Thursday, February 20, 2014

Spring News & Notes

High Desert Veterinary Service

Building Healthy Partnerships

Chrysann Collatos VMD,PhD,DipACVIM
775-969-3495 (Office)          742-2823 (Cell)

Spring 2014 News & Notes:

Ø Vaccination Clinic Schedule

Ø Acupuncture & Physical Therapy

Ø Your Mare and Spring Transition

It is time for our seasonal reunion during your horse’s spring wellness exam.  My technician Amanda and I have lots to share as we head into 2014 revitalized by continuing education and new diagnostic equipment.  All to better serve every aspect of your horse’s health care.

For the welfare of the horse,


Spring Vaccination Clinic Schedule

Spring exams include tetanus/encephalitis, flu/rhino and West Nile vaccinations plus deworming or fecal examination, an oral exam, and sheath cleaning.
To reserve an appointment, call the office and leave:
  • Name, Phone #, 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 Mar 8
Rancho Haven/Sierra Ranchos2         Fri Mar 14
Red Rock North/Silver Knolls 1          Sun Mar 9
Red Rock North/Silver Knolls 2          Fri Mar 27
Span Springs/Palomino Valley 1        Fri Mar 7
Span Springs/Palomino Valley 2        Sat Mar 22
Antelope/Golden/Lemmon Valley 1   Sun Mar 16
Antelope/Golden/Lemmon Valley 2   Fri Mar 28  
South & West Reno 1                   Sat Mar 29
Discounted Price List – Clinic days only

Farm Call/Fall Exam                 $18.00
West Nile                                   $32.00
FluRhino                                     $27.00
Rabies                                        $21.00
Tetanus/ Encephalitis                $18.00
Intranasal Strangles                   $32.00
Ivermectin Deworm                   $14.00
Coggins Test                                $27.00
Sheath Clean w/sedation            $45.00
Fecal parasite exam                   $18.00
Oral Exam (w/o sedation)         No charge!

Acupuncture & Physical Therapy

As our understanding of medicine evolves, many practioners and patients alike are coming to a deeper appreciation of alternative medical interventions. Modalities such as acupuncture can play a vital role in healing, and can complement traditional western medicine treatments. 

I am excited to announce my enrollment at the Chi Instititute, located in Ocala, Florida.  Over the next 6 months I will be studying the art of Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine, with particular emphasis on equine acupuncture.  The first segment of this intensive training program happens on line, and as I watch the initial lecture series, my hard-wired analytical intellect is doing  some serious adjusting as I listen to discussions of Chi and Bian Zheng and Yin Yang theory and wonder if my young anglo-arab has a fire, wood, water, earth, or metal constitution!

My course lecturers are veterinarians with advanced degrees, one is Associate Professor of Neurology & Neurosurgery at the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine, another a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine board certified in Neurology.  These veterinarians have taken their advanced western training and embraced Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine because they have discovered, through years of practice, that acupuncture can provide healing opportunities that cannot be achieved with the current tools of Western Veterinary medicine.

In addition to acupuncture, another important aspect of our integrative approach to whole horse health is equine physical therapy.  Denise Montagne PT, an equine physical therapist registered with the Nevada State Veterinary Board, has been assisting me in treating horses with complex musculoskeletal conditions.  Denise’s knowledge of anatomy combined with her empathic nature and years of manual therapy skills make her a smokin’ addition to our horse healing practice.

Denise and I are excited about combining acupuncture, western medicine and manual therapy to ensure long, comfortable athletic careers for our equine partners.  Is your horse girthy?  Unwilling to engage or move forward? Unbalanced in one direction? Stiff turning one way? Call me to discuss your concerns. Let’s work together to make your horse the best he/she can be.


The Mare's Transitional Period

In the past week I've had conversations with clients concerned about performance mares exhibiting unusual behavior or brood mares showing irregular heat cycles.  Both of these problems are related to the seasonal nature of the mare's reproductive cycle, and specifically the transitional period that affects many mares between January and April.

Seasonal variation in the duration of daylight has a profound influence on equine reproductive performance.  The horse is a seasonal breeder - increasing daylight improves the mare's reproductive efficiency while short days result in poor reproductive regulation.  Daylight is believed to act by stimulating the production of melatonin by the brain’s pineal gland.  This melatonin in turn causes the hypothalamus to release reproductive hormones which influence the ovaries to develop and release follicles. 

The transition from the short days of winter when most mares stop cycling all together, to the long days of June, when fertility is at its highest, is a gradual process.  During the spring and fall, mares enter a period of anovulatory receptivity, or the transitional period.  At this time, they often exhibit erratic estrus behavior, and while they appear to be in standing heat and accept a stallion, there often is not an associated ovulation of a mature follicle.  Even if a transitional mare does ovulate appropriately, the hormonal sequence necessary to maintain pregnancy may not be in place and the conceptus is lost.  Particularly in the spring, this transitional period is characterized by long, erratic heat cycles without ovulation. 

During the transition period performance horses often exhibit irritable behavior and are difficult to train.  There are many oral supplements available over the counter which claim to improve the demeanor of irritable mares. The effectiveness of these supplements is variable.  For years people have used cattle subcutaneous hormonal implants to control mare's heat cycles, but multiple research trials have been performed using these implants and no one has ever been able to show that they have any real effect on the mare's hormonal regulation. In the past the only truly reliable means of preventing cycling was the daily administration of  oral Regumate liquid (altrenogest, a synthetic progesterone). Now we also have a time released injectable altrenogest manufactured by BET Pharm, which provides 30 days of active estrus suppression.

Once the transitional period is over and mares are cycling regularly, reproductive efficiency rapidly improves.  The "normal" mare has a 21 day heat cycle.  She is not receptive for 14-15 days (diestrus), then comes into heat for 4-7 days (estrus), ovulating 12-24 hours before behavioral signs of estrus disappear. Regarding performance horses, some mares continue to be difficult during the days close to ovulation, but in general the number of days when undesirable behavior is exhibited are markedly reduced.

So, when your mare is acting like a maniac in February and March, remember that part of her behavior may be attributed to temporary hormonal imbalance  Mares, just like people, are very individual in their reaction to their internal chemistryIf you own a mare you are trying to breed in the early spring, or a performance horse with seasonal behavior problems, ask me about management practices that may improve your breeding success or help your mare's disposition. 

Don’t forget to “Like” us on Facebook at, and call today to schedule your clinic appointment!


I believe that education is the key to evolution. I believe that animals are the key to compassion. I believe the learning never stops.


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