There really is no “one size fits all” approach for horse vaccinations. We like to work with each farm and customize a plan that best meets their individual needs and concerns. What we call “core vaccinations” are individual, antigenic components that really every horse should have; this would include tetanus, encephalitis (including West Nile), and rabies. Potomac horse fever, influenza, rhino, EVA, botulism, and strangles are other considerations that we will discuss on a farm by farm basis.
2) Scheduled Wellness Exams:
These physical exams and consults usually coincide with vaccinations, coggins tests, etc. They are a great time to address concerns over nutrition, parasite control, teeth/dental status, and other points of interest.
3) Geriatric concerns:
As our four-legged family ages, we generally want to take a more attentive approach in maximizing comfortable longevity.
a) Teeth/dental issues are of great concerns
b) Arthritis and the likes start to rear their ugly heads
c) Nutrition and feed substrate properties (i.e. easier to chew)
d) Periodic blood chemistry profiles so as to monitor for potential problems
Although there is quite a bit of overlap here with emergency services, it bears mentioning since semantics often hampers labeling. Many, many cases are seen, ranging from the newborn to the oldest of our patients. It could be a maladjusted or septic foal, some sort of respiratory illness, a mild colic or choke, a wobbly neurological case, or maybe something not so obvious such as chronic weight loss, or the classic ADR (that would be the “ain’t doin’ raight”) case. Sometimes it is not so apparent as to how much of an emergency a particular situation is. Nevertheless, post physical and history, a multitude of tools may be drawn from so as to aid in the diagnosis and therapy. Ultrasonagraphy, digital radiography, and a dozen or so laboratories are utilized, from in house to local to nation-wide, depending on the information desired. Once again, one can understand the paramount reasoning behind accurate diagnoses and appropriate therapy.
The doctors at Bridlewood Equine actually do quite a bit of surgery, many times individually on the farm, and also together as a team, depending on the situation. Surgeries obviously vary in nature from the elective, scheduled type to those being emergency in nature. Castrations (both routine and abdominal or cryptorchid), hernia repairs, certain orthopedic procedures, eye enucleations, tumor or growth removals, laceration repairs, and a host of other procedures are done, both on the farm or on a haul-in basis.
6) Pre-purchase exam:
Many buyers like to have a prospective horse (that they are interested in buying) examined for potential, unforeseen problems. This usually includes an in-depth physical and lameness exam, with or without radiographs (“xrays”), or possibly a breeding soundness exam, depending on the desired use of the purchased horse. We do not perform these exams on a pass/fail basis, but rather as an informed discovery. Some people have even made up their mind on a particular purchase, only to have us do a “post-purchase” exam; they would like to know if there are any problems/issues that might not be so apparent.