Equine Vet www.modernequinevet.com
Vol 2 Issue 3 2013
Improve the odds
of a live healthy foal
Cool it down a notch Stress fractures: heavy load to repair
Table of Contents
4 Increasing the odds
Pregnant mares face many problems that put the fetus at risk. Cover photo by smeola /shutterstock
From racehorse to broodmare........................................................... 6 Many problems face the old girl
Stress fractures â€” a heavy load to repair..................................... 9 The body can have trouble remodeling the site of a stress fracture
Cool it down a notch............................................................................10 Icing lower limb just as effective for acute laminitis as icing the entire leg
Too dependent on people?.................................................................................................12 Some horses have difficulty solving problems on their own
If only horses wore mood rings.........................................................................................14 Mood, emotion and temperament can enhance performance
Alphabet soup: Just what do those initials mean?....................................................15 The letters after a technician's name are a recognition of that person's hard work and education.
To contact us, email Marie Rosenthal LEGAL DISCLAIMER: The content in this digital issue is for general informational purposes only. PercyBo Publishing Media makes no representations or warranties of any kind about the completeness, accuracy, timeliness, reliability or suitability of any of the information, including content or advertisements, contained in any of its digital content and expressly disclaims liability of any errors or omissions that may be presented within its content. PercyBo Publishing Media reserves the right to alter or correct any content without any obligations. Furthermore, PercyBo disclaims any and all liability for any direct, indirect, or other damages arising from the use or misuse of the information presented in its digital content. The views expressed in its digital content are those of sources and authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or policy of PercyBo. The content is for veterinary professionals. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited. 2
Issue 3/2013 | ModernEquineVet.com
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Increasing the odds of a
live, healthy foal Pregnant mares face many problems that put the fetus at risk. The goal of any pregnancy
is the birth of a live, healthy foal while preserving the health of the mare. Although veterinarians have made significant progress in this goal, many mares still experience pathology that jeopardizes this outcome. They need careful monitoring throughout their pregnancy. “Not too many large farms can closely monitor every mare, so you need to identify possible problems,” said Kristina Lu, VMD, DACT, a reproduction specialist at Hagyard Equine Medical Institute in Kentucky. “Do a good physical and reproduction examination of the pregnant mare. Have a good herd health program that involves vaccination and other preventive measures, and do your best at reproductive management,” she suggested at the recent AAEP annual meeting. “Beyond that, all we can do is monitor for impending problems.” Many problems put the fetus at risk, including equine herpesvirus, bacterial placentitis, fungal placentitis, twining, umbilical cord pathology, stillbirth or dystocia.
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Image of transrectal ultrasonography for assessment of the combined thickness of the uteroplacental unit (CTUP). This mare was showing improvement following 2 weeks after beginning treatment for placentitis. She delivered a healthy, robust foal.
Photo courtesy of Dr. Kristina Lu
The triad of management Lu said that managing a high-risk pregnancy often involves a triad of progestagens, anti-inflammatories and antimicrobials. Many veterinarians and clients also turn to a large list of ancillary or anecdotal treatments. Progestagen supplementation (altrenogest, Regumate at 0.044 mg/g) can help maintain pregnancy in mares with conditions, such as colic, endometritis, laminitis, inflammation to the uterus secondary to twin pinching, or proinflammatory states. In some conditions, such as placentitis, the dose can be doubled to 0.088 mg/g. “This dose with other treatments can decrease abortion, but it is very important that these treatments occur in combination,” she said. Altrenogest has many positive effects on the mare, including altered immune function, down regulation of endometrial progesterone receptors, decreased endogenous progesterone levels and mimicking diestrus. However, altrenogest might also affect the neonate, increasing the duration of stage II and its respiratory rate. She suggested tapering the hormone prior to foaling. After day 150, progestagen becomes less important in maintaining pregnancy, she said. The use of prophylactic antibiotics is becoming more common, but remember some can breach the placenta, so choose wisely. The human and equine literature has shown mixed results in this strategy. “Remember in cases of placentitis, where the uterus is infused with bacteria, and the mare is treated with appropriate antibiotics all the way to parturition, bacteria can still be cultured from the uterus after foaling,” Lu said. “We are fooling ourselves by thinking we are addressing it completely [with prophylactic antibiotics].” The typical prophylactic antibiotic schedule is 5-10 days at the beginning of every month. One of the most important treatments in a problem mare is probably the anti-inflammatories, she said, because many proinflammatory states are related to metabolism. Pentoxifylline is a potent anti-inflammatory and is usually dosed at 8.5 mg/kg PO TID. Cyclo-oxygenase inhibitors are used, most notably flunixin meglumine
Warn clients about outcomes If the veterinarian suspects a problem, bring clients in right away. “One of the most important conversations I have with clients when I perceive we might have a problem pregnancy is a conversation regarding management of their expectations. For instance, low birth-weight foals are less likely to race,” Kristina Lu, VMD, DACT, a reproduction specialist at Hagyard Equine Medical Institute in Kentucky. However, one study from the University of Kentucky showed that foals born of mares with subclinical or early onset placentitis did do well, but they were caught and treated very early. “They did not find any difference in number of starts, wins, places, showed and money won,” she said.
Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock
Ultrasonography is one of the best monitoring tools a veterinarian has to help assess not only mom’s health, but also fetal development. Another is measuring hormones, most commonly progesterone.
(0.5-1 mg/kg IV BID). Some veterinarians use other hormones, such as estrogen and gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH). “Other medications that clinicians use that have shown variable results in the literature are clenbuterol for tocolytics, and vitamin E in hopes of protecting the fetus against the hypoxic insult it might experience at birth. But we don’t know if it even gets to the fetus,” she said. Oxygen supplementation might help if the placenta is thick. The goal is to increase oxygen saturation in the dam, thereby, increasing oxygen supply to the fetus. It is “remarkably easy to implement in the field.” Aspirin and steroids are sometimes use, mostly because they can decrease the occurrence of idiopathic miscarriage in women, but there is no proof of this result in mares. The ancillary treatment, acupuncture, has shown pregnancy rates and maintenance in women, she said. “In my practice, the triad that we tend to use is altrenogest, pentoxifylline and trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, if an infectious process is suspected. My ancillary treatment of choice is acupuncture,” she said. MeV ModernEquineVet.com | Issue 3/2013
From racehorse to broodmare:
Many problems face the A career, particularly in racing can affect a mare’s second career — broodmare, Juan C. Samper, DVM, MSC, PhD, DACT, explained at the recent AAEP Annual Meeting. “Many mares with prolonged careers are entering their breeding career as an older embryo transfer donor or older broodmare having never delivered a foal,” said Samper, of the Veterinary Reproductive Services LTSD, Langley, BC, Canada. Older mares are prone to a number of conditions: • Reproductive system problems, • Skeletal issues, and • Endocrine issues.
Issue 3/2013 | ModernEquineVet.com
And theses factors can adversely affect their pregnancies, causing: • Subfertility, • Anatomical defects in perineum, • Acute or chronic infections, • Delayed uterine clearance, and • Ovulatory problems. Bring them into the clinic for insemination. It increases their chances of getting into foal, says Samper, who did an informal survey in his office where he looked at pregnancy rates in mares bred at the ranch vs. those bred in the clinic, and the clinic was significantly higher. Several reasons suggest why. Without a central facility, veterinarians cannot always: • perform timely procedures and therapies; • evaluate semen quality prior to insemination; • perform semen processing techniques to enhance stallion or mare fertility. • perform uterine lavage when needed. “People often send their mares to a central facility because pregnancy rates are slightly higher,” he said, “but we forget that as soon as those mares get pregnant they get shipped back to the farm, where their regular veterinarian is going to look at these mares for the next 11 months,” he said. Veterinarians should watch for metabolic and endocrine disorders, especially among the easy keepers with regional fat deposits, and Andalusian, Arabian and some sport horses. Thoroughbreds, Standardbred and quarter horses, are less effected, he said. Unexplained onset of laminitis and hyper-insulinemia (200-300 pmol/L) would point to a metabolic dysfunction, as would colic, diarrhea or endotoxemia, pleuropneumonia or retained placenta. Musculoskeletal conditions, such problems with the hoof and tarsus, lymphangitis and abdominal muscles weakness are also concerns. Mares moving from race horse to broodmare will need extra maintenance to bring that fetus to foal, he warned. MeV
Jarek Joepera / Shutterstock.com
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Electron microscopy image of an incomplete condylar fracture in a Thoroughbred race horse (White arrow) with areas of bone resorption surrounding it (white arrowheads).
