision site is continuously checked for signs of swelling, small hernias, and infection.
Once the horse is home, the priority is to continue monitoring the incision and return them to a normal diet if that has not already been accomplished.
The first two weeks of recovery after the horse has returned home is spent on stall rest with free-choice water and hand grazing. After this period, the horse can spend a month being turned out in a small paddock or kept in a turn-out stall. They can eventually return to full turnout during the third month. Hand-walking and grazing is permittable during all stages of the at-home recovery process. After the horse has been home for three months, the horse is likely to be approved for riding.
Generally, when a horse reaches the six-month mark in their recovery, the risk of adverse internal complications is very low, and the horse can return to full training under saddle.
When to Call the Vet?
Decreased water intake, abnormal manure output, fever, pain, or discomfort are all signals in a horse recovering from colic surgery when a veterinarian should be consulted immediately.
Dr. Davis notes that in a large number of colic surgery cases, patients that properly progress in the first two weeks after surgery will go on to make a full recovery and successfully return to their previous level of training and competition.
Depending on the specifics of the colic, however, some considerations need to be made for long-term care. For example, if the horse had sand colic, the owner would be counseled to avoid sand and offer the horse a selenium supplement to prevent a possible relapse. In large intestinal colic cases, dietary restrictions may be recommended as a prophylactic measure. Also, horses that crib can be predisposed to epiploic foramen entrapment, which is when the bowel becomes stuck in a defect in the abdomen. This could result in another colic incident, so cribbing prevention is key.
Generally, a horse that has fully recovered from colic surgery is no less healthy than it was before the colic episode. While no one wants their horse to go through colic surgery, owners can rest easy knowing that.
“A lot of people still have a negative association with colic surgery, in particular the horse’s ability to return to its intended use after surgery,” said Dr. Davis. “It’s a common old-school mentality that after a horse undergoes colic surgery, they are never going to be useful again. For us, that situation is very much the exception rather than the rule. Most, if not all, recovered colic surgery patients we treat are fortunate to return to jumping, racing, or their intended discipline.”
Get to know our team of equine veterinarians
Read more about Dr. Caitlin Hosea by clicking here.
Where are you from originally, and where did you complete your undergraduate degree?
Dr. Hosea: I was born and raised in Santa Barbara, California. I received my bachelor’s in animal science at the University of Kentucky with an emphasis on equine studies.
What is your background with horses?
Dr. Hosea: I started riding at a very young age. Through junior high and high school, I was a working student at a hunter/jumper barn. I groomed and taught summer camps to pay for my lessons and shows. During undergrad, I worked as a groom and rider for a few different barns in Lexington and continued to show my horse. I have a new horse now – one of my favorites from the racetrack that was given to me. He’s shown some talent over fences. Hopefully you’ll see us in the jumper ring soon!
What inspired you to become an equine veterinarian?
Dr. Hosea: My interest in veterinary medicine developed after moving to Kentucky. My goal had always been to ride professionally. That all changed when I got a job as a veterinary technician. I spent four years working at a large equine hospital. I also had a second job as a technician for a racetrack veterinarian. During that time, I gained a wealth of knowledge and exposure to a wide variety of interesting cases and eventually decided that I wanted to go to vet school.
What do you enjoy most about working at Palm Beach Equine Clinic?
Dr. Hosea: I love the variety of cases we treat in the hospital and the opportunities to learn from our large team of talented veterinarians. I always enjoy spending time at WEF as well. I feel very lucky to be able to watch some of the best riders and horses in the world compete at one of the best venues in the country. As a junior, I idolized riders such as Beezie Madden, Margie Engle, and Eric Lamaze to name a few. While onsite at WEF, I am able to watch those riders (as well as a long list of other talented equestrians) compete at the highest levels in person. It’s like having floor seats at a Lakers game.
What aspects of equine medicine interest you most, and what types of cases do you find most rewarding?
