Saturday, February 22, 2020

Spring 2020 News & Notes


                  High Desert Veterinary Service

            Chrysann Collatos VMD, PhD, DACVIM LA 

775-969-3495 (Office)           742-2823 (Cell)
HighDesertEquine.com
Building Healthy Partners

Spring 2020 News & Notes
Ø Clinic Schedule
Ø Understanding Influenza
Spring is around the corner and it is time to gear up!  Call today to schedule your clinic appointment and take advantage of this opportunity to discuss your plans and goals for this year with your horse.  I will help you get there in any way that I can!
Looking forward to seeing you in March,

Dr. Chrysann
Building Healthy Partners
Spring Clinic Schedule
Routine Spring exams include  EWT, West Nile, and flu/rhino vaccination plus deworming or fecal examination, dentistry consult and sheath cleaning.  To reserve an appointment, call 775 969 3495 with:
  • Your Name, Phone # and Clinic Date
  • Number of Animals, and Services requested.
We will return your call three days before your clinic with an estimated time of arrival at your address.  Please be sure horses are caught and haltered 30 minutes beforehand!
Location                                                    Date
Rancho Haven/Sierra Ranchos1          Sat Feb 29 
Rancho Haven/Sierra Ranchos2          Fri Mar 13
Red Rock North/Silver Knolls 1            Sun Mar 1
Red Rock North/Silver Knolls 2            Fri Mar 13
Span Springs/Palomino Valley 1          Fri Mar 6
Span Springs/Palomino Valley 2          Sat Mar 14
Antelope/Golden/Lemmon Valley 1   Sun Mar 15
Antelope/Golden/Lemmon Valley 2   Fri Mar 27   
South & West Reno                                 Sat Mar 7 
South & West Reno                                Fri Mar 27
Discounted prices ONLY AVAILABLE Clinic Day
Farm Call (per location)              $12.00
Wellness Exam (mandatory)     $18.00
West Nile                                        $33.00
FluRhino                                          $30.00
Rabies                                              $23.00
Tetanus/ Encephalitis                 $19.00
Ivermectin Deworm                    $16.00
Coggins Test                                 $32.00
Sheath Clean w/sedation           $45.00
Fecal parasite exam                    $18.00
Pre-registered microchip             $39.00

