Monday, January 16, 2017

Why You Need to Choose Chew Toys Wisely

By John Lewis,

"Fractured teeth, worn teeth or trauma to soft tissue of the oral cavity are only a small number of problems that can occur when dogs chew on the wrong toys.

Figure 1: Taz, an 11-year-old South African mastiff, was presented with severe oral bleeding due to endodontic disease.

Deciding on appropriate chew products for dogs involves many considerations. Due to the strong forces that dogs can generate with their jaws and the tall height of their crowns, chewing on the wrong thing may result in fractured teeth, worn teeth or trauma to soft tissue of the oral cavity.

Here are two stories of how chewing on the wrong thing can cause serious problems.

Day Care Dilemma

Doggie day care is a popular option for pets while mom and dad are at work. Day care centers provide environmental enrichment that might otherwise be lacking in a dog's normal routine. Part of this enrichment involves exposure to chew toys.

A colleague told me about a dog that was presented with severe soft tissue lacerations due to gnawing on an "indestructible" chew toy. The dog's aggressive chewing resulted in erosion of the alveolar mucosa and the bone lateral to the mandibular carnassial teeth bilaterally.

Some sleuth work revealed that the dog apparently had obtained the lesions after destroying a plastic ball well enough to create large holes with jagged edges. This story brings home important points:

  • There is no such thing as an indestructible toy.
  • Indestructible toys may inflict excessive trauma to the hard or soft tissues of the oral cavity.
  • It is important to investigate which toys a pet is exposed to in day care or boarding situations.
  • Oral pain rarely stops a dog from chewing, eating or working (police dogs).

Case Study: Acute Bleeding in a Mastiff

Taz, an 11-year-old neutered male South African mastiff, was presented through our emergency service for sudden and profuse bleeding from the mouth. The bleeding appeared to arise from the right mandible. There was no known history of trauma.

Taz was adopted later in life, and his new owners knew he had bad teeth. The owners were reluctant to put Taz under anesthesia to have the dental problems treated due to concerns that his chronic hind limb paresis might get worse. When Taz presented to the ER, he was bleeding intermittently until a sudden and severe episode necessitated immediate anesthesia. (Figure 1).

Once Taz was placed under anesthesia, the source of the bleeding was isolated. A fenestration was present through the bone and mucosa lateral to a fractured right mandibular first molar tooth (Figure 2).

Figure 2 (left): Gingiva and mucosa are raised to show a fenestration through the bone due to endodontic disease of the right mandibular first molar tooth (tooth 409). Figure 3 (right): Infection of the tooth caused bone erosion and inflammation in the area of the tooth roots and the adjacent inferior alveolar neurovascular bundle.

Infection of the tooth caused bone erosion and inflammation in the area of the tooth roots and the adjacent inferior alveolar neurovascular bundle. (Figure 3).

A mucoperiosteal pedicle flap was raised and the tooth was extracted after sectioning into two pieces. Bleeding was controlled with placement of bone wax in the fenestration and the mesial alveolus. The periosteum was released from the underside of the flap to allow for tension-free closure.

The flap was trimmed before closure so that the fenestrated mucosa could be excised. The mucosa ventral to the fenestration was utilized as the new edge of the rostral portion of the flap. The site was closed with 4-0 monofilament absorbable suture in a simple interrupted pattern.

Taz was discharged the following day, and two days later the owner sent an email update: "I can't thank you enough for saving Taz. He is doing amazing. He is just like a pup wagging his stump!"

Lessons Learned

Most practitioners know that endodontic disease can cause pain and infection, but life-threatening bleeding is a rare sequela of a pulp-exposed tooth. The fractured tooth is the third most common reason for dogs to be presented to our dentistry and oral surgery practice.

One study found the prevalence of traumatic dentoalveolar injuries to be 26.2 percent. The most commonly injured teeth were the mandibular and maxillary canine teeth (35.5 percent).

When a dog presents with a fractured tooth, I ask owners what the pet has been chewing. Common culprits include actual bones, nylon bones, antlers, cow hooves, rocks and ice cubes.