Dr. Hosea: Sport horse lameness, podiatry, equine neonatal medicine, and diagnostic imaging, especially ultrasound. Complicated lameness cases are what I really enjoy. After my internship at PBEC, I spent five years working at Keeneland as a racetrack veterinarian. During that time, I was fortunate enough to work with some remarkable horsemen and truly amazing horses. For me, being part of a team that works together to advance a horse’s athletic career is incredibly rewarding.
What experience do you have with equine podiatry?
Dr. Hosea: I’ve always had a strong interest in podiatry. Between my second and third year of veterinary school, I spent eight weeks completing a farrier certification program at Oklahoma State Horse Shoeing School in Ardmore, Oklahoma. During this time, I was shoeing horses every day as well as building hand-made horseshoes in a fire from plain bar stock. By the time I finished, I could shoe a horse all the way around; build, shape, and fit steel shoes; draw clips; and weld bar shoes.
Palm Beach Equine Clinic Provides Veterinary Students Opportunities to Further Education and Career
The path of veterinary medicine involves many years of devotion to education, both at the undergraduate and graduate level, prior to putting that knowledge into practice. Only a handful of those students choose to pursue equine medicine, and an even smaller subset then take on the challenge of becoming a board-certified specialist in their chosen field.
Since its inception 40 years ago, Palm Beach Equine Clinic (PBEC) has been committed to supporting the next generation of equine veterinarians and has provided numerous students, at various stages in their education, with learning opportunities and mentorship. Through externship, internship, and residency programs, PBEC has helped prepare students and veterinary graduates to lay the groundwork for successful future careers.
Equine Medicine in the Equestrian Capital
One of the key benefits of the programs is that PBEC is based in Wellington, Florida, an area that has rightfully earned its title of “Winter Equestrian Capital of the World.” The region is home to show jumping, dressage, polo, racing, and western performance horses; allowing ample opportunities for veterinarians to become well-rounded sports medicine practitioners.
“We are one of the foremost equine medical centers in North America and based in the epicenter of the equine industry,” said Dr. Scott Swerdlin, the president of PBEC who also spearheads the clinic’s Internship Committee. “The opportunities we are able to offer students looking to pursue a career in sports medicine are unmatched. In this regard, we are fortunate to attract top talent from some of the most prestigious universities around the world. Our interns get to be part of all the action and learn in an environment where every aspect of the horse’s health is examined with a fine-tooth comb.”
A Melting Pot of Expertise
PBEC’s team encompasses over 35 veterinarians who hail from across the U.S. and abroad to Canada, Colombia, Argentina, Australia, the U.K., and beyond. Their areas of expertise are wide-ranging, from lameness to acupuncture and breeding to dentistry, including board-certified specialists in surgery, diagnostic imaging, and internal medicine.
Dr. Sidney Chanutin grew up immersed in the horse world and spent time shadowing nearly every veterinarian at PBEC while she was in high school. After earning her doctorate in veterinary medicine from the University of Florida, she returned to officially join the PBEC team as an intern.
“What I most enjoyed about my internship was learning from a diverse group of veterinarians,” said Dr. Chanutin, “along with their different backgrounds, styles of working, and varied approaches to problem-solving. Everyone is willing to help and offer their unique perspective, so it’s a truly cohesive team.”
The first introduction to PBEC for many students is an externship. Qualified veterinary students in their final years of school can spend a few weeks with the PBEC team shadowing emergency cases in the hospital, on ambulatory calls, and at sports medicine appointments at the industry’s top competition venues. Externships also act as an introduction to the practice for many students seeking an internship upon graduation. This allows both the aspiring veterinarian and the PBEC team to become familiar with each other and see if it may potentially be a good match for a 12-month internship position.
Dr. Santiago Demierre is originally from Argentina and completed his degree in veterinary medicine from the Universidad de Buenos Aires in 2012. He validated his veterinary degree in the United States in 2017 through a certification program with the American Veterinary Medical Association. Dr. Demierre was an integral part of PBEC initially as an intern before becoming an official staff veterinarian.
“The high caseload and long-term partnerships working and learning alongside great veterinarians helped me not only in improving my professional skills and knowledge but also with other aspects such as communication with clients and colleagues,” Dr. Demierre reflected.