Issue 3/2013 | ModernEquineVet.com
Stress fractures — a heavy load to repair
The body can have trouble remodeling the site of a stress fracture because of the constant load, so the adjacent area takes up the load to enable the repair. B
What do ballet dancers and racehorses have in common? They commonly encounter stress fractures, which can occur when there is a sustained increase in loading, and they often must work through that issue. Repeated loading can cause bone fatigue, resulting in stress fractures if the skeleton does not adapt to its loading environment and is unable to repair the damage faster than it accumulates. “Repeated loading of the bone underlying the cartilage of the distal cannon bone causes fatigue and eventually fracture in some cases. Normally fatigued bone is replaced by bone remodeling, but remodeling is suppressed when horses are in full race training,” said Chris Whitton, BVSc, FACVSc, PhD, head of the Equine Center and associate professor of equine surgery at the University of Melbourne. Some evidence suggests that when fatigue fractures are developing, focal remodeling can occur at the fracture site. To confirm this, Whitton and his colleagues recently examined condylar fractures of the cannon bone in cadavers with electron microscopy and compared them to bones from horses without fractures. They demonstrated that throughout most of the bone adjacent to the fetlock joint, remodeling is suppressed in
the horses, but where fractures had developed remodeling activity doubled. “The cells that are critical to remodeling don’t function well in areas sustaining high repeated loads but we showed that there was an increase in the bone volume surrounding the damaged areas suggesting that this stronger bone may shield the area that is sustaining damage allowing the cells to perform their role of bone replacement,” he explained. In other words, since the site of the fatigue fracture is difficult for the body to remodel because of the constant load, the areas near it take some of the load so that the body can repair the weaker bone. The observation of excessive sclerosis of bone around joints on radiographs is a sign of skeletal overload, according to Whitton, who suggested that the work loads of affected horses be examined and modified. “There are limits to how much you can work a horse at high speeds because bone is not replaced very well in many horses in full race training and their bone is fatiguing,” Whitton said. “Bone replacement only appears to increase once damage has occurred, which is too late. “We need to learn a lot more about how much loading the equine skeleton can take before injury occurs so we can work horses at safer levels.” MeV
Bone replacement only appears to
increase once damage has occurred. And
Photo courtesy of Dr. Chris Whitton
that's too late.
For more information: Whitton RC, Mirams M, Mackie EJ, et al. Exercise-induced inhibition of remodeling is focally offset with fatigue fracture in racehorses. Osteoporos Int. 2013 Feb 1. [Epub ahead of print] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23371360
ModernEquineVet.com | Issue 3/2013
Photo courtesy of Dr. Jonathan Cheetham
Cool it down
Icing lower limb just as effective for acute laminitis as icing up to the knee. Icing the lower portion of the forelimb is just as effective for laminitic horses as wader boot treatment, which ices the leg up to the knee, according to a study out of the University of Cornell. If applied early, cyrotherapy 10
Issue 3/2013 | ModernEquineVet.com
helps dampen the inflammatory cascade that results from the laminitic insult and can ameliorate the severity of digital laminar lesions in horses with acute laminitis. â€œLaminitis causes a big cas-
cade of inflammatory mediators that promote more inflammation. Other studies have shown that cooling the foot before these inflammatory changes occur can keep them from occurring. They have been shown using a big rubber wadding boot that comes up to the knee. You fill it up with water and ice, and it cools the horse's leg effectively,â€? said Jonathan Cheetham, VetMB, PhD, research scientist
a notch Applying and measuring ice bag filled with ice slurry. The ice bags are a low-cost, practical system for cooling the limb and providing adjunctive therapy for acute laminitis.
