Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

by Charlene B. Cook DVM

Owning a veterinary practice is a bit like having a large family, a very large family. It’s hard to get everyone together at one time as we bustle about in our very busy lives. We are all doing different things but the one thing that unites us is the horse.
One of my goals for CGES this year is to enhance our communication with clients. During my career things have certainly changed. When I graduated cell phones did not exist. We had pagers. The pager gave you a message but then you had to find a telephone. When you were on the road making farm calls this meant finding the nearest working pay phone. I cannot count the number of times I would get off the interstate only to find the pay phone was broken or worse yet it was not safe to get out of the truck. I had one of the first cell phones which were mounted to the floor of the truck; it was a life changer, that is as long as it had a signal. Finally cell phones became mobile and they continue to improve and marvel me with their capabilities. Along the way facsimile machines came along and changed our handling of documents, no more waiting on the mail for breeding contracts, insurance forms and the like. Without a doubt the biggest changes have been the internet and email. We now use email as our preferred method of correspondence. Email allows me to answer your questions at all hours of the day and night without waking anyone up. Mailing invoices, statements and laboratory reports electronically has allowed us to reduce postage and time and helps to keep our fees as low as possible.

Over the past two years we have been flooded with information regarding Social Media.  I have taken a cautious entry into the world of Social Media preferring to dip my toe into the pool. Today we launch our Facebook page for Central Georgia Equine Services. I hope that you will get a chance to visit our page and see the many features. The page was developed by Austin Holly who joined our staff last month. Austin brings a fresh young approach and her background in horses adds a unique perspective. Our Facebook page will give you yet another way to communicate with us and us with you.
You can click on the “Like” button and access specials that are available only to our Facebook fans. Our first 10 fans will receive a free Coggins test (one per customer)!
Check back frequently as we add more photos, a case of the week and more. Please let us know what you would like to see on our page. You can reach Austin at ABHolly@equineservices.com

The Laminitis Project

Laminitis remains one of the most frustrating medical mysteries for equine veterinarians and horse owners. In spite of years of research and study we still struggle to save horses with this devastating condition. In December 2011 the American Association of Equine Practitioners announced the formation of  The Laminitis Project.

The American Association of Equine Practitioners Foundation is leading the charge against
laminitis through an extended series of research studies (known as The Laminitis Research Project) that with the help of AAEP-member practitioners and horse owners will reveal new information to help more veterinarians with diagnosis, treatment and prevention of laminitis.

Laminitis is a disease of considerable importance for horses and horse-owners and is consistently ranked as a top priority for research by members of the AAEP. The AAEP Foundation, in response to this interest and directive, secured funding to launch an epidemiologic study to identify risk factors of pasture- and endocrinopathic-associated laminitis (PEAL) in horses.

The AAEP Laminitis Working Group and Dr. Noah Cohen, the Principal Investigator, worked diligently to design the study, and now we need your help. The aim of the study is to collect data from first-time cases of PEAL seen by private practitioners throughout the country with the goal of identifying risk factors associated with the development of this form of the disease. The results of this study will identify strategies for managing or preventing PEAL and prioritize the direction of further laminitis research. To learn more about the AAEP and this important research visit http://www.aaep.org/laminitis_project.htm  

The first study is underway, but help is still needed. The first study, A Case-Control Study of Pasture- and Endocrinopathy-Associated Laminitis in Horses, is supported by the AAEP Foundation and Prascend® (Pergolide mesylate), manufactured by Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc.

The objective of this project is to identify risk factors for laminitis that will provide critical information needed to guide research studies of the pathogenesis, treatment, and prevention of new cases of laminitis. The goal is to provide new knowledge which will help owners and veterinarians both prevent and manage laminitis.

The unique design of these studies utilizes collaboration of hundreds of AAEP members, horse-owners, and caretakers to collect data using scientifically sound methods. The data will be analyzed to identify risk factors for laminitis. Because these are prospectively designed studies of naturally occurring cases of disease, they have the advantage of not causing any undue suffering in research horses while capturing the true nature of laminitis and predisposing factors. Furthermore, everyone – the backyard horse-owners, professional trainers, farm managers, farriers, solo practitioners, veterinary hospitals, and academic research institutions – can help with these studies, either by participating or by supporting the fundraising campaign. To learn more about how you can be involved visit.http://vetmed.tamu.edu/vmth/laminitis

For all of us at Central Georgia Equine Services, Inc. I wish you a Happy New Year and we look forward to working with you and your horse in the new year. May 2012 be your best year ever!