Short, Intro Paragraph
Spring 2013 Newsletter
Making the Most of Spring Vaccination Visits
Dr. Stacy Kenyon and Dr. Craig Pauly
Spring is hopefully upon us and we are all excited about
getting outdoors with our horses. Spring is also the time that you will be
scheduling your vaccination visit with your veterinarian and we want you to
make the most of it. Administering vaccines should be only part of the
experience for you and your equine friends. The physical examination by a
licensed doctor can be invaluable to the well-being and performance of your
horse(s) in the coming year. We all visit “Dr. Google” to an- swer our health questions
and online research can certainly help owners be well-informed, but nothing can
replace the trained touch, ability to listen, and experienced observation that
comprises the art of physical examination. The spring visit also allows you,
the stable owner, to utilize our ability to observe things that can be easy to
miss when you see a facility every day. How do the paddocks and pastures look?
How is air quality in the barn? Are the stalls and fencing ready for an
injury-free season? What is the quality of the feed, especially hay, as you are
getting to the last of that which has been stored all winter? The best
healthcare for your horse happens with a great veterinarian-client-patient
This year we have expanded our vaccine line and are excited
to announce that we are now carrying Prestige V+WNV. This 5-way vaccine is a
combination of inactivated, adjuvant antigens for:
Equine Encephalomyelitis Viruses (Eastern and Western)
Equine Herpesviruses (EHV-1 and EHV-4),
Equine Influenza Viruses (EIV A/Equine 2/Kentucky/93 [H3N8]
American, EIV A/Equine 2/Kentucky/02 [H3N8] American, EIV A/Equine
2/Newmarket/2/93 [H3N8] Eurasian)
West Nile Virus - Flavivirus Chimera
This vaccine, when given with our current Rabies or
Rabies/Potomac vaccine, satis- fies the entire American Association of Equine
Practitioners (AAEP) recommended core and risk based vaccines for our area. For
more information please see the enclosed brochure or visit:
As always, the best program for
your horse will be determined with your veterinarian and we look forward to our
Working Up the Horse with Weight
Loss : A Preview
Do you have a horse that seems to
struggle to maintain weight? Isn’t acting quite like him or her- self? Has
variable manure consistency? Looks unkempt? Be sure to attend our Spring Equine
Event to learn more about the various causes of these and other symptoms that
can baffle horse owners. Dr. Jennifer Nightingale will be one of the featured
speakers at this year’s event and will discuss work-up, diagnostic testing, and
treatment of weight loss in horses. We look forward to seeing you there!
New Diagnostic Test Available to
Aid in Diagnosis of Equine Ulcers
Countryside Veterinary Clinic is
excited to announce that we are now offering a new non-invasive di- agnostic
test , called “SUCCEED”, that can aid in the diagnosis of subclinical and
clinical gastric ulcer disease. The on-farm test identifies red blood cells and
protein in manure. We anticipate this will be a valuable diagnostic tool in the
diagnosis and early treatment of a sometimes subtle and challenging disease
complex. A representative from the company that manufactures the test will be
available to provide information and answer questions at our Spring Event.
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Winter 2012 Newsletter
Current Deworming Strategies
By Dr. Jen Nightingale
With spring right around the
corner, we are eager to work together to develop a smart, specific deworming
program that fits your horse’s needs. It can be challenging to strike a healthy
balance when developing a deworming program; on one hand, it is important to
minimize your horse’s parasite load, but overuse or misuse of deworming
products can lead to resistance. Circumstances to consider in developing a
deworming protocol for your farm include: Egg shedding classification of
individual animals on the farm (to be discussed - factors include genetics, age
and immune status of animals); exposure to new animals (travel, boarding,
shows); and stocking density (number of animals housed). It is important to
develop a deworming strategy which is specific to your facility, your animals
and their current risk of exposure.
The major groups of parasites, include:
- Large Strongyles
- Small Strongyles
- Roundworms (ascarids)
Please see our website for a more
complete description of these parasite groups.