Fraser Hale, a veterinary dentist in Canada, uses the kneecap rule. He tells pet owners that if a toy or treat looks like something they would not want to get hit in the kneecap with, they should avoid giving it to their dog. Words to live by.

If you've ever had a toothache, you know how much this can mess up your day.

Next month, we will share more stories of how relieving dental pain in pets can be transformative for the animal and it's owners."

Click here for the original article.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Small Animal Flexible Video Endoscopy

Check out this video!

Taken from an old VHS tape, this video shows a great basic overview of Small Animal Flexible Endoscopy.

Want to learn more about Small Animal Flexible Endoscopy?
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Monday, December 26, 2016

Joyous Kwanzaa!

Habari Gani?

A very joyous first night of Kwanzaa from our 
family here at Endoscopy Support Services to yours!

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Friday, December 23, 2016


We will be closed Monday 12/26/2016.

We will re-open Tuesday 12/27/16.

A Festivus for the Rest of Us!

Happy Festivus!

Enjoy your holiday dinner of meatloaf followed by the Airing of the Grievances and Feats of Strength around your aluminum pole.

Please consider making a donation to The Human Fund.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Horses Ask People For Help When They’re Stuck

By Ben Taub

"For thousands of years horses have helped humans out in countless ways, carrying us across vast distances and even serving in our militaries. Now, a new study has revealed that they are capable off intelligence similar to that of dogs.

Like dogs, horses have been domesticated and bread by humans, leading to the development of certain personality traits. And while canines are much more overt in their willingness to communicate with people, the new research, which appears in the journal Animal Cognition, sheds new light on just how much our equine companions are able to intuit.

The scientists placed food in covered buckets that the horses couldn't open with their hooves, before their caretakers then entered the stable. At this point, the animals began gesticulating tho their human counterparts, nudging them and staring at them until they opened the buckets and gave them the hidden food.

Next, the team wanted to figure out if horses are capable of understanding how much people know. They therefore repeated the experiment, ensuring that on some occasions the caretakers were present when the food was hidden, so that the horses knew that they had seen it, while on other occasions they arrived after the food had been concealed, so that the horses would assume they were unaware of its presence.

The animals showed a surprising level of behavioral flexibility, significantly increasing the intensity and duration of their gesticulating when they thought their caretakers were ignorant to the food. On the other hand, when they had seen their caretakers witnessing the food being covered, they reduced their signaling.

"These results suggest that horses alter their communicative behavior towards humans in accordance with humans' knowledge state," write the study authors, meaning the animals are capable of discerning what is going on in the minds of those around them.

Recent studies have revealed that other domestic animals - especially dogs - are incredibly adept at communicating with people, and this finding in horses adds yet more weight to the idea that domestication leads to the development of highly impressive social skills."

Click here for the original article.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Family turns to laser surgery to treat ailing goldfish

By Carly Q. Romalino
USA Today

"How far was a New Jersey family willing to go to save its beloved goldfish?

MOUNT LAUREL, N.J. -- For once, being a fish out of water actually saved a goldfish's life.

In a rare laser surgery on an 11-inch fantail goldfish, the patient - Winston - lay on the Mount Laurel Animal Hospital operating table as doctors removed a quarter-size tumor.

When the fish awoke from anesthesia minutes after hitting the water again, Colin McDermott was confident the unusual operation went swimmingly.

McDermott is the only veterinarian listed by the American Association of Fish Veterinarians in New Jersey.

That's why Tina Petrillo, 16, persuaded her father to drive Winston - in a fish tank inside of a box, wedged securely with towels in the back seat of Pat Petrillo's car - at least an hour from Jamesburg to Mount Laurel.

"My dad was driving very cautiously," Tina said.

"I called so many different animal hospitals. They said they don't take care of goldfish."

She was redirected to facilities all over the state. And if she wasn't redirected, the high school junior was discouraged by estimates to remove the tumor.

"They said procedures like this could cost thousands of dollars. That's when I lost hope a little bit," Tina said.

"I figured there was no way we could afford this."

Eight years ago, Tina and her sister picked goldfish out of a tank at Middlesex County PetSmart. Her sister picked one that looked like the rest - white and orange.

Winston was brown and looked sick in comparison to the little shiny fish zooming from corner to corner of the shop tank, the teen remembered.

