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December 2017

With cold weather here, it is a good time to review the article on my Helpful Resources page, Feeding in Cold Weather.

Other important tips: Please make sure your horse has enough water. I have found heated buckets to be a life saver. Make sure buckets are clean. If concerned about food or water consumption, you can add warm water to their grain to make a mash.


Fall 2017

New disease update from NYS:

We share this information with everyone because it is important for us to take precautions against arboviruses.  In addition to the equine and zoonotic disease threats, arboviruses such as EEE and WNV may impact dogs and other species.  Clients  are well-advised to reduce their animals’ exposure to mosquitoes.  

WNV Case #13 

 WNV Case #14  

 WNV Case #15  

 WNV Case #16 

 EEE Case #1 


June 12, 2017

Rabies Outbreak Alert

A case of rabies was recently reported in a bat in East Aurora, New York. Among wild animals, the disease is most often reported in skunks and raccoons but is also found in bats and foxes,1,2 and usually is transmitted from the saliva of an infected animal into a bite wound.1

Visit outbreak-alert.com/offers.aspx to check out the latest savings on Merial vaccines.

Every case of rabies presents a death sentence to the infected horse - and a risk of infection for other horses.1 Infected horses may show common signs including depression, lack of coordination and aggressive behavior,1 or display more obscure signs, such as lameness or colic.3

Because the signs of rabies can vary so widely - and the disease is so serious - some experts recommend that horse owners think of rabies first whenever they see unexplained clinical signs in horses.3

Disease prevention - through vaccination and good management - is good for the horse, owner and equine veterinarian. MERIAL® vaccines provide the tools to help prevent some of the most common and most serious equine diseases, including rabies. IMRAB® is a rabies vaccine made by Merial and approved for use in six species of animals, including horses. And it is available in a combination vaccine that also helps protect against Potomac horse fever.

For more information about rabies or other equine diseases, talk with your veterinarian.

®MERIAL and IMRAB are registered trademarks of Merial Limited. ©2012 Merial Limited, Duluth, GA. All rights reserved. EQUIBGN1229-D (05/12)

1Marteniuk J. Rabies in horses. MichiganStateUniversity, College of Veterinary Medicine.
2AAEP Core Vaccination Guidelines. https://aaep.org/horse-owners/owner-guidelines/owner-vaccination-guidelines/owner-core-vaccination-guidelines
3Weese JS. A review of equine zoonotic diseases: risks in veterinary medicine. AAEP Proceedings 2002;48:362-369.


September 2016

New disease update from NYS:

We are reporting the second and third confirmed cases of West Nile Virus for 2016 in NY.

We share this information with everyone because it is important for both you and your clients to take precautions against arboviruses.  In addition to the equine and zoonotic disease threats, arboviruses such as EEE and WNV may impact dogs and other species.  Your clients are well-advised to reduce their animals’ exposure to mosquitoes.

West Nile Case #2 –

West Nile Case #3 –


May 2016

Headlines in the Buffalo News May, 2016!!!
Niagara County Lyme disease ticks concentrated in Gasport

LOCKPORT – The ticks in Niagara County that tested positive for the Lyme disease bacteria were concentrated in the Gasport area, the county Health Department said Wednesday.

Environmental Health Director Paul R. Dicky said, “Of samples collected to date in Niagara County, 41 ticks were positive for Borrelia burgdorferi, the Lyme bacteria.” Those ticks were collected between the Erie Canal towpath and Rochester Road in Gasport and in the surrounding Town of Royalton.

The department began dragging for ticks in 2015, after infected ticks began showing up in other Western New York counties. The technique involves dragging a piece of white fabric through bushy areas and brush frequented by deer, rodents and birds. Environmental Health workers, dressed in protective clothing and gloves, picked the ticks off the fabric and placed them in containers, which were sent to a state entomologist for testing.

Deputy Public Health Director Victoria Pearson said Tuesday night that 80 percent of the ticks tested were positive for Lyme disease. The County Legislature voted Tuesday to appropriate $1,000 to print a brochure on how to avoid the disease. Public Health Director Daniel J. Stapleton said, “This time of year presents particularly high risk of contact with ticks, unless people learn how to protect themselves. When in wooded and grassy areas, wear clothing that covers all skin and is light-colored to see ticks better. Tuck shirts in pants and pants in socks. Use recommended repellents and follow label directions.

Afterward, check the body carefully for ticks. Remove any ticks by grasping the mouthparts with tweezers as close to the skin as possible.” Pets also should be checked for ticks, Stapleton said.

Dicky said, “Not all deer ticks carry Lyme bacteria. Once positive ticks are found in one area of the county, however, it is likely other areas will host some infected ticks, as they are carried by animals that move around.” Dicky said his staff is only testing ticks found through field surveillance and is not accepting ticks from medical providers or the public.

Please watch for ticks on your horses and remove them carefully. Use a tweezers to grab at the base or you might cover the tick with Vaseline and it may back out.

There is no vaccine approved for use in horses but there is some use of the canine vaccine in horses (off-label use) in high risk areas.


March 2016

It’s that time of year when everyone is getting Coggins tests and asking “How long will it be good?” Well, here are the NY state regulations on the EIA (Coggins) test:

You can also read the article on my Helpful Resources page, Why a Horse Needs a Coggins Test to go to a Horse Show.



