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In this issue:

Equine Health:
     Read the Label! Understanding Nutritional Supplements
     Corneal Transplants in the Horse
     Managing Equine Metabolic Syndrome: Where Medicine meets Farriery
     Understanding Equine Cushing's Disease

     
News:
     Garrett Earns Diplomate Status from the American College of Veterinary Surgeons
     New shareholders join Rood & Riddle ownership roster
     Rood & Riddle providing services in New York
     
Conversion to Canon DR completed
     A
uction of Zenyatta halter raises over $6,400 for Bluegrass Red Cross
     Around the Practice


READ THE LABEL!
Understanding Nutritional Supplements

Bonnie S. Barr, VMD DACVIM

A myriad of nutritional supplements are available for the horse.  The term nutritional supplement encompasses a broad range of products, including vitamins, minerals, herbs and nutraceuticals.  These supplements are used for many purposes such as to boost overall health and energy; to provide immune system support; to reduce the risks of illness and age-related conditions; to improve performance in athletic activities and to support the healing process during illness and disease.

Unfortunately many products that have come on the market are being pushed with little scientific basis for the assertions made on their labels.  The reason is that generating this data is both costly and time-consuming to the manufacturer.  Unlike FDA-approved medications, there is no requirement that these products provide efficacy and safety data prior to marketing the product.  Instead some companies rely on word of mouth and testimonials to help market their product.  Because scientific information and clinical trial data is not often available supplements are being administered without information on the basic properties and functions of these substances.  Without this information questions arise such as what is the mechanism of action of the supplement, is the supplement being appropriately absorbed and utilized, is it safe for my horse and are there any interactions with other medications?  Some manufactures will provide efficacy and safety information about the product in other species.  Appropriate studies on efficacy and safety should answer questions about absorption, tissue distribution, metabolism and excretion of the supplement in the horse.  A supplement labeled for use in multiple species is misleading because bioavailability, efficacy and safety are not the same between species.     

As supplementation becomes more widespread, the potential for adverse interactions with prescribed medications exists.  Supplements may decrease the absorption of other drugs, inhibit or induce drug clearance or exacerbate pharmacologic effects of other drugs.  Unfortunately research on these potential interactions is lagging behind supplemental usage.  Usage of multiple supplements can also result in problems.  Supplements are administered based on a key ingredient without any attention paid to the other ingredients listed on the label.  Oftentimes there is overlap of some ingredients thus administration of multiple supplements may result in over-supplementation and potential side-effects.  

In an attempt to standardize manufacturing of animal supplements the National Animal Supplement Council (NASC) was created.  It is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving and standardizing the animal health supplement industry.  Members must adhere to NASC’s specific standards involving quality control and labeling.  Additionally, members are required to investigate and enter reports of adverse events related to their products on a monthly basis.  The information on adverse events is only available to NASC members but it is made available to the FDA.  One flaw is that NASC does not require companies to perform efficacy studies on products but overall this organization is an attempt to standardize the manufacturing of supplements (for more information visit www.nasc.cc).      

Determining which supplements have been appropriately validated in horses and are safe can be challenging.  Choose supplements from a manufacturer that can provide a scientific basis for use of the supplement in horses.  A reputable company should be able to validate the use of their product and provide efficacy and safety information.  Enlist your veterinarian in choosing the right supplement and pay special attention to all ingredients on the label to prevent over-supplementation.  Prior to administering prescription medications, ask your veterinarian about the potential for drug interactions. (back to top)
     

Corneal Transplants in the Horse
Sarah Czerwinski, DVM

Because of the horse’s prominent eye and outdoor environment, injuries to the eye are quite common. Prompt treatment is essential as these injuries can threaten a horse’s vision. Common ocular diseases secondary to trauma include corneal ulcers, corneal lacerations, corneal foreign bodies and corneal stromal abscesses. These diseases may be treated both medically and surgically. There are strong parallels between human and veterinary ophthalmology, yet many people are surprised to learn that corneal transplantation is a surgical therapy commonly performed in horses.

