Fall is the time to vaccinate for Rhino and Flu

The cool weather of fall is finally here! Horsemen have many opportunities to saddle up and hit the trail or local arenas for events. Keeping our horses healthy is important for our riding plans as well as for the other horses we come in contact with. Fall season is the time to vaccinate for Rhino and Flu. Bi-annual vaccination of Flu and Rhino is recommended.

Rhino is Equine Herpes Virus (EHV1 and EHV4). It is highly contagious from horse to horse by nasal secretions and can live in the environment for 14 days. Influenza has many strains and causes similar signs as the human flu. Flu is contagious and is common to traveling to show grounds, rodeo arenas, and race tracks.

We carry a full line of vaccines for you horse’s health. Stop by or call for prices today.



Round-Ups are starting!

Round-Ups are starting!

Last week I got to visit one of our favorite customers who ranches in northern Arizona. It is one of the last big outfits who still sends a “chuckwagon” out with the round-up crew.

It is that time of year the ranches are gathering their calves to prepare them to be weaned and shipped, or in some cases turned back out to graze longer. Preparing them usually involves a good herd health (vaccinations, vitamins, wormers, etc) program so they stay healthy into their next phase.

This is when a Cowboy or Cowgirl sure needs a reliable horse with good cowsense and good working tack. If either one (horse or tack) is “faulty” someone or animal can get hurt. Watching a good hand (horse and rider) handle the cattle with care and skill is just like a great symphony.

Hope everyone’s Round-Up is Beautiful Symphony this fall! Barbara

Tucson History: Rodeo Parade of 1928

This is a classic video. It features cowboys of the past and just happens to be silent because cameras didn’t have sound back then. These were the good ol’ days.

Time To Plan For Winter?

Time To Plan For Winter?

Winter months are enviable this time of year and in another few weeks we will be slimming down on the fly sprays and baits and replacing the shelving units with gobs of winter horse blankets.

However some people wonder if their horse really needs a blanket or not, why invest in something they may never use? Some believe that a suitable horse blanket may be one of the most important investments you can make when it comes to your horse’s health and beauty.
Horse blankets are an easy and often economical way to protect your horse from cold, inclement weather, excess dirt, manure, and mud. In addition, frequent grooming removes natural oils from your horse’s coat, but blankets help add a much needed layer of protection regardless of the weather.

Blankets are available in numerous styles and materials. Generally, a blanket fits over your horse’s entire body – covering the withers, back, barrel, and hindquarters – from the shoulder to the tail. The length usually falls around mid-leg. Those with open fronts or shoulder gussets allow your horse more freedom of movement while the horse is turned out in the pasture or dry lot. Regardless of style, however, a strap around the girth area and rear leg straps will help keep the blanket in position at all times.

Should I blanket my horse?
Whether you blanket your horse or not depends greatly on your individual horse and the climate you live in. Here are some instances where a blanket may be beneficial for your horse:

  • If your horse is visibly uncomfortable or shivering in the cold weather
  • If your horse is older, weak, ill or recovering from an illness
  • If your horse is very young
  • If your horse is clipped
  • If you show your horse
  • If your horse does not have a sufficient winter coat
  • If your horse was from a warmer climate and is now in a cooler climate

When should I begin to blanket my horse?
As a general rule, you should begin to blanket your horse when you first notice she is uncomfortable in cold weather conditions. Even if your horse is not shivering, you may want to consider blanketing your horse if the wind is brisk or if it is raining or snowing. If the nights are cold but the days are still warm, you may find your horse benefits from having a blanket at night.

What type of blanket should I use?
The best type of blanket depends on your situation. Consider the weather, overall climate in your area, and how your horse responds to cold, rain, wind, and snow. There are a number of materials available to choose from, including weatherproof nylon, durable canvas, quilted polyester, and polar fleece. A thin sheet is ideal for minimal protection from the sun, or blowing dirt and dust. If your area gets large amounts of cold, rain, or snow, choose a more weather-resistant blanket. You may also want to consider having two blankets on hand so you can wash one blanket while your horse wears the other.

