Equine Infectious Anemia (EIA) is a potentially fatal viral disease, transmitted by blood via biting insects. EIA causes severe anemia and fevers and has no cure. The incidence of EIA has been greatly reduced by surveillance through testing (Coggins Test).
A "Coggins" is a blood test that detects antibodies to the Equine Infectious Anemia disease. For your horse to travel across state lines and internationally, a negative Coggins Test is required. Requirements may vary depending on where you are traveling. International travel often requires a horse to have a negative Coggins within 30 days. Most states require proof that a horse has tested negative for EIA within the 12 months prior to travel. However, some states require that horses test EIA negative 60 days prior to entering the state. If you are crossing state lines, with your horse, you will also need a health certificate.
To perform a Coggins Test, a Starwood veterinarian will obtain a blood sample and send it to a USDA accredited laboratory. The sample is submitted with a form which identifies your horse through markings and digital photographs.
To streamline our service, we encourage clients to begin the Coggins and health certificate process at least one week before their planned departure. A RUSH can be done with a 48 hour turn-around time, but additional charges apply.
The only way to definitively diagnose ulcers is through gastroscopy, which involves placing an endoscope into the stomach and looking at its surface. To allow this, the stomach must be empty, so most horses are held off feed for 12 to 24 hours and not allowed to drink water for two to three hours. With light sedation the endoscope is passed through the nostril and down the esophagus into the stomach. The light and camera on the end of the endoscope allow the veterinarian to observe the stomach lining.
See Full Article on Ulcers from AAEP
The following are images from a Gastroscopy performed by Starwood Equine on a competition horse, confirming suspected Equine Gastric Ulcer Syndrome (EGUS).
The patient was placed on a regimen of omeprazole and sucralfate and was rechecked 42 days later. The follow up scoping revealed that the ulcers were improving with the prescribed antacid therapy. Below is a screen shot of the healing polyps found on the antrum after treatment.
The treatment doses were tapered following the second scoping. We are happy to report that the patient is much improved since treatment.
There are many questions regarding what changes to make in your daily routine to help your horse thrive during the cold winter months. With the help of their owners, horses can live in comfort year round with some small modifications. These include feed alterations, water adjustments, supplemental blanketing, mud management, riding changes, and shelter arrangement.
During the winter many horses decrease their level of water consumption. Owners can help their horses stay healthy and hydrated by encouraging them to drink using several different techniques. Studies have shown that when horses are offered slightly warmer water vs. the cold, icy water directly from the hose, there is an increased likelihood of them drinking more regularly. This can be accomplished by using a number different bucket or tank heaters, or by adding warm water to their feed twice daily. Several other methods of encouragement include offering free choice mineral blocks or topping a small amount of grain with electrolytes. It is important to keep your horse hydrated during these cold months because decreased water consumption could lead to impaction colic and an overall decrease in health and wellbeing
SmartPak has developed a blanketing app to help owners take the guesswork out of which blanket to put on their horse. You can customize a profile for each of your horses including age, hair coat length, body condition, and shelter availability. The app then makes a blanketing recommendation for your specific horse based on the weather forecast in your area.
Click for more information on the SmartPak Blanketing App.
Mud and Shelter Management:
If horses are turned out in a pasture, it is necessary for them to have some form of shelter to enable them to get away from winter elements and mud. Shelters come in a variety of forms, and the type you use is largely dependent on a specific facility and finances. It is important to ensure shelters have adequate space for the number of animals and their natural hierarchy behavior.
Shelters are a great way to allow horses to get out of the mud as well. If a horse is unable to have a break from standing in constant mud, they can develop issues such as fungal and bacterial infections, which will not only be bothersome for them, but will require you to have to spend extra time cleaning the area, as well as figure out a mud free area to house them until the affected wound has been cleared. Daily brushing and washing is a great preventative measure to help avoid issues.
Riding and Care changes:
In the winter we find that many horses are on what seems to be a winter break. Research has shown that this break can drastically increase the amount of time it takes a horse to come back into full working shape in the spring. By keeping horses on a slightly decreased, but consistent work schedule during the winter it will help shorten the time it will take for horses to get back to their normal performance levels. There are however modifications that need to be made to riding schedules during cold winter months. Warming up and cooling down are of even greater importance at this time of year. A good rule of thumb is to spend twice as much time at these aspects of the workout than you do when the weather is warm. Also, make sure your horse is cool and dry before putting them away.
Winter Do's and Do Not's
Starwood Equine Veterinary Services is happy to answer any additional questions about how to help you and your horse better prepare for winter!.
Starwood Equine believes in the use of both traditional and integrative medical approaches, and feels there is a place for both western and eastern medicine in our equine patients. Dr. Jillian Mills graduated from the Chi Institute of Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine and is a Certified Veterinary Acupuncturist. The following article is intended to introduce you to the use of mesotherapy in the horse, and explain the science behind this treatment method.
