Amicalola Veterinary Services, LLC 

Notes from the Vet Truck

Spring View From the Vet Truck

As I sit here looking out at my pasture, it is standing in water and everywhere I go I see the same. This moisture is very bad for all our hooved creatures and we have abscesses galore!

The only thing we can do about the weather is pray that God will see fit to send us a month of sunny dry days so we all can dry out and just maybe, not become serious alcoholics.
In the meantime; do your best to provide some dry ground for your horses and other hooved animals to retreat to out of the wet. I am doing this by having hay (in slow feeder bags) in their stalls so they are encouraged to come stand on dry ground. Maybe you only have a run in shed but you can still do something similar to get them in off the wet sludge that our pastures have turned into. The freezing temperatures are not over. Make sure that your water troughs have a device to keep the water from freezing and your horses are more likely to continue drinking.

We are seeing a tremendous amount of what we all call rain rot. Brushing daily and discarding the easily brushed out crusts in a bag to throw away is the place to start. It is very painful for your horse to have you pull the scabs; so only pick or brush off the ones that will come off easily. Putting the crusts in a bag to throw away cuts down on the mixture of bacteria and fungi and yeast left around to contaminate the environment. Disinfect any brushes used after every use.

To create a good disinfectant, take one part bleach and nine parts water, the ‘part’ can be cups, tablespoons, ounces, whatever is easiest for you. This 10% mixture is okay to spray on and spot treat the rain rot as well.

The goat mamas are starting to pump out those cute kids and it is wonderful when you come out and there they are. But what if your goats or sheep are young and small and huge? I encourage you to consider a C-section before your little mama is in trouble. They have a tendency to birth those cuties when it is sleeting, snowing or at
midnight and you have to give me that call for help. C-Section vs. Emergency Call – the price will about the same and we are more likely to have that positive outcome of a healthy mama and baby(ies) when we can choose the time and place, like my surgery where it is dry and warm and has plenty of light!

Indications for a C-section:
  • Small mama and the huge abdomen out to both sides.
  • A mama that was bred way too young; her first heat at 6 months.
  • If labor has begun and mama has been straining for over an hour and no baby or parts has appeared  -  well, she is needing help one way or another.
Based on my most recent experiences, I like for mama to have her colostrum coming in well. This may happen a day or two before she actually would go into labor. Early signs of labor can be:
  • Going off by herself.
  • Being grouchy to the others in the herd.
  • Acting like she is urinating a lot by squatting often.
  • Her vulva is very loose and maybe gaping.
  • You see a clear mucus being expelled.
Please give me an early phone call so I can be prepared.

On another note.

I would like to point out that diagnosing and treating your animal over the phone is bad practice of medicine. This is more so when I have never been to your place or have seen your animal. It is also illegal for me to practice tele-medicine without a valid client-patient relationship. I am willing to help you but for me to do so in the best and legal way, I must have that relationship. I need to have seen your animal and examined it within the past 6 months. If a new condition has arisen, I must do a physical exam for that condition. I look upon us as partners in maintaining and caring for the health of your animal. That is what is meant by a valid doctor-client-patient relationship and I always look to educate you on prevention of disease as part of that relationship. Spring will come and hopefully dry weather for us to be out and riding and enjoying our animal companions.

See you on the trails.
Dr. Ava

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