and equine surgeon at Cornell University, College of Veterinary Medicine in New York. However, the wader boots can be difficult and impractical for many owners to use. “We wanted to look at a sim-
ple, practical low-cost system that you could use to cool the horse’s foot and compare it to the wader boot system,” he said. They compared three different methods of cyrotherapy in healthy horses and measured
their cooling effects: 1. wader boot (63-cm tall vinyl boot filled with an ice slurry of water and ice); 2. a gel pack boot; and 3. an ice bag filled with ice slurry. They found that the gel packs were not helpful because they did not substantially cool the digit, but the ice bag was just as useful as the wader boot at cooling the digit. “The ice bag gives you a lowcost, practical system that any owner can use in cooperation with the veterinarian,” he said. Based on these findings, he has been using the ice bag at the Cornell equine hospital. “We use a fairly long period of cooling. We recommend continuous cooling, which may require replacing the ice every couple of hours,” he recommended. Depending on the initial presentation and cause, he would ice the hoof affected by laminitis for at least three days. In addition, use any medical treatment, such as anti-inflammatories, which would normally be prescribed for acute laminitis. Horses are very tolerant of cryrotherapy. MeV
For more information: Reesink HL, Divers TJ, Bookbinder LC, et al. Measurement of digital laminar and venous temperatures as a means of comparing three methods of topically applied cold treatment for digits of horses. Am J Vet Res. 2012 Jun;73(6):860-6. doi: 10.2460/ajvr.73.6.860. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22620701 ModernEquineVet.com | Issue 3/2013
Too dependent on
Some horses have difficulty solving problems on their own.
There are many issues to
consider when choosing a horse, but most people probably don’t think about how dependent that horse might be on human guidance. In certain situations, a horse that depends too much on human intervention might not be able to solve problems on its own. “In some situations, such as undulating or uneven ground, for example, it could be safer to own a horse that is better able to make its own decisions,” said Clémence Lesimple, PhD, from the Laboratoire d'Ethologie Animale et Humaine at the Université de Rennes in France. Several studies have shown that domestic animals, such as dogs and horses, are good at detecting human cues, but Lesimple and her
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M a r i e
colleagues wanted to know if they were self-sufficient enough to solve problems without human intervention. They studied 46 horses that were used by a riding school. Each were given an instrumental learning task called the “chest test,” in which they were required to lift the lid of a wooden chest to find food. Each horse was shown the food in the chest and then given 3 chances lasting 3 minutes each to figure out how to open the chest. Before each trial, the same researcher demonstrated how to open the chest. If the horse could not figure out how to open the box within 3 minutes, it was given more time — up to 9 minutes in three separate tries — to figure out that it had to use its head to push open the box. The
R o s e n t h a l ,
test stopped as soon as it succeeded in opening the chest. If the horse could not open the chest during the first 3 minutes, the experimenter demonstrated opening the chest for food a second time, and the horse was given 3 more minutes to open the chest. If the horse could not open the chest, the experimenter repeated the demonstration and then the third trail began. “During the experiment, we recorded the number of trials and the time required to open the chest,” Lesimple said. They also recorded the looks and behaviors the horse exhibited toward the chest, the researcher and the activity. They found that about half of the horses were more interested in the researcher than the others were. These horses were less likely to open the chest or required more time and chances to succeed in the experiment than horses that were not as interested in the researcher. They seemed to expect the person to open the chest and feed them. However, horses that displayed
more interest in the presence of the person did investigate the chest more than those that did not. “Thus, they clearly associated the human with the chest and the food, even if they did not open it. Interestingly, if they investigated the chest more, they also made fewer real attempts to open it (lift the lid),” she said. Lesimple said there were probably a combination of genetic and environmental factors that resulted in whether the horse could open the box, but that the humananimal bond also influenced the horse’s behavior. “The quality of the humanhorse relationship will also probably impact the investigative behaviors of the horse toward the experimenter,” she said. “However, it seems that the domestication and selection processes may have led the horses to better understand the human signals, but also to a decrease of their self-sufficiency when faced with unusual challenges. “Scientists have argued that
domestication and the associated selection led animals to improve their cognitive skills concerning the detection and understanding of human signals. We wanted to see if there could be a sort of ‘compensation’ to the detriment of other skills,” Lesimple told The Modern Equine Vet. “However, I don’t think that dependency to humans is necessarily a ‘bad thing.’ It depends on what the owners want to do with the horse. But I think this is an important thing to take into account when buying a horse, considering the wanted use,” she said.