The Normal Cornea
The eye is a complicated organ with its own physiology, immune system, and wound healing. The cornea is the clear, outer part of the eye. It is clear because it lacks blood vessels and is essentially dehydrated. Because it does not have a blood supply, the cornea receives its nutrition from the tears and aqueous humor. In the horse the cornea is 1.0-1.5 mm thick in the center, and surprisingly tough.
The cornea contains several layers. The outer layer, the epithelium, is an important barrier to infection. The middle layer is the thickest and is called the stroma. There are specialized cells lining the inner part of the cornea that constantly pump water out of the stroma. The cornea appears cloudy when it contains excess water, and is no longer dehydrated. 

Ocular Injuries
When the cornea is damaged the normal barrier is no longer intact, and bacteria and fungi are able to invade and set up an infection. An ulcer may initially be superficial, but infection can cause the ulcer to “melt”, and rapidly become deeper. Full thickness ulceration results in perforation of the eye and prolapse of the iris through the hole in the cornea.

Similarly, trauma to the cornea may also cause lacerations of varying depths. Any debris left within the cornea following a wound is a foreign body and acts as a source of infection and inflammation.
Stromal abscesses may form when bacteria or fungi enter the cornea through a small puncture wound or ulcer. The normal cells surrounding the defect slide in and seal the hole, trapping the organisms inside the cornea. The body’s reaction to the foreign material causes severe, damaging inflammation inside the eye.

Treatment
Corneal ulcers and stromal abscesses are often managed medically, with atropine, anti-inflammatory medications, and frequent application of topical antibiotic and antifungal medications. Deep or “melting” ulcers are often treated surgically. Lacerations typically require surgery, depending on the depth of the wound. Deep corneal wounds or ulcers are at risk of rupturing, which is a vision-threatening complication.

If the disease within the cornea is severe, surgery is often the preferred treatment option. Conjunctival flaps are commonly used as they act as a natural band-aid, providing structural support and quickly bringing a blood supply to heal the wound. The major downfall of conjunctival flaps is that they are not transparent, so the horse will lose vision in the area of the flap. This is of particular concern for large lesions in the center of the cornea.

Corneal Transplantation
PLK surgeryCorneal transplants are another surgical treatment option for corneal disease. This procedure removes the diseased cornea and replaces it with normal cornea from a donor. The benefits include the reduction of pain and inflammation and faster healing, because the abnormal cornea is removed. Corneal transplants also provide structural support to compromised eyes that are at risk of rupturing.

There are 3 corneal transplantation techniques: penetrating keratoplasty (PK), deep endothelial lamellar keratoplasty (DLEK), and posterior lamellar keratoplasty (PLK). The technique chosen depends on the type of disease and the location of the lesion within the cornea. DLEK and PLK are similar techniques that are used for deep stromal abscesses as they preserve the superficial tissue, whereas PK is used for full thickness lesions such as deep or melting ulcers, lacerations, and abscesses involving the entire stroma.

The procedure involves removing a cylinder of diseased cornea using an instrument with a circular blade, similar to a biopsy punch. The missing piece of cornea is replaced with a circular piece of donor cornea. With DLEK and PLK the healthy, superficial, layer of cornea is lifted up and the diseased cornea underneath is removed and replaced. The top layer is then replaced and sutured down. PK involves removing and replacing a full thickness piece of cornea. (Photo above left shows a c
ompleted PLK. Note the suture line around the healthy flap laid over the corneal graft)

The donor cornea comes from horses with normal eyes that were humanely euthanized for other reasons. The cornea is treated with antibiotics and frozen until it is needed. It is then thawed and trimmed into the appropriate size to fill the wound. Fresh corneas may also be used.

Complications
Complications of corneal transplants include breakdown of the suture holding the graft to the recipient cornea (dehiscence) and infection inside the eye. This risk increases if the corneal tissue is already infected. This usually occurs at 5-10 days after surgery. The risk of developing an infection inside the eye post-operatively is small.

Surgery at Rood & Riddle
The consulting ophthalmologist at Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital, Dr. Claire Latimer, performs corneal transplant surgeries. Corneal transplants are a useful tool for maintaining the vision of horses with certain types of ocular disease including stromal abscesses, deep corneal ulcers and corneal lacerations. There are also non-traumatic indications for corneal transplantation; however these diseases are relatively uncommon. (back to top)



Managing Equine Metabolic Syndrome: Medicine meets Farriery
Vern Dryden, DVM, CJF
 
Equine laminitis is by far the most destructive and debilitating disease of the horse.  There are many forms and causes of equine laminitis and one of the more common is Equine Metabolic Syndrome (EMS).  This is a relatively new term that describes a subset of high-risk horses.  These horses are characterized by 1.) insulin resistance (IR),   2.) obesity and/or fat deposits,  3.) and the presence of laminitis.
 
