Thursday, August 27, 2009
All riding is therapeutic.
Heck, it doesn't even have to be riding.
Going through tough times? Hang out at the barn.
Need to destress? Go hang out at the barn.
Sad about sending your son off to college? Hit the barn, honey.
They're there for you. Ok, I admit. They're there for me!
Monday, August 24, 2009
There seems to be some debate concerning the need to boost vaccinations in light of the recent Maine EEE deaths.
We asked Dr. Don Hoenig, the state veterinarian.
"Your readers should continue to consult with their practicing veterinarian
and then they can make an informed decision," Hoenig replied.
So there it is -- some vets may urge boosting. Some may not.
If your horse has yet to be vaccinated at all -- It's not too late!
Friday, August 21, 2009
The state vet has released a statement announcing the death of a second Waldo county horse, due to EEE. This horse, also unvaccinated, was in Thorndike, about 5 miles from Troy (where the first EEE death was reported).
We have a call in regarding vaccinations and whether those horses receiving spring EEE shots truly need to be boosted with additional vaccinations now.
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Boy, am I a lame Mainer.
I hadn't been up to Acadia National Park since I was a teenager. Dunno what took so long but I finally return after, um, 28 years or so. And I'm going back again soon!
We camped for 2 1/2 days at Wildwood Stables in the park. Fantastic riding. And we only managed to cover a fraction of available trails. We rode in the morning and then, given the heat, laid low til 5 or 6 o'clock before heading out again.
Photo: My friend, Ashley enjoys the view with Shea.
Article and video coming soon!
With two road trips last week, my horses hadn’t been to the lovely green pasture across the way in nearly a week.
And given the heat and the pasture’s openness, I figured I would hose them down before ponying them over there.
For one, the quick bath time invigorated them. For another, they were SO excited to get back to the pasture after the long layoff….
As soon as we got within sight of it, the little Shetland stirred it up. She started kicking up her heels and in a second had the whole gang in a frenzy. Off I go. Off they go through the neighbor’s garden.
I got up and stormed after them. This time, I just grabbed the big girls (Brooke, Shea, and Phoenix). Trixie would follow. Or so I thought.
I jumped back up on Brooke and started leading Shea and Phoenix the last few hundred yards to the field.
Trixie didn’t follow quietly behind as I have always known her to do. Instead, the 30-year-old sprinted past and got them all running past the gate. Brooke threw in a few bucks. Off I go again
I was a bit tweaked and more than a bit sore.
Yeah, yeah – as usual, I had only myself to blame!
Signs or symptoms of EEE in horses are usually noticed about five days after an infected mosquito bites them.
Initially, horses are depressed and quiet. Other signs include impaired vision, aimless wandering, head pressing, circling, inability to swallow, irregular staggering gait, paralysis, convulsions, and death. Most deaths occur within two to three days after symptoms appear. About 90 percent of infected horses die.
My horses were vaccinated for EEE in late spring and should be fine, according to my vet, Dr. Linda Barton. Some vets are recommending boosting their spring shots. My 2 cents? Get more than one opinion before digging into the wallet for that additional farm call.
Responding to posted comment:
I think boosting is a matter up for discussion.
If you aren't happy with your vet's booster requirement, I would call around to other vets.
horse that died did not have ANY vaccination against EEE. The other
horses at the same Troy barn were boosted as a precaution.
This letter came from state veterinarian Donald E. Hoenig via email earlier this month.
We received laboratory confirmation from the National Veterinary Services Lab in Ames, Iowa that a horse in Troy, Maine (Waldo county) tested positive for Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE).
The horse was a four year old Quarter horse gelding with no previous history of vaccination for EEE. He was euthanized.
In addition to the laboratory finding (IgM ELISA positive at 1:400 which the NVSL indicated was consistent with recent exposure to EEE), this animal also exhibited clinical neurologic signs consistent with a diagnosis of EEE. There are currently two other horses on the premises, both of which were boosted/vaccinated for EEE on August 3. At this time, I have not quarantined the farm since most of the literature indicates that horses are dead end hosts for EEE.
Dr. Beth McEvoy and I visited the farm today to answer any questions from the owners and assess the situation. The remaining horses are healthy at this time. The owners specifically asked us to pass the word to other horse owners that everyone should learn from their experience and be sure their horses are current on their vaccinations for EEE. We concur with this sentiment.
From a seasonal perspective, this is somewhat early for EEE to be showing up in northern New England but even more surprising is the fact that the disease seems to have made a 150-mile leap into central Maine. The last equine case we had in Maine was in September 2008 in the town of Lebanon in southwestern Maine and prior to that, two horses died in September 2005 in York County.