Thursday, February 9, 2017

Spring 2017 News & Notes

High Desert Veterinary Service

Chrysann Collatos VMD,PhD,DipACVIMLA

775-969-3495 (Office)           742-2823 (Cell)
Building Healthy Partners
Spring 2017 News & Notes

Ø Clinic Schedule
Ø Spring Hormonal Confusion!
Ø Some Advice on Drying Out
What a winter! Many of our horses have been unusually inactive due to environmental conditions. As the weather improves pay careful attention to your horse’s feet and haircoat. Mother Nature’s generous gifts of moisture and warm temperatures provide the perfect environment for infectious organisms that cause thrush, subsolar abscesses and “rain rot”. Please read this newsletter carefully and be proactive in keeping your animals healthy this year.
Amanda and I look forward to seeing you on one of our clinic days in March,
Dr. Chrysann
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 Mar 4 
Rancho Haven/Sierra Ranchos2          Fri Mar 10
Red Rock North/Silver Knolls 1            Sun Mar 5
Red Rock North/Silver Knolls 2            Sat Mar 18
Span Springs/Palomino Valley 1          Sat Mar 11
Span Springs/Palomino Valley 2          Fri Mar 17
Antelope/Golden/Lemmon Valley 1   Sun Mar 12
Antelope/Golden/Lemmon Valley 2   Sat Mar 25  
Sierra Valley                                             Sun Mar 26 
South & West Reno                                Fri Mar 24
Discounted prices ONLY AVAILABLE Clinic Day
Farm Call (per location)              $9.00
Wellness Exam (mandatory)     $14.00
West Nile                                        $32.00
FluRhino                                          $29.00
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
Pre-registered microchip             $35.00
Dentistry Consult                       No Charge

Spring Transitional Period
(aka Crazy Mare Time)

 Last week a client called about a performance mare who kept posturing to urinate and looking back at her left flank, but had a great appetite and normal manure.  Another trainer called because a normally cooperative mare was kicking out when asked to canter.  Upon investigation, I discovered that both these mares’ problems were related to the seasonal nature of the equine reproductive cycle.

Seasonal variation in daylight has a profound influence on the mare’s reproductive performance.  Increasing day length improves the mare's reproductive efficiency while shortened days disrupt reproductive regulation.  Daylight stimulates the production of melatonin by the brain’s pineal gland, which in turn starts a complex cascade of hormonal events which influence the ovaries to develop and release follicles. For successful conception to occur, an egg must ovulate, be fertilized, and arrive in a uterus which is ready to accept and nourish it.  No simple task.

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.  When a transitional mare does ovulate appropriately, if the hormonal sequence necessary to maintain  the critical early critical of pregnancy is unbalanced,  the embryo may be lost.  Particularly in the spring, this transitional period is characterized by long, erratic heat cycles without ovulation.

No wonder mares may act whacky in Feburary! Not only are they dealing with hormonal imbalance, they also may experience ovarian pain associated with large, non-ovulating follicles.

Mares with placid dispositions may not seem affected by the ups and downs of hormonal transitions while others are truly distressed during these phases. Some performance horses exhibit irritable behavior and are difficult to train.  Trainer’s may seek ways to stabilize reproductive activity and help these troubled mares achieve behavioral balance.  There are many oral supplements available over the counter which claim to improve the demeanor of irritable mares,and subcutaneous cattle hormonal implants have been used, but none of these methods have any scientific basis.  Compounded injectable progesterone in olive oil can be used intramuscularly but the injections are irritating and yield variable results. There is a well researched long acting altrenogest injection manufactured by BET Pharm, however the cost is prohibitive for many clients.

 The gold standard for preventing cycling remains the daily administration of oral Altrenogest, a synthetic progesterone (Regu-Mate or Altresyn).

Once the transitional period is over and mares are cycling regularly, reproductive efficiency rapidly improves. Performance horses exhibit improved behavior and brood mares conceive successfully. 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.

So, when your mare is acting like a maniac this month, remember that her behavior may be due to "raging hormones"! Speak with me about management practices that may improve your breeding success or help your mare's disposition.  

Some Advice on Drying Out

As the flood waters and ice recede, we are eager to get back in the saddle. Whatever your riding discipline, consider the consequences of this wet winter and get proactive!

Hoof Care  First and foremost: feet!  I see lots of shedding frogs, low heels and long toes in the spring.  This winter environmental cleanliness has been a real challenge, and many horses are standing in manure that goes through repetitive freeze/thaw cycles. Hooves develop callouses in response to harsh ice.  When the surface thaws, fecal bacteria seep into small defects in the thickened sole and frog, creating the perfect setup for thrush or subsolar abscessation. 

Preventive measures that MAKE A DIFFERENCE:
1) Get a hoof pick and wire brush  and thoroughly pick you horse’s feet every day!
2) Remove accumulated manure and organic material from pens and turn outs
3) Schedule a trim and consultation with your farrier!

Body Conditon As you get your horse’s feet in shape, start grooming!  Get that winter hair loose, check for any skin conditions and feel your horse’s back and barrel – is their body condition what you hope for?  Many horses gain or lose unnoticed weight under winter hair coats and blankets. Your spring clinic appointment is a good time to ask  Dr. Chrysann about your horse’s nutrition program.

Horses and humans alike, let’s dry out, get out, get moving, and look forward to a spectacular spring flower season in our high desert piece of heaven!

Call us today to schedule your

Spring 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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