"He was the only one that was not gold," said Tina's mom, Patty Petrillo.

"She said, 'That's why I want him. He is unique."'

Dr. Colin McDermott performed laser surgery on Winston, a goldfish, to remove a skin tumor. (Photo: Provided by Mount Laurel Animal Hospital)

Winston has outgrown three tanks, and outlived her sister's white and orange fish. Tina added another goldfish - Buster - to the tank as a companion.

When a deformity on Winston's scales appeared last year, the teen watched it grow. By September, the growth rate sped up. Winston could barely muster energy to swim. He stopped racing to the top of the tank at feeding time. And if he did manage to move, the fish would bump the tumor on the tank wall, and the mass would bleed.

Winston spent more time at the bottom of the tank, weighed down by the tumor and exhausted by attempts to pull the mass through the water with him.

Winston's mass was a skin tumor that appeared to be painful and uncomfortable. It was easily removed with a laser, but preparing the fish for surgery was a process rarely performed on pet fish in New Jersey, the doctor said.

"I don't get to do a whole lot of fish surgery," McDermott said.

Hospital staff added an anesthetic to water in a sterile tank. As Winston sucked the water in through his gills, it put the goldfish to sleep. When he was floating, asleep in the water, but still breathing, McDermott gently pulled him from the tank, and rested him on the operating table's non-abrasive cloth made to protect his natural mucus coating.

Dr. Colin McDermott performed laser surgery on Winston, a goldfish, to remove a skin tumor. (Photo: Provided by Mount Laurel Animal Hospital)

For the mere minutes he was out of the water, assistants used syringes to flush anesthetic water over Winston's gills to keep him sedated and breathing out of the tank. The laser removed the tumor while cauterizing his small wound.

When the mass was gone, McDermott put a little foam pad over the wound. Winston got an antibiotic shot, and was gently re-submerged in his tank of fresh water.

The 40-minute procedure from anesthetic to bandage cost the Petrillos about $300, McDermott said.

Fish like Winston can live for 20 to 30 years if well cared for, the doctor said. "They have personalities. They respond to certain people in certain ways," McDermott said. "We're learning a lot about these animals and these species and our medicine is improving."

While fish are among the nation's top household pets, "a lot of veterinarians aren't trained in fish medicine," McDermott said.

Yet, at least one appointment every week at Mount Laurel Animal Hospital is for a fish, according to McDermott.

"I find the people coming in are the ones who are attached to the fish on a personal level," he said.

In the week since surgery, Tina keeps up with salting the water to prevent infection and help his small wound heal.

"His buddy Buster was so happy to have him home," Tina said.

"As soon as we put him back in the tank, Buster was all over him. He knew he was gone, and we could tell he was pretty excited for him."'

Click here for the original article 
and accompanying video.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Santa’s Reindeer Cleared for Fight After Annual Veterinary Exam, AVMA Says

By Jessica Pineda
Veterinary Practice News

"In a statement, Santa thanked the AVMA and said, "Without my reindeer, there simply would be no Christmas."

Tom Meyer, DVM, president of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and official veterinarian of the North Pole, checks in on one of Santa's reindeer in their annual exam prior to Christmas Eve.

Traveling the world in record time means Santa's reindeer don't get a lot of time to sight see, but it can expose them to various viruses and bacteria. That's why, before takeoff, Tom Meyer, DVM, president of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and official veterinarian of the North Pole, came in to check on each reindeer to ensure they were up-to-date on their vaccinations, were disease-free and healthy enough for the annual journey.

The results, as always, were spectacular. "After a thorough examination, I can tell you that Santa's reindeer are perfectly healthy, in great shape and ready for their upcoming flight," Dr. Meyer said.

You can watch his inspection below:

Meyer always performs a health check on the reindeer about a month prior to Christmas Eve. Not only do they want to ensure they aren't susceptible to disease, the veterinary team wants to make sure the reindeer don't pass on diseases either, such as brucellosis, tuberculosis or chronic wasting disease.

