Buckaroo Kindness

brent

I have mentioned before that one on the best things about being a rural veterinarian is getting to visit ranches and work with ranchers and cowboys all over Eastern Oregon and Southern Idaho.  I recently made a trip to a ranch in Oregon where I was scheduled to check 350 cows for pregnancy.  It was about a 2 hour drive from the clinic and we were scheduled to start at 7 am to avoid the desert heat.  Needless to say, it was an early morning start for me and John. the willing young man I convinced to help me identify and mark cattle.  After a nice ride through a very rural portion of Eastern Oregon, we arrived at the ranch where a ready crew was waiting.  We got started right away, working with 3 generations of ranch family, neighbors, and crew.  Few things are as satisfying as working around these families and their livestock.

It was a perfect morning.  The cattle were cooperating and the weather was cool and pleasant.  We were about half way done, each cow was preg checked, vaccinated, identified and let out of the chute.  Pregnant cows went to the right, open, or non pregnant cows to the left.  Everything was running smoothly.

I noticed one of the buckaroos and his horse, working in the pen next to the chute. He would ease his horse forward one step and then rein him in.  A second or two later, he would do the same.  In between checking cows, I continued to watch him and his horse as they kept on.  I admired the way he could coax his horse forward one step at a time and stop him so precisely with each step.  I thought they were doing a fine job of cutting a cow out of the herd.  It was obvious to me that both the buckaroo and his horse knew what they were doing.  Problem was, I couldn’t see the cow they were trying to move.  Then I realized there was no cow, what was he doing?  A little horse training maybe?  Then I saw it and realized what this tough Eastern Oregon cowboy was doing all along.  Just ahead of him and his horse I saw a mama Killdeer scoot under the fence, behind her were 3 tiny puffballs being pushed along by the buckaroo and his horse.  It was 3 baby killdeer and their killdeer mama being herded toward safety away from the cows.  I just witnessed a first for me, and as far as I know, the first ever killdeer roundup.  If only I had a video camera.  Of course, when all of his buddies realized what he was doing, they harassed the buckaroo without remorse.  He laughed along sheepishly, but I am sure he would have done it again in a second.

Like I said before, working with ranch folks is one of my favorite things to do.  I never know what the next adventure will bring.  I am sure we will laugh about the killdeer roundup for years to come.  The next time you hear about how ranchers don’t care about the environment, picture a buckaroo in a wide brimmed hat with his horse,  and the killdeer roundup.

Buckaroo Kindness

brentI have mentioned before that one on the best things about being a rural veterinarian is getting to visit ranches and work with ranchers and cowboys all over Eastern Oregon and Southern Idaho.  I recently made a trip to a ranch in Oregon where I was scheduled to check 350 cows for pregnancy.  It was about a 2 hour drive from the clinic and we were scheduled to start at 7 am to avoid the desert heat.  Needless to say, it was an early morning start for me and John. the willing young man I convinced to help me identify and mark cattle.  After a nice ride through a very rural portion of Eastern Oregon, we arrived at the ranch where a ready crew was waiting.  We got started right away, working with 3 generations of ranch family, neighbors, and crew.  Few things are as satisfying as working around these families and their livestock.

It was a perfect morning.  The cattle were cooperating and the weather was cool and pleasant.  We were about half way done, each cow was preg checked, vaccinated, identified and let out of the chute.  Pregnant cows went to the right, open, or non pregnant cows to the left.  Everything was running smoothly.

I noticed one of the buckaroos and his horse, working in the pen next to the chute. He would ease his horse forward one step and then rein him in.  A second or two later, he would do the same.  In between checking cows, I continued to watch him and his horse as they kept on.  I admired the way he could coax his horse forward one step at a time and stop him so precisely with each step.  I thought they were doing a fine job of cutting a cow out of the herd.  It was obvious to me that both the buckaroo and his horse knew what they were doing.  Problem was, I couldn’t see the cow they were trying to move.  Then I realized there was no cow, what was he doing?  A little horse training maybe?  Then I saw it and realized what this tough Eastern Oregon cowboy was doing all along.  Just ahead of him and his horse I saw a mama Killdeer scoot under the fence, behind her were 3 tiny puffballs being pushed along by the buckaroo and his horse.  It was 3 baby killdeer and their killdeer mama being herded toward safety away from the cows.  I just witnessed a first for me, and as far as I know, the first ever killdeer roundup.  If only I had a video camera.  Of course, when all of his buddies realized what he was doing, they harassed the buckaroo without remorse.  He laughed along sheepishly, but I am sure he would have done it again in a second.

Like I said before, working with ranch folks is one of my favorite things to do.  I never know what the next adventure will bring.  I am sure we will laugh about the killdeer roundup for years to come.  The next time you hear about how ranchers don’t care about the environment, picture a buckaroo in a wide brimmed hat with his horse,  and the killdeer roundup.

 

 

 

Canine Influenza…Not a matter of IF it will happen, it is a matter of WHEN.

