History may confuse us as to when was the first equine veterinary practice took place on earth, as there were no precise records of formal education for this profession during those times, but we believe with the existence of healers or shamans performing chants and applying medicinal potions to cure sick humans and animals in those eras. All that we can be certain of is that domestication of animals like horses in early civilization has helped shape up the development of today’s world.
Equine Veterinary is a profession that aids in the prevention, maintenance, and cure of equine diseases such as equine herpes virus, Potomac horse fever, equine influenza, streptococcus equi, and tetanus among others. Equine Veterinarians as we call our Horse’s Doctors are the experts who know best for our horse’s overall health and condition.
Based on the Market Research Statistics of U.S. Veterinarians in 2018 as posted in American Veterinary Medical Association, there are about 120,652 positions held for this profession in private, government and the corporate agencies of which only 4,125 are specializing in equine veterinary. And in the 2018 study of The American Horse Council Economic Impact estimated that as of 2017, there were 7.2 million horses in the United States. This statistical record shows that there is a need for more horse vet near me and the whole of the U.S.A. and even the whole world for that matter to balance the need of equine vets over a huge horse’s population.
WHY EQUINE VETERINARY?
Ever asked yourself why you should consider being an equine veterinarian? If you have that compassionate love for horses and wanted to take action to promote their welfare, then this might just be the profession that will make you happy and fulfilled more than giving you a good fortune. As the Bureau of Labor Statistics survey conducted in 2017 found that the median wage for veterinarians is around $90,000 per annum and according to payscale.com, equine vets average professional income is at $64,000 per year.
It is designed that Veterinary School takes up to four years of study and leads to a (D.V.M) Doctor of Veterinary Medicine Degree. What most success stories of equine veterinarians would portray in their stories is the presence of humane act of care and affection towards horses especially with the growing instances of animal cruelty in the society before until now. They are driven by the will power to respect the life these animals have as sacred and that it deserves the care necessary as to what human life has.
INSPIRING BREAKTHROUGHS IN EQUINE VETERINARY HISTORY
As the pre-Socratic Greek philosopher, Heraclitus said “change is the only constant in life”. Hence from the time of our great ancestors, many developments in all the aspects of our society are continuously taking place. And with equine veterinary medicine, the discovery of horse’s diseases, inventions of equine foods, supplements and medicines, and the development of wellness approaches relating to horses can be credited to the forefathers of this profession who have dedicated their life in studying and working for the welfare of our horses. The future is yet to unfold for future discoveries along with more changes and developments that will come for our next generation of horse vet near me and the world, and so here are some inspiration we can look up to and be thankful for their contributions in the welfare of our horses;
Carlo Ruini, 1598
He is often known as the father of equine anatomy and his comprehensive treatise on the anatomy and diseases of the horse along with the treatment is the foundation of modern veterinary medicine. His book entitled Dell’anotomia et dell’infirmita del cavallo contains high-quality illustrations attributed to Leonardo da Vinci’s works and this was the first book dedicated exclusively to the study of a single species other than a man.
Andrew Snape, 1683
He wrote one of the first English books in equine anatomy entitled Anatomy of a horse.
Claude Bourgelat, 1762
Claude Bourgelat was a French Veterinarian who founded the first Veterinary School in Lyon in the year 1762. He devoted his time to developing the cure of the disease that causes the cattle plague incident that affects almost all domesticated animals at that time.
Henry Bergh, 1800
Because Bergh only too frequently that he witnesses a harness horse being abused and being exhausted to work, He had founded the American Association for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA). His efforts led to the passing of the first law to protect animals in New York State. The ASPCA maintained shelters for the care and rehabilitation of horses and also provided an ambulance to transport horses that are injured to their treatment facility. In 1912, the opening of their first clinic took place and they pioneered the use of anesthesia and radium in surgical procedures done to treat injured animals. Because of Henry Bergh’s call to action against cruelties to horses that he witnessed himself, there are already around 750 ASPCA groups throughout the country who are dedicated to caring and protecting all animals. Through this milestone in the history of the veterinary world, more laws are developed and applied for animal welfare.
Dr. J. Fred Smithcors, 1957
A professor of anatomy at the MSU College of Veterinary Medicine and also a Veterinary Historian was the person who acquired the MSU’s Beaudette Collection in 1957, which originally includes over 250 rare books and manuscripts, has grown to more than 1,500 items. It is said to be one of the largest and most distinguished collections of artifacts that relate to the history of veterinary medicine.
Dr. Jacques Jenny
He is a Swiss orthopedic surgeon who developed the famous “pool recovery system” to address the panicking of horses after surgery brought about by the effects of anesthesia. In this process, wrote Jane Simone in her Advances in Equine Veterinary Medicine, 2019 “Horses are awoken from anesthesia in a specially designed and constructed rubber raft in a large, heated pool that allows them to kick freely without risk of injury. Once fully awake, the patient is lifted from the raft and pool secure in a sling and allowed to stand up calmly, or is transported by monorail to the Widener Hospital’s Intensive Care Unit to the safety of a well-bedded stall”
WHAT IS IT LIKE TO BE AN EQUINE VETERINARIAN?