"Santa's reindeer need to be in tip-top shape to complete their Christmas Eve flight on time, so it's vital that they receive a pre-trip veterinary exam to make sure they are free of any injuries that might slow them down," Meyer said. "Because the reindeer will be visiting all corners of the globe, we need to make sure they are up-to-date on their vaccinations and free of disease so they don't pick up or spread any infections to other animals around the world."

Meyer also had to ensure Santa's "North Pole Certificate of Animal Export," which allows him to freely cross borders and ensure health officials that his reindeer are no threat to animal or public health, was up-to-date.

Santa, in a statement, thanked Meyer and the AVMA for their work. "Without my reindeer, there simply would be no Christmas. Proper veterinary care ensures that, year in and year out, my team and I are able to deliver presents to boys and girls around the world. It's safe to say that Dr. Meyer is on the 'Nice List' this year."

This won't be Meyer's only trip to the North Pole. On Christmas Eve, he'll give the reindeer another pre-flight checkup, and then check on them when they return Christmas morning.

The AVMA, in a press release, said that Meyer's work is consistent with roles veterinarians play every day to "ensure the health of animals, people and the environment around the globe."

Veterinarians can help other Christmas pets too, the AVMA reports. "While only one veterinarian can be official veterinarian of the North Pole, every veterinarian can help the cause by volunteering to be part of Santa's emergency veterinary staff on Christmas Eve. AVMA members can download a badge to let their clients know they are part of Santa's Emergency Landing and Veterinary Expert System (E.L.V.E.S.) support team. Veterinarians are invited to help spread holiday cheer by displaying their official E.L.V.E.S. badge on their clinics' social media channels and educating clients on the various ways that veterinarians help keep all animals healthy - even reindeer."

To find out more about the E.L.V.E.S. badge and download it, members are encouraged to go to the AVMA website."

You can find Dr. Meyer's Official Certificate of Inspection for the reindeer here.

Click here for the original article.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Airport therapy animals take stress out of travel

By Mary Jo Dilonardo
Mother Nature Network

A member of the Canine Airport Therapy Squad greets a visitor at the Denver International Airport.

"Whether you hate to fly or just dread the security lines, airports can be stressful places. There's the race for the gates, the lugging of luggage and the general anxiety of going from one place to another and getting there safe and sound.

To make the road to the friendly skies more soothing, dozens of airports have called upon therapy dogs to stroll the concourses. These waggy-tailed ambassadors often wear brightly colored vests emblazoned with "Pet me!" inviting weary travelers to let their anxieties fade with some simple canine counseling.

The idea was launched after Sept. 11, 2011, when a volunteer at the Mineta San Jose International Airport brought her certified therapy dog, a boxer/great Dane mix named Orion, to the airport hoping it would calm passengers' fears about flying, reports USA Today. San Jose now has more than a dozen teams of dogs and handlers and has been used as a model for many airports around the country.

"We've had many very touching encounters with airport employees and travelers," said Kyra Hubis, who visited the airport with her golden retriever, Henry James. "It's especially poignant to see soldiers being deployed hugging Henry James and telling him to 'take care of the house' while they're gone."

Now, airports from Miami to San Francisco to Oklahoma City to Charlotte, employ these furry diplomats. The pets are all sizes and breeds. The only requirements are that they love lots of petting and hugging and have to be certified by a national agency.

And surprisingly, they're not all dogs. The latest member of the airline ambassadors is a tutu-wearing pig! Take a look at our roundup below."

Lucy the terrier is ready to greet passengers in Charlotte.

Therapy dog Gracie walks through San Jose International Airport, which piloted the airport therapy dog program.

Toby is a member of the Wag Brigade at the San Francisco International Airport.

Annie is part of the Canine Airport Therapy Squad at the Denver International Airport.

Vegas is a member of the Pets Unstressing Passengers (PUP) program at LAX.

LiLou the pig is the newest member of the Wag Brigade at San Francisco's airport.

Bosco takes a break during a long day of greeting travelers at Will Rogers World Airport in Oklahoma City.

Casey the golden retriever strolls the concourses at Miami International Airport. Some pet therapy dogs have their own baseball-type cards for the people they meet.

Click here for the original article.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Poinsettia Day!

It's Poinsettia Day!