EMS is common in pony breeds, Morgan horses, and Paso Fino horses; however, EMS can affect any breed.  Horses with EMS are usually identified as “easy keepers” and historically have not required much feed/energy to maintain weight.  A very common physical trait of these horses is the presence of fat deposits in abnormal places.  For example, the neck, tail head, and the sides over the ribs.  Unfortunately, many of these horses go unnoticed until it is too late and laminitis has already set in. (Photo above right: Fat deposits in the neck of a donkey's with EMS)
 
The exact mechanism is not fully understood, but it has been well documented that high insulin levels in the blood lead to laminitis episodes in the horse.  When horses graze on lush pasture, it results in an increase concentration of glucose in the bloodstream.  In the normal horse, an increase in glucose will respond by a slight elevation of insulin until the blood glucose levels are normal.  However, in the EMS horse, the body doesn’t respond like it should to the insulin and much more is released as a result.  This sets up a dangerous cascade of events for the horse.     
 
It is recommended to do a simple blood insulin and glucose ratio test on any horses that display the characteristics described.  Blood should be drawn following a night of fasting and recommended 12 hours off of grass pasture. This is a useful screening test because high serum insulin concentrations are detected in horses with moderate to severe IR.  It is important to know the reference range of the lab when evaluating the results. At the Rood and Riddle Lab, the upper limit of the insulin reference range is 36 μU/mL and anything above this to be suggestive of IR.  The pain and stress associated with laminitis can elevate resting serum insulin concentrations from 100 to 400 μU/mL in horses and ponies with clinical laminitis. Therefore, we recommend reevaluation and repeat blood work of these patients several weeks later after the pain of laminitis has subsided.
 
By far, diet and exercise of these horses is going to be most essential to managing their disease. Horses should be fed according to their individual metabolic needs. Obese horses do not need concentrate feeds and can be placed on a simple diet of hay and a vitamin/mineral supplement.  We recommend restricting the horse’s caloric intake until the ideal body condition for that individual horse has been reached. Obese horses should be fed enough hay to meet their energy needs, which is usually equivalent to 1.5 to 2.0 % of body weight (15 to 20 lbs hay for a 1000­lb horse).  EMS horses should be fed hay with a low (< 12%) non­structural carbohydrate (NSC) content. NSC’s include simple sugars, starch, and fructans.  We recommend soaking the hay in cold water for 30 minutes to lower the sugar content prior to feeding. Ideally, the hay should be analyzed before feeding and grass or alfalfa hay can be fed as long as NSC content has been measured. There are many commercial feeds on the market now that offer low NSC complete feeds.  It is important to supplement with a vitamin/mineral to ensure the horse is getting the necessary nutrition through this process.  These horses should be pastured on a “dry lot” or wear a grazing muzzle.  Patients that are laminitic should not be exercised until hoof structures have stabilized, but unaffected horses should be exercised regularly. Ideally, horses with EMS should be walked on a lead rope, exercised on a lunge line, or ridden every day for ~20 minutes.
 
The largest source of sugar in the horse’s diet is often pasture grass. This is difficult to manage because the NSC content varies between geographical regions and depends on soil quality, climate, daylight, and grass species.  Season change also causes variation in NSC of pasture grass.  We recommend that access to pasture be restricted or eliminated for EMS horses.  Some basic rules for decreasing the risk of pasture ­associated laminitis are to avoid grazing when: the grass is growing quickly and is lush, the grass is first starting to dry out, the grass is growing rapidly after a summer rain, the grass is entering winter dormancy in the late fall.  Generally speaking, the EMS horse should not be on pasture whenever the grass is going through a dynamic phase.
 
