South Shore Equine Clinic & Diagnostic Center
Equine Veterinary Services South Shore Boston Massachusetts

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Bits & Pieces: February 2008
Streptococcus Equi Infections in your barn

Congratulations Dr. Reilly

Spring Preparation

Streptococcus Equi Infections In Your Barn

As many of you have heard there have been confirmed cases of Strep. equi infections, otherwise known as Strangles,  in the area.  Simply stated, Strangles is a bacterial infection of the upper respiratory tract of horses with particular affinity for the guttural pouches, which are extensions of the auditory canal from the pharynx, or throat.  It can cause signs of depression, fever, anorexia, swelling of the lymph nodes, edema or swelling of the legs and ventral abdomen, snotty nose and draining abscesses, most commonly from the submandibular area.  Strangles is usually introduced to a farm by a horse who appears totally healthy, but is harboring the bacteria in his or her guttural pouches. These are known as “carriers”.  The disease is then spread to other horses through shared water sources in a paddock, nose to nose contact, shared bits and tack, or through other fomites, such as hands and hoses. 

Please check out the following links for more information about preventing Strangles and managing disease control on your farm:
Disease Control on Your Farm: Focus on Strangles
Vaccinations & Disease Control on Your Farm

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Congratulations To Dr. Mark Reilly, Diplomate AVBP!!

Dr. Mark Reilly has been certified as a Diplomate by the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners (ABVP) specializing in Equine Practice.  Dr. Reilly mastered a rigorous and demanding application process and certification examination in order to obtain Diplomate status.

The American Board of Veterinary Practitioners was established in 1978 and is accredited by a special committee of the American Veterinary Medical Association to recognize excellence in clinical practice through the certification of species oriented specialists.  Dr. Reilly is the only equine veterinarian practicing in Massachusetts to achieve Diplomate status.   Way to go Dr. Reilly!!!

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Spring Preparation

As spring approaches start planning now for the upcoming show season! Included in your calendar book should be appointments for the following:


Annual Exam:
Prior to spring conditioning, be sure your horse is healthy by having a yearly check up performed.  Take this time to review your horse’s diet and exercise schedule with your veterinarian and make any necessary changes before the upcoming season.

A good immunization program is essential to responsible horse ownership, and the only way to help protect your horse against the many infectious diseases that afflict our beloved friends today. Please check out our website for the most up to date recommendations for vaccinating your horse.
Coggins Testing:
Blood tests should be performed in the spring, or at the time of sale, to detect Equine Infectious Anemia (EIA).  This test is good for one year in the state of Massachusetts, not two, as was previously required.
Internal Parasites are the silent killer. At SSEC we perform fecal egg counts to detect the exact parasite load in your horse and through strategic de-worming, assist you in minimizing that parasite load.

Dental Care:
Every horse should have a dental exam by a veterinarian yearly, and the teeth should be floated as needed.  We practice performance dentistry to optimize your horse’s dental health and overall performance, no matter what discipline. We are also happy to offer specialty dental services such as extractions, diastemata treatments and fillings (yes, horses get cavities too!) on a case by case basis.

Hoof Care:
All horses should have their feet trimmed every four to eight weeks.  This will keep the walls level and prevent cracks or splitting of the hoof wall.  The feet of every horse should be inspected and cleaned with a hoof pick daily.  If you or your blacksmith notice any abnormalities, advice on corrective trimming may be necessary.

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