"The plant's association with Christmas began in 16th-century Mexico, where legend tells of a girl, commonly called Pepita or Maria, who was too poor to provide a gift for the celebration of Jesus' birthday and was inspired by an angel to gather weeds from the roadside and place them in front of the church altar. Crimson blossoms sprouted from the weeds and became beautiful poinsettas. From the 17th century, Franciscan friars in Mexico included the plants in their Christmas celebrations. The star-shaped leaf pattern is said to symbolize the Star of Bethlehem, and the red color represents the blood sacrifice through the crucifixion of Jesus."

While these well-recognized symbols of Christmas are beautiful, don't forget to keep them away from your pets this holiday season, as they can be toxic if ingested!

Friday, December 9, 2016


Are you at CVC San Diego?

Make sure to stop by Booth 214
 and speak to Jim about all your endoscopy needs!

Can't make it to the show?
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Thursday, December 8, 2016

What Donkeys Know About Autism.

By Christopher McDougall
Part of the "Running with Sherman" weekly column

Harrison Walter, who is 12 and has autism, has formed a unique bond with his donkey, Laredo.

"Hal Walter always loved donkeys a little more than they loved him.

For over 30 years, they've fought, kicked, and confused him - and for that, he's truly grateful. Donkey's have made his temples throb with fury, but they've also prepared him for the most perplexing challenge of his life: a boy named Harrison.

I traveled to Colorado for a tutorial from Hal in the art of burro racing, the old Rocky Mountain sport of running marathon distances alongside a trotting donkey. I became interested in all things burro by necessity, after we adopted a neglected donkey named Sherman and I had to figure out what to do with him. When I heard about burro racing, I was intrigued by three mysteries: How has it survived as America's second-oldest marathon, right behind Boston? Why do women and older runners often defeat younger men? And most of all, how do you persuade nature's most obstinate creation that it really wants to run with you?

When I arrived at Hal's home among the ranches of Westcliffe, Colo., a fourth item shoots to the top of the list: Why are donkeys so amazing with challenged kids?

Harrison Walter thrives in the outdoors, where he spends time with the family donkeys who have adjusted to the special needs of a child with autism

Because as soon as I get out of the car, a curly-blond blur bursts out the door and barrels straight at me. Hal is behind him, calling "Son. Son. Harrison," but nothing about Harrison suggests he's about to listen or ever has.

Harrison is 12 years old and has autism, meaning on his best days he'll sing and tell stories and charm you stupid, and on his worst ... well, often that's the same day. A few weeks ago, Harrison was doing great in a middle-school cross-country race when his classmates burst into cheers. Upset by the noise, Harrison veered away from the finish line with 10 yards to go and hid in the bushes. A kind bystander used her golden retriever to lead Harrison to the finish line, which he crossed by rolling over it sideways. At another race, Harrison waded into the spectators, swinging his fists.

Harrison sprints straight past me, a kid on a mission, but that mission, I realize with a jolt of panic, might involve those three mammoth donkeys at the paddock gate. The bars are wide enough for Harrison to dive right through, and judging by his speed, that's exactly where he's headed. Donkeys are naturally skittish about sudden moves, and their natural reaction is to hammer away with their hooves until the threat is pummeled into the dirt. Donkeys have fought off mountain lions, and even Hal, a seasoned and careful pro, got a nasty nip near his neck last year.

But before I can react, Harrison hits the gate. I brace for carnage -

And find Hal reaching out for a handshake.

"Good trip?" he asks. "Harrison, come over and say hello." The donkeys haven't even blinked. They understood Harrison, Hal says, and always have. When Harrison is having a really tough afternoon, in fact, Hal will scoot him outside and onto the back of one of the donkeys, Laredo. Within seconds, boy and burro are ambling along, Laredo's ears waving as Harrison sings him a Mumford and Sons song.

Donkeys have been part of Hal and Mary Walter's lives since their son Harrison was a baby.

"I can't explain it except that in their way, donkeys think faster than we do," says Mary, Hal's wife. Mary is a nurse and for years was a superb burro racer herself until she was badly hurt in a "wreck": her legs got tangled in the lead rope during a race and she fell, spooking her donkey into dragging her through a boulder field. She's learned firsthand that donkeys can bloody you badly without even trying, so she marvels at how protective they are around her son.