Recent interviews with successful equine veterinarians determined how fulfilling their life are in their chosen field of profession. It may have taken them years and a huge amount of investment in mastering this course and get their license to practice this expertise, but what seems to surface as the most important fulfillment they gain is not the fee they earn, but the quality of life horses under their care have and that to see how happy their clients are for such a great care given to their horses.
Dr. Phyllis Lose, for instance, is the first woman equine veterinarian who has been featured in many journals of veterinary success including the reader’s digest and was said to have helped numerous horses at the time of her practice. She had also build hospitals for horses and had influenced many other practitioners to have that sense of passion to care for horses as she does. Many have been inspired by her story as she was by then, was the youngest licensed equine trainer at age 19.
Most equine veterinarians are in private practice, where they may own solo practice or be in partnership with some staff, fellow veterinarians or a referral on hospital set-up. Others choose to focus their expertise on specific breeds or discipline that greatly interests them such as with racehorses or western pleasure horses.
Many private veterinarians are ambulatory practitioner, who enjoys traveling to their clients to perform their services. You may find that their vehicle is an office on wheels as they always have with them often a full stock of equipment and medication necessary to perform their expertise addressing horse concerns on site.
WHEN DO YOU NEED TO CALL YOUR EQUINE VETERINARIAN?
Like humans, who needed regular check-ups and health maintenance to ensure the wellness of the body and maintain quality performance in daily life, animals, particularly horses especially the ones joining regular race events and ranch work also need these kinds of health care. Aside from a regular check-up schedule, the need to call your equine or horse vet is a must when any of the instances arise concerning your horse:
- If your horse encounters any injury with profuse bleeding that won’t stop. This instance cannot be delayed as it may place your horse in a life and death situation for losing too much blood.
- If you notice or suspect a fracture as you may see on the physical appearance of your horse’s body. Do not wait until it swells and it gets even more serious.
- If there is an injury or cut on your horse’s skin that needs suturing and stitches. Do not attempt to do it on your own as you may infect your horse without the proper sterile techniques.
- If you suddenly noticed a change in your horse’s behavior and lameness appears and you have no idea why.
- If you notice an abnormality or sudden difference in your horse’s breathing pattern which often noisy labored breathing.
- If your horse is choking. Food particles and saliva may often go out on nostrils and you can obviously see a neck stretched out.
- Seizure episodes brought by unknown reasons.
- If your horse is experiencing watery diarrhea. Do not waste time, an immediate response must be given as this condition may lead your horse to dehydration.
- If you see an obvious injury or abnormality with your horse’s eyes. Lack of treatment or incorrect treatment could mean a loss of vision.
- Learn to recognize the signs of pain manifested in your horse’s behavior. If you notice a change in his normal behavior and could not understand why your horse is acting differently, It is best to consult your physician at once to avoid further injury.
It is very important that you are aware and be familiar with the normal characteristics of a healthy horse that you may be able to distinguish what abnormalities occur, as such, you know when to call your equine vet. The horse also has a normal range of value in what we call vital signs as we human have, and these are as follows;
- The Body temperature of a horse ranges at 37.4-38.4ºC. units below or above this range may indicate something and you must consult your veterinarian about it for further instructions on what you could do
- The Horse’s RHR or Resting Heart Rate range at 36-42 beats per minute (bpm). Note that normally, the horse’s pulse rate returns to normal after a regular exercise. Measuring this vital sign can be done with the use of your three fingers in the middle and locate the pulse area of your horse usually found beneath the chestnut in the front legs, inside edge of the lower jaw, and etc. Place your fingers on the pulse area and count the pulse felt within one minute.
- The horse’s respiration rate (RR) is ranged at 8 to 14 breaths per minute which apparently is visible with the rising of the horse’s ribcage as it inhales and exhales. This can also be determined with the movement of the curve of the flank or nostrils.
- The horse must have a normal gut sound rhythm. Absence or overly noisy gut sound is indicative of gastrointestinal tract diseases such as colic or diarrhea.
- Hydration Test using the skin turgor test must result in a return of 1 second. Remained elevated skin after the test is indicative of dehydration and often accompanied by coldness and fatigue, muscular tremors, colic, thumps, unresponsiveness, lack of appetite and low pulse: respiration ratio.
- the Capillary response Time (CRT) must be 1 to 2 seconds. This done by applying a finger pressure for about 3 to 4 seconds on the gum of the upper lip leaving a white mark and upon release, the natural color of pink must return in 1 to 2 seconds to say it’s normal.
- Check that the mucous membranes of your horse must have a rich pink in color, paleness of these indicates a problem or presence of a disease.