Unlike in human medicine, internships are optional for veterinarians. Once a veterinarian passes the necessary state board exams, they can start treating animals on day one out of school. Choosing to work under the supervision and mentorship of experienced veterinarians allows interns to apply their years of learning in the classroom into clinical practice. At PBEC, interns can learn with the aid of advanced technologies in diagnostic imaging, innovative regenerative therapies, reproduction and fertility software, and specialized surgical suites.
“While we can teach and provide them with a wealth of knowledge and hands-on experience,” Dr. Swerdlin explained, “our interns in return are extremely valuable to us because they bring a fresh mindset and new ideas to the team,” explained Dr. Swerdlin. “The ability to work well with others, a good sense of humor, great work ethic, and most importantly, excellent communication skills are the qualities I look for in an intern.”
Never Stop Learning
Continuing education is a major component of a life in medicine. In addition to journal clubs, educational seminars, and opportunities to travel to professional conferences, students are always exposed to learning opportunities by working collaboratively with colleagues as well as visiting and referring veterinarians.
After completing their internship, most will pursue an associate veterinarian position, whether at PBEC, another private practice, a university, or work independently. Some will go a step further and advance their education through a residency program. Residencies are rigorous two to four year commitments—length dependent on the specialty—designed to give veterinarians the skillset, knowledge base, and experience required to become eligible for certification by veterinary medical specialty boards. Board-certified specialists are considered experts in their field and often treat complicated, difficult cases.
With board-certified specialists on staff, PBEC has provided residencies to select veterinarians over the years, including Dr. Michael Myhre. A graduate of Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, Dr. Myhre fulfilled his surgical residency under the direction of PBEC’s board-certified surgeons Dr. Robert Brusie, Dr. Weston Davis, and Dr. Jorge Gomez. He assisted on over 568 surgeries over his three years at PBEC.
“Completing my residency at PBEC has allowed me to pursue my dream of becoming an equine surgeon and working at a large referral center in the northeast. I learned a great deal about all aspects of general surgery, but especially orthopedic surgery. We did many fracture repairs at PBEC, and I would love to continue focusing on these in the future. Without my time at PBEC, I wouldn’t be able to practice as I am now,” Dr. Myhre said.
Externs, interns, and residents are integral members of the equine hospital. It is part of PBEC’s mission to support the community, which includes the next generation of equine veterinarians.
Dr. Swerdlin said, “Teaching and mentoring young veterinarians and watching them grow into confident and competent practitioners gives me the greatest satisfaction.” To learn more about externships, internships, and other opportunities with Palm Beach Equine Clinic, please visit equineclinic.com/internships-externships or call 561-793-1599.
Servicing clients in Ocala, Florida, throughout the winter season, Dr. Gretchen Syburg is the newest addition to the Palm Beach Equine Clinic Team. Get to know a little about Dr. Syburg by reading on!
What is your background with horses?
I grew up on a farm in southeastern Wisconsin and have had horses since before I can remember. I have ridden in many disciplines but have been part of the hunter/jumper community for the past 15 to 20 years. I am definitely a “horse person” through and through, and I knew from a very young age that I wanted to be an equine veterinarian.
I completed my undergraduate degree at Carroll University in Waukesha, Wisconsin, then obtained my degree in veterinary medicine from the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada. Upon graduating, I completed an internship at a large referral hospital in California. In California I was able to gain extensive experience in all aspects of equine medicine, especially in complex orthopedic and sports medicine cases. After that, I worked for a practice where I spent my summers in the Northeast, mainly following the show circuits, then winters in Florida before joining Palm Beach Equine Clinic.
Why did you want to become an equine veterinarian?
Growing up on a farm, animals have always been a huge part of my life. My love for animals was evident at a young age, when I would spend my free time in the barn with our variety of animals. I caught the horse bug when I was five, and from then on it was clear my path was to pursue veterinary school. I knew that the equine veterinary industry was where my interest would lie due to the complex and interesting cases I had seen come through our farm.