Understanding Influenza & Immunity

Equine influenza shares many similarities with the human flu virus that has been particularly brutal this year.  The equine virus exists worldwide, except in New Zealand and Iceland.  Clinical signs include fever, depression, poor appetite, cough and nasal discharge.  The virus only lives a short time in the environment and is susceptible to common disinfectants.  In most cases the virus is spread from horse to horse in aerosolized particles generated when an infected horse coughs.  Unfortunately, virus replicates in the horse’s upper respiratory tract and is shed into the environment for a few days BEFORE any clinical signs become apparent, making control of disease outbreaks challenging, especially in larger groups of horses.
The virus has many serotypes, and these strains change frequently.  The horse must have antibodies specific to each serotype to prevent disease.  I imagine the flu virus as a secret agent – every time he appears he is wearing a different hat and coat so I don’t recognize him until it is too late and I have already walked up to say hello and shake his hand…..and a few days later I am coughing and sneezing, or watching my horse cough and hang his head.  Both we and our horses manufacture antibodies that are shaped to fit the “hat and coat” of each flu strain that infects us – when exposed to a virus strain wearing a new “hat and coat” the old antibodies may not accurately recognize and attack the new virus and so we get sick all over again.  Don’t get confused here – while equine influenza virus and human influenza viruses share the same infection tactics, and do have antigenic similarities, so far horse to human transmission is not a clinical problem.  Equine Influenza has however caused serious influenza outbreaks in our canine companions.
Pharmaceutical companies making vaccines against Equine Influenza know that in order for their vaccine to be effective, it must contain the most up to date viral strains in a given location.  They weigh this against the cost of introducing new strains into their current vaccine.  The World Organisation for Animal Health global Equine Influenza Surveillance Program was initiated in 1995, and makes regular recommendations for the most current Equine Influenza strains to be included in vaccines.  The Merck influenza vaccine used in our practice (Prestige 2) contains Equine influenza virus type H3N8 strains EIV A/eq/Florida/RW/13, EIV A/Equine 2/Kentucky/02 American, EIV A/eq/Richmond/1/07 strains. Merck and UC Davis co-sponsor the ongoing Equine Respiratory Biosurveillance Study.  The Influenza strains included in Prestige 2 are based on this study, and include the Florida ’13 Clade 1 highly pathogenic isolate identified in the Ocala 2013 outbreak.
There may be some of you reading this thinking, “well I got my flu shot and still came down with the virus, why should I vaccinate my horse?” My answer is this: vaccination against Equine Influenza does not guarantee protection from disease, but it can dramatically reduce the incidence and severity of illness.
      Consider any population of horses with stressors such as competition, travel, breeding, changing populations. If ALL of the horses in such a group are vaccinated against influenza the consequences of infection with flu virus are greatly reduced.  Although equine influenza vaccines may not be absolutely protective, they do reduce the virus’ ability to replicate in each horse, and therefore reduce the number of virus particles released into the environment and passed from horse to horse.  If EVERY horse in your barn is vaccinated, when Equine Influenza enters the population the viral load in the vicinity is kept low, fewer horses actually contract disease, and the outbreak event is over much sooner, with fewer sick horses.  
 On the other hand, if all the horses is a population are not vaccinated at the same time and on a regular schedule, the vaccinated individuals may have sufficient immunity to protect them from showing signs of disease but may still contract a mild flu infection and shed low numers of virus particles.  The unvaccinated, or poorly vaccinated horses in the population, especially the young and old, then serve as living incubators for the virus shed by vaccinated horses.  The result is often a more severe and prolonged disease outbreak moving slowly through the barn. Horses, especially younger ones, living in groups without diligent vaccination, rapidly spread virus from one to another making it very difficult for humans in charge to stay ahead of disease spread.  In larger barns, the outcome is usually quarantine of the entire facility for 21 days or longer, or until 7 days after the last horse has any clinical signs or fever.   As you can imagine, such an outbreak has serious impacts, both on horses’ health and humans’ pocketbooks. The risk of pneumonia and other serious complications increases dramatically in such settings.
So, the bottom line regarding influenza vaccines in horses is this: all horses in boarding facilities, and/or horses that travel to competitions, should receive an influenza (typically as a combined “flu/rhino” vaccine) every 6 months.  The United States Equestrian Federation requires proof of flu/rhino vaccination within 6 months at all registered equestrian events.

Call us today to schedule your
Spring Clinic Appointment.

Monday, September 2, 2019

High Desert Veterinary Service Fall 2019 News and Notes




High Desert Veterinary Service 

Chrysann Collatos VMD, PhD, DACVIM LA
775-969-3495 (Office)           742-2823 (Cell)
hidvet@gmail.com      HighDesertEquine.com
Building Healthy Partners
Fall 2019 News & Notes:
Ø Clinic Schedule
Ø Frustrating Summer Sores
Ø Beware of Harmful Dentistry

Late summer greetings to you,
     Once it got here, we enjoyed a gorgeous  summer with our horses this year.  Cold weather is ahead, and there are IMPORTANT steps to take in preparation for your horse’s transition to winter. Your Fall Clinic appointment is the perfect opportunity to ensure you are up to date with your horses’s preventive health care.  See you in September!
Dr. Chrysann




Fall Clinic Schedule
Routine Fall exam includes flu/rhino vaccination, deworming or fecal examination, annual dentistry consult, and sheath cleaning.  Also consider Microchipping!
To reserve an appointment, call 775 969 3495 with:
  • Your Name, Phone # and Clinic Date
  • Number of Animals, and Services wanted
Your call won’t be returned until three days before your clinic when we will give an estimated time of arrival at your address.  Please be sure horses are caught and haltered 30 minutes beforehand!
Location                                                    Date
Rancho Haven/Sierra Ranchos1       Fri Sept 6
Rancho Haven/Sierra Ranchos2       Sat Sept 14
Red Rock North/Silver Knolls 1         Fri Sept 6
Red Rock North/Silver Knolls 2         Sat Sept 14
Span Springs/Palomino Valley 1        Fri Sept 13
Span Springs/Palomino Valley 2        Sat Sept 21
Antelope/Golden/Lemmon Valley 1   Sat Sept 7
Antelope/Golden/Lemmon Valley 2   Fri Sept 20  
South & West Reno 1                        Fri Sept 20
South & West Reno                            Sat Sept 7
Discounted prices ONLY AVAILABLE Clinic Day
Farm Call (per location)              $14.00
Wellness Exam (mandatory)     $17.00
West Nile                                        $33.00
FluRhino                                          $30.00
Strangles Intranasal                     $34.00
Rabies                                              $23.00
Tetanus/ Encephalitis                 $19.00
Ivermectin Deworm                    $16.00
Coggins Test                                 $32.00
Sheath Clean w/sedation           $45.00
Fecal parasite exam                    $19.00
Pre-registered microchip            $39.00

