Monday, August 31, 2020

Fall 2020 News and Notes

                  High Desert Veterinary Service

Chrysann Collatos VMD,PhD,DipACVIMLA

 775-969-3495 (Office)           742-2823 (Cell)

Building Healthy Partners

Fall 2020 News & Notes:

Ø Clinic Schedule

Ø Smoke and our Horses

Ø Balance and Performance

What a summer,

    The new COVID world, devastating FIRE conditions and weather events have impacted us all this summer.  Maintaining a positive attitude can be a challenge, and the time we spend with our animals is more cherished than ever.  All great reasons to protect the health of your equine friends with a fall preventive care clinic appointment.

Always here to help. See you in September!

Dr. Chrysann

Fall Clinic Schedule

Routine Fall exam includes flu/rhino vaccination, deworming or fecal examination, annual dentistry consult, and sheath cleaning.  Also consider Microchipping!

To reserve an appointment, call 775 969 3495 with:

  • Your Name, Phone # and Clinic Date
  • Number of Animals, and Services wanted

Your call won’t be returned until three days before your clinic when we will give 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       Fri Sep 4

Rancho Haven/Sierra Ranchos2       Sat Sep 12

Red Rock North/Silver Knolls 1         Fri Sep 4

Red Rock North/Silver Knolls 2         Sat Sep 12

Span Springs/Palomino Valley 1        Fri Sep 11

Span Springs/Palomino Valley 2        Sat Sept 19

Antelope/Golden/Lemmon Valley 1   Fri Sep 25

Antelope/Golden/Lemmon Valley 2   Sat Sep 26  

South & West Reno 1                        Fri Sep 18

South & West Reno                            Sat Sep 26

Discounted prices ONLY AVAILABLE Clinic Day

Farm Call (per location)             $14.00

Wellness Exam (mandatory)      $17.00

West Nile                                     $33.00

FluRhino                                      $30.00

Strangles Intranasal                     $34.00

Rabies                                          $23.00

Tetanus/ Encephalitis                  $19.00

Ivermectin Deworm                    $16.00

Coggins Test                                 $32.00

Sheath Clean w/sedation              $45.00

Fecal parasite exam                    $19.00

Pre-registered microchip            $39.00

Smoke and Your Horse

 Smoke is an unhealthy combination of carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, soot, hydrocarbons, and other organic substances. Smoke particulates can irritate horses’ eyes and respiratory tracts, and hamper their breathing.

The simplest thing you can do to limit the damaging effects of smoke on your horse’s airway is to limit your horse’s activity when smoke is visible.   Increased airflow and turbulence that accompany athletic activity can significantly increase the inflammation and damage to delicate cells lining the respiratory tract. In addition, if possible, misters and fans can be used to improve air quality in your horse’s environment.

Human air quality advisements can be applied to your horse as well.  If your eyes are burning and you smell and taste smoke, then assume that your horse is feeling as uncomfortable as you are.

Most importantly, when smoke has been particularly heavy, remember that it takes time for airways to recover fully. Four to six weeks can be required for airways to recuperate from severe smoke exposure, and early return to exercise can delay healing and increase the risk of long term airway damage.

 The best way to combat heat and smoke is through hydration. You can:

  1. Provide clean, fresh water at all times
  2. Water your horse’s hay and feed grain as wet mashes
  3. Put sprinklers out in turn outs to reduce dust and smoke and increase moisture in the air


Balance, Conformation and Performance


Over the years we have bred horses to be balanced to best suit their intended use.  When you choose a horse, consider your equestrian discipline. 


Draft horses were built to pull – they are very “uphill” with short, strong high set necks, powerful shoulders and weaker hindquarters.


Quarter horses are built to work cattle – they need to keep their heads low and turn with exceptional speed and quickness from the hindquarter – therefore they are quite “downhill” with tremendous power in the sacrum, hip and thigh to dig in, turn and go.


Thoroughbreds are built to run – they are a more level breed, but frequently have a croup that is slightly higher than the wither.


The arab is the ultimate long distance athlete – generally beautifully balanced front to back, but with lean muscle mass and a relatively straight shoulder, making them extremely efficient at moving across the ground, but not well suited to elevating the wither or forearm.


The warmblood breeds have been developed to have a combination of elevation and length.  They are balanced generally uphill, with a neck that comes out of the wither relatively high, a moderately sloped shoulder, and a very powerful sacrum and pelvis.


And don’t forget, the horse in motion always trumps the horse standing still.  For example, consider a “downhill” quarterhorse with contracted heels in front but a strong, symmetrical, well conformed pelvis and hind limbs.  The contracted heels and forehand balance  may predispose this horse to foot lameness.  However, if the horse is trained to move with impulsion from behind, raise the withers and engage the core, this will result in an overall “lighter” movement, and reduce concussive force on the heels.  The result: forelimb lameness resulting from imperfect conformation may be avoided.


Your horse’s overall balance is extremely important in maintaining athletic longevity and compensating for conformational defects in the lower limbs.  However, training that develops excellent core strength and flexibility can greatly enhance the horse with less than ideal balance.  Here is the bottom line: stand back and look at the whole picture, the entire horse, not just the offset knee, or base narrow stance, or turned out toes.  If you develop your horse’s entire body to be strong at the center and balanced from front to back, you will successfully overcome the majority of his/her conformational problems. 

Call today to schedule your Fall Clinic appointment! 