Will I be able to tell if my horse is too hot when she is blanketed?
Your horse may give you physical signs when she is too warm. Sweating behind the ears or along the neck is a telltale sign your horse is too warm wearing his blanket. Be sure to watch for signs your horse is overheating, which include an absence of sweat (anhidrosis) and heavy breathing. Overheating can happen when you blanket your horse when the days are warm, but the nights are still cold and the blanket is not removed early enough in the morning.

How do I know the blanket fits my horse?
Blankets are generally made to fit a particular size range. When you purchase a blanket, choose one with a size range in which your horse fits. However, most feature either adjustable or elastic girth, billet, and leg straps that allow the blanket or sheet to fit different body sizes. To ensure the best fit:

  1. Measure from the center of your horse’s chest around the widest part of the shoulder and hindquarters to the center of the tail. The size to order is the same as the inches measured.
  2. For odd sizes, choose the next largest even size.
  3. Also round up to the next larger size if your horse has a thick coat or if the blanket or sheet will be used predominately during seasonal weather when your horse’s hair coat will grow out.

Remember, slightly looser fitting blankets and sheets are more comfortable and look better than blankets or sheets that are too tight. If in doubt, order one size larger. The best fitting blankets and sheets allow you to slip your hand between the blanket and your horse’s withers.

Here at the store we stock the following blankets for your selection; they will be arriving in stock to us within the next few weeks so please call the store front to see what we have on the floor before coming to purchase the blanket that is right for your horse.

Canvas Blanket By Syrvet

Duck canvas outer shell provides excellent protection from wind while wool felt lining provides added comfort. Front buckle closures & belly strap with open front styling and tail gussets. Comfortable, secure fit featuring top quality hardware and double stitched seams for added durability. 12 ounce weight, brown.

Canvas Blanket By Weaver

constructed from 18 oz. duck canvas with a kersey liner for weather resistance and protection from the elements, brown.

Horse Sense Turnout Blanket By Syrvet

Features 600 denier rip-stop, waterproof outer shell with 200 gram fill breathable insulation. Features fleece collar for added comfort and top quality hardware. Open front styling with buckle closures and shoulder & tail gussets for freedom of movement. Has adjustable belly strap & leg straps, cranberry.

Turnout Blanket By Weaver

A 200 grams polyester fiber filling and a 70-denier liner provides comfort and warmth. Action shoulder gussets provide freedom of movement. Tail flap offers added coverage and protection. Double buckle front closures for

easy on and off. Rubber grommets on surcingle provide more secure closure, black.

Stable Blanket By Syrvet

Features a 420D denier outer shell that resists snags & tears with a 400gram spun insulation that provides superior warmth without extra weight. Quilted with double stitched seams for added durability and made with quality hardware. Front buckle closures, belly strap & adjustable leg straps and is machine washable, navy

Stable Blanket By Weaver

A 300 gram polyester fiber filling with a 70-denier liner for the perfect combination of comfort and warmth. 420-denier material for durability. Quilted design. Double surcingle front closures provide easy on and off. Belly

strap and two leg straps keep the blanket in place. Rubber grommets on  surcingle provide more secure closure, royal blue or burgundy.

As winter struts its way into our lives its time to analyze your horse and your winter tolerance level and decide wheter or not a blanket is a good investment or not. We are here to help you just remember to measure your horse before coming into to purchase a blaket this is one time where proper fit in a must.

West Nile On The Rise

West Nile On The Rise

“Although most of the nation has been struggling with drought conditions this summer, the population of mosquitoes—the vector responsible for transmitting West Nile virus—has still found a way to make its presence known. As of Aug. 21, 77 cases of equine West Nile virus had been reported this year, according to the United States Geological Survey’s disease maps, and the numbers are steadily climbing. Arizona, California, Colorado, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas and Wyoming have all reported confirmed cases of the viral disease, with Louisiana topping the list at 21 cases.”(http://veterinarynews.dvm360.com)

What is West Nile encephalitis?