Might not be less intelligent
The horses that could not perform the task were not necessarily less intelligent than other horses, as all of the horses were used by the riding stable for riding lessons, so they were all trained to do a particular job. It would be near impossible to tell the horse’s intelligence in this experiment because they only tested one type of learning: instrumental learning. In other tasks, such as spatial learning, the results could have been different, she explained. “We have no way to know if they did not lift the lid because they did not understand how to do this, or if they did not really try, waiting for the human to give them the food, which could be considered a less wasteful strategy,” she said. An animal’s dependency on people would be only one part of its abilities, and should not be considered separately from other traits, such as general human-horse relationship or temperament, according to Lesimple. MeV
For more information: Lesimple C, Sankey C, Richard MA, Hausberger M. Do horses expect humans to solve their problems? Frontiers in Psychology. 2012;3:1-4. http://www.frontiersin.org/Comparative_Psychology/10.3389/fpsyg.2012.00306/abstract
ModernEquineVet.com | Issue 3/2013
If only horses could wear
mood rings Mood, emotion and temperament can enhance performance.
suited a horse is for performance. Matching the horse's mood, emotion and temperament to its job can enhance its performance, as well as make it safer for the rider, according to a recent study in BioMed Central's open access journal BMC Veterinary Research. In a comprehensive review of psychological factors affecting equine performance Sebastian McBride, BSc, DPhil, and Daniel Mills, BVSc, MRCVS, PhD, looked at how current behavioral research and behavioral modification techniques could be applied to enhance the performance of animals at competition level. This includes matching a horse’s temperament to different equestrian disciplines. For example, flightiness can be good for racing but detrimental for dressage. “Another important consideration is the horses mood and emotional reaction. Although these have an intrinsic baseline observable in the young, untrained horse, they can be influenced by training and they also depend on the interaction between rider and horse. Competition riders are well aware how a strange environment, and nerves on competition day, can affect their horse’s performance,” said McBride, visiting fellow at the Royal Agricultural College. “The increased competitiveness and performance level of equestrian sport means that for each horse-and-rider pair physical and psychological behavior must be considered when designing training conditions and increasing motivation to perform at the optimum level of athletics," he said. "They must also be applied to reducing over-emotional reactions on competition day and, given the trained horse’s high motivation to succeed, to decrease any negative experiences at competitions which may otherwise impact on future events,” said Mills, professor of veterinary behavior medicine at the University of Lincoln, School of Life Science in the United Kingdom. MeV
For more information: McBride S, Mills DS. Psychological factors affecting equine performance. BMC Vet Res. 2012 Sep 27;8:180. doi: 10.1186/1746-6148-8-180. http://www.biomedcentral.com/1746-6148/8/180 14
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Erik Lam, Iurii Konoval, Marcel Jancovic , Cheryl Ann Quigley / Shutterstock.com
Three inter-related psychological factors help determine how
Alphabet soup: What those initials really mean after your name By Deborah Reeder, RVT, VTS-EVN AAEVT Executive Director Terminology can be a bit confusing, especially when we are faced with deciphering all of the letters of the alphabet that occur after a person’s name today. But these letters carry an important significance — not only to the growing recognition of our industry, but to those who have gone the extra mile to achieve these credentials. To add to this confusion, there is no national credentialing or governing body for veterinary technicians, so you must know what state has recognized these credentials, and what laws and regulations govern that status. State VMA’s or State Boards are usually the governing body for most technicians. The rules and regulations regarding what a credentialed veterinary technician vs. a non-credentialed technician can do vary state by state,
nician). Accepted terminology: Credentialed Veterinary Technician. These individuals have graduated from an AVMA accredited two- or four-year program and received an Associates or Bachelors Degree. They have taken a national board exam (VTNE or equivalent) and a state practical exam, if required, or they were grandfathered in or received their credentials by proclamation. They must also complete annual state continuing education requirements to maintain their credentialed status. VTS-EVN: A credentialed equine veterinary technician who has completed the application process for the Academy of Equine Veterinary Nursing Technicians, submitted all requirements, and successfully passed an examination. Recognized as a Veterinary Technician Specialist-Equine Veterinary Nursing and is a member of the Academy AEVNT.
The rules regarding what a credentialed veterinary technician vs. a non-credentialed vet tech can do varies state by state, and are often driven by small animal medicine.