Building Healthy Partners

Saturday, February 22, 2020

Spring 2020 News & Notes

                  High Desert Veterinary Service

            Chrysann Collatos VMD, PhD, DACVIM LA 

775-969-3495 (Office)           742-2823 (Cell)
Building Healthy Partners

Spring 2020 News & Notes
Ø Clinic Schedule
Ø Understanding Influenza
Spring is around the corner and it is time to gear up!  Call today to schedule your clinic appointment and take advantage of this opportunity to discuss your plans and goals for this year with your horse.  I will help you get there in any way that I can!
Looking forward to seeing you in March,

Dr. Chrysann
Building Healthy Partners
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 Feb 29 
Rancho Haven/Sierra Ranchos2          Fri Mar 13
Red Rock North/Silver Knolls 1            Sun Mar 1
Red Rock North/Silver Knolls 2            Fri Mar 13
Span Springs/Palomino Valley 1          Fri Mar 6
Span Springs/Palomino Valley 2          Sat Mar 14
Antelope/Golden/Lemmon Valley 1   Sun Mar 15
Antelope/Golden/Lemmon Valley 2   Fri Mar 27   
South & West Reno                                 Sat Mar 7 
South & West Reno                                Fri Mar 27
Discounted prices ONLY AVAILABLE Clinic Day
Farm Call (per location)              $12.00
Wellness Exam (mandatory)     $18.00
West Nile                                        $33.00
FluRhino                                          $30.00
Rabies                                              $23.00
Tetanus/ Encephalitis                 $19.00
Ivermectin Deworm                    $16.00
Coggins Test                                 $32.00
Sheath Clean w/sedation           $45.00
Fecal parasite exam                    $18.00
Pre-registered microchip             $39.00

Understanding Influenza & Immunity

Equine influenza shares many similarities with the human flu virus that has been particularly brutal this year.  The equine virus exists worldwide, except in New Zealand and Iceland.  Clinical signs include fever, depression, poor appetite, cough and nasal discharge.  The virus only lives a short time in the environment and is susceptible to common disinfectants.  In most cases the virus is spread from horse to horse in aerosolized particles generated when an infected horse coughs.  Unfortunately, virus replicates in the horse’s upper respiratory tract and is shed into the environment for a few days BEFORE any clinical signs become apparent, making control of disease outbreaks challenging, especially in larger groups of horses.
The virus has many serotypes, and these strains change frequently.  The horse must have antibodies specific to each serotype to prevent disease.  I imagine the flu virus as a secret agent – every time he appears he is wearing a different hat and coat so I don’t recognize him until it is too late and I have already walked up to say hello and shake his hand…..and a few days later I am coughing and sneezing, or watching my horse cough and hang his head.  Both we and our horses manufacture antibodies that are shaped to fit the “hat and coat” of each flu strain that infects us – when exposed to a virus strain wearing a new “hat and coat” the old antibodies may not accurately recognize and attack the new virus and so we get sick all over again.  Don’t get confused here – while equine influenza virus and human influenza viruses share the same infection tactics, and do have antigenic similarities, so far horse to human transmission is not a clinical problem.  Equine Influenza has however caused serious influenza outbreaks in our canine companions.
Pharmaceutical companies making vaccines against Equine Influenza know that in order for their vaccine to be effective, it must contain the most up to date viral strains in a given location.  They weigh this against the cost of introducing new strains into their current vaccine.  The World Organisation for Animal Health global Equine Influenza Surveillance Program was initiated in 1995, and makes regular recommendations for the most current Equine Influenza strains to be included in vaccines.  The Merck influenza vaccine used in our practice (Prestige 2) contains Equine influenza virus type H3N8 strains EIV A/eq/Florida/RW/13, EIV A/Equine 2/Kentucky/02 American, EIV A/eq/Richmond/1/07 strains. Merck and UC Davis co-sponsor the ongoing Equine Respiratory Biosurveillance Study.  The Influenza strains included in Prestige 2 are based on this study, and include the Florida ’13 Clade 1 highly pathogenic isolate identified in the Ocala 2013 outbreak.
There may be some of you reading this thinking, “well I got my flu shot and still came down with the virus, why should I vaccinate my horse?” My answer is this: vaccination against Equine Influenza does not guarantee protection from disease, but it can dramatically reduce the incidence and severity of illness.
      Consider any population of horses with stressors such as competition, travel, breeding, changing populations. If ALL of the horses in such a group are vaccinated against influenza the consequences of infection with flu virus are greatly reduced.  Although equine influenza vaccines may not be absolutely protective, they do reduce the virus’ ability to replicate in each horse, and therefore reduce the number of virus particles released into the environment and passed from horse to horse.  If EVERY horse in your barn is vaccinated, when Equine Influenza enters the population the viral load in the vicinity is kept low, fewer horses actually contract disease, and the outbreak event is over much sooner, with fewer sick horses.  
 On the other hand, if all the horses is a population are not vaccinated at the same time and on a regular schedule, the vaccinated individuals may have sufficient immunity to protect them from showing signs of disease but may still contract a mild flu infection and shed low numers of virus particles.  The unvaccinated, or poorly vaccinated horses in the population, especially the young and old, then serve as living incubators for the virus shed by vaccinated horses.  The result is often a more severe and prolonged disease outbreak moving slowly through the barn. Horses, especially younger ones, living in groups without diligent vaccination, rapidly spread virus from one to another making it very difficult for humans in charge to stay ahead of disease spread.  In larger barns, the outcome is usually quarantine of the entire facility for 21 days or longer, or until 7 days after the last horse has any clinical signs or fever.   As you can imagine, such an outbreak has serious impacts, both on horses’ health and humans’ pocketbooks. The risk of pneumonia and other serious complications increases dramatically in such settings.
So, the bottom line regarding influenza vaccines in horses is this: all horses in boarding facilities, and/or horses that travel to competitions, should receive an influenza (typically as a combined “flu/rhino” vaccine) every 6 months.  The United States Equestrian Federation requires proof of flu/rhino vaccination within 6 months at all registered equestrian events.

Call us today to schedule your
Spring Clinic Appointment.

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