Medical management of these horses during a laminitic episode is very important.  During the acute phase, managing the horse's pain, supporting the hoof, and controlling the insulin levels in the blood are critical to the horse’s survival.  Pain management is often provided through non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications such as Bute (phenylbutazone) or Banamine (flunixin meglumine).  However, selective COX 2 inhibitors such as EquioxxÒ(firocoxib) may also be used for pain management in hopes of reducing the harmful effects on the GI tract and kidneys.  A recent study by Dr. Nicholas Frank out of University of Tennessee has shown Thyro-LÒ(levothyroxine sodium), when given to obese insulin resistant horses helps weight loss and increases insulin sensitivity.  Additionally, the human drug metformin, previously used for type two diabetes, has recently been added to the list of potential helpful medications for insulin resistant horses.  Metformin has been shown to increase the sensitivity of insulin but has poor bioavailability (the measure of the amount of drug that is actually absorbed from a given dose) in the horse.   Current dosing for metormin is 15mg/kg twice daily but a recent study by Dr. Jaime L. Hustaceout of Oregon State University suggests a higher dose may be necessary due to the poor bioavailability of the drug.  It has also been suggested that dietary supplements that contain chromium and magnesium may increase the sensitivity of insulin.  Most supplements geared toward the EMS horse will have these components.  Recently, researchers have found omega-3 fatty acids to have a helpful effect on regulating blood insulin levels in humans and may have a similar positive effect on horses. 
 
Hoof care and management of the EMS horse can be extremely difficult.  We recommend taking radiographs (X-rays) of the affected limbs in order to determine the alignment of the coffin bone within the hoof capsule.  This will better help the farrier and the veterinarian determine their plan for trimming/shoeing.  Often, during the acute phase, the feet are simply trimmed and placed in soft rubber boots if there is little or no rotation of the coffin bone on the radiographs.  However, if there is significant coffin bone rotation, therapeutic shoes may be necessary.  Typically these would be a shoe with a wedged heel and the breakover of the shoe set under the pillars of the toe.  In addition, digital support with impression material under the frog/back half of the foot would be applied (photo above left).  In many cases, these horses can return to being barefoot with correct management. 
 
In conclusion, the Equine Metabolic Syndrome horse can be maintained with proper medical management, diet, exercise, and routine hoof care.   (back to top)



Understanding Equine Cushing’s Disease
Bonnie S. Barr, VMD, Dipl. ACVIM


Equine Cushing’s disease is the most common disease of the hormonal (endocrine) system.  A more appropriate term is Pituitary Pars Intermediate Dysfunction (PPID) because it reflects the location within the brain that is abnormal.  The pituitary gland is made up of 3 lobes and is located at the base of the brain.  It is responsible for production of various hormones that regulate body functions.  In horses with PPID, the middle lobe becomes enlarged resulting in an over production of hormones.  This enlarged middle lobe of the pituitary can also affect structures adjacent to it resulting in additional problems.
          
PPID is common in aged horses and ponies most often over the age of 15 years, but has been diagnosed in horses as young as seven years of age.  Both male and females are affected.  All breeds of horses can develop PPID however ponies and Morgan horses have a higher incidence.    Clinical signs are variable and the disease progresses slowly.  The most common clinical signs include abnormal hair coat (hair that does not shed out or long patches of hair), laminitis, increased water consumption and urination and changes in body conformation (pot belly, fat patches around eyes, neck or tail head).  Other clinical signs include lethargy, change in attitude, abnormal sweating, increased appetite, muscle wasting, recurrence of infections, and infertility.

The diagnosis of PPID can be challenging.  Horses with subtle signs may need to be evaluated and tested every 4 to 6 months.  The best indication of PPID is the clinical sign of an abnormal hair coat; specifically hair that does not shed out or long patches of hair.  The most commonly used tests are the dexamethasone suppression test and the measurement of resting plasma adrenocorticotropin hormone (ACTH).  The dexamethasone suppression test involves the administration of dexamethasone and blood samples to determine the effect on the blood cortisol level.  In a normal horse the cortisol value will decrease (or be suppressed by the dexamethasone’s affect on the pituitary gland); in a horse with PPID the value will not decrease.  Because dexamethasone can cause laminitis, this test would not be used in a horse that already has laminitis.  Another test, which is safe for horses with laminitis, is the concentration of adrenocorticotropin hormone (ACTH) in the plasma.  Horses with PPID have higher levels of ACTH than normal horses.  Unfortunately both of these tests are not 100 percent accurate and variability in results occurs in certain times of the year.  Oftentimes blood insulin and glucose levels after fasting will be measured because horses with PPID can also have high blood insulin levels suggesting insulin resistance.  Insulin resistance can occur in horses with PPID but it also occurs in horse with Equine Metabolic Syndrome (EMS).  EMS and PPID share some clinical characteristics but the underlying causes are different. 