There are a number of approaches to deworming, which include some
combination of the following:
1. Oral deworming medications, by drug class:
Macrocyclic lactones (Ivermectin,
Moxidectin – ex. Zimectrin Gold, Quest)
- Benzimidazoles (Fenbendazole,
Oxibendazole – ex. Panacur, Anthelcide EQ)
- Tetrahydropyrimidines (Pyrantel
pamoate, Pyrantel tartrate – ex. Strongid)
(Praziquantel - ex. Equimax, Quest Plus)
- Daily dewormers: Help prevent new
infections but don’t resolve existing infections, and do not kill bots. Not be
used as a sole method of deworming.
- One dose dewormers: Given once
orally. Generally, control multiple stages of infection.
2. Manure management to decrease
exposure to eggs:
- Regular manure cleanup in stables
- Rotating pastures
- Feeding off the ground and away
- Don’t drag/harrow pastures to
break up manure unless planning on keeping horses off pasture for several weeks
3. Alternative deworming
products: Herbal products are not regulated by the FDA, and in many cases have
not been researched for safety and efficacy, and thus are not recommended.
4. Deworm with consideration of
the weather - but not here! In some climates, extremely hot, dry conditions can
kill eggs. Contrary to popular belief, most eggs can survive winters in the
northeast. There is rarely severe enough weather in our area capable of killing
off parasite eggs.
An important topic in recent years is parasite resistance to dewormers.
Resistance is defined as “the development of populations of internal parasites
that are not killed following the administration of recommended doses of
[deworming] drugs” (Oke 2010). Resistance is increasingly common, as some
parasites can no longer be treated by certain drugs. A current recommendation
to prevent resistance is for horse owners to submit a fecal sample annually for
a fecal egg count on their horses to classify them as low, moderate or high
shedders and to identify the parasites present. From here, an appropriate
course of treatment for individual animals can be determined. To ensure that
there is no resistance on your farm, submitting a second fecal sample in animals
with a high parasite load, 8-12 weeks after deworming, can be performed to
ensure that egg counts have been significantly reduced.
As research becomes available, our views are continuously evolving on
the topic of deworming strategies. Current research states that not all horses
are created equally when it comes to deworming.
following should be considered when developing your deworming protocol:
- Don’t treat all horses the same.
Some are more susceptible to parasites than others, due to factors including
genetics, age and immune status. It is normal for a horse to have a minimal
number of eggs; horses with mild infestations (low shedders) may require only
infrequent deworming. Other horses which are vulnerable to high burdens (high
shedders) need to be dewormed more frequently, as they are shedding large
amounts of eggs. For example, on a given farm, one horse might be responsible
for 80% of the eggs in the pasture. Fecal egg counts (see box below) help
determine which horses are particularly susceptible to parasites, and guide
- Frequent deworming of horses that
do not need it encourages the survival of resistant individual worms, by taking
away their non-resistant competition. This is called “selection pressure for
resistance;” by taking away the susceptible worms, we are improving the
environment for the resistant ones. Deworming should be reserved
for high shedders in most situations.
- Rotating dewormers is increasingly
becoming controversial. The concept behind this practice is that if parasites
are not “killed off” by one dewormer, they will be taken care of by the next
one. However, with increasing resistance, this may no longer be true. Fecal egg
counts after treatment will confirm that the dewormers being administered to
your horses are still effective in eliminating parasites on your farm.
- Tapeworms present a unique
challenge. Tapeworm eggs typically cannot be detected on a fecal exam. Therefore, we feel it best
to strategically deworm for tapeworms regardless of fecal results twice
- Fecal tests are cost effective for
the information they provide. The protocol that can be developed from this
information may result in less money being spent on deworming products through
targeted treatment and peace of mind that resistance is being managed.
- Bayer Animal Health. “Internal
Parasites: Strategies for Effective Parasite Control.” American Association of
Equine Practitioners website, January 2010.
- Oke, Stacey. “Deworming Your
Horse.” The Horse: Your Guide to Equine Health Care. Blood Horse Publications,
2010: p. 1-2.
