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Dr. Garfinkel's September Update

Greetings my friends!

We've come to the unofficial end of our summertime season. Labor Day has passed, Del Mar racing season has come and gone, vacations have been taken, the kids are back in school, and, I think it's safe to say we're all anticipating the return of cooler riding weather and crisp fall evenings!

 

Increased Equine West Nile Virus Activity in 2012

Nearly 700 human cases of West Nile virus (WNV) have been confirmed in the United States thus far in 2012, according to a recent statement from the Center for Disease Control (CDC). So it should come as no surprise that many veterinarians are recommending horse owners ensure their animals are properly vaccinated against the potentially deadly mosquito-borne disease.

Horse Trailer Safety Checklist

Before any kind of trailer travel, do a once-over in these areas, checking that:
✔ All lights are working;
✔ Brakes are working, and brake maintenance is up-to-date;
✔ Trailer hitch is secure, and safety chains are on;
✔ Dirt and debris are swept out;
✔ Trailer mats are clean and dry;
✔ Dividers are securely fastened;
✔ Loose, rattling parts have been tightened or secured;
✔ Sharp edges or loose wires inside trailer are fixed;
✔ Trailer is loaded properly and within weight limits;
✔ Lug nuts on all wheels are tight; and
✔ Tire pressure is within recommended ranges when tires are cold.

Texting While Driving Endangers Horses Also

Kentucky State Police report that the Alabama truck driver who crossed the median and caused a crash in March that killed him and 10 other people had been using his cell phone to send and receive calls leading up to the crash. This tragedy is just one example of the dangerous consequences of distracted driving.

Horse Cribbing and Dentistry

Pet owners sometimes forget that animals need dental maintenance just like we do. It is important to stay on top of routine dentistry in order to help prevent more serious problems in the future. Aside from routine dental conditions that occur in horses, owners might encounter a behavior that is referred to as cribbing or crib biting, which can have a negative effect on the incisor teeth.

Annual Exam

phonebooth2-300x250“Hey Dr. Garfinkel, could you look at this while you’re here?”-

-Definitely one of the most common phrases she hears on her visits. The spring visit is a perfect time for her to examine those bumps, skin conditions, old wounds, and other things you have had concerns about through the winter. She also will briefly check the teeth as part of the annual exam during this time. In addition, the annual exam will establish baseline normal values for your horse’s temperature, pulse, respirations, and weight which would help her if a problem does arise. She also may uncover current or potential issues that you are not aware of. Dr. Garfinkel is looking forward to seeing you and your horses this spring and hope you will see the value in having her  do more than “just the shots and de-worming.”