Summer Sores

What are they?

Your horse’s eyes are red, swollen and itchy, or there is an odd sore at the corner of her mouth, or a wound on her pastern that is getting larger and lumpier….all common presentations of Habronemiasis, or Summer Sore. If left untreated, this common problem can become an extremely challenging condition to resolve.

Summer sores are caused by stomach worm larvae deposited in wounds by stable or house flies.  Larvae licked up and swallowed by horses complete their life cycle in the intestinal tract (where they do little harm), but when stranded in broken skin they cannot mature and cause severe, chronic inflammation.  The result is a non-healing, expanding wound.

Treatment involves immune-suppressive medication (steroids), destruction of larvae (dewormer) and surgical removal of the larvae, proud flesh and granular inflammatory deposits from the lesion.  I surgically excised the summer sore from this horse’s lip, sutured the wound closed, and applied Alu-shield spray to the wound and SWAT around the area.  The horse also received a carefully calculated dose of steroid, short-term antibiotics, and Ivermectin deworming.

Unfortunately, summer sores often are not recognized as something other than an uncomplicated wound until the disease process is quite advanced.  At this point successful treatment can take weeks, incur high veterinary costs, and require intensive wound management.

Habronemiasis has become a common problem in our area, and is often seasonally recurrent.  Preventive measures include frequent deworming, fly masks, and aggressive fly control.
             
Beware of Harmful Dentistry
I took this picture several weeks after this horse underwent aggressive motorized dentistry. This is NOT how your horse’s teeth should look after dentistry. Notice how the edges of the teeth are curved, the biting surface is smooth, and the front of the first premolar has been removed. In the short term, this procedure causes thermal damage and impairs the teeth’s ability to break down fiber, reducing the intestinal digestive enzymes nutrient processing.  And long term, it removes surface enamel from the tooth that CAN NEVER BE RESTORED.  Year after year of this procedure will reduce the life of your horses’ teeth, but the damage may not be show until it is too late to change the outcome.
            This is what your horse’s teeth should look like after correct dentistry, whether performed with hand tools or motorized tools.  Our understanding of equine oral health has come so far in the past decade, there is NO EXCUSE for “over-floating”.
       Annual dentistry is a vital part of LONG TERM health care. Don’t let your horse’s condition in later years be compromised by poor management today.  Foot care, nutrition, deworming, and DENTISTRY are the 4 corners of your horse’s longevity.  Ask me any questions at your fall clinic appointment.  An important part of my role in your horse’s life is to answer your questions and keep you informed.
Call today to schedule your  
Fall Clinic appointment!
HighDesertEquine.com

Building Healthy Partners

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Dr. Chrysann's Spring Clinics 2019 - Call Today to Schedule!


High Desert Veterinary Service

Chrysann Collatos VMD,PhD,DipACVIMLA
                                                                                775-969-3495 (Office)       742-2823 (Cell)
HighDesertEquine.com
Building Healthy Partners