West Nile encephalitis describes an inflammation of the central nervous system, which is caused by infection with West Nile Virus. Prior to 1999 West Nile Virus was found only in Africa, Eastern Europe, and West Asia. In August of 1999 it was identified in the United States.

West Nile affects horses much more often than any other domestic animals. Many horses infected with West Nile do not develop any illness, but of horses that become ill about one-third die or need to be euthanized. Other livestock and poultry do not commonly show any illness if infected with West Nile.

As of Sept. 5, 2002 there have been more than 2300 equine cases of West Nile virus reported in the United States and more than 300 were reported from Minnesota.

What Are Some Symptoms of West Nile?

Clinical signs of encephalitis in horses may include a general loss of appetite and depression, in addition to any combination of the following signs:

  • fever
  • weakness of hind limbs
  • paralysis of hind limbs
  • impaired vision
  • ataxia (weakness)
  • head pressing
  • aimless wandering
  • convulsions (seizures)
  • inability to swallow
  • walking in circles
  • hyperexcitability
  • coma

It is important to note that not all horses with clinical signs of encephalitis have West Nile encephalitis. Certain other diseases can cause a horse to have symptoms similar to those resulting from infection with West Nile Virus. If you are concerned that your horse may be exhibiting signs of encephalitis, please contact your veterinarian. Laboratory tests are necessary to confirm a diagnosis.

How do horses become infected with West Nile virus?

The same way humans become infected-by the bite of infectious mosquitoes. The mosquitoes become infected after feeding on an infected bird, but the good news is Mosquitoes cannot get West Nile virus from an infected horse.

Has West Nile virus caused severe illness or death in horses?

Following transmission by an infected mosquito, West Nile virus may cause a mild transient self resolving fever or it may infect the brain causing inflammation or “encephalitis”. The vast majority of horses that are bitten by infected mosquitoes do not become ill, but those that develop severe encephalitis often die.

Can I get infected with West Nile virus by caring for an infected horse?

West Nile virus is transmitted by infectious mosquitoes. The infected horse is not contagious to humans or to other horses. Normal infection control precautions should be followed when caring for a sick horse.

Can a horse infected with West Nile virus infect horses in neighboring stalls?

No. There is no documented evidence that West Nile virus is transmitted between horses.

My horse is vaccinated against Eastern Equine encephalitis, Western Equine encephalitis and Venezuelan Equine encephalitis. Will these vaccines protect my horse against West Nile virus infection?

No. These three viruses belong to another family of viruses for which there is no cross-protection.

Can I vaccinate my horse against West Nile virus infection?

A conditionally licensed West Nile virus vaccine for horses is available. Vaccination of horses is not a guarantee of protection against infection but does give the horse its best defense against infected mosquitoes. The best method of prevention of infection with West Nile Virus for people and animals is to reduce the risk of exposure to the mosquitoes that may carry the virus.

What is the treatment for a horse infected with West Nile virus? Should it be destroyed?

There is no reason to destroy a horse just because it has been infected with West Nile virus. Data suggest that most horses recover from the infection. Supportive care and time are all that most horses need to fully recover.

How can I help protect myself and my family from West Nile Virus?

Horse owners should make sure that empty buckets and water troughs are not breeding sites for mosquitoes. Turn over buckets when they are not in use, and clean the water trough regularly. Make sure that faucets are turned off and do not drip.

The best way to protect you from West Nile virus, or any other mosquito-borne illness, is to reduce the number of mosquitoes around your home and neighborhood and to take personal precautions to avoid mosquito bites. These are some of the preventative steps that you can easily take:

  • Eliminate standing water where mosquitoes can breed. Check for items outside the home that collect water, such as cans, bottles, jars, buckets, old tires, drums and other containers.
  • Change water in flower vases, birdbaths, planters and animal watering pans at least twice a week.
  • Repair leaky pipes and outside faucets, and move air conditioner drain hoses frequently.

Avoid being bitten by mosquitoes when going outside at night by using insect repellent. Wear lightweight clothing that covers the arms and legs.

Please give us a call to get pricing on the vaccines we stock as well as any equine and premise mosquito control we stock.

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