Less Bute Use in Racehorses

September 18, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Its about time! I agree with the question if a horse requires Bute to race, why is it racing?

Amplify’d from www.thoroughbredtimes.com

RCI committee recommends lowering Bute threshold

In a 12-0 vote on Friday, the committee said the model rule threshold level of the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug should be lowered from 5.0 micrograms to 2.0 micrograms. The recommendation is in line with the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium, which believes the lower threshold level will allow for improved pre-race veterinary testing.

“At no point during the Model Rules Committee’s deliberate review process did opponents of this policy change present an argument as to why the administration of phenylbutazone close enough to race time to trigger a five-microgram threshold was absolutely necessary to the health of the horse,” Martin said. “The unanswered question by those in opposition to the proposed policy change is why a horse in pain requiring an administration of phenylbutazone at their suggested level should be racing.”

The Racing Medication and Testing Consortium agreed with the regulatory veterinarians’ concerns and recommended the lower threshold. While recognizing the study was not scientific, RMTC Executive Director Scot Waterman, D.V.M., said two states that in recent years went from 2.0 to 5.0 saw increased catastrophic breakdowns. When one of those states returned to the 2.0 level, breakdown numbers declined.

Read more at www.thoroughbredtimes.com

 

e-Vet Clinic Facebook Page

September 18, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Image representing NetworkedBlogs as depicted ...
Image via CrunchBase

I am using the NetworkedBlogs Application on Facebook to have my posts here post to my e-Vet Clinic Facebook page Lets see how this works?

If it doesn’t work at least you know my Facebook page now.

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Horse Riding: Risk of Injury to the Horse

September 17, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Horse Riding
Image via Wikipedia

How risky is riding a horse to the horse?

We know that horse riding is risky. Falling off a horse can sometimes cause pretty severe injuries, such as happened to Christopher Reeves. Even being around horses can lead to injuries, they are large animals that weigh much more then us mere humans and they can pack a very powerful blow.

But what about the horse? Is the horse at risk of injury when we ride? Well about 25% of horse owners this year will experience a lameness in their horse – is it from riding?

The answer to that question is… it depends.

Risk of Injury while riding depends on the following factors –

  1. Discipline
  2. Level of riding
  3. Conformation
  4. Ground Surface
  5. Previous Injury
  6. Fatigue

Discipline – Obviously a race horse will have a higher incidence of injuries than a trail horse. Jumpers, Barrel Racers, Reiners, Eventers, Dressage horses all have different common injuries related to the discipline in which the horse performs.

Level of Riding – The higher the level of riding the more likely for injury – A Grand Prix jumper is more likely to have a serious injury than a training level horse.

Conformation – A horse with crooked legs will more likely to move incorrectly and cause injury to itself.

Ground Surface – Uneven ground, deep footing in an arena, wet ground will be more likely to cause injuries when riding.

Previous Injury – an old injury or even an existing unhealed injury that may be unknown to the rider is more likely to be reinjured or more injured.

Fatigue – A tired horse is much more prone to injury.

Of all of these factors the one that is in complete control of the rider during competition is fatigue. It is up to you as a rider to monitor your horse. If your horse is tired and has signs of fatigue, YOU are in control, then it is up to you to slow down or even stop. A common injury in competition horses is damage of the Suspensory Ligament and/or the Superficial Digital Flexor Tendon and it is much more common to have this injury in a fatigued horse. Is it really worth another class at a horse show to risk injury to this ligament because your horse is tired?

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Air Bags for horse riders

September 17, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Yes it is real there are air bags that you wear as a vest in case of sudden unauthorized dismount occurs. However it is really funny when riders purposely dismount but forget to unclip – they look like the kid from The Christmas Story.

Equestrian-Design “Air Bag” Vests for Eventer Safety: Cautious Optimism from the FEI

What people don’t mention about these vests is that the anchoring lanyard to the saddle is critical. If the rider is not thrown from the horse, the trigger isn’t pulled as you might wish; or, if you dismount and forget to detach the anchor, your vest may inflate and publicly

See more at horsehealth.blogs.equisearch.com

 

Grain-Free Dog Foods: What’s the big deal?

September 17, 2010 by · 2 Comments 

You may have noticed some dog foods being advertised as grain-free or you may have been suggested to find grain-free dog food for your dog. So what is the big deal with grains in the dog food?

Grains such as corn,wheat, oats, barley and yes, even rice are not bad for many dogs, however for some dogs they can cause significant issues. Grains are considered a “hot” food, meaning  they stimulate the body. In many cases they can stimulate the immune system and the inflammatory process.

Dogs with allergies, dogs with inflammatory issues, dogs with sensitive digestive tracts all can be helped by eliminating grains from their diet. Dogs do not have to be allergic to grains in order to benefit from having them removed from their diet. It is similar to people with allergies using hypoallergenic products. Grain-free food is hypo-allergenic for dogs.

For the normal dog it can also be beneficial to feed grain-free as it may help prevent immune system issues such as allergies and sensitive digestive disorders (Inflammatory Bowel Disease).