Spring 2018 News & Notes:
Ø Clinic Schedule – Sign up!
Ø Impaction Colic:Winter Hazard
Ø Client Communication:My Role
Hello All –
Are you loving February this year? The weather has been a real challenge for horses and owners.  From freezing cold to weird warm storms, heavy snow, windy rain, ice to floods all increase risks of colic, foot abscesses, traumatic injuries, and loss of condition. 
              Your Spring Clinic appointment is a great opportunity to bring your concerns to my attention and have an important end-of-winter exam performed on your horses.  Schedule today!  
Cheers,
Dr. Chrysann
Spring Clinic Schedule
Routine Spring exams include vaccination,  deworming or fecal examination, dentistry consult, and sheath cleaning. 
To schedule, call 775 969 3495 with:
  • Your Name, Phone # and Clinic Date
  • Number of Animals, and Services
We will return your call three days before your clinic with an estimated time of arrival.
 Have horses caught 30 minutes beforehand!
Location                                                    Date
Rancho Haven/Sierra Ranchos1          Sat Mar 2 
Rancho Haven/Sierra Ranchos2          Fri Mar 23
Red Rock North/Silver Knolls 1            Sun Mar 3
Red Rock North/Silver Knolls 2            Fri Mar 22
Span Springs/Palomino Valley 1          Sat Mar 9
Span Springs/Palomino Valley 2          Fri Mar 15
Antelope/Golden/Lemmon Valley 1   Fri Mar8
Antelope/Golden/Lemmon Valley 2   Sun Mar 17   
South and West Reno                             Fri Mar 1 
South & West Reno                                Sat Mar 16
Discounted prices ONLY AVAILABLE Clinic Day
Farm Call (per location)             $10.00
Wellness Exam (mandatory)     $16.00
West Nile                                        $33.00
FluRhino                                          $30.00
Strangles Intranasal                     $34.00
Rabies                                              $23.00
Tetanus/ Encephalitis                 $19.00
Ivermectin Deworm                    $16.00
Coggins Test                                 $29.00
Sheath Clean w/sedation           $45.00
Fecal parasite exam                    $19.00
Pre-registered microchip            $39.00

Client Communication: My Role
We all have strong emotional ties to our horses.  At the same time, we know that the cost of veterinary care can be a limiting factor in our decisions for our equine partners.  When our horses are sick or injured their welfare is our priority but worry about associated costs also is a painful reality.

My job as your veterinarian is to communicate with you using compassionate yet straightforward language.  By clearly explaining your horse’s problem, the treatment options and their costs, and the prognosis for recovery, I should help you balance your emotional response, and equip you to make informed decisions that are in your horse's best interest while also financially responsible.  

Let’s consider Flash and Mary. Flash lives in a show barn. Mary is a very involved, experienced owner who juggles a heavy schedule, and often is unavailable for my visits with Flash.  She values a complete and prompt report from me to keep her on top of developments and allow her to make appropriate decisions for Flash’s welfare.  I appreciate these qualities because they reflect her concern for her horse and allow us to have an open, productive relationship.

Fulfilling Mary’s expectations was simple after suturing a facial laceration Flash sustained last year.  I left clear, written instructions with Flash’s trainer followed by a phone call to Mary as I departed the barn, assuring her that Flash should recover uneventfully. More recently, Flash developed a lameness that is proving difficult to diagnose.  Now client communication is a critical part of my obligation to Mary. 

After my initial exam I explained the possible causes of Flash's lameness to Mary without overwhelming or confusing her, and then focused on laying out a specific, structured plan explaining how I would use diagnostic nerve blocks and imaging to narrow down these possibilities.  This included a time line, and it addressed Flash's care during that time.  I told Mary that should the diagnosis not become clear once this plan was completed, then we should consider a referral setting where more advanced diagnostics such as MRI, and a board-certified lameness expert, would take the evaluation to the next level.  We reviewed the cost of my work-up, and the costs associated with referral and advanced diagnostics, and discussed the risk-benefit of early referral vs following an initial diagnostic plan at home.

At this point, I asked Mary if she had any questions, and how she wanted to proceed. Mary expressed her confidence that her horse was safe and that with our well-defined time line she was comfortable moving forward with the diagnostic plan at home.  Currently we still have no specific diagnosis for Flash.  I am consulting with a colleague who is an American College of Veterinary Surgery diplomate while Mary continues to balance the value of more advanced diagnostics against the cost, and Flash patiently waits as Mary and I navigate the course of his care together.


