Amesbury Animal Hospital

277 Elm Street
Amesbury, MA 01913

(978)388-3636

amesburyah.com

Equine Wellness Examinations:

Starting in the spring of 2010, our veterinarians will be providing annual wellness examinations for all of our horse clients as part of the routine spring season care. Each client will be receiving a written wellness report card including individualized information and care, regarding your horse's health. These wellness examinations will include comprehensive physical exams, vital signs, and body condition scoring. A general assessment of health, nutritional and medical recommendations will be discussed and recorded. We instituted this change in our services in an effort to focus more on the health and wellness of our equine patients. Vaccination recommendations have not changed and as before, will be tailored for each horse's need and health status.

In addition, we will also be recommending a quantitative fecal exam to assess each barn's deworming strategy. Recent data on fecal egg count interpretation has changed our understanding of shedding and deworming. The historical "deworm every eight weeks" schedule used by so many barn is now considered outdated. Deworming recommendations should be individualized to each horse for several reasons. For example, some horses shed more than others and some horses develop more natural resistance to parasites than others. No single dewormer (or anthelmetic) will kill every parasite every time. Simply rotating dewormers without understanding your horse's parasite load only serves to breed resistance to these anthelmetics. We must learn to manage the parasite burdens in our horses to keep both our horses healthy and our resistance minimal. Please talk with your veterinarian about your deworming strategy at your horse's annual wellness exam.