Action Point: Be aware of heart disease in horses.
Rational: I have never heard of heart disease in horses before. While it makes sense that it can happen, it was just something that I have never thought of before. Heart disease is a very serious condition that can be fatal if left untreated. Since I know very little about this condition and there is a lot to it, it would be in my best interest to learn about the variety of causes, symptoms, and treatment.
Steps to Achievement: In order to achieve this goal I will make a 1/2-1 page note on this condition to put in my binder. I will include the symptoms, causes, diagnosis, treatment, recovery, and average expected cost. I will use resources such as https://wagwalking.com/horse/condition/heart-disease, https://www.merckvetmanual.com/horse-owners/heart-and-blood-vessel-disorders-of-horses/diagnosis-of-cardiovascular-disease-in-horses, and https://ker.com/equinews/heart-problems-in-horses/ to complete this goal.
Action Point: Be aware of causes, symptoms, and treatment of common respiratory conditions.
Rational: By being aware of common respiratory conditions, such as equine influenza virus, equine herpes virus, equine rhinovirus, strangles, and sinusitis, I will be able to take appropriate steps to help care for my horse and the others nearby to insure that it does not spread further and treatment takes place immediately. Respiratory conditions are very serious, some can even be considered a global concern.
Steps to Achievement: To achieve this goal I will make a 1 page note to put in my binder that includes information on equine influenza virus, equine herpes virus, equine rhinovirus, strangles, and sinusitis. Under each of these titles I will include the causes, symptoms, treatment, and quarantine precautions. I will use resources such as https://www.merckvetmanual.com/respiratory-system/respiratory-diseases-of-horses/overview-of-respiratory-diseases-of-horses, https://www.myhorseuniversity.com/single-post/2017/09/25/Common-Equine-Respiratory-Diseases, and https://www.msd-animal-health.ie/diseases/horses/equine_respiratory_disease/Introduction.aspx.
Action Plan: Learn what medical conditions and diseases that my horses may be susceptible to or have a greater chance of developing.
Rational: By knowing what conditions my horses have a greater chance of getting I can become a better owner. I say this because I will be able to do research ahead of time and learn about the condition, how to prevent it (if possible), signs/symptoms, diagnosis, when to call the vet, how I can help the vet, steps my vet will take, and expenses I need to be prepared for.
Steps to Achievement: In order to achieve this goal I will talk with my vet and ask them about equine medical conditions that they frequently see in our area (ex. Moon Blindness). From there we can develop some preventative strategies together (ex. Can we test the soil and water ahead of time? Is there a vaccine available?)
Action Plan: Create a cheat sheet of common medical conditions.
Rational: By being aware of the common medical conditions (alimentary and renal, neurological, skin, eye, muscular and metabolic, and ectoparasites) and knowing the symptoms of the conditions, I will be more likely to notice problems in my horses and get them medical attention quickly when needed.
Steps to Achievement: “Equine Veterinary Nursing” page 266-285 has a great overview of common medical conditions, causes, signs/symptoms, and treatment. I have already read this section. Therefore, the next step of my goal is to reread and take notes on this information. This way I will have a physical reference that I can put in my binder and take with me to the barn.
Action Point: Go over the safety ‘rules’ with the people that work on the farm regarding entering a stall of an anxious colickly horse (this will also be a good reminder for myself).
Rational: Horses can be dangerous animals to begin with, with the addition of colic or distress this can result in injury to the owner. In this unit I have learned that horses can become agitated when they cannot stop pain that is in their body. I do not want anyone to get hurt by my horses, therefore I want to go over these rules with our farm members. Safety of the handler comes first.
Steps to Achievement: To complete this goal I will go over the rules with all of the farm members at once. This insures that we can discuss, ask questions, and develop answers together.
Colickly Safety ‘Rules’: If it is not safe or you feel uncomfortable do not enter (horse throwing itself against walls, horse making strong efforts to roll, etc); have a person there on standby (to run the door or in case an injury does happen); have a clear path between you and the door; beware of the horse’s legs (kicking, pawing) and do not stand in the kick zone, even if your horse does not normally kick; and if the horse wants to roll encourage it to stand until you can get out of the stall.
Action Point: As an owner I should have an impact on the lameness examination of my horse.
Rational: Being apart of the decision-making process means I will have a say, as well as be able to work with the vet to provide a program that works best for myself, the horse, the vet, and any other parties that many be involved (ex. farrier). If I step back and let the vet do it all, it not only makes it more difficult for them, but I may be unhappy and there will be negative surprises about the final outcome (ex. program chosen, cost, time, etc).
Steps to Achievement: In order to achieve this goal I need to ensure that as the owner I provide effective communication and continuity in case management, provide a through and accurate history, and understand the lameness procedure.