Highlights of the summer meeting of the Pepperell Horse Owners Association were the presentation of an equine rescue sling to the Pepperell fire Department and a talk about the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of Lyme Disease in horses by Pepperell veterinarian Terrence McGee, DVM.
The sling was made from used fire hose and constructed by Jennifer Safron, well known in the region for her repair work on tack and horse blankets. fire Department representatives were on hand to accept the donation of the sling, which can be used in situations in which a horse or other large animal needs to be rescued from water or muddy bogs.
Featured speaker was McGee, who gave a very instructive presentation on Lyme disease. when members were asked if their horses had ever been treated for Lyme disease, a large majority raised their hands. Regarding prevention, McGee recommended keeping pasture grass mowed short, avoiding pasturing near evergreens — because ticks winter in the thick layer of fallen needles — and watching for swellings on the horse aused by the ticks, which at early stages in their growth are often too small to be easily seen. A shifting lameness, lethargy, or reluctance to move are also warning signs. There is now an instant blood test, which should be utilized whenever exposure to Lyme disease is suspected. Early treatment is essential, since the chronic form of the disease is much harder to treat, and the damage to joints or nervous system cannot be undone. although doxycycline is the most commonly used treatment, he said that most antibiotics are effective in eliminating the disease in the early stages. There is a vaccine for dogs, but not specifically for horses. However, the dog vaccine seems to be effective when used on horses, according to anecdotal evidence.
Plans are shaping up for the fall PHOA trail ride, with a tentative date of Sunday, Oct. 30. There was also a discussion of a possible dressage clinic (ride/critique/ride) or a two-phase event, and signup sheets were available for people to express their interest. The next meeting will be in September, the exact date to be determined.
<a href="http://www.nashobapublishing.com/pepperell_news/ci_18345064tag:news.google.com,2005:cluster=http://www.nashobapublishing.com/pepperell_news/ci_18345064Fri, 24 Jun 2011 11:49:45 GMT 00:00″>Rescue sling presented to Pepperell Fire Dept.