The aim of treatment is to help decrease the signs of disease, not to cure the underlying cause.  The drug of choice is Pergolide, which reduces some of the excess hormone production in the pituitary gland.  Prascend, which is pergolide mesylate, is approved by the FDA for treatment of PPID.  Cyproheptadine is another drug that has been used to treat PPID.  It also works at the level of the pituitary gland, although studies have suggested that it is not as effective as Pergolide.  Appropriate management is important for horses with PPID.  During the warm months, body clipping maybe necessary.  A special low starch diet can be fed to those with insulin resistance.  Preventative measures such as regular deworming, dental care and appropriate farrier work are warranted. 

PPID is a disease of older horses that can be managed.  Recognizing the symptoms and early diagnosis are important steps in addressing the disease and managing its effect on the horse.  A balanced approach combining proper medical treatment and management practices will provide relief from symptoms and extend the life of the PPID horse.  (back to top)

Dr. Katie Garrett earns Diplomate Status from the American College of Veterinary Surgeons

Dr. Katie Garrett recently became the 13th board certified clinician at Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital by successfully completing the latest board examination administered by the American College of Veterinary Surgeons (ACVS).  The ACVS board examination, given in February, tests all phases of surgery as well as competence in areas of specialization with separate examinations for small animal and large animal candidates. The examination consists of written, case-based and practical sections and is administered over a 2 day period.

Garrett joined Rood & Riddle in 2003 following graduation from Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine. She completed 2 years of internship training with the hospital and ambulatory divisions of the practice and was hired as an associate in 2005.

Dr. Garrett’s exceptional aptitude in diagnostic imaging quickly led to her appointment as Director of Diagnostic Imaging at Rood & Riddle. She was instrumental in upgrading radiology to a 100% filmless system in 2010 and in the recent conversion to the state of the art wireless DR system by Canon. Additionally, she provides ultrasound consultations for other hospital clinicians and manages the hospital’s MRI unit.

To further advance her skills, Dr. Garrett elected to do surgical residency training at Rood & Riddle from 2008-2011. Pursuing training in surgery permitted Garrett to maintain her focus on equine whereas a radiology residency is multi-species with the majority of time spent in the small animal sector. “A surgery residency allowed me to better understand the type of information that is most helpful for the surgeon when determining the appropriate treatment or prognosis,” explained Dr. Garrett. “For example, if I read an MRI or did an ultrasound on a horse, I could also scrub into its surgery and see the inside of the joint or the anatomic relationships between a sinus mass and the teeth.  I think that experience has made me a better imager.”

Dr. Garrett has also invested a lot of time in advanced imaging training including a 2 week MRI fellowship with radiologist Pat Gavin DVM, PhD, DACVR, completion of the Washington State University Equine Musculoskeletal MRI course and a variety of courses offered by the International Society of Equine Locomotor Pathology. She is well published in scientific journals, including Equine Veterinary Journal, Veterinary Radiology & Ultrasound and the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, and has presented results of imaging studies at the annual American Association of Equine Practitioners convention, the ACVS Symposium and the British Equine Veterinary Association Congress. (back to top)

New shareholders join Rood & Riddle ownership roster

Five veterinarians recently joined the ownership roster of Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital. Drs. Raul Bras, Woodrow Friend, Kathleen Paasch, Steve Reed, and Brad Tanner complete the list of 19 shareholders with ownership interest in the practice. 

Dr. Bras has been with the practice since 2005 when he came for a one year internship. Following the internship, Dr. Bras trained in podiatry under the mentorship of head podiatrist Dr. Scott Morrison and also attended Cornell University’s Farrier School. Dr. Bras earned Certified Journeyman Farrier status from the American Farriers Association in 2009 becoming one of only 5 veterinarians in the United States to hold both DVM and CJF credentials.