What area do you specialize in?
I am on the road year-round, spending my summers in southeastern Wisconsin, servicing clients throughout the Midwest. During the winter months, I am in Ocala, Florida, providing care to patients at both HITS and WEC horse shows. Being an ambulatory veterinarian, I offer a very broad range of services to cover the needs of my patients and clients. I focus primarily on sports medicine and the performance horse, but emergency medicine and basic internal medicine cases are another part of my caseload.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
I cherish the relationships that I build, not only with my equine patients, but also with clients. Being a horse person, I really understand the deep connections that my clients have with their horses. Having owned horses myself, I can relate to the trials and tribulations of horse ownership.
I appreciate being able to see all our collective efforts come to fruition when my clients are able to compete their horses or achieve their goals. I admire the moments when clients are grateful for their horse’s health above all else; it truly is a team effort and I love being able to see the reward of a horse in optimal health.
When not treating patients, what do you enjoy doing or where can we find you?
I enjoy spending as much time as possible outside, riding my horse Nike or hiking with my dog Luna. Most of the time you will find me in the barn or enjoying the occasional horse show. I am grateful for the time during the summer with my family in Wisconsin, we still have a small farm and now
Dr. Janet Greenfield Davis has recently notched another professional title to her name as a Certified Equine Rehabilitation and Performance Veterinarian (CERPV). The certification through the Integrative Veterinary Medical Institute aims to enhance the high-level sport horse medicine practitioner’s ability to localize the root cause of performance deficits, evaluate the horse’s biomechanics on a segmented level, and select the appropriate rehabilitation tools. The CERPV distinguishes veterinarians who possess the knowledge and skills to spot slight variations in a horse’s gait and performance before they lead to lameness and deliver an elevated quality of rehabilitation management.
“I chose to pursue this certification as an extension of my understanding of the many intricacies with both movement and muscle of the sport horse. This deeper understanding goes toward helping keep my clients’ horses in the best condition for peak performance, heal stronger after injury, and prevent injuries from happening in the first place.”Dr. Greenfield Davis
Dr. Greenfield Davis built on her knowledge of how the equine athlete functions through in-depth courses on the anatomy, biomechanics, and neuromuscular control in performance horses. Specific courses focused on the physiology and function of muscles, tendons, and joints with an emphasis on ways to develop strong tissue to avoid injury. Dr. Greenfield Davis analyzed how and when to apply specific rehabilitation tools; lasers, therapeutic ultrasound, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, pulsed electro-magnetic field technology, vibration plates, hyperbaric therapy, hydrotherapy, and regenerative medicine. The certification also emphasized the effects of a foal’s environment on its future athletic performance, issues that may arise when conditioning young, growing horses, and nutrition at different levels of training.
This CERPV adds to her current titles of Bachelors of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery (BVMS) from the University of Glasgow – a degree akin to US based universities’ Doctor of Veterinary Medicine – and her designation as a Member of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (MRCVS). Dr. Greenfield also earned her Certification in Veterinary Acupuncture (CVA) through the Chi Institute (presently Chi University) which she applies to her large and small animal patients. Acting as a mentor to aspiring Chinese and alternative medicine practitioners, Dr. Greenfield has advised students enrolled in acupuncture studies. She has provided insight to many veterinary students through Palm Beach Equine Clinic’s Externship Program as well.
Palm Beach Equine Clinic Founder Recognized for Outstanding Contributions to the Sport of Polo
The Museum of Polo and Hall of Fame will honor Dr. Paul Wollenman as a 2021 Inductee of the Philip Iglehart Award in recognition of his exceptional lifetime contributions to the sport of polo on a regional and national level.
Beginning his career as the youngest graduate of Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine at only 21-years-old, he has dedicated nearly five decades to the polo and veterinary industries. He has taken an integral role in the polo community by educating teams on proper care and supporting the world’s top equine athletes. Dr. Wollenman has worked in an advisory capacity for the Equine Welfare Committee of the United States Polo Association (USPA). He has mentored Team USPA participants and the National Youth Tournament Series teams by giving lectures, counseling members on proper horse care, and aiding with their veterinary issues. As an amateur 2-goal handicap player himself, Dr. Wollenman is fortunate to thoroughly enjoy the sport and career in which he is revered.
