Thursday, February 26, 2015

spring 2015 News & Notes

High Desert Veterinary Service

Chrysann Collatos VMD,PhD,DipACVIMLA
775-969-3495 (Office)          742-2823 (Cell)
Building Healthy Partners
Spring 2015 News & Notes:
Ø Vaccination Clinic Schedule
Ø Veterinary Networking and Referral
Ø Adverse Vaccination Reactions
Here we are again, moving into a new year.  I hope everyone is healthy and ready to ride!
After this VERY warm, VERY dry winter, both plants and animals may be subject to unusual disease patterns this spring. Vaccination against vector borne diseases such as West Nile Virus will be particularly important this year, and I strongly recommend a fecal exam on every horse to identify those infected by overwintering parasites.
Consult the clinic schedule in this flyer, and call to confirm your appointment today.  I will see you then!
Building Healthy Partners,
Dr, Chrysann

Veterinary Networking & Referral
     Last week a veterinarian called me for consultation on a horse he had diagnosed with equine metabolic syndrome.  The veterinarian had some questions about the horse’s latest laboratory values, and how to move forward with a treatment plan.  I offered my interpretation of the horse’s laboratory results and made some suggestions regarding treatment . The veterinarian called me because I am a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine, which means that after receiving my veterinary degree I successfully completed a 3 year clinical residency training program and a rigorous 8 hour examination process and case report publication to ensure my advanced knowledge and experience diagnosing and treating internal medicine problems.     

     On the flip side, I called my friend Dr. Robert Hunt for advice on a yearling with an atypical stifle lameness.  Dr. Hunt is a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons and resident surgeon at Hagyard-Davidson Magee in Lexington, Kentucky. Bob and I discussed the case as he examined the digital xrays I had emailed him. He gave me his opinion on the radiographic changes and some suggestions on treatment options. 

     This type of congenial exchange of information goes on, often without your knowledge, as a routine part of your animal’s veterinary care. The variety of problems presented to the ambulatory equine clinician is enormous, and maintaining this network of colleagues is a critical part of my service to you.  After 27 years as a practicing veterinarian, the majority of patients I see exhibit clinical signs with which I am familiar, and diagnostic and treatment plans are frequently routine.  However, when an animal presents with a complex complaint outside of my expertise, I do not hesitate to seek consultation.  Sometimes the initial conversation with a specialist leads to the referral of the patient for advanced diagnostic evaluation.

     Helping you decide when to refer a patient is an important part of my job.  You should never feel awkward asking for a second opinion from a specialist - I am here to help you find the most effective plan to return your horse to full health and athletic activity .   Following referral for advanced diagnostics and evaluation by a specialist, your horse will return to my care for ongoing treatment and rehabilitation.  By asking me to make the initial contact leading to referral, you insure that any diagnostic findings, as well as my clinical notes, will be part of the information that will accompany your horse to their appointment.   

     There are 21 specialty colleges of veterinary medicine recognized by the American Veterinary Medical Association! In the greater Reno area we have 2 board certified equine surgeons, 1 large animal internist (yours truly!), and a board certified ophthalmologist who sees both large and small animal patients.  UC Davis is 3 hours away and offers specialists in most of the large animal disciplines.  To learn more about veterinary specialists, google AVMA specialty organizations.

Adverse Vaccination Reactions –
What you Should Know

 Every spring I administer over a thousand vaccinations by deep intramuscular injection. I  field approximately 5 calls (< 1.5% of horses vaccinated) with reports of adverse vaccination reactions.  In my 27 years of veterinary practice, I have seen 3 true allergic/anaphylactic responses to intramuscular vaccination, and one serious vaccination complication associated with intranasal Strangles vaccine. Vaccination is a safe, effective way to protect your horse against disease. However, you should be familiar with adverse vaccination reactions, and how to respond.

By far the most common adverse reaction to vaccination is the simple sore neck. The day after vaccination you may notice that your mare is unwilling to move her head, and she exhibits pain and swelling at one of her vaccination sites. Occasionally the discomfort will be so severe that a horse will not lower their head to eat or drink, or will pull back if pressure is applied to a lead rope when they are haltered.  These inflammatory reactions typically resolve within 48 - 72 hours with treatment including warm compresses, offering food and water at a comfortable height, and administering non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication.

This "sore neck" reaction is NOT an allergic response to the vaccine. True allergic responses occur immediately, or within minutes, of vaccination. Rather, these are exaggerated inflammatory responses to the ingredient in the vaccine that stimulates the horse's immune system.  Called an adjuvant, this ingredient amplifies your horse’s response to the vaccine’s disease organism.  The ideal adjuvant is a potent stimulator of the immune system but does not cause severe local soreness. Unfortunately, individual horses may respond unfavorably to the adjuvant in specific vaccine brands or antigen/adjuvant combinations.

When a horse develops a sore neck after vaccination, it is important to notice whether or not the horse is systemically ill.  Specifically, is the horse eating and drinking? Does he have a fever? Is the swelling at the vaccination site severe and increasing? If your horse has an adverse vaccination reaction, I recommend that you contact your veterinarian with this information in hand so that an accurate decision can be made concerning the need for treatment.


Clostridial myositis is a rare, serious complication following intramuscular injection. Clostridial bacteria exist normally in the environment in a spore form.  Even when a clean needle and syringe are used and an injection is administered correctly, it is possible for the needle to carry Clostridial spores deep into the muscle tissue.  These bacteria then grow rapidly, releasing toxins into the horse’s bloodstream. Clostridial infections at injection sites are rare, but can be life threatening and require prompt and aggressive treatment.

   Amanda & I look forward to seeing you in March!

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 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 Mar 7
Rancho Haven/Sierra Ranchos2         Fri Mar 13

Red Rock North/Silver Knolls 1          Sun Mar 8
Red Rock North/Silver Knolls 2           Fri Mar 27

Span Springs/Palomino Valley 1        Sat Mar 14
Span Springs/Palomino Valley 2        Fri Mar 20

Antelope/Golden/Lemmon Valley 1   Sun Mar 15
Antelope/Golden/Lemmon Valley 2   Fri Mar 27  
South & West Reno 1                          Mon Mar 16
South & West Reno                             Sat Mar 28

Clinic Day Only Discounts – Held over from 2014!

Farm Call                                  $  8.00
Wellness Exam                         $12.00
West Nile                                   $32.00
FluRhino                                     $27.00
Rabies                                        $21.00
Tetanus/ Encephalitis                $18.00
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!

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