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)
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!  
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.

I am here with gratitude, for you and your horses,
Dr. Chrysann

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