Fair warning, this is all text. Enjoy?
A couple of months ago, my magical vet hit up social media to ask about whether people would be interested in some client education and, if so, what topics. I immediately responded with about forty-seven of my greatest equine fears. Because Murphy's Law.
He scheduled a few sessions over the past couple of weeks and the one I attended Monday night was at TE's barn, about an hour away. There were a dozen of us sitting on chairs in her aisle - western riders, one or two hunter/jumpers, a majority of eventers, and your very own senior babysitter. And pizza, provided by the magical vet.
It was set up as sort of a Q&A opportunity, rather than a presentation. The questions started with one of the younger eventers asking very specific questions about wind sucking, which turned into more questions about ulcers. We discussed UlcerGard and GastroGard and generic medications. He went in depth about Omeprazole and Sucralfate, and how the generic of either isn't bad so long as the dosage is sufficient, which seems to be the general problem. He said that UlcerGard and GastroGard were essentially the same medication, because marketing a new medication is easier than relabeling a medication for a separate use (prevention versus treatment). Also, money. He also said that Merial's lost their patent on the medication, so we ought to expect generics to start hitting the market.
Someone asked wtf "Coggins" is. So he explained a little more about EIA. I guess I never realized that the main problem with the disease isn't just that it's going to kill your horse, but rather that it's going to slowly kill your horse, thus enabling your horse to infect even more horses before succumbing.
After coggins (or before, who remembers?), someone asked about Cushings dz. Somewhere around here I realized that this whole blogging community is brilliant, because of y'all, I at least know that it's now officially PPID. Vet talked about the tumor in the pituitary gland and the symptoms he looks for. Loss of top line in an older horse is actually the first thing. Statistically 1/7 horses over seventeen will have it. Then the presence of guard hairs on the hind cannons. Polyuria and polydipsia (increased urination and thirst). He said that by the time you've gotten the shaggy coat, you're at an advanced stage. He brought up the five various blood tests on the market and how the greatest issue is the false negative. I asked about the effect of grass cycles on the bloodwork, which he said has recently been debunked. Gold stars to me for even knowing about it. (Educational link here.)
This opened the floor for me to ask even more questions about various diseases that will kill your horse, like Lyme (not a concern down here) and Strangles (we'll talk about this more another day) and the recent prevalence of EHV-1. (You wanna talk about the herp?) I wanted to also ask about biosecurity in relation to infectious equine diseases, because I feel like people without medical backgrounds don't know shit about slowing the spread of contagions. (Sorry, not sorry.) I didn't get a chance because EPM was also on my list (macabre, much?) before someone kindly interjected and asked if we could talk more about general maintenance.
So we talked about worming cycles and the importance of fecals and the issues more concerning to our location, where worms rarely die. As a boarder, I've thought very little about how often, when, and with what Archie is being dewormed. I'm now educated just enough to be a nuisance to my BM and ask these questions. Like when was the last time Archie had ivermectin? Has our vet reviewed her deworming schedule? I know the results of his last fecal, which was over six months ago.
TE and I monopolized the Q&A session, which I don't think was necessarily a bad thing. She manages a barn, I used to work at a barn, and we both have backgrounds in veterinary medicine. We asked generalities, rather than "My horse does XYZ, why?", so hopefully it was advantageous to the rest of the group.
Fair warning, this is all text. Enjoy?