Gabriel, Grills & Associates

The caring compassionate Veterinary practice serving the South Hams

SPRING EQUINE MEETING - a great success

Held on
Wednesday 14th March 2007

A highly enjoyable and informative meeting was shared with approximately 90 clients on 14th. March with a wide range of topics covered.

Our thanks are extended to Virbac Animal Health for sponsorship of the meeting and to Ivybridge Rugby Club for providing a first-class venue and buffet and for a large and well-stocked bar. This will definitely be the location for future meetings.

Bob Venn, the Principal, of the new Elisabeth Svendsen Trust Centre, just next door to our clinic at Filham Park described their work. The Trust is a sister charity to the Donkey Sanctuary and has a series of centres around the country which provide the opportunity of contact with and riding of specially selected donkeys for therapy and rehabilitation of disabled children. This facility is provided free of charge to schools in the area. The donkeys are also taken out to day centres and old peoples homes to be enjoyed by the residents. Care of the Donkeys at all of the centres is of very high standard and we look forward to playing our part in providing attention for those at Filham.

Kate Rew a veterinary surgeon specialising in Veterinary Acupuncture and rehabilitation, provided an excellent insight into the practise of Western and Chinese principles of acupuncture, its methodology and applications in animal treatment. Kate emphasised the importance of case selection and the fact that there needed to be a symbiosis between Acupuncture and conventional medicine with neither being used to the exclusion of the other. She underlined the need, as with conventional medicine for accurate history taking and careful observation and hands on examination of the patient. We both agreed that there is an increasing and regrettable tendency for new graduates to rely too readily on the latest sophisticated technology at the expense of careful appraisal of the animal.

Liz Barrett, a technical adviser for Virbac Animal Health, provided a highly entertaining talk on a very important but occasionally dull topic, namely worming of horses and ponies. Virbac adopt a highly responsible and ethical approach to the subject and offer tailor-made worming advice for specific yards and situations. For some time we as the horse-owning public have adopted a "Blunderbuss" approach by frequent worming with highly efficient worm products. By doing so we have denied horses any exposure to worms and thereby inhibit their ability to develop any natural resistance. Furthermore by our total reliance on over-frequent worming we run the risk of catastrophic problems should parasites develop significant drug resistance. Accurate weight assessment of animals is also vital to avoid under dosing, another significant risk factor in drug resistance. We would like to extend the invitation to all of our clients to use the weighbridge at Filham Park to establish accurate weights.

A more rational targeted approach in response to positive significant worm-egg counts for red worm and blood serology for tapeworms is the way forward with advice being provided by veterinary surgeons and manufacturers rather than blind faith in what it says on the box!

We shall try not to leave it quite so long until our next meeting and please remember we always welcome suggestions regarding topics for future discussions.

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