When asked his thoughts on the Iglehart Induction announcement, Dr. Wollenman said, “Over the years, I had occasionally heard my name mentioned when people besides famous high-goal players were inducted. When Chrys Beal called to tell me that I was voted unanimously into this year’s honorees, I felt somewhat embarrassed and undeserving. Still, the influx of congratulatory phone calls and messages I have received about my induction from owners, polo players, and grooms has made me even more happy and proud of my life and career choices.
“I’ve been blessed by many wonderful and colorful relationships with friends and clients in the polo community,” Dr. Wollenman continued. “Most of all, I am incredibly lucky and thankful for my wife, Renee, who understands the demands of veterinary medicine and polo. She played polo collegiately and throughout her adult life, raised two wonderful sons who have both become doctors, and has supported me throughout the long, arduous hours of veterinary medicine.
“I’ve been so fortunate to have great veterinary partners and smart, driven associates who have helped build Palm Beach Equine Clinic not only into a massively successful equine hospital, but also an enjoyable place to work and grow professionally. It is truly my second home and has allowed me to concentrate on polo medicine,” he concluded.
Photos by the United States Polo Association.
“During a career that spans 48 years, Dr. Wollenman’s expertise as a veterinarian caring for the horses of some of the nation’s finest polo teams has been a factor in helping the sport of polo. Noted for his sound and practical advice as well as ingenious solutions to complicated injuries, he has spent most of a lifetime striving to improve the care and welfare of the horses that make polo possible.”2021 Honorees Announcement by the Museum of Polo and Hall of Fame.
The Museum of Polo and Hall of Fame will recognize Dr. Wollenman and the 2021 Inductees this February through their media channels. A formal Induction Ceremony and Gala will be held in February of 2022 in lieu of the COVID-19 pandemic so that inductees’ families, friends and fans may be present. Dr. Wollenman was nominated by a committee of eminent and knowledgeable individuals across the sport of polo who voted to elect this year’s winners.
Read about the 2021 Polo Hall of Fame Inductees by going to the Museum’s Facebook page linked below.
2021 POLO HALL OF FAME INDUCTEES CHOSEN For the 32nd year of inductions into the Polo Hall of Fame, we have the honor…Posted by Museum of Polo & Hall of Fame on Tuesday, November 3, 2020
More News on Dr. Paul Wollenman
Palm Beach Equine Clinic veterinarian Dr. Marilyn Connor was recently featured in The Equestrian Podcast by My Equestrian Style where she explains her path to practicing equine medicine. Listen and learn about Dr. Connor by clicking on the recording below. For more on Dr. Connor, click here to read more about her and her interests in veterinary care.
Dr. McColough completed his undergraduate studies at Wake Forest University with a double major in Biology and Spanish. Upon graduation, Dr. McColough obtained a certification in Phlebotomy and worked as a Biomedical Research Technician for Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City. In this position, he performed hematology and oncology research assays, blood and bone marrow processing, separation, analysis, and cryopreservation, and analyzed cells for DNA extraction.
Dr. McColough volunteered for the Sea Research Foundation in his home state of Connecticut, where he led immunophenotyping for the Marine Mammal Immunological Diagnostics Program that was funded by the Office of Naval Research. His efforts in data analysis contributed to the programs ability to receive grant funding. Dr. McColough also volunteered for the Aquatic Animal Health Center of New York Aquarium as a veterinary assistant where he worked with diverse marine life, such as penguins, walruses, otters, seals, and various fish and amphibians.
