Horse Veterinarians Benton AR
Little Rock, AR
Monday 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Animal Boarding, Animal Daycare, Animal Flea Control, Animal Microchipping, Declawing, Holistic Veterinary Medicine, Small Animal Vet, Spaying/Neutering, Veterinarians, Veterinary Cropping, Veterinary Dentistry, Veterinary Euthanasia, Veterinary Medical Specialties, Veterinary Surgery, Veterinary Vaccinations
Little Rock, AR
Little Rock, AR
Little Rock, AR
"Hock Havoc" in our April 2007 print issue addressed the use of hock injections and other treatments for managing an equine athlete's lower hock-joint health, including osteoarthritic conditions. In addition to shoeing, turnout and training-routine changes, surgical fusion and supplementation can be factors in maintaining hock health and minimizing potential performance problems, as can injections of hyaluronic acid and polysulfated glycosaminoglycans.
Teresa Garofalo, VMD, a rider and horse breeder in West Chester, Pennsylvania, and fellow University of Pennsylvania graduate Jose Garcia-Lopez, VMD, offered their expert advice in the print feature. Here, Garofalo describes the hock-injection procedure.
When your horse is scheduled for hock injections, have a clean, dry area with ample space for the veterinarian to work safely. A sterile environment lessens your horse's risk for infection during and after the procedure, Garofalo advises. Have a skilled horse handler hold your horse to prevent unnecessary moves while the veterinarian works.
Garofalo explains the steps your veterinarian will take during joint injections. "The veterinarian ties up the horse's tail, sedates the horse and scrubs two areas on each hock, one on the inside and one on the outside, where the injections will be made. Scrub chlorhexidine or povidone-iodine is applied for about seven minutes, followed by alcohol to remove the soap residue.
"Once the injection sites are sterilely prepped, the doctor dons sterile gloves and prepares the medications and needles in a sterile manner," she continues. "A twitch is usually applied right before the injections to keep the horse safe, so that he doesn't move when the needle goes into the joint, and also to keep the veterinarian safe should the horse become agitated.
"Usually the process of injecting the hocks goes quite quickly compared to the prep time," Garofalo comments. "The veterinarian feels for anatomical landmarks wi...
Save Your Horse a Stomachache: 4 Easy Ways to Prevent Ulcers
Written by Melissa Cassutt
Photo Courtesy of Ross Hecox
This online article is a supplement to “The Secret Inside Alfalfa,” a health column that appeared in the July 2009 issue of Western Horseman.
Veterinarian John Marcotte used to think ulcers were primarily a problem with racehorses. But after performing hundreds of endoscopies in the past several years, Marcotte has come to realize that ulcers are “kind of a problem across the board with youngsters in training.”
Often the challenge with diagnosing ulcers, or Equine Gastric Ulcer Syndrome, is spotting the symptoms, which are non-specific to the condition. For example, many of the symptoms, which include a substantial decrease in performance, sour attitude, poor hair coat, mild colic, going off feed, losing weight, and grinding teeth, can also be signs of another problem. Adding to the challenge is the fact that not all horses with ulcers show symptoms.
It's generally assumed that any horses in high stress situations are at risk. So how do you protect your horse?
Allow continual grazing.
“The proper design of a herbivore is they have a large stomach because they need to eat a large volume of food to maintain their body weight,” Marcotte says. “For a herbivore, horses have a very small stomach, so their stomach contents turn over pretty rapidly to maintain their energy intake.” Continual access to roughage allows the horse to keep something in his stomach at all times, which helps balance the pH.
Add more alfalfa.
“Alfalfa is better than grass hay because it has a higher calcium concentration,” Marcotte says. Recent studies have shown that calcium helps buffer the stomach, causing an effect similar to Tums or Maalox.
Veterinarians and researchers haven’t yet pinpointed exactly how stress and ulcers correlate, but stress is generally considered a factor when it comes to ulcers. Which is why the treatment for ulcers often includes several weeks or months of turnout to help reduce stress (and allow continual grazing). Giving your horse adequate time with his pasture buddies every day can help combat the stress he may face in training.
Consider medicinal precautions.
After treating a client’s horse for Grade 3 ulcers, Marcotte advised owner Katie Hartness to start administering UlcerGard several days before an event and continue until a few days after to give her gelding extra protection. UlcerGard contains the active ingredient omeprazole, which is a proton pump inhibitor. PPIs block the enzyme in the stomach that produces acid, which helps maintain a balanced pH.
However, owners who suspect their horses have ulcers should contact their veterinarians before making any changes. Severe ulcers must be treated before management practices are effective, Marcotte says. The best way to diagnose an ulcer is with an endoscopy, a procedure that places a camera down the horse’s nose and into the stomach, allowing a veterinarian to view and eval...
Treating the Young Horse's Injuries
Snow's clientele include top open and non-pro competitors in the industry. The horses they ride compete in high-dollar futurities; therefore, the riders have a finite time period to prepare their mounts. Throughout training, Snow encourages wellness exams to keep on top of any injuries that might develop during the intense workouts.
"In a wellness exam, I flex and release each leg, and watch the horse trot in a small circle (to look for lameness), palpate ligaments and tendons, and generally look for anything out of the ordinary," Snow explains. "The horse is examined each quarter, and the results are recorded so I have something to compare to during consecutive exams.
"A horse might seem fine this quarter, but in the next exam start to show some issues â" the horse might not be lame, but he's different than the last exam," he continues. "I can address that problem before it's a major concern. We can discuss options to handle the problem before the horse seriously injures himself."
Identifying the problem also allows Snow, the horse's owner and the rider to closely monitor the affected area to prevent a recurring injury.
If an injury is detected, whether through a wellness exam or because the rider notices a change, Snow follows a well-defined diagnostic process that specifically isolates the injury to assure suitable treatment from the beginning.
"The most important thing is to define the structure that's injured," Snow says. "I might have an impression that it's a suspensory issue, for example, but it might go deeper than that. Most often, ...
AR Equine Law
Under Arkansas law, an equine activity sponsor is not liable for an injury to, or the death of, a participant in equine activities resulting from the inherent risk of equine activities. (Sign posting required.)