- West, Christie. “Parasite Control:
6 Tips on Learning to Live with Worms”. The Horse. March 2010, p. 53-54
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Spring 2011 Newsletter
10 Tips for Weight Reduction in
the Overweight Horse
(Reprinted with permission from the American Association of
As a horse owner, you play an
important role in controlling your equine companion's weight. Sound nutrition
management, a regular exercise program and veterinary care are key to keeping
your horse fit and healthy. Maintaining the ideal weight is not always easy,
When implementing a weight loss
program for the overweight horse, it's important to do it gradually and under
the supervision of an equine veterinarian. Follow these guidelines from the
American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) to get you started:
- Be patient. Weight reduction
should be a slow, steady process so not to stress the horse or create metabolic
- Make changes in both the type and
amount of feed gradually. Reduce rations by no more than 10% over a 7- to
- Track your horse's progress by
using a weight tape. When the horse's weight plateaus, gradually cut back its
- Step up the horse's exercise
regimen. Gradually build time and intensity as the horse's fitness improves.
- Provide plenty of clean, fresh
water so the horse's digestive and other systems function as efficiently as
possible and rid the body of metabolic and other wastes.
- Select feeds that provide plenty
of high quality fiber but are low in total energy. Measure feeds by weight
rather than by volume to determine appropriate rations.
- Select feeds that are lower in fat
since fat is an energy-dense nutrient source.
- Switch or reduce the amount of
alfalfa hay feed. Replace with a mature grass or oat hay to reduce caloric
- Feed separate from other horses so
the overweight horse doesn't have a chance to eat his portion and his
neighbor's too. In extreme cases of obesity, caloric intake may also need to be
controlled by limiting pasture intake.
- Balance the horse's diet based on
age and activity level. Make sure the horse's vitamin, mineral and protein
requirements continue to be met.
Once your horse has reached its
ideal body condition, maintaining the proper weight is a gentle balancing act.
You will probably need to readjust your horse's ration to stabilize its weight.
Exercise will continue to be a key component in keeping the horse fit. Because
obesity can affect a horse's health, communicate regularly with your
veterinarian. Schedule regular check-ups, especially during the weight
For more information about caring
for the obese horse visit the AAEP's horse health web site: www.myHorseMatters.com.
Potomac Horse Fever : Vaccination
By Stacy M. Kenyon, DVM
the increase in incidence of Potomac Horse Fever in our practice area over
thelast three years, we are now routinely recommending that all horse owners
consider including vaccination against this disease as part of their preventive
Potomac Horse Fever (PHF) is a
disease caused by infection with Neorickettsia risticii and symptoms include
fever, colic, diarrhea and subsequent laminitis. This organism has a
complicated life cycle that continues to be the topic of intense research. N.
risticii is found in certain species of freshwater snails and aquatic insects
(caddisflies and mayflies) that populate areas along rivers. It is believed
that horses become infected through ingestion of snails and insects that live
in grasses along the riverbanks and are trapped on the water surface of streams
and ditches. The adult insects may also contaminate feed and water of nearby
Aquatic insects probably provide
the means by which this organism moves from one geographic area to another
through weather patterns that can literally blow swarms of flies to a new
location. Strategies to prevent infection include vaccination and reduction of
snails/insects in area bodies of water. As with most rickettisial diseases,
vaccination is not fully protective against infection but the severity of
disease following infection is greatly reduced in vaccinated horses. The
initial series of PHF vaccination requires 2 doses approximately 4 weeks apart
and it is recommended that the vaccination be given approximately every 6
months to provide optimal antibody titers during the peak seasonal incidences
of disease vectors (snails/insects).
Please feel free to contact Dr.
Kenyon or Dr. Peck to further discuss the appropriate vaccination strategies
for your horse(s) needs.
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April 2010 Newsletter
Your Horses Health: Developing A
Wellness Program Starts With Vaccination
Stacy M. Kenyon, DVM
spring is the time in our practice that we develop our vaccination and
deworming protocols for the coming year and tailor an individual wellness
program to fit the needs of your horse(s). To develop the appropriate protocol
we take into consideration several important factors. The activities in which
you and your horse participate such as trail riding, shows, competitive pulls,
clinics and breeding will greatly determine those diseases to which your horses
may be exposed. The population of horses in your stable is an important
consideration as well. The number of horses, their ages and whether there is
movement of horses to and from your farm on a regular basis must be reflected
in your wellness protocols. Emerging diseases within our geographic area or an
area to which you may travel may warrant new vaccines be added to your regimen
The following is a brief summary of the diseases we feel your horses
are most at risk to develop in our practice area.