Deborah Reeder, RVT, VTS-EVN and are often small-animal driven. There is also no reciprocity among the states, so a technician that is credentialed in Texas and moves to Illinois, must first meet that states qualifications to sit for their state practical exam and then pass it to work as a credentialed veterinary technician in that state (even if they have already passed the national VTNE). With the downturn in the economy, this has hampered veterinary technicians trying to find employment. The AAVSB has a resource for finding the individual state requirements regarding technicians: http://www.aavsb.org/DLR/.
Important Terminology to Understand:
Veterinary Technician: An individual who has received a credentialed status: CVT (certified), LVT (licensed), RVT (registered) or AHT (animal health tech-
Veterinary Assistant: An individual who has been trained solely on the job, or may have a Bachelor of Science or Horse Husbandry degree but has not gone through the accredited process or taken examinations. Many states have restrictions on what an assistant can do or the level of supervision required for them to perform duties. AAEVT Certified Equine Veterinary Technician/ Assistant: An individual who has successfully completed all components of the ACT AAEVT on-line Equine Certification Program. An individual must successfully complete the online three-course program comprised of 10 areas of study equine focus, complete a list of competency skills, and attend an AAEVT Regional CE Symposium and participate in the wet labs and be signed off on horsemanship skills. ModernEquineVet.com | Issue 3/2013
technician update In our profession, these credentials have expanded to now include the VTS or veterinary technician specialty. An Academy designates veterinary technicians receiving recognition as a specialty and is restricted to credentialed veterinary technicians, who must complete a formal process of education, training, experience and testing to qualify. There are currently 11 Academies of specialization for technicians, including critical care, dentistry (small animal), nutrition, behavior and internal medicine. These Academies are overseen by a specialty committee within the national technician association (NAVTA). The AAEVT organized the first specie-specific Academy in 2009 — The AEVNT — Academy of Equine Veterinary Nursing Technicians. The members of the Academy receive the initials VTS-EVN — noting they are a veterinary technician specialist in equine veterinary nursing. The AEVNT exists to promote excellence in the discipline of
equine veterinary nursing. There is a fairly difficult credential to achieve. It involves a thorough application and letters of recommendation, CE requirements of at least 50 hours, and work experience in the specialty field of at least 5,000 hours. The candidates must also complete an extensive Equine Veterinary Nursing Clinical skills form, and participate in and document a minimum of 50 case studies, which include detailed reports on at least five cases. Upon approval of the application, candidates must then sit for an exam with at least 250 questions and pass with at least an 80%. The AEVNT has held two examinations and we now have a membership of 12. Butler Schein Animal Health is a proud sponsor of the AEVNT and provides recognition of these individuals at our These individuals have strived to expand their professional careers, and will serve as mentors and leaders of our profession. MeV
that the holder is a
veterinary technician specialist in equine
For more information: Contact Jessie Loberg, CVT, VTS-EVN at firstname.lastname@example.org or the application and more information can be found on the AAEVT website AEVNT link: http://aaevt.org/aaevtacademy.html The NAVTA website also provides an overview of all of the Academies: https://www.navta.net/specialties/specialties
* We promise not to bombard you with emails. Just a notice when new informtiaon is available. 16
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Send us your email address
AAEVT* membership is open to US and international equine veterinary technicians, assistants, practice managers, and support staff employed in the veterinary industry. It is also open to students of AVMA/CVMA accredited programs
AAEVT Membership • • • • • • • •
Bi-Annual Newsletter Weekly “HoofBeats” email NEwsblast Full access to www.aaevt.org, including the Career Center and the Library Up-to-date information on the AAEVT Discounted registration for AAEVT Regional Meetings and the annual AAEP/AAEVT Convention NTRA, Working Advantage and Platinum Performance Benefits The opportunity to participate in the AAEVT Online Certification Program or to become a member of the AEVNT Academy-Specialty in Equine Veterinary Nursing • Scholarship opportunities. • AAEVT’s Equine Manual for Veterinary Technicians (Blackwell Publishing 20% discount on purchase price) • Subscription to THE HORSE Magazine, compliments of Intervet Schering/Plough Opportunity to attend Purina’s Annual Equine Veterinary Technician Conference All Expenses paid!
