OUR FACILITIES. OUR REASONS. OUR COMPASSION.
FACILITY and INCOMING PROCEDURE
Our equine facility was designed around the philosophy that we wanted it to be a safe, low stress, area for a horse to be treated.
The equine treatment facility is indoors and climate controlled.
There are two different set of stocks, different build, different sizes for different reasons.
Our large set of stocks is padded all around, the sides swing out, it is comfortable to a sedated horse to lean against in front and the sides.
The small non padded stocks are for reasons that need more total all around access to the horse.
The floors are matted for safety and comfort.
Our outside facilities include stalls and paddocks for “Hold Overs”. This might occur for horses that might have to stay over for observation after dental surgery.
We also have indoor 12 X 12 stalls if needed.
We also Vacation Board. That is a temporary boarding opportunity for those that want their horses looked after by veterinary eyes daily in case of need. The horse is not examined daily, but the veterinarian and staff walk through the barns multiple times during a day and note any behavior changes. IF there is a behavior that looks off, the owner is notified if we feel we need to do anything. Having the horse at our facility also saves money as there is no out call charge and no time to wait to treat if needed tunity that we offer. Those facilities are 12 X 12 with small paddocks.
HANDLING OUR EQUINE PATIENTS:
Introducing our Emmy Lou! She is a sweetheart of a Friesian mare, who often acts as a babysitter to a nervous visiting client/patient. We lead Emmy ahead of the patient if we are going into the equine building and she stays near the front of the patient so he can see her. She provides visual “emotional security”, the entire time the patient’s exam and treatment takes.
The reason Emmy is comforting to a patient, is because of the “herd thing”. Even though the visiting equine patient has never met her, her nearness helps the new horse to relax. That is very important to us. We watch and work with the horses that come to us to make their visit as non stressful as we can.
(When inside our exam area, Emmy gets tied to the other set of nearby stocks and frankly, she has become very good at untying herself out of boredom. We’ve told her that this is a pretty cushy job since this is all she does these days, so behave!)
At Foothills Veterinary, equine experienced people handle the horses, equine experienced veterinarians exam and treat them and our facilities are designed to be safe and comfortable.
We do a lot of equine dentistry. We also do a lot of individual client / owner teaching about equine dentistry. We have skulls and teeth that we use to show owners just what we are looking for when we are doing a dental and what needs to be corrected and WHY. (If you’re at a distance, go to Performance Equine Dentistry website. It does a lot of explanation also)
The WHY is about how dental conditions affects overall body health and performance.
• Periodontal infections: Loose teeth allow gapping between teeth as the horse chews. Food packs in the gaps and painful periodontal infections occur that can affect the horse’s health.
• Eating efficiency: Teeth need to be balanced to grind their feed into small enough pieces to be absorbed by the stomach.
• Movement: When the horse needs to tuck his head or bend in dressage, the teeth have to move freely against each other and cannot hang up on a high tooth or teeth and impair movement.
• We also do miniature horse, mule and burro dentistry. We often clean sheaths and do vaccinations at the same time at the owner’s request.
A NOTE FOR HORSE OWNERS:
If you have a horse that is appearing “off”, just not themselves, watch them closely.
We have an informative Equine Emergency Information (see link) chart that tells what to look for with a potential colic and what the horse’s pulse will tell you. Print it off and hang in the barn for reference.
Practice taking your horses pulse before you ever need to do it. If you wanted to come by our Foothills Veterinary Hospital, call us first, we will show you how to take a pulse on one of our horses.
The value of the pulse is that it is a good method to tell how much pain the horse is in. On the chart, it talks about when to call a vet. The faster the pulse is, the more pain he is in. The level of pain tells the veterinarian just how serious whatever is going on, is for the horse. VERY IMPORTANT.
It is also a good idea to call your veterinarian when the horse is even starting to act a little differently. Also, if you haven’t got a trailer to haul your horse into a veterinarian hospital, this is a good time to be finding one, before you need it.
If the horse is brought into our clinic for observation or treatment, the horse can be kept more comfortable if the pain is significant. Sometimes painful colics can pass with treatment and time. Other times, colics can be killers if there is a twisted bowel.
Having them observed constantly in a veterinary facility, is a kindness to the horse, as a colic is very painful. It can go either way, but letting it go untreated or unobserved is not kind to the horse. The outcome we strongly encourage owners to bring their horses into our clinic where we can put them on pain killers, fluids and perhaps sedation to see if this is something that will go away with time or ………not.
