Friday, February 18, 2011

Gear up for Spring

Time to Gear up for Spring
Here’s to Spring in February! What a winter – Jessie, Hayley, Gina and I were working in our shirtsleeves during Mother’ Nature’s generous gift of a warm early February and now winter is having her last go at us again. I hope you were able to take advantage of those beautiful days to get out with your horses. The ups and downs in temperature have been a bit hard on our equine friends this winter. I’ve been treating an unusual number of impaction colics, most of them mild and responding well to treatment.
They are a reminder of how important it is to keep after hydration during the winter months. On these warm days excercising horses and blanketed horses tend to sweat – loosing precious body water – then the temperature drops at night, water freezes, horses drink less and risk dehydration. Horses require 10-12 gallons of water daily. This amount increases substantially in the face of body fluid loss through sweat. Horses have been shown to decrease their voluntary water intake when the temperature drops below 45 degrees.
In addition, before the weather became warm, we had that nasty stretch of freezing snow that made it difficult for horses to move around comfortably. Lack of exercise also contributes to colic through decreased gut motility and processing of fiber through the intestinal tract.
Finally, while it is true that horses burn more calories during cold weather, erratic increases in grain can cause problems. Sudden change in carbohydrate load to the digestive system can cause gas accumulation, bowel distension, and subsequent abdominal pain. Put it all together and winter is a challenging time for good management. Keep these basics in mind:
1) Check your horse’s water source 2x daily – be sure it is clean and free of ice
2) Exercise your horse – even if it is just taking him out for a nice 20 minute hand walk – even in the worst weather!
3) Make feed changes gradually – good quality hay is always the safest thing to feed – be sure there is adequate fiber in your horse’s diet!
Here is the best news of all – Winter is Almost Over! Thanks for being part of the family – I look forward to seeing you on a clinic day in March. See clinic schedule below.

Chrysann Collatos VMD, PhD, DACVIM
High Desert Veterinary Service

                          Spring Vaccination Clinic Schedule.
 As always I’m there to answer your questions, and also offer routine health care services on clinic days. Routine spring health care includes vaccination against E&W Encephalitis, West Nile, Tetanus, Influenza and Rhinopneumonitis plus deworming, an oral exam and sheath cleaning for geldings.
Call the office to reserve an appointment.
Name, Phone #,  Date you request, Number of Animals, and the Services needed.
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  March 5
Rancho Haven/Sierra Ranchos2              Fri  Mar 11
Red Rock North/Silver Knolls 1                Sun Mar 6
Red Rock North/Silver Knolls 2                Fri Mar 11
SpanSprings/Palomino Valley 1              Mon Mar 7
SpanSprings/Palomino Valley 2              Sat Mar 12
Antelope Valley                                          Sun Mar 13
Golden/Lemmon Valley                            Sun Mar 13    
South & West Reno                                  Tues Mar 15
Golden/Lemon Val/South Reno               Fri Mar 4
For additional savings, you can schedule your own mini-clinic as long as you have at least 10 horses at a single location.  Call the office to make such arrangements.
Price List – Clinic day only
Farm Call/Fall Exam              $17.00              
West Nile (Prevenile)              $32.00
FluRhino                                   $26.00
Tetanus/ Encephalitis             $14.00
Intranasal Strangles                $32.00
Rattlesnake Vaccine*             $32.00*
Ivermectin Deworm                 $14.00
Coggins Test                           $22.00
Sheath Clean w/sedation       $35.00
* 2 boosters are required after this initial dose – call the office or e-mail us if you have questions.
Ask Dr. C what vaccines are best for your horse based on age, environment, and activity level.

Ask a Horse Vet Online

We have partnered with JustAnswer so that you can get an answer ASAP.