Impaction Colic: Winter Hazard
Spring may be around the corner, but right now late winter is slamming us hard, and impaction colic is a real concern.  Impactions are abnormal buildups of food that block transit through the intestinal tract.  The most common location is the large colon, which is 12-15 feet in length and holds 12-16 gallons. The colon varies in size and folds on itself several times.  The pelvic flexure is a sharp turn where the left ventral colon diameter shrinks from 8” to 3”, making it a common site of impaction.

The colon is a large fermentation vat where food material is processed by bacteria and protozoa.  It has a complex electrical system that operates its mixing and moving functions, and state-of-the-art plumbing. The intricacy of the horse’s healthy colon function is amazing, but its complexity also makes it one of the horse’s weakest links.

What can we do to promote a healthy colon? The balance of water and fiber in the colon are the primary determinants of colonic health.
First and foremost, feed a diet consisting of at least 75% high quality hay.  An average #1000-pound horse should eat 15-20 pounds of hay daily. High fiber diets increase colonic water by 30% over high grain diets.  However, the colon has two independently managed phases: solid and liquid.  Over mature, poor quality hay can create a sluggish solid phase which can form an impaction while the mobile liquid phase passes on through.  
Second, provide CLEAN fresh water.  There is evidence that horses prefer lukewarm water.  Researchers have shown that ponies drank 38-41% less water when it was near frozen compared to when it was 66°F.
Third, promote exercise during cold winter months. Exercise provides multiple benefits by increasing metabolism and improving intestinal motility.  Fiber digestibility increases by up to 20% in exercised horses, promoting greater retention of the fluid part of the diet and shortened retention of the more formed, particulate part of the feed.

Wind, cold, rain, snow, ice…huge temperature surges. Don’t act like Mother Nature in your horse management.  Be consistent and sensible. And remember: Educated choices are economical choices.

CALL TODAY TO SCHEDULE YOUR CLINIC.
I am here with gratitude, for you and your horses,
Dr. Chrysann

Monday, September 3, 2018

Fall 2018 News and Notes


High Desert Veterinary Service

Chrysann Collatos VMD,PhD,DipACVIMLA

775-969-3495 (Office)           742-2823 (Cell)
hidvet@gmail.com      HighDesertEquine.com
Building Healthy Partners

Summer’s end greetings to everyone,
     Our animals step up for us every day, sometimes in little ways, sometimes as champions.  They never expect anything in return. Our responsibility is to give back what they offer, to keep them safe and healthy.
Your Fall Clinic appointment is an important part of your horses’s preventive health care program.  See you soon!
Dr. Chrysann
Fall Clinic Schedule

Routine Fall exam includes flu/rhino vaccination, deworming or fecal examination, annual dentistry consult, and sheath cleaning.  Also consider Microchipping!
To reserve an appointment, call 775 969 3495 with:
  • Your Name, Phone # and Clinic Date
  • Number of Animals, and Services wanted
Your call won’t be returned until three days before your clinic when we will give an estimated time of arrival at your address.  Please be sure horses are caught and haltered 30 minutes beforehand!
Location                                                    Date
Rancho Haven/Sierra Ranchos1       Fri Sept 7 Rancho Haven/Sierra Ranchos2                    Sat Sept 15
Red Rock North/Silver Knolls 1         Fri Sept 7
Red Rock North/Silver Knolls 2         Sat Sept 15
Span Springs/Palomino Valley 1        Fri Sept 14
Span Springs/Palomino Valley 2        Sat Sept 22
Antelope/Golden/Lemmon Valley 1   Sat Sept 8
Antelope/Golden/Lemmon Valley 2   Fri Sept 21  
South & West Reno 1                        Fri Sept 21
South & West Reno                            Sat Sept 29
Discounted prices ONLY AVAILABLE Clinic Day
Farm Call (per location)              $11.00
Wellness Exam (mandatory)     $15.00
West Nile                                        $33.00
FluRhino                                          $30.00
Strangles Intranasal                     $34.00
Rabies                                              $23.00
Tetanus/ Encephalitis                 $19.00
Ivermectin Deworm                    $16.00
Coggins Test                                 $29.00
Sheath Clean w/sedation           $45.00
Fecal parasite exam                    $19.00
Pre-registered microchip            $39.00