Many of you remember last year’s canine influenza outbreak that occurred in the Chicago area. Many of you, along with us, felt helpless with the fact that there was nothing anyone could do to help protect our furry family members. Anyone remember that? Well…awesome news! There is now a flu vaccine available! And even better news? We have it available at Snake River Vet Center! Before you hurry down to get your doggie their flu vaccine, here is some information to help you make a sound decision about whether to vaccinate or not.

There are 2 strains of the canine canine influenza viruses have been isolated: H3N2 and H3N8. The newest strain is the H3N2 and is of avian (bird) origin. The H3N8 strain is of equine (horse) origin and has been around longer. It is recommended that dogs be vaccinated against both viruses to be protected. 

The canine influenza virus is spread by dogs being in close contact with each other and via aerosolization (which means it can be carried and spread through the air). All dogs that are exposed are at risk because they have not built up a natural immunity. The clinical signs include: coughing, sneezing, nasal discharge, ocular (eye) discharge and fever. Some dogs get a mild case and can be treated at home, however; others may need or require hospitalization and supportive care. The scariest part?  Dogs that are newly infected and actively shedding the virus (meaning they are contagious) will not show any signs of being sick at first. Clinical signs often arise days after they have already been sharing the virus with everyone else. This makes the virus super sneaky!

Dogs that are at high risk include those participating in social activities with other groups of dogs. This may include: doggie day care, boarding facilities, training facilities, dog shows or trials, dog parks, shelters, kennels, and grooming facilities.   

Protecting your pet is as simple as vaccinating them. The initial series includes two vaccines, one for each virus (H3N2 and H3N8), and a booster of each vaccine around 3 weeks. The vaccine will boost natural immunity against these viruses, and will then need to be boosted thereafter on a yearly basis. Dogs vaccinated against canine influenza are not protected until they have had the first follow up booster (at 3 weeks) of both vaccines. 

We no longer have to sit by and helplessly wait for an outbreak to occur before we take action. You can start protecting your precious pups now before this sneaky virus strikes! We recommend vaccinating all dogs but especially those that are at high risk. We know how important your furry family members are to you and we want to be able to jenniferoffer all we can to help ensure your pet’s safety.  Currently, we have these vaccines available in a package that includes all four vaccines! If you are interested in vaccinating your dog or have any questions, please call us at (208) 452-7950.

Jennifer Janitell DVM

Simple Horse Deworming with a Discount

brentAll horse owners know the importance of treating horses, and other equids, for internal parasites. The parasites we are most concerned about are the small strongyles, round worms  and tapeworms that have potential to cause disease in our horses.  These worms live in the intestines  and shed eggs through the horses feces and on to the pasture where they hatch into larva only to be picked up again by other horses.  Parasite infections in can lead to weight loss,  ill thrift, and even colic.  Our goal as horse owners and Veterinarians is to minimize the  potential for disease caused by these nasty little creatures.

When I graduated from veterinary school, deworming treatments were recommended every 6 to 8 weeks.  We sometimes even recommended daily worming medication in the form of supplements. These methods of treatment were successful against large strongyle worm infections but failed to eliminate small strongyles and other types of parasites. It has also possibly led to deworming medication resistance in worms.

More recently, recommendations have changed.  The goal now is to limit parasite infections keeping horses healthy and minimizing clinical illnesses.  We are also trying to avoid further development of resistance to deworming medications and control parasite egg shedding into the environment.  We accomplish this with less frequent deworming and monitoring worm burdens through fecal analysis.

In general, we now recommend that healthy, adult  horses are dewormed twice a year.  Preferably in the spring and summer here in the Northwest.  We recommend that you use two different classes of dewormer and that one of them is effective against tapeworms, which are now believed to be an important cause of colic.   We also recommend that you have a fecal analysis done at least once a year for each horse to determine if your deworming protocol is working.  We also recommend that a fecal is performed on any new horse to your herd or on one that is losing weight or condition.    Fecal samples can be brought in to our clinic anytime for analysis.  A sample should be as fresh as possible, stored in an air tight container, and refrigerated until delivered to the clinic.

Young horses and foals require a little more intense schedule of treatment.   During their first year of life, foals should receive four deworming treatments.  The first should occur at 2-3  months of age with a product that gets roundworms.  The second at weaning, third treatment at 9 months of age, and again at 12 months. Yearlings and 2- year-olds should also be treated 3 to 4 times per year.

Pretty straight forward and simple, right?  Of course, these are general recommendations. Each horse and ranch are different and there are many variables to consider.  It is important for you to discuss your situation with a veterinarian to determine any additional recommendations for your horses. Call Snake River Veterinary Center if you have any questions at (208) 452-7950. The veterinarians at Snake River Veterinary Center recommend you treat with a product that is effective against tapeworms and bots, as well as small strongyles going in to the fall.  We recommend a product that contains ivermectin and praziquantal.

So, now a little incentive to get your fall horse deworming done.  Snake River Veterinary center is offering a special discount for anyone who purchases their fall deworming products from us before November 1, 2015.  We will extend a 10% discount on all equine dewormers and fecal analyses purchased prior to this date.  Just mention you read this blog to receive your discount.