Monday, January 3, 2011

A horse vet at Christmas Time

Wow I never thought I would do this, but I am pretty excited to start a blog. It is a pretty interesting exercise. I am hopingto use this space to talk about fun stuff from the horse vet side of stuff and my own horse stuff.
Just working on our first email-able newsletter, which seems super crazy. But after researching and writing that I realized what I want to communicate is more personal than that and represent more me and not worrying about what everyone would say about the specific words I choose, so here goes more me.
Prepurchase Exam 
 I was so relieved to complete a prepurchase exam on a beautiful horse last week. The mare is lovely and so suited to her new owner. I worry that trying out a horse is a little like blind dating, we all put on our super happy faces and miss all the real stuff that doesn't show up until month two. The bucking, the dislike of brushing or tacking or jumping.  I did poke, prode, watch the horse ridden by two ridders. The exam itself took three hours and several phone calls and two visits. Unfortunatley,the whole thing took  a week. Fingers crossed the honeymoon between horse and rider will not be over for a long time.

Sleep Deprivation
We turned our own weanling thoroughbreds out in their own 2 acre paddock this morning. They seemed really jubilant about the process this morning but tonight I think they wanted back in the barn.  I hope they are feeling brave now waiting for the sun to come up. 
After I was enlightened on sleep deprivation in horses I am a little paranoid about it.   Traditionally, horses that fell asleep at inappropriate times were suffering from narcolepsy, fortunately a very smart guy named Dr. Joe Bertone in Calafornia,  did some amazing research and discovered they are sleep deprived. 
Horses need a few things to function to the top of their game and one of them is sleep. They can sleep standing up as we have all seen and were taught at vet school. But they really need to lay down to have a deep REM sleep.  If they don't lay down they perform poorly, fall asleep inappropriately ( at the show ring), fall asleep grooming, or wound catching themselves as they fall asleep standing up.  Classically the horses with the fetlock abrassions are falling  asleep standing, hitting the fetlocks to the ground then wake up as they hit the ground.  Horses don't lay down and rest for a few reasons: they can't, they are afraid too, no other horse is watching, pain and discomfort.  If a herd dynamic is changed or a horses environment is changed they may suffer from sleep deprivation.   To ensure your horse is functioning at his best, rule out sleep deprivation.  Here is a video and a link with one of my favorite sites.

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