Evolving from sea to land animals, Dr. McColough gained experience as a veterinary technician for a small animal hospital in New York City, and then decided to pursue a doctorate in veterinary medicine at the Royal Veterinary College of London in the United Kingdom. Throughout his studies, he completed several research projects, including the investigation of early loss of pregnancy in thoroughbred mares, and the culture, fluorescent microscopy, and flow cytometric analysis of primary equine trophoblast cells. Dr. McColough completed an externship at Palm Beach Equine Clinic during his final year of veterinary school and has been keen on pursuing a career in equine sports medicine.
Palm Beach Equine Clinic is proud to welcome new intern Charley McColough, BVetMed, MRCVS, to our team! Learn more about Dr. McColough:
What inspired you to become a veterinarian?
The dream started for me while I was a Research Intern at the Mystic Aquarium in Mystic, CT. I was performing immunology assays on beluga whale blood and working closely with the veterinary team. I was both profoundly impressed and mystified by the skill set and knowledge base that the veterinarians exhibited. Simply put, I wanted to know what they knew.
Why did you choose to pursue equine medicine?
I have wanted to work with large animals since I was a veterinary technician at a small animal practice in Greenwich Village of New York City. I was working with toy breed dogs – some of which never seemed to set foot on the ground – all the while dreaming about working outside with large animals. I was drawn to, and began my veterinary profession in, the equestrian industry because I have been keenly interested in the athleticism of the horse.
Are there any standout cases that you have especially enjoyed working on so far at PBEC?
There was a case that was referred to PBEC following a laceration and repair in the region of the lower jaw. The horse recovered from the laceration but saliva would spurt from the wound when the horse ate. It was amazing to watch the PBEC team catheterize the parotid salivary duct from the buccal surface of the mouth and use ultrasound to catheterize the same duct as it left the parotid gland caudal to the mandibular ramus. The surgeons were able to dissect down and locate both ends of the severed parotid duct and oppose them over a continuous catheter placed from the gland to the buccal surface. Essentially, they found two needles in a haystack and reconnected them to allow proper flow of saliva for the horse.
When not at PBEC, what do you enjoy doing and where can we find you?
In past years, you might have found me on a rock climbing wall or tossing a Frisbee in a wide open field. Nowadays, you’ll find me at home with my wife Ashley and our 9-month-old son Max, making tacos and burgers out of his Fisher-Price food truck.
Dr. Jordan Lewis is a graduate of the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine and has dedicated her professional career to serving her home state. Dr. Lewis grew up with horses and completed an internship in equine medicine and surgery at the Equine Medical Center in Ocala.
Get to know Dr. Lewis:
1. What is your background with horses?
I moved from New York City to Fort Lauderdale, FL, when I was eight years old. My dad grew up loving horses, and when I was two, he bought a horse. We would travel from our home in New York City to visit him in the Pocono Mountains every weekend to ride. My first experience on a horse was riding double with my dad through cornfields. When I was eight years old, we moved to Florida and I was lucky enough to get my own pony. I got totally hooked on horses and I competed on the Arabian circuit as a teenager.
2. What inspired you to pursue veterinary medicine?
As a child, I participated in local 4-H programs and had the experience of touring an equine surgical and rehabilitation facility. I realized early that this was exactly what I wanted to do as my career.
3. When did you join Palm Beach Equine Clinic and what is your specialty?
I joined the team at Palm Beach Equine Clinic in June of 2005. I love the fact that we have such a dynamic team of veterinarians to work with and consult on difficult cases. I wouldn’t say I have a main focus as I am able to do everything from sports medicine and lameness exams to reproduction work thanks to the clinic’s wide range of cases and capabilities.
4. What advice would you give someone who wants to become an equine vet?
I would tell them that a career in large animal veterinary care is not just a job, it is a lifestyle. If it is what you are meant to do, you will love every minute of this lifestyle. I get to be outside and around horses all day. For me, this is the greatest profession.
5. What is one of the most interesting cases you have worked on?
The most interesting case I have worked on was a pericardial effusion. The condition is caused by excess fluid between the heart and the sac surrounding the heart, known as the pericardium. To remove the fluid, I performed a pericardiocentesis, which involved placing a drain within the sac around the heart to drain the excess fluid and relieve pressure on the heart. That is not something you get to do every day!