"We base our decisions on logic. Theirs are based on sensory perception," she explains. "While we're assembling information in our brains, they're relying on a really keen sense of smell and hearing. Their judgement is amazing and lightning fast."

Hal Walter takes his son, Harrison, on a donkey ride. Video by Hal Walter

Three hours away near Denver, the parents of an epileptic boy wondered if burros could help their 10-year-old son, Ben. After Ben suffered a seizure so severe he had to be hospitalized for a week, his parents, Brad and Amber Wann tracked down Hal's mentor, Curtis Imrie, who invited them to his little ranch outside Buena Vista. "First time we get there, he takes us five miles straight the hell up Mt. Harvard," says Brad, still a little annoyed that he had to walk while Ben got to ride McMurphy, Curtis's most-trusted donkey. "Fourteen thousand feet!"

"Why did you name him McMurphy?" Amber asked.

"After the crazy guy in 'One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest,'" Curtis replied, which didn't alarm Amber as much as it should have.

"In my gut, I knew it was O.K.," Amber told me. "As soon as Benjamin was on his back, that burro's ears went up. He looked regal. Like he had a purpose: 'I have this special package to carry.'" Amber was also thrilled to see Ben so happy. "I was this depressed mom at home with an epileptic child, and now I'm thinking, This could be it. This animal therapy is for real - "

And that's when McMurphy tripped.

"Craziest thing," Curtis says. "McMurphy goes down in the dirt. I knew what was going to happen next 'cause I've seen it a thousand times. Animal falls, rolls over, comes back u p on its feet. That's why so many horse riders break a leg: from the horse roling over them. But you should have seen McMurphy. He's about to roll and somehow he stops and fights his body back the other way. Some DNA in him to protect that child."

"It's like he suddenly remembered Ben and went 'Whoops,' and put himself in reverse," Brad says. "I wanted to kiss him."

"You should have," Amber says. "I did."

For the Wanns, that tumble sealed the deal. It's been four years and they've been a dedicated burro clan ever since. They show up at every race, three generations strong; Amber's parents even got a pair of mini-donkeys so they can hike along behind the grandkids.

"Our family doesn't do other sports on the weekend," Brad says. "We do this."

Ben's seizures have disappeared for as long as six months at a time, his parents are delighted to report. "It's been so cool to see the joy in Ben's face as he gets off the meds," says Curtis. "Burros have brought a measure of sanity to that family."

Like acupuncture and meditation, equine therapy lives in that anecdotal world where plenty of credible people are convinced it works but science can't yet prove why.
Curtis Imrie has his own theory. "Everything about burros is rhythmic. Their breathing, their movements, all 1-2-3-4 ... 1-2-3-4... Like the perfect waltz partner. They're desert animals, so that's the way it has to be. Keep your rhythm, keep your cool," Curtis explains. "So Ben comes along and his heart, his breathing, all slow to the rhythm. You become what you behold. How's that for a little cowboy philosophy? It's really Huxley but sounds like something from the range."

Curtis Imrie is considered the dean of burro racing. He hasn't missed a championship race in 40 years.

To be fair, Hal Walter has to admit that the burros have helped him as much as his son. "Pack burro racing was my training for father hood," says Hal, a seven-time titleholder who still wins at age 56. For years, Hal was a newspaper reporter, and he's captured his evolution as a dad and donkey trainer in two books, "Full Tilt Boogie" and "Endurance." Burros, he believes, led him to insights he might never have discovered.

#1: The only thing you need to do is the thing you're doing: "Laredo and Boogie taught me the best lesson for dealing with a child like Harrison: You have to have more time than they do. If you're in a rush, you lose."

#2: Lead from the rear: "You're asking a burro to do something very unnatural. Leave his buddies, leave his food and shelter, and run 30 miles into the mountains. You have to make it seem like it's their idea."

But just when you think you've got things figured out, the rope is ripped out of your hand and you've got an ache in your chest that feels like a kick and you realize that you - Father of the Year, Mr. Seven-Time Champion - don't know jack. That's when your old pal Curtis reminds you of the one you forgot:

#3: You don't train them. They train you.

