Ridgefield Animal Hopsital

919 Percy Brown Road
Thibodaux, LA 70301

(985)446-8824

ridgefieldanimalhospital.com

Equine Services:

Vaccines:  We suggest a core vaccination of a VEWT+West Nile be given every 6 months (Venezuelan, Eastern, Western ( encephalitis), Tetatus and West Nile.  Depending on stage of life and activities, other vaccines such as Rhino, Flu, Strangles, Leptospirosis, and Rabies can be administered. 

 Remember - not all encephalitis vaccines are complete.   Always vaccinate your horse with a vaccine that includes Eastern Equine Encephalitis ( EEE ) and West Nile Virus.  Vaccinating for West Nile only will leave your horse exposed to EEE, which actually kills more horses every year: 

Eastern Encephalitis and West Nile Virus (WNV) causes encephalitis in birds, horses and humans.  The virus is transmitted from infected birds by mosquitoes.  Humans and horses appear to be especially susceptible.  Studies done by the U.S. Department of Agriculture show that infected horses will not transmit WNV to other horses or to people.  This means an infected horse is not a hazard to other horses or people, but that the disease is present in the bird populations in the area and therefore the people and horses in that area are at risk.  

Symptoms of disease caused by WNV and Eastern encephalitis may include the following:

    * Flu-like signs (fever and depression)
    * Skin twitching, especially around the muzzle.
    * Hypersensitivity to touch and sound
    * Driving or pushing forward without control, "head pressing"
    * Incoordination

Limiting mosquito exposure does not replace vaccinating, but can be helpful to your horse and, more importantly, to you!  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 and people from mosquito bites is more difficult.  Fly and mosquito repellents may be helpful.  Products containing pyrethrins 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 as they cannot fly against even moderate wind currents.  Fly systems can be purchased to release pyrethrins at timed intervals in your barn and on your premisis, which can help with both flies and mosquitos.

Other Equine Veterinary Services:

Our hospital provides a wide variety of equine services including:

1) Coggins tests :   required yearly for all horses, and within 6 months if you are selling a horse.

2) Teeth "Floating":   The more grain or pelleted food a horse eats, and the less grass or hay, the less the motion of chewing all day naturally wears the teeth.  This lack of roughage produces sharp points, but even pasture horses can get uneven wear and require a float, which basically files the teeth back into proper shape.    Any horse with wt loss, dropping feed and balling up grass/hay in the mouth should have its teeth checked.    The sharp points cause discomfort, affecting eating, but also affecting how the horse reacts to a bit in the mouth.   If your horse lacks "power steering", have its teeth checked!