COLIC –
What YOU Can Do
We all dread seeing a horse with colic. Despite my 30 years of veterinary experience, I can’t guarantee that your horse will recover uneventfully. But YOU can make a difference.
I looked back at the first 25 horses I treated for colic last year. Of the 25, 6 (24%) experienced complications that required repeated visits or hospitalization and 4 (16%) did not survive. The average cost for a single visit with uncomplicated recovery was $300.
Early, specific veterinary intervention is the key to successful treatment of colic.  Your ability to get temperature, pulse, respiration, and evaluate gut sounds and gum color at the onset of a colic episode can provide information critical
to your veterinarian’s treatment decision process. All you need is an inexpensive stethoscope and a thermometer. Here is a link to a good article in TheHorse.com https://thehorse.com/14385/the-basic-physical-examination/.  Ask me to review your physical exam skills at your fall clinic appointment. I am happy to help!
Signs of colic (in order of severity):
Ø  Poor appetite
Ø  Reduced manure production
Ø  Lying down more than normal
Ø  Stretching out as if trying to urinate
Ø  Pawing, looking at flank
Ø  Getting up and down, rolling
Understanding Equine Metabolic Syndrome & Laminitis

Equine Metabolic Syndrome (EMS) has become a household word for many horse owners.  As we discuss this complicated syndrome, keep this KEY POINT in  mind:  horses with EMS do not handle sugar and carbohydrate normally.  Therefore, strict dietary management is essential for successful treatment. 

Horses with EMS tend to be overweight, with an abnormal distribution of body fat.  A cresty neck, soft fatty lumps at the tail base, and an enlarged sheath or mammary gland are hallmark signs.  All horses with EMS are at high risk of laminitis, and often are first presented to a veterinarian with the complaint of sore feet.

Our bodies use sugar (glucose), carbohydrate, and fat as fuel. The hormone insulin directs the flow of these various fuels depending on the body's demands and the composition of the diet.  Carbohydrates are long chains of sugar molecules, present both in hay and grain.  When your horse eats, his blood sugar rises, triggering the production of insulin.  Insulin drives glucose from the blood into the tissues where it provides energy to meet metabolic demands.

Horses with EMS are insulin resistant.  The receptors on cells which normally are activated by insulin to take up glucose do not respond. Horses with EMS keep making insulin until they have enough to overcome the low sensitivity of cell receptors.  The result is a horse with normal blood sugar, but high insulin

So why is high blood insulin a problem?  Because insulin does a lot more than just control blood sugar.  Insulin  also plays important roles in regulating blood vessel constriction and cellular inflammation.  When EMS horses eat carbohydrate rich foods, they experience surges in insulin which can cause severe inflammatory responses in other tissues in the body.  Specifically, high insulin can cause devestating changes in blood flow and cellular activity within the hoof.  Laminitis is a painful condition that can result in permanent damage to the mechanical structure of the hoof.  In severe laminitis cases, unmanageable pain and mechanical tissue destruction can be fatal.

Let’s try to understand the connection between EMS and  laminitis more completely. Laminitis, commonly called founder, is an inflammatory condition. The horse’s outer hoof wall is connected to the deeper, sensitive tissues of the foot like a tongue and groove floor, where each layer interlocks in a repeating pattern. However, unlike a floor, the horse's foot is alive and in motion.  The hoof utilizes glucose at an exceptionally fast rate compared to other tissues in the horse’s body, constantly remodelling in response to the tremendous dynamic forces of the horse’s weight, and the effects of the environment .

For the foot to remain healthy, glucose must be able to reach the tissues bonding the hoof layers together. But remember, the EMS horse is insulin resistant. This creates a double-whammy for the hoof:
First, glucose transport is compromised by a poor response to insulin, impairing the energy supply to the living tissues of the hoof, and
Second, insulin, which constricts blood vessels and triggers inflammation, becomes abnormally high in an effort to improve energy supply, triggering damaging mechanical effects within the tissues of the hoof which already are starved for critical energy.

Careful dietary management is the key to successful treatment of horses with EMS. Our goal is to feed a diet composed of high quality energy sources with low glycemic index, reducing insulin surges while meeting metabolic demands.

Call today to schedule your  
Fall Clinic appointment!
HighDesertEquine.com
Building Healthy Partners.




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