"Donkeys know their rights and they can shut you down fast," says Curtis. "When they like you, they'll do everything short of open the gate and jump in the trailer. They become your partner. Your buddy. They join you for the adventure."'

Click here for the original article and additional video.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Throwback Thursday!

Throwback to past AAEP conferences!

Are you going to AAEP 2016? 
Make sure to stop by Booth 905 
to see everything we have to offer!






Tim and Jim at our "Selfie Wall"

Rich and Jim at our "Selfie Wall"


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Tuesday, November 29, 2016

This Vet Drove 900 Miles to Help Horses at Standing Rock

By Jessica Pineda

"Moved to help the Sioux and their horses, Charmian Wright, DVM, raised funds for medical supplies before driving out to Standing Rock.

As the Standing Rock Sioux protest against the Dakota Access Pipeline continues, it has drawn nationwide attention. It also drew the attention of Charmian wright, DVM, owner and operator of Mountain Horse Medical in Park City, Utah. When she heard about horses getting injured at Standing Rock, she was motivated to reach out to the Sioux on Facebook to see if they needed help.

According to the Huffington Post, after receiving a phone call from a horse caretaker at the Oceti Sakowin Camp, Dr. Wright started raising funds for medical supplies via GoFundMe named "Helping the Horse Nation." Then she packed up her supplies and headed the 900 miles to Standing Rock.

As the Huffington Post reports, horses are an integral part of the Sioux culture. While no horses have died during the protests, they did have some minor injuries, and Wright treated a few of them. Her main goal was to teach the Sioux how to treat their horses during an emergency and how to look for illnesses.

"I taught them how to do an in-depth physical exam, including the use of a stethoscope, how to assess for lameness, how to body-score for weight, and how to examine teeth," she told the Huffington Post. "We discussed how to assess different types of injuries and how they are treated. I showed them the uses of different medications, such as antibiotics for infection and anti-inflammatories for pain and colic."

According to the Huffington Post, she also, "discussed nutrition and bandaging techniques, taught some people how to suture wounds, and put together emergency medical kits for horse owners."

Wright, a graduate of Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine, has since returned home, but she is still raising funds for the Sioux. As of press time, she has currently raised $11,886 of $15,000 goal. She has also made herself available for further consultations and may even return to Standing Rock in the future.

Check out some pictures from Wright's trip below:"

Dr. Wright's Facebook: "First delivery of veterinary medical supplies for the horses of Standing Rock. In two days I will be on my way"

Dr. Wright's Facbook: "This 10 year old mustang mare was on her way to the killer auction when she somehow got diverted to Standing Rock. She was perfectly sound and had no physical problems. Elih had before now been borrowing other horses to go to the front lines in the pipeline protests. Elih knew nothing about the mare. And yet he worked with her a little, then hopped on bareback. She tried to circle back to the others but he turned her again, getting her lined out.
When I last saw them they were moving into the distance, being swallowed up by the lines of flags and tipis in the camp. The afternoon sunlight braided her tail with little spears of light. She was moving out like a seasoned campaigner who fully trusted her rider's hand. Was it my imagination when I sensed her relief at her change of fortune?
Elih calls her Last Chance"

Dr. Wright's Facebook: "Gabi is originally from Czechoslovakia but she had been living in California. Until recently, when she joined the Crow Creek Spirit Riders at Standing Rock. She is fluent in English and extraordinarily keen, observant, and well-educated. She is learning as much as she can about emergency equine care between her other obligations. She plans on staying through the winter. She is living in a tipi. Gabi shared with me some of the challenges she has faced in becoming a Spirit Rider. But she is well on her way. Gabi could give anyone a run for their money."

Dr. Wright's Facebook: "Foretek, a human medic at Standing Rock, learned how to put intravenous catheters in horses today. She was a very willing, quick and proficient learner. If a horse needs intravenous fluid therapy, the medics can help. I am leaving them with 40 liters of fluids, lots of catheters, and multiple IV setups."

Dr. Wright's Facebook: "Practice sutures done by my Crow Creek students at Standing Rock. These guys can throw in sutures like a boss."

Click here for the original article.