(post by Jason) I was talking with someone earlier this week about working with veterinarians and diagnosing various problems in horses and cows. It came as no surprise that my friend and I both use common sense diagnostics like taking pulse rates and temperatures as well as looking at manure to help us along before we call the vet. We both had a good laugh when I asked how he knew enough to start his common sense diagnostics in the first place. He shrugged his shoulders and said that sometimes it was obvious but other times he just knew. Exactly.

Perhaps one of the most common fears that folks have when they are considering whether or not to send their horse to us is whether or not we’re going to notice when something is amiss. After being in this business for most of the last decade my unhesitating answer is yes we are going to notice.

One of the primary reasons that Melissa and I feed horses the way we do is so we can get a good, close look at everyone individually a couple of times a day. It allows us the opportunity to check for injuries. Even more importantly, watching a horse eat and interact with his buddies can tell you multitudes about their mental and physical condition if you know what to look for and if you know how that individual normally behaves at feeding time. Any sort of abnormal behaviour is easy to notice in this situation. If atypical behavior is noted some on the spot diagnostics are done starting with TPR (temperature, pulse, respiratory rate). Depending on what we learn from our observations sometimes a call or a trip to the vet follows, and occasionally this happens even if the “clinical signs” are all normal. For all the fancy diagnostics that are available to all of us, sometimes you just know.

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apparently Thor was feeling a little too clean for his liking

Cuffie, Traveller and Silky
Cuffie, Traveller and Silky

the bay ears on the left belong to Stormy (apparently the hay is really good) along with Clayton and Largo

Johnny, Tiny and Rampal hiding behind the hay

O’Reilly, Noble and Lightening

Faune and Winston

Romeo and Chimano