7115 Tower Road, Battle Creek, MI 49014
Hours:Monday and Friday 8AM to 5PM
Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday 8AM to 5PM
Saturday 8AM to 12PM
Emergency Services Available 24/7
Annual Physical Exam
Our doctors recommend an annual physical exam, often accompanied by vaccines in the spring time. An exam includes evaluation of your horse’s body condition, heart & lungs, eyes, teeth, feet, and basic movement. Early signs of disease can be subtle and a basic exam every year can help us to identify and treat the problem before it is too late to make a difference.
Common conditions diagnosed on annual physical exams:
The following core vaccines are recommended for all horses, in accordance with the American Association of Equine Practitioners.
For those horses that will be travelling or are housed at a busy boarding facility, we also recommend the following:
We recommend all of these vaccines