Drs. Woodrow Friend, Kathleen Paasch and Brad Tanner also began their veterinary careers as interns at Rood & Riddle and were subsequently hired as associates in the ambulatory division. Dr. Friend has a diverse practice focusing on all aspects of primary and preventive care as well as reproduction and sport horse medicine.  Dr. Paasch’s practice is predominantly Thoroughbred and focuses largely on orthopedic issues, lameness, and diagnostic imaging. She is also trained and skilled in acupuncture. Dr. Tanner’s practice covers reproduction and primary and preventive care with additional focus on advanced dentistry techniques.

Dr. Steve Reed is an internal medicine specialist at the hospital. After more than 20 years as a clinician, researcher, and faculty member at The Ohio State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, Reed joined Rood & Riddle in 2007.  He is internationally recognized for his work in equine neurology and focuses a large part of his caseload in this area.

Shareholders are actively involved in the business decisions of the practice, meeting regularly to discuss management issues. In addition to the new shareholders, the practice is co-owned by Dr. Bill Rood, Dr. Tom Riddle, Dr. Rolf Embertson, Dr. Scott Pierce, Dr. Larry Bramlage, Dr. Scott Hopper, Dr. Debbie Spike-Pierce, Dr. Scott Ahlschwede, Dr. Alan Ruggles, Dr. Bart Barber, Dr. Scott Morrison, Dr. Chris Newton, Dr. Jeff Cook, and Dr. Brett Woodie. (back to top)

Rood & Riddle providing services in New York
 
In an effort to serve clients participating in the growing New York breeding program, Rood & Riddle recently opened a satellite ambulatory division in upstate New York. Scott Ahlschwede, DVM, a shareholder in Rood & Riddle, relocated to New York April 1 to initiate the practice for Kentucky clients with divisions in New York, including Sequel Stallions.

“We are so excited to be able to offer our clients the best of both worlds,” said Becky Thomas of Sequel Stallions. “Now we can provide our clients from Kentucky continuity, as a large number of them are already Rood & Riddle clients.”

Dr. Ahlschwede joined Rood & Riddle in 1997 and brings 16 years of experience in reproduction, Thoroughbred sales and primary herd health to the New York division. Based in New York’s Northern Hudson Valley, Dr. Ahlschwede may be reached on his cell at 859-983-3271 or by calling Rood & Riddle at 859-233-0371. (back to top)

Conversion to Canon DR completed
 
Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital recently completed a full conversion to a Canon digital radiography (DR) system. The Canon DR offers the newest radiography technology available in equine medicine. Using wireless panels, the Canon DR provides better radiographic quality and detail, further expanding our diagnostic abilities. 
 
The practice first introduced Canon DR in January 2011 with the installation of the CXDI-70C Canon panel. This large 14x17 inch panel, in combination with the powerful x-ray generators used in the hospital, enables veterinarians to image the entire equine spine, including the adult thoracolumbar and pelvic regions, areas that historically veterinarians have been unable to image well.
 
The immediate improvement in quality provided by the CXDI-70C encouraged Rood & Riddle, to acquire additional, smaller size wireless panels for lower limb radiographs and all other areas typically imaged in the horse. The new technology transition is also seamless for the client as there is no increase in price for radiographic views. (back to top)

Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital auction of Zenyatta halter raises over $6,400 for Bluegrass Red Cross
 
A recent eBay auction of a halter worn by 2010 Horse of the Year and legendary race mare Zenyatta brought a final bid of $6,712.50 in a fundraising effort for the Bluegrass Chapter of the American Red Cross. Zenyatta, along with owners Jerry and Ann Moss, and Rood & Riddle veterinarian Dr. Debbie Spike-Pierce, presented the check from the sale of her halter to the Red Cross at Lane’s End Farm on Monday.
 
“It’s a great tribute to her, and to racing fans to come up with this size of a check,” said Jerry Moss.
 
After fees, the Rood & Riddle Foundation was able to donate $6,478.84. Jerry and Ann Moss also made a generous personal contribution to the disaster relief fund.
 
“She’s always been so generous with all the people, dancing for them, and showing up for them … it’s nice that she can still contribute. As you can see, she really enjoys it,” agreed Ann Moss.
 