For more information you can check out The Dog Food Project

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Dog Chiropractic Basics

September 16, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Chiropractic medicine focuses on problems of joint flexibility and movement. Its intent is to correct deficiencies of movement, thereby, improving the health of the joint and all the structures in and around the joint. The implications of this are astounding when one considers that the spinal column is made up of many joints. The entire body, including all the muscles and internal organs, is supplied off the spinal cord by nerves that pass through the joints of the spinal column.

Chiropractors diagnose and treat subluxations, a joint that is not performing efficiently or effectively. If a joint has a subluxation, that joint is not moving correctly, which disrupts the nutrition to that joint. It also disrupts the nutrition and blood flow to the nervous system in and around the joint. Although the nervous system is not dependent on movement for blood flow, it does provide the nerves with the best blood flow possible. The joints of the spinal column have all the nerves going to the body passing through them. If a joint in the spinal column is subluxated, the lack of movement and subsequent inefficient blood flow affects the nerves that pass through that joint. This inefficient blood flow causes a disruption of the electrical impulses the nerves are supplying to the organs.

An example of the disruption above is muscular back pain caused by subluxations of the lower lumbar region of the spine. The nerves that supply some of the muscles of the back are in the lower lumbar region of the spinal column. When the nerve supply to the back muscles is disrupted, it can cause a variety of responses depending on the amount of disruption, such as back spasms, trigger points, atrophy, or lack of strength. If this is severe enough, the disruption can cause paralysis and/or intense pain.

An adjustment is what treats the subluxation. ”An adjustment is characterized by a specific force applied in a specific direction to a specific vertebra…Adjustments are high velocity procedures designed to deliver maximal force with minimal tissue damage. The adjustment is unique to the chiropractic profession and requires a great deal of skill to control the depth, direction, speed and amplitude of the procedure.” (Dr. Sharon Willoughby, 1998) It also requires detailed knowledge of anatomy, specifically the joints of the vertebral column. The goal of the adjustment is not to put the vertebra back in place, but to increase flexibility of the joint and to reduce connective tissue and muscular restrictions that put forces onto the joint affecting its normal movement. Depending on the severity and length of time a subluxation has been present, chiropractic care is given in a series of therapeutic treatments, varying from a few days to a couple weeks apart to gradually restore normal function. After initial treatments, the animal is then placed on a maintenance program to obviously maintain normal function.

The goals of having chiropractic adjustments can be as simple as having your animal feel and perform better, to resolving biomechanical problems, to helping heal extreme pain and paralysis. Athletes need to perform at peak efficiency without stiffness or discomfort. Lack of proper joint function reduces power and reduces flexibility; for example, subluxations in the lower lumbar area affects the flexibility and power of the hind legs, which is especially important to propel the animal forward – the most important aspect in any athletic performance. Regular chiropractic care helps resolve this issue. It also helps in severely traumatized animals, such as an animal with a fractured leg. Traditional medicine takes care of the actual fracture; however chiropractic takes care of the subluxations occurring from the biomechanical alterations of walking on three legs while the fracture heals. With this wide array of goals, it does seem that any animal alive with a spine should have a chiropractic adjustment.

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Dog Vaccines: Puppy Vaccination Protocol

September 16, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

It is important to have your puppy vaccinated against 3 diseases – Distemper, Parvovirus and Adenovirus (Hepatitis), but there has been disagreement, especially among breeders as to when the proper time is to vaccinate. In light of current research on the immune system the vaccination protocol has changed and in the future may change some more.

Current vaccines are very good at protecting against these viruses. So good in fact that a mother bitch that has been properly vaccinated will pass on protective immunity to her pups for up to 15 weeks. In fact, she will pass on protective immunity to almost 90% of her pups for 9 weeks!

Let me quote Dr. Richard Ford, a leading expert in immunology and vaccines, at the Western Veterinary Conference this year, “If you are giving a puppy/kitten a vaccine prior to 9 weeks of age you might as well just squirt it in their ear.” What he is saying is that there is no need to give a puppy that has been born from a properly vaccinated mother a vaccine before 9 weeks of age because it is not going to do a thing. It will not give your puppy any more protection.

What the research is showing is that the maternal protective antibodies has shifted. It used to be that we would have to start vaccinating puppies at 6 weeks of age to protect them. Now we can safely start at 9 weeks of age. As vaccines improve we may see even more of a shift and mother’s maternal antibodies may protect even longer forcing us to change when we vaccinate.

Here is how it works – the mother passes on her antibodies to her puppies and the puppies then are protected until the antibodies deteriorate away. They start to deteriorate away between 9 and 15 weeks. At 9 weeks of age, 80-90% of puppies are still protected by their mother’s antibodies, at 12 weeks of age that number drops to 50-60% and by 15 weeks of age none of the puppies are protected by their mothers antibodies anymore.

A puppy will not produce its own antibodies until it is exposed to that disease either by natural infection or by proper vaccination. So it is important to vaccinate appropriately based on risk. Obviously at 9 weeks of age the vaccine will only help 10% of the puppies the others are still protected by their mother’s antibodies and the vaccine will not offer any more protection.