What can mesotherapy be used for?
How does mesotherapy relieve pain?
What does the mesotherapy treatment entail?
How soon can we expect results?
Starwood Equine believes in the use of both traditional and integrative medical approaches, and feels there is a place for both western and eastern medicine in our equine patients. Dr. Jillian Mills graduated from the Chi Institute of Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine and is a Certified Veterinary Acupuncturist. The following article is intended to introduce you to the use of acupuncture in the horse, and explain the science behind this therapeutic modality.
What can acupuncture be used for?
How do acupuncture needles relieve pain?
Is acupuncture safe?
How does it feel?
What does the acupuncture treatment entail?
How soon can we expect results?
Methocarbamol powder is a muscle relaxant used to treat muscle spasms, soreness, or muscle inflammation.
This medication can be dispensed as a paste, tablets, or an oral powder. The oral powder is a convenient way to administer medications to horses as it can be scooped right on top of the feed. Measuring the correct amount of medication is easy, as there is an enclosed scoop with every tub.
Although side effects with methocarbamol are rare, please call Starwood Equine immediately if your horse is taking methocarbamol and experiences any signs of allergic reactions such as facial swelling, hives, pale gums, or diarrhea. The most common side effect of methocarbamol is drowsiness, but horses may experience drooling, stumbling, and incoordination. The sedative effect may be increased if used with other medications that cause drowsiness. If your horse is taking multiple medications, please consult with one of the veterinarians of Starwood Equine before using.
USEF rules mandate that “no part of a dose should be administered during the 6 hours prior to competing.” Please call Starwood Equine at (650) 275-3091 to consult with one of our Veterinarians to decide if this medication would benefit your horse.
Starwood Equine has a new tool for diagnosing infection and inflammation! The StableLab Test monitors levels of Serum Amyloid A, also known as SAA, which is a protein produced by the liver in response to inflammation. Running this simple 10-minute stall-side blood test for this biomarker protein enables Starwood doctors to have real time information regarding the severity of an infection.
Until now veterinarians have relied on other methods to detect infection and inflammation. Sending blood work out to test for a biomarker protein called fibrinogen has been widely considered the gold standard for some years. Unfortunately, when evaluating infection using fibrinogen levels, you are often looking at the inflammation process with a time lag of several days.
SAA is a more sensitive and informative method of detecting inflammatory proteins and provides real-time results. A healthy horse will have a low concentration of SAA in their blood. Levels quickly rise over 6-12 hours in equines suffering from an infection, which enables earlier detection of disease resulting in more timely treatment. This affordable stall-side test can be run throughout treatment to allow Starwood veterinarians to monitor for treatment efficacy and precisely time end of therapy.
Some situations where SAA could provide useful clinical information include cases of:
Additionally, SAA may be used as a health screen before shipping, showing or competition, joint injections, or for new arrivals to a barn. StableLab SAA screening is a beneficial new tool that Starwood Equine looks forward to utilizing in providing the best care for your horse. Please contact the office or speak with our doctors at your next appointment for additional information.
Starwood Equine is excited to offer Pro-Stride Therapy, a drug-free advanced form of regenerative medicine for inflammatory joint treatment. In Equine Sports Medicine “regenerative medicine” is a term often used to reference clinical therapies that focus on utilizing the horse’s own body to promote self-healing. The Pro-Stride Therapy system accomplishes this self-healing by using the horse’s biological components (cells, platelets, plasma, etc.).
The procedure starts by taking a sample of the equine patient’s blood and processing the sample stall-side. The processed Pro-Stride sample contains Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) and Interleukin-1 Receptor Antagonist Protein (IRAP). PRP contains both the signals and the matrix proteins to “jump-start” the regeneration process. IRAP inhibits damaging inflammatory molecules in the joint. In chronic injury such as osteoarthritis, healing becomes stuck in the initial inflammatory phase. Before healing can begin in earnest, the inflammatory signals must be silenced and replaced with signals which promote tissue regeneration. This is accomplished by using PRP and IRAP to work synergistically to promote joint healing. This concentrated solution is then injected into the affected joint.
Benefits of Pro-Stride Therapy include:
Pro-Stride Injection will reduce pain associated with arthritis and deliver naturally occurring anti-inflammatory proteins. Pro-Stride Injection is capable of slowing cartilage degradation and improving mobility. This treatment has longer duration of efficacy when compared to traditional joint injections using steroids and hyaluronic acid. It is also a great option for horses that initially respond to a steroid injection but have recurrence within just a few months. Please contact Starwood Equine if you are interested in Pro-Stride Therapy for your horse.
*A. Bertone, Am J Vet Res 2014;75:141–1