Clinical Affiliate LMU College of Veterinary Medicine


Harrogate, Tennessee, October 1, 2015 –Lincoln Memorial University-College of Veterinary Medicine (LMU-CVM) has announced that Royalton Equine Veterinary Services in Lockport, New York, has qualified to become a member partner of the LMU-CVM Community-Based Veterinary Teaching Hospital system.

Royalton Equine Veterinary Services now becomes one of an exclusive group of qualified clinical course sites in which LMU-CVM fourth-year veterinary students will spend rotations gaining supervised quality clinical experience. Community-based education allows for a mutually beneficial, collaborative partnership between the veterinary college and quality community veterinary professionals. Royalton Equine Veterinary Services met all facility, equipment, medical care and leadership standards necessary to join the Community-Based Veterinary Teaching Hospital system.

You can read the Welcome Letter here.

“Lincoln Memorial University-College of Veterinary Medicine is proud to enter into this partnership with Royalton Equine Veterinary Services and looks forward to many years working together to graduate confident, compassionate and competent new veterinarians,” said Dr. Glenn Hoffsis, dean of LMU-CVM.

Lincoln Memorial University’s College of Veterinary Medicine is located on the LMU main campus in Harrogate, Tennessee, with additional academic facilities in nearby Lee County, Virginia. LMU-CVM is an integral part of the University’s Division of Health Sciences and provides real-world, community-based education in a collaborative learning environment. For more information about LMU-CVM, call 1-800-325-0900, ext. 7150 or visit us online at vetmed.LMUnet.edu.



November 2015

Hunting-Season Safety Guide

For those of us who ride for pure pleasure there's nothing like the brilliant foliage of autumn trees, the smell of crisp, fresh air and the enthusiasm of your good horse when there's a trace of bite in the breeze. 'frail riding in the fall doesn't have to be avoided simply because it coincides with hunting season. Here are five guidelines to help keep you and your horse safe.

1. Wear Bright Colors - Visibility is your first consideration. Stand out, by wearing bright colors such as a blaze-orange hunting And don't forget your horse! Invest in brightly colored saddlebags and/or cantle bags. Also consider placing a blaze-orange nylon halter tinder his bridle.

2. Choose Your Route - With dates of hunting seasons and maps of hunting areas (from the state fish and game department, www.dec.ny.gov or www.nhfday.org/Page/ Where-to-Hunt.html)find trails in areas where hunters will be less concentrated and consider skipping opening day.

3. Train Your Horse - You'll likely hear rifle shots so teach your horse some tolerance for gun shots, progressing form a cap pistol to a race starting pistol. Even when acclimated, gunshots always carry the possibility of a spook so brush up on the one-rein stop to handle the unexpected.

4. Practice Trail Safety - Stay on well-traveled trails. Hunting season is no time to bushwack your way through thickets and deadfall mimicking the movements of game animals. All-terrain traffic may increase during hunting season. Make sure your horse is accustomed to them now before you encounter them on the trail.

5. Be Courteous - Although hunting may not be your cup of tea, recognize that everyone has a right to use the trails. Use simple courtesy to avoid conflict with other back country users. Greet people in a friendly but quiet warmer and don't make extra noise which will scare game.

So don't put you horse on moth balls just because it's hunting season - get out there and enjoy the best time of the year!

Reprinted from the NYS Horse Council newsletter.



June 2015

With heightened concern about horse health due to disease events like the EHV- 1 incidents all over the United States and much smaller equine health incidents here in New York, we need to be on guard against the diseases that affect horses. With this in mind, the Division of Animal Industry would like to offer the following suggestions for reducing your horses' risk of exposure to serious diseases of equines.

Click here to read a one page handout from Dr. David Smith, NY State Veterinarian, about basic biosecurity when returning from horse events. In the handout, there are a few good links to AAEP and USDA websites with additional resource information.



November 2013

Dr. Best was awarded the Regional Merit Award from the Western New York Veterinary Medical Association.

On Nov. 14, 2013 Dr. Best was awarded the Regional Merit Award from the Western New York Veterinary Medical Association. This was in recognition of her “Outstanding Service and Dedication to the Profession of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Best with Dr. Sue Wylegala(l) and Dr. Jean Schaedler(r).

Dr. Wylegala and Dr. Best with Senator Mark Grisanti .

Dr. Wylegala and Dr. Best with Senator Mark Grisanti who received who received the Friend of Veterinary Medicine Award for his leadership in the fight against animal abuse.

Western New York Veterinary Medical Society



March 2013

There is great concern right now about outbreaks of Equine Herpes Virus (Rhinopneumonitis). Please look at the links below to learn about this serious and potentially deadly disease:

Florida EHV-1: Another farm quarantine lifted
Florida Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services (FDACS) officials have lifted a quarantine on a Wellington farm housing a horse that had previously shared Horse Shows in the Sun (HITS) show stabling in Ocala with an animal testing positive for equine herpesvirus-1 (EHV-1). Learn more.

Information courtesy of www.thehorse.com.

Related links:
* EHV-1 confirmed in Illinois
* Utah EHV-1: Case count stands at seven
* AAEP EHV Resources for Veterinarians - Includes recently updated EHV Control Guidelines and Biosecurity Guidelines

EHV Fast Fact Sheet

From NYS Dept. of Agriculture -
Biosecurity letter to horse owners

From NYS Dept. of Agriculture -

Brochure for Horse Owners -

Another informative article just released by The Horse.Com about the EHV-1 outbreak.

Urgent Response Information and More Resources


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