Now, over vaccinating leads to immune system problems such as allergies and other immune system disorders, so we are going to want to limit how many vaccines we have to give. If you understand the immune system you will see that it is not necessary and can be detrimental to the immune system if you give two shots less than 3 weeks apart. Some breeders have been instructed by old information to give vaccines at an early age and two weeks apart – this is no longer necessary and in many cases can cause harm to the immune system of the developing puppy.

Proper protocol now is to give a vaccine of Distemper, Parvovirus and Adenovirus at 9 weeks, 12 weeks and then between 15 and 16 weeks of age. This protocol will then need to be followed up a year later with a booster to give the most protection. After that your dog will need to be titer tested or less preferably given a booster every 3 years.

Other vaccines such as Lepto or Lyme disease will only be needed depending on the part of the country you live in and should be given later after the initial series of vaccine has been completed.

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Dog Vaccines: Are You Over-Vaccinating?

September 15, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

You have probably been over vaccinating your pet!

Are you still going once a year to your vet for vaccines? Are you getting the same vaccine the same DHLPP vaccine every year? If you are then you are WAY over-vaccinating your dog and it can have harmful effects.

Distemper, Hepatitis and Parvovirus (the D, the H,  and one of the P’s in the DHLPP vaccine) are the three main core vaccines needed for your dog. The other diseases in the DHLPP vaccine may not be needed depending on what part of the country you live in. What current research has discovered is that after your dog has had its puppy vaccines for Parvo, Hepatitis (also known as Adenovirus) and Distemper and then a booster a year later the dog will have protective antibodies for 3 to 7 years and in some dogs even longer! In some dogs the antibodies produced by the last booster will last the rest of the dogs life!

There are commercially available blood tests that determine if your dog has protective antibodies called titer tests. Research done by Ronald Schultz, DVM and also Richard Ford, DVM  shows that for sure if a dog has a positive protective titer that dog will not contract the disease in which it was vaccinated.

What is even more interesting is that even if the dog does not have a positive titer which shows active antibodies in the bloodstream the dog may still be protected against the diseases, if it had proper puppy vaccination and the one year booster. What happens in this case is that the dogs immune system has the ability to produce the antibodies very quickly because it has made them before. So once exposed the dog would start producing antibodies that start fighting the disease, this usually happens within hours. The dog may exhibit a fever and mild symptoms but not develop full blown disease.

The current recommendation is to either vaccinate your dog every three years for the core vaccines of Distemper, Parvovirus, Adenovirus and, of course, Rabies. OR do titer testing and only receive vaccination when necessary and follow the law in regards to vaccination of Rabies. If you can do the three year Rabies then do it. There is no difference between the one year and the three year vaccine except for the legalities of administering it. IN fact Dr. Schultz currently has a study going which is showing that the rabies vaccine may last longer than 5 years! (http://www.rabieschallengefund.org/)

So now we know we don’t have to give vaccines every year is there any harm in doing so anyway? Simply – YES. Continuing to give vaccines every year over stimulates the immune system and can cause or make worse diseases such as auto-immune system disorders, allergies and even cancer.

For more info

Dr. Shawn Messonnier Do Vaccines Cause Cancer in Pets?

Dr. Bob Rogers http://www.critteradvocacy.org

Dr. Ron Schultz Dog vaccines may not be necessary

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6 Basic Saddle Fit Points

September 13, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

An Eventing or "All Purpose" saddle
Image via Wikipedia

There are 6 basic key elements to fitting a saddle properly to your horse. There are actually a lot more than this but the 6 basic ones will get you in the right direction.

1. Tree Angle

2. Tree Width

3. Panel Contact

4. Gullet Width

5. Balance

6. Symmetry

Tree Angle – is the angle of the tree and how it sits across the withers. It should allow for shoulder movement and the angle should be somewhat parallel to the withers.

Tree Width – is the width of the tree from panel to panel and how it sits across the withers. It should be wide enough to allow for shoulder movement, not crushing the withers and not so wide that it allows the pommel to rest on the withers.

Panel Contact – the panels should make even contact along the back of the horse. It should not have any gaps or spaces not touching the horse. It should not bridge or rock or have major worn areas. The panel should be firm but not hard.

Gullet Width – is the width between the panels along the saddle from front to back. It should have enough space that it does not allow for contact with the spine and the sensitive ligament that runs right next to the spine. An average man’s hand of four fingers width should be able to slide easily between the panels.

Balance – when looking at the saddle from the side on top of the horse it should be balanced. It should not have a raised pommel or a raised cantle.

Symmetry – when looking at the saddle from the back on top of the horse it should be even and be the same on both sides of the spine. it should not twist or be raised on one side or the other.

These are the basics of saddle fit. It is much more involved to really fit a custom saddle but if you are looking at your saddle these 6 basic points will help you in determining if your saddle is actually fitting correctly on your horse. If one of these points is a problem it may affect your horses’ behavior and certainly his movement. If these are not optimized to fit the horse then your horse will not have optimal movement. You ill need to check saddle fit at least once every 6 months. Fit your horse correctly and you will have a comfortable enjoyable ride.

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Welcome

September 13, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Welcome to Dog Kinetics!

I am Dr. Dan Beatty – I will be your host for this adventure into dog health and movement. please come back soon.