Zenyatta was famous in her days on the racetrack for her 17 consecutive victories in graded stakes events, including 13 grade one races, which inspired a legion of devoted fans the world over. Since her retirement in 2010, the mare has resided at Lane’s End Farm outside Lexington, where she gave birth to her first foal, a colt by Bernardini, on March 8.
 
Dr. Spike-Pierce purchased Zenyatta’s halter in 2011 at a fundraising event on behalf of the Foundation, which chose to put it up for auction for the Red Cross after a line of severe storms and tornadoes tore through Kentucky in early March, destroying homes and farms, killing 21 residents.
 
“I guess you could be surprised [about the price it brought], but with it being Zenyatta and the absolute superstar she was on the racetrack, I wasn’t,” said Spike-Pierce. “We’re so excited to be able to give the money to areas that were so devastatingly hit. We’re excited we could be part of all this … and that Zenyatta could be too.”
 
Red Cross director of development Winn Stephens says the organization is thrilled to accept the donation, particularly given its unique origins.
 
“It’s been really amazing for us, because we’re providing services to Kentuckians, and this fundraiser is an only-in-Kentucky kind of thing,” said Stephens.
 
The money will go to the Red Cross’s disaster relief fund, which is used after natural disasters for both immediate needs like getting supplies to first-responders and individuals, and long-term needs such as financial aid to victims, cleaning materials and other supplies. (back to top)


AROUND THE PRACTICE . . .

Rood & Riddle surgeon, Alan Ruggles, DVM, Dipl. ACVS, recently appeared on the RFD-TV broadcast "Newborn to Maturity: Caring for the Growing Horse,” part of a healthcare series sponsored by Merck Animal Health. The live call-in show covered general healthcare and potential problems to watch for as the young horse matures. Dr. Ruggles was one of 3 expert panelists who presented information and answered calls live during the broadcast. Dr. Ruggles discussed orthopedic and conformational issues in foals.

Registered Master Farrier, Stuart Muir, CFP, will join the Rood & Riddle Podiatry division next month. Muir is a certified farrier practitioner from New Zealand. In addition to providing services for a wide variety of clients from multiple breeds and disciplines, Muir was the farrier for the National Equestrian Academy in Rangiora, New Zealand, where he performed the farrier work on the Academy’s horses and also acted as tutor and  instructor in shoeing and anatomy. Muir will spend 2 years with Rood & Riddle podiatry advancing his skills in therapeutic shoeing.


Rood & Riddle Veterinary Pharmacy recently expanded store hours to include Saturday. RRVP is now open Saturday 8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m., EST. RRVP is certified by the Pharmacy Compounding Accreditation Board. In addition to prescription and compound medications, RRVP carries a wide variety of over-the-counter equine first aid, grooming and supplement products at competitive prices. Learn more at www.rrvp.com.

Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital has expanded the regular tour schedule April 25-27 to accommodate visitors coming to Lexington for the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event and the Ariat Kentucky Reining Cup. Tours are approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes and will be offered daily at 10am and 2pm on April 25-27. Tour guests will walk through the hospital facility and view surgery, multiple diagnostic imaging areas, the reproduction center and the podiatry center. Tours are by reservation only and limited to 30 people per time slot. For tour reservations, please contact Robin Murray at (859) 233-0371 or by e-mail to rmurray@roodandriddle.com.

Dr. Jeff Cook joined the board of directors for The High Hope Steeplechase earlier this year. The High Hope Steeplechase is an annual favorite charity event for Kentuckians, featuring tailgating, terrier races, children's activities and the excitement steeplechase racing at the picturesque Kentucky Horse Park. Proceeds from the event go to Central Kentucky Riding for Hope, Cardinal Hill Rehabilitation Hospital and other local charities.

The Rood & Riddle Report LIVE, held in February, hosted over 200 area horsemen for the latest news published in veterinary journals and important developments impacting equine health in their field. The news broadcast format, inspired by the AAEP’s Kester News Hour, replaced the standard educational presentation format used in past client seminars.  Shown from left to right are Rood & Riddle news anchors, Dr. Steve Reed, Dr. Michelle LeBlanc, Dr. Brett Woodie, and Dr. Scott Morrision. (back to top)
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