AAEP Preview: Horseman's Day

The third Horseman's Day will be held as part of the AAEP's annual veterinary convention in Orlando, Fla., Dec. 8. It's hard for attendees to pass up the chance to have not only excellent lectures, but one-on-one time with some of the country's best veterinarians.

For example, Frank Andrews, DVM, MS, Dipl. ACVIM, of the University of Tennessee's College of Veterinary Medicine, will discuss "Equine Gastric Ulcers." He has spoken on the topic at previous AAEP sessions. Andrews said that he will first talk about ulcers that can develop in horses of all ages--from foals only a couple of weeks old to mature animals. Racehorses are the most prone of all to ulcers because of their confined lifestyle and the pressure under which they compete.

He will also share the good news concerning development of the medication omeprezole (GastroGard) that can clear up ulcers and even prevent them from recurring. Though fairly expensive, research studies and field trials have proven the efficacy of the product, he says. However, he says, clearing up a case of equine ulcers doesn't mean they will not return. To that end, he will discuss how to administer GastroGard as a preventive medicine.

A speaker whose presentation drew high interest in San Diego last year will speak on the same topic this year in Orlando. He is Jack Snyder, DVM, PhD, chief of equine surgery and lameness at University of California, Davis, and his dynamic topic is "The Wonderful World of Colic."

Snyder, who is an attending veterinarian at many of the world's elite equine competitions, including the Olympics, points out that many things can cause colic. He says that every horse owner should have a plan of action in place in case it occurs. This includes deciding in advance whether expensive surgery is an option. He will offer horse owners a series of steps that should be taken immediately when colic occurs and the veterinarian has not yet arrived. Snyder also will offer helpful hints for preventing colic.

A third speaker at this year's Horseman's Day presented his topic to veterinarians at last year's AAEP convention. It was such a hit that he was asked to bring his message to horse owners. R. Dean Scoggins, DVM, of the University of Illinois' College of Veterinary Medicine, will speak on "Bits, Bitting, and Dentistry."

Scoggins says that various dental problems in horses affect performance in a variety of ways. Oral discomfort, he says, causes the horse to focus on the pain rather than on performance. He makes the point that routine dental work is a must.

He emphasizes that one size or type doesn't fit all when it comes to bits. The shape and size of a horse's mouth affect the action of the bit. And, Scoggins says, because of the continued eruption of teeth, a horse's mouth shape changes as the horse ages. (His visuals are well worth the price of admission.) Thus, the rider or driver must be aware of these changes and of dental problems that might need correction to help the horse perform at his best.

Three other speakers will present information on topics that also are of keen interest to the horse owner:

  • Michelle LeBlanc, DVM, Dipl. ACT, with Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital in Lexington, Ky., will speak on, "Breeding Your Mare Using New Reproductive Technologies." She is an excellent teacher, which means owners and veterinarians flock to her presentations.
  • Genevieve Fontaine, DVM, formerly of the University of Florida's College of Veterinary Medicine and now in Kentucky, will talk about "Equine Emerging Diseases: New Threats for Horse Owners."
  • Steve O'Grady, BVSc, MRCVS, of Northern Virginia Equine in The Plains, Va., will speak on "Proper Physiological Horseshoeing."

The Horseman's Day session will be held at the Gaylord Palms Resort and Convention Center, where the AAEP convention will be taking place. The seminar runs from 8 a.m. until 5:15 p.m. The pre-registration fee through Nov. 15 is $45 for the day, and the fee for on-site registration is $60. The spaces fill up fast, so register early (and bring your friends). Registration information is available on AAEP's horse owners' web site www.myHorseMatters.com. Information can also be received by calling the AAEP office at 800/443-0177.

About the Author

Les Sellnow

Les Sellnow is a free-lance writer based near Riverton, Wyo. He specializes in articles on equine research, and operates a ranch where he raises horses and livestock. He has authored several fiction and non-fiction books, including Understanding Equine Lameness and Understanding The Young Horse, published by Eclipse Press and available at www.exclusivelyequine.com or by calling 800/582-5604.

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