AAEVT Objectives • • • •
Provide opportunities for CE, training, communication, and networking Educate the equine veterinary community and the public about our profession Inform Members of issues affecting our profession Assist in providing the best medical care to improve the health and welfare of the horse
AAEVT Online Equine Certification Program
• A three course, 10 module, equine-only online program offered through ACT • Geared toward Credentialed Veterinary Technicians, Assistants, Support staff, & Students • Areas of study include: equine medical terminology, anatomy and physiology, parasitology, laboratory, diagnostics, equine basics (breeds, wellness, husbandry,) diagnostic procedures, emergency medicine, restraint, pharmacology, surgical assistance and anesthesia, equine office procedures • A certificate of completion is awarded to those who: Successfully complete required courses Complete the list of required skills (per a supervising DVM who is an AAEP member) Attend an AAEVT regional CE symposium and participate in the we labs • Those individuals who successfully complete the programs will be recognized as AAEVT Certified Equine Veterinary Technicians / AAEVT Certified Equine Veterinary Assistants depending on their current designation. The certificate is recognized by the AAEVT and the AAEP but does not grant the credentialed status by the AVMA • For more information go to www.aaevt.4act.com or call 800-357-3182
AAEVT Mission Statement: To promote the health and welfare of the horse through the education and professional enrichment of the equine veterinary technician and assistant.
For more information visit www.aaevt.org
*American Association of Equine Veterinary Technicians and Assistants
Include your regional, national or international meeting. Contact us today with the information and a link. 2013 Calendar
June 12-15: ACVIM Forum. Seattle, Wash. www.ACVIMForum.org
July 20-23: AVMA Annual Convention. Chicago. www.avmaconvention.org
Aug. 15-17: TEVA 5th Annual Symposium. Marble Falls, Texas, http://teva-online.org/
Sept. 11-14: BEVA Congress. Manchester, UK, http://www.beva.org.uk/congress/FutureCongresses
Oct. 3-5: World Equine Veterinary Conference. Budapest, Hungary. https://www.weva2013budapest.com/ Oct. 9-13: Wild West Veterinary Conference. Reno, Nev. Oct. 9-13, http://www.wildwestvc.com/
Oct. 11-13: Purina Equine Veterinary Technician Conference. St. Louis, Mo. www.equinevetnutrition.com Oct. 24-26, 2013: 2013 ACVS Veterinary Symposium: The Surgical Summit. San Antonio, Texas. http://www.acvs.org/Symposium/ Dec. 7-11: 59th Annual AAEP Convention. Nashville, Tenn. https://www.aaep.org/convention.htm We are not responsible for any errors or omissions.
Among households that own horses as pets,
at least one visit from a decrease of
since 2006.* *AVMA, 2012 US Pet Ownership and Demographics Sourcebook
Issue 3/2013 | ModernEquineVet.com
Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock
veterinarian in 2011, a
USDA considering U.S. horse slaughter application
Last year, more than 160,000 American horses were exported for slaughter for food. U.S. Sens. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Reps. Patrick Meehan (R-Pa.) and Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) introduced bipartisan legislation that would stop the inhumane killing of American horses for human consumption and prohibit the transport of horses across the U.S. border for slaughter in Canada and Mexico. The Safeguard American Food Exports (SAFE) Act would prevent horse slaughter operations in the U.S., end the current export of American horses for slaughter abroad, and protect the public from consuming toxic horse meat. Last year, more than 160,000 American horses were exported for slaughter for food. US horses are raised for use in show, sport, work and recreation. Animals raised for food are regulated to prevent certain chemicals from entering the human food supply. A hodgepodge of drugs, including cobra venom and cocaine, are used in performance horses. There is no system in the U.S. to track medications and veterinary treatments given to horses to ensure that horse meat is safe for human consumption, the organizations argue. This surprising move toward a resumption of domestic horse slaughter comes in the wake of the scandal unfolding in the European Union, where consumers have been alarmed by the discovery of horse
meat mislabeled as beef in prepared food products ranging from lasagna to meatballs. The federal government could potentially spend millions to open new horse slaughter plants at a time when spending cuts could curtail food safety inspections for other U.S. meat products. MeV
