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Equine Services ⋅ Dentistry ⋅ Vaccinations ⋅ West Nile Virus
Services for equines can be delivered either at our clinic or during on site calls to our clients. The decision between treatment administered on site or at our clinic is dependent upon the health of the animal and the services being provided. It is our goal to always work in the best interest of your equine and in a manner that ensures the best service to our clients.
Equine Services Offered Include:
Wellness & Vaccinations: Our equine wellness programs are designed to provide you with confidence your horse is receiving the highest-quality preventive health care and a fundamental foundation for a long, healthy life. We recommend annual preventive care appointments, which include a physical examination, vaccinations and dentistry, as well as more frequent de-worming. We view annual examinations as an opportunity to establish a baseline for your horse's health as well as to detect problems before they become serious and expensive to treat.
Diagnosis and Treatment of Medical Conditions: Though we prefer to prevent illness as much as we possibly can, there simply is no guarantee a well-cared for horse will never face an illness or injury. Dr. McCracken and team are able to diagnose and treat a wide range of medical conditions. These include (but are not limited to): Coggins testing for Equine Infectious Anemia, coughing, choke, respiratory infections, colic and weight loss.
For some cases a referral to a specialist may be required.
Equine Dentistry: Horses often require dentistry to keep their teeth and gums healthy and ensure they can eat properly and maintain good nutritional health. Dr. McCracken and the team at Manning Veterinary Clinic utilize the latest equine dentistry technology to regularly perform teeth floating.
Reproductive Health: Breeding is essential for maintaining a herd, and it is an important endeavor for those seeking to give birth to the next competition or show horse. Dr. McCracken can provide guidance on breeding and maintaining the health of the mare or dam during pregnancy and delivery. We also offer reproductive ultrasounds during important stages of pregnancy.
Equine Surgical Services: As with the preventive medical care we provide, we would much prefer to do all we can to prevent the need for surgery. However, there are times when surgery is in the best interest of your horse. Surgeries we perform include castrations, laceration repair and hernia repair.
For more specialized surgeries we will provide you with a referral to a specialty centre.
Horses need regular preventive dental maintenance every six months to one year. Unlike people, horses' teeth have an eruption rate of two-three mm per year. The teeth should wear in correspondence to yearly eruption rate. Malocclusions, or improper position of the teeth, can lead to many health issues and behavioral problems.
Identifying dental problems as early as possible is important. There are several factors that come into play at a young age that might increase treatment needed, or make a remedy even possible: loss of food while eating; eats hay before his grain; grain in water bucket; difficulty chewing or excess salivation; loss of body condition; large undigested food particles in manure larger than one quarter inch; head tilting or tossing; bit chewing; tongue lolling; tries to rear while bridling; fighting the bit or resisting the bridal; bucking or failing to stop or turn; foul odor from the mouth or nostrils; traces of blood in the mouth; or nasal discharge or swelling of the face. Other horses may not show noticeable signs, because they just simply adapt to their discomfort.
The vaccines and vaccine protocols listed below are tailored to our practice and geographic location and follow the guidelines of the AAEP.
Eastern & Western Encephalomyelitis: Encephalomyelitis is caused by a virus, which is transmitted by mosquitos. The virus causes inflammation of the brain and spinal cord. The vaccine is very effective against the disease. The protection lasts 6 months, therefore we recommend administrating the vaccine twice a year(semiannually).
Tetanus Toxoid: Tetanus is a disease caused by a specific toxin of a bacillus (Clostridium tetani) which usually enters the body through wounds. It is characterized by spasmodic contractions and rigidity of some or all of the voluntary muscles (especially of the jaw, face and neck). The bacteria is found in horse manure. The vaccine is very effective and administered once yearly. The vaccine is boostered in case of laceration, surgery, or pentrating wounds.
West Nile Virus: West Nile virus is transmitted by mosquitos. The virus causes inflammation of the brain and spinal cord. Because Long Island has a long mosquito season and the vaccine protection lasts 6-7 months, we recommend semiannual vaccination. Horses that travel to Florida should be boostered 2 weeks before travelling. Veterinarians in problem areas vaccinate 2-4 x per year.
Rhinopneumonitis: Rhinopneumonitis is a herpes virus which causes respiratory infections, abortions, and inflammation of the spinal cord. The vaccine is not 100% effective and the protection only lasts 10-12 weeks. Pregnant mares should be vaccinated at 3.5, 7 and 9 months from the breeding date. Horses that are travelling to shows, races, sales, etc. should be vaccinated every 3 months. Pleasure horses that do not travel should be vaccinated twice a year. The vaccine does not protect against the neurologic form of the disease.
Influenza:Influenza is a virus that causes high fever and respiratory infection. The vaccine is not 100% effective, and the protection lasts only 10-12 weeks. Horses travelling to shows, sales, racing events, etc..should be vaccinated every 3 months. Horses that do not travel should be vaccinated at least twice a year.
Potomac Horse Fever (PHF): Potomac Horse Fever is caused by the parasite Ehrlichia risticii. Horses are infected through small land snails that carry the parasite. It is not contagious and occurs more commonly in wet areas. The disease causes high fever, laminitis, and severe diarrhea. The vaccine is fairly effective and is administered once a year. It is administered 2-4 x yearly in -problem areas.
Strangles: Strangles is a bacterial disease caused by Streptococcus equi. It is highly contagious and causes the following signs: high fever, abscessed lymph nodes,and respiratory infection. Horses may develop guttural pouch infections, sinus infections, purpura hemorrhagica, laryngeal paralysis, and bastard strangles. There is an intranasal vaccine which is more effective than the intramuscular vaccine. The vaccine is given once a year except in endemic barns( that have frequent outbreaks) where semiannual vaccination is recommended.
West Nile Virus
Symptoms of disease caused by WNV may include the following:
* Flu-like signs (fever and depression)
Because permanent neurological problems and death can occur, early recognition and initiation of treatment is important. No specific treatment protocol exists however most cases will resolve with supportive therapy and anti-inflammatories.
Efforts to prevent disease in horses caused by WNV is through the use of the West Nile Vaccine from Fort Dodge Pharmaceuticals and through actions that will reduce exposure to mosquitoes. The vaccine is safe and appears to be effective. AAEP vaccination guidelines recommend vaccinating twice a year in the Long Island area.
The most effective way to limit the mosquito population is to destroy the mosquito larval habitat. This is done by reducing the amount of standing water. Water troughs should be cleaned at least once a week. Keeping weeds trimmed and lawn mowed help eliminate areas where mosquitoes rest. Directly protecting horses from mosquito bites is more difficult. Fly and mosquito repellents may be helpful. Products containing pyrethroids are considered safe for horses. Spray stalls, aisle walls and other areas such as under shade trees where horses congregate. Fans can also be used to discourage mosquitoes from residing in your barn.