Rabies Virus: Spread primarily by infected wild animals,
rabies can infect any horse regardless of travel history or location. Annual
vaccination is necessary to provide adequate protection against this fatal
Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE), Western Equine
Encephalitis (WEE), West Nile Virus ( WNV): This family of viruses is
carried by mosquitoes and can cause potentially fatal infection of the nervous
system. Because these viruses are carried by insects they can infect your
horses anytime and anywhere. Vaccination will greatly reduce the incidence and
severity of the disease and should be given annually.
Tetanus: The bacteria is found in the soil and releases
deadly toxins upon entry into the animal's body, typically through skin wounds
and umbilical cords (newborn foals). Annual vaccination recommended.
Influenza Virus: Infection causes respiratory disease and the
virus is spread easily between horses. Those under stress of travel are
particularly susceptible. Annual or semi-annual vaccination recommended
depending on risk of exposure. A new strain recently identified within the U.S.
that seems to be more virulent (more severe symptoms) is a concern,
particularly for large stables and those horses that travel extensively. The
4-way vaccine we use includes the most common strain of influenza; this year
Merial is introducing a new flu vaccine that incorporates that latest
identified strain and it will be one of the topics at our upcoming
Equine Herpes Virus (EHV-1, EHV-2) / Rhinopneumonitis: Herpes viral infection has
traditionally been associated with respiratory disease and abortions. This
virus is easily spread between horses and, like the influenza virus, should be
of great concern for those horses that travel or are housed in large stables
where horses regularly leave and return. In recent years there has been an
alarming increase in a neurologic form of the disease. Infected horses have
been identified in many states and outbreaks have occurred in the last year in
Florida and California with relatively high mortality rates among those
populations infected. Herpes myeloencephalopathy, as the condition is being
called, appears to caused by a mutated strain of EHV-1. Current vaccines
available provide good protection against the respiratory and abortion
conditions caused by this virus and appear to lessen the incidence and severity
of the neurologic condition but do not appear to be 100% effective against the
neurologic form. Despite the limitations, the American Association of Equine
Practitioners strongly encourages horse owners to consider incorporating a
herpes vaccine in your wellness program as it will help reduce the chance of an
outbreak developing in a given geographic location.
Potomac Horse Fever: The bacteria that causes Potomac Horse Fever is
found primarily near large river areas. In our practice area we recommend all
horses residing in St. Lawrence County be vaccinated as well as those that may
travel to endemic areas.
Strangles: The respiratory infection caused by
Streptococcus equi is all too familiar to those whose stables have experienced
outbreaks. Any stable with a history of infection should consider vaccination
as well as those who travel to stables of unknown incidence.
This list of recommended vaccinations can be lengthy and certainly
represent a significant financial investment for you. It is important to
remember, however, that old cliche is true: "An ounce of prevention is worth a
pound of cure". Especially when dealing with viral diseases there may in fact be no
cure and prevention is worth everything. Also, it is important to consider the
timing and administration of any vaccination program. It is best to provide
vaccinations prior to the time of year of greatest exposure. Early spring is
best for most vaccinations before the advent of mosquito season, show season,
trail rides, etc. For many of our horses we will need to spread out the series
of vaccinations so as not to tax their immune system too severely at one time.
My general rule is to give no more than three vaccinations at a time and to
allow at least 2 weeks between vaccinations visits. We ask that you factor this
into your appointment schedule so that all necessary vaccinations will be given
prior your first show or trailer trip. We realize this may necessitate multiple
farm visits but the benefits to your horse(s) will be worth the added expense.
This year we have partnered with Merial to provide our 4-way, West Nile,
Rabies, and Flu vaccines. Merial has been a leader in recombinant technology
and its use in their West Nile and Flu vaccine development. We feel their
products will provide the best possible protection available.
The health and well-being of your horse truly is our utmost priority
and we hope you consider our time at your stable a valuable opportunity to
address any concerns or questions.
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