Quarantine lifted after negative EHV-1 tests found in Florida The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services lifted the quarantine affecting more than 1,000 horses that had been exposed to equine herpesvirus-1 (EHV-1) at the Horse Shows in the Sun (HITS) show grounds in Ocala. “We appreciate the cooperation of those who were affected by the quarantine,” said Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam. “Together, we were able to treat the horses affected and prevent this potentially fatal disease from infecting other horses in Florida or around the country.” The department confirmed the first positive case of EHV-1 on Feb. 20 involving a horse that had been at the HITS show grounds. The case was referred to the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine after showing clinical neurological signs. A second horse exposed on the HITS show grounds also developed neurological signs and was referred to the college and isolated for treatment. Both horses have recovered and tested negative to three consecutive tests and are being moved out of isolation. Eight more cases of EHV-1 that were linked to the horse show were confirmed in Florida. The department issued a quarantine order to the entire venue hosting the event and other areas where exposed horses had traveled. In all, horses on 15 sites, including the show grounds, were placed under quarantine. Other horses were released as they meet quarantine release requirements. Horses under quarantine were monitored for signs of viral infection, including fever and nasal discharge. The department worked with management, trainers and veterinarians on the site to help prevent the further spread of disease. EHV-1, which can result in neurological disease, respiratory disease, abortion and neonatal death, is spread by direct horseto-horse contact through nasal secretions or contact with physical objects contaminated with the virus. The virus does not affect humans. MeV ModernEquineVet.com | Issue 3/2013
The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently announced its plan to process an application for inspecting horse slaughter at a New Mexico facility. If the application is approved, Valley Meat Company LLC will be the first facility in the U.S. to slaughter horses for human consumption since 2007, when the few remaining plants closed and Congress suspended funding for horse meat inspections. Several organizations, including The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, the Animal Welfare Institute (AWI), The Humane Society of the United States (The HSUS) and the Center for Science in the Public Interest oppose this application.
Many issues must be considered when discussing horse slaughter in US I have to admit, I don’t really like to think about where my food has come from (or where it’s been), and I know many other people feel the same way. I have a friend who was a kid when she really started thinking about the origins of her food. A relative sat at the dinner table and “walked” two chicken legs across the table — and it dawned on her what that fried chicken used to be. She stopped eating meat, and to this day, is still a vegetarian. Me? I can’t help it. I’m a meat eater myself. I like cooking it, and I love eating it. But the only time I think of the cow, the chicken, or the pig as a living entity is when I am throwing a live lobster into the pot. It gives me a moment of pause, and I always hope that God is not a lobster. Boy, I’m in trouble if He is. That doesn’t mean that I don’t care about how animals are treated — all animals, even those raised for food. It would be a perfect world if all animals were raised and treated humanely.
By Dr. Robert M. Miller
I started thinking about this when I read about a new bill in Congress concerning horse slaughter.
As you well know, this is a very controversial issue. Just as with most controversial subjects, there is more to it than just eating horse meat or just killing animals. What to do with unwanted horses is just as serious an issue in this country. There are hundreds of thousands of horses that are abused, neglected and abandoned. I don't know the number, but 160,000 horses were sent overseas for slaughter. If you don't slaughter these horses, what becomes of them? If they are just euthanized, what becomes of the carcasses? And many people in the world are starving. According to World Hunger, 925 million people went hungry in 2010. Why not have a humane system in place to handle both of these problems? However, there are at least two problems with horse slaughter, over and above the "aesthetics": 1. Horses are not always killed humanely. 2. Horses that are not raised specifically for food can contain chemicals that could be toxic to people. Think about it. What drugs are used in the racing industry alone? Do we really want substances like bute, cocaine and cobra venom in our diets? The US Department of Agriculture recently said it would process an application for inspecting horse slaughter at a New Mexico facility. Several organizations are opposed to this, and both the Senate and the House have introduced legislation to stop the killing of American horses for human consumption and prohibit the transport of horses across the border for slaughter in Canada and Mexico. That’s all well and good. But somewhere, someone has to develop a plan to care for the unwanted horses in this country. Marie Rosenthal, MS Editor The Modern Equine Vet
Dr. Miller’s books and videos are available for sale at www.robertmmiller.com 20
Issue 3/2013 | ModernEquineVet.com
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