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[RC] [Guest] horse deaths at rides - Ridecamp Guest

Nicki Young nickiyoung@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

I am a veterinarian that works on large and small animals and I do vet some
rides but mainly compete in endurance.  My partner in also a veterinarian
and is board certified in both anatomic and clinical pathology and works at
NCSU College of Veterinary Medicine.  He is also a rider who has judged
competitive trail and competed in CT and endurance.  Just giving our
creditals.  Performing a necropsy on a horse is no small task and is not one
I am prepared to undertake at a ride in the middle of a field.  It also
would not yield the results that I think the majority of people think it
would.  It would be good to show colic caused by strangulated bowel etc but
would be close to worthless in yielding results for cases of metabolic
crisis.  In my partners opinion and mine it would be much better to
transport the horse (it would need to be removed from the ride site anyway)
to a diagnostic lab.  On site, if the horse is still alive, blood is the
best sample to determine metabolic problems and once the horse has died then
samples should be taken of the aqueous humour to determine metabolic
abnormalities.  At a diagnostic lab a thorough necropsy could be performed
and tissue samples taken for microscopic examination.  I do not come to the
rides I vet prepared to necropsy, sample tissues and properly preserve those
samples until they can be processed and examined.  If AERC decides that the
ride vets need to be able to do this then I will no longer vet rides.  I am
prepared to pull blood samples and aqueous humour samples at any ride and
properly transport these.  My partner said if these samples were taken at or
soon after the time of death then a necropsy could be performed within 24 to
48 hours and would yeild much better results than a field necropsy.  Just my
two cents worth but some things to think about before passing any new rules.
Nicki Young,DVM
AERC 18000

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