One of our trained staff is up every hour checking on the horse and if he seems to not be getting better within a certain time, the owner is notified about what they want to do next. We do not perform surgeries at our facility, but we can advise where to send and soon. ***** NOTE: If you ever do have a horse that looks “off” to you, start thinking that you might have to haul into a vet clinic. Good idea to have that kind of a plan for any kind of an emergency if you personally don’t have a trailer.
Spring vaccinations are usually the 5 Way. That includes Tetanus, Rhino/Flu, Eastern/Western Encephalitis. We also will add West Nile vaccination.
In the fall (or 6 months later), the Eastern / Western Encephalitis, needs to be done again to keep protection current..
Health Exams are usually good for 30 days. Why you might need one:
• The horse is bought or sold and a health exam is requested by buyer
• The horse is being hauled to a horse show and that facility wants to make sure all horses are healthy
• Hauling across state lines. If you’re planning on hauling across a state line, before doing so, call that state’s Dept of Agriculture and ask about their states requirements to do so.
Nutritional advice has many aspects:
• Young horse’s growing needs, anywhere from several months old to 4 or 5 years.
• Mid aged horses needs which have more to do with the energy output that is being asked of them. Are they an occasional trail horse? A working horse? A high active performance horse? Different needs. Tell us what you are asking of your horse and we can suggest feed and vitamins to support that horses job the best.
• Older horses, 18 and over. These horses have had a few years under their belt, that can contribute to many conditions. Usually underweight or overweight. Call us and discuss what your concerns are and how you are handling them. We’ll see if we can give you some advice.
Veterinary certification that the horse has had a Health Exam.
• Brand certificates are an owner identification proof that this animal is indeed, yours. The horse does not necessarily have to have a brand that we can see on the body of the horse.
• Thoroughbred horses often have tattoos on the inside of their upper lip if they’ve raced.
• Some horses DO have brands on their rumps or shoulders. They are freeze brands usually.
• Others have no brands or tattoos.
• All of these horses will also be asked to draw their markings for identity purposes.
An aside: Whether you need a brand certificate or not, it is a VERY GOOD idea to have pictures of every angle of your horse, showing cowlicks, markings, scars, whether they are natural or injury related ….. IDENTIFY YOUR HORSE pictorially.from the top of their head to the ground. Horses do get stolen.
A veterinarian once told me that he had a client have a horse stolen in Southern Oregon. The horse was in a pasture with another horse, owned by another man. He told us that the fellow who got his horse back, did the following.. The other man’s horse went thru the kill pen as he didn’t.
He told us that the first man had an identity of his horse he could show. He also figured how long ago it was that he saw this horse in the pasture.. This gave him an approximate traveling number of hours that the horses might have been hauled away.
He then called all of the slaughter houses within that distance and sent description of his horse and told them the horse might be coming in through the kill pen. (It was) That man FOUND his horse and saved him, doing that, the other one didn’t.
(People stealing horses don’t usually take and sell them as performance horses to someone else. It would be too easy for someone to see them at a future show).
It is important that you have someone assess just how bad a wound is as soon as you can after it happens.
• Is it in the eye? Don’t put medicine in until you talk to a vet.
• Over a joint?
• On the body … how deep is it? Does it need stitching or antibiotics?
Getting the professional look see on a horse’s injury can potentially save the owner a lot of money on future care and also get your horse back to its job sooner.
Similar to wound care. Have it looked at professionally. Then you KNOW what to do for the best chance for that horse to come back as soon as it can.
TEMPORARY BOARDING at our VETERINARY HOSPITAL:
We do temporary boarding in our 12 X 12 sheds with paddocks. In summer weather there is also a small grass pasture that they have access to. Owner brings feed and instructions.
Horse owners use this service when they have to be gone on vacation or ? and they want someone watching over their horses in case something happens to them while they are gone.
Boarding at a veterinarians facility, means that there are medical eyes looking at this horse several times a day, whether walking by or feeding them.
If something does look a little “fishy”, the horse is already at an equine veterinary facility. We are right here to handle it.
The horse is already here, so there is no out call charge.
Your horse is also not waiting for the vet to get to your facility in another three (possibly painful and worsening) hours.
Paperwork and directives are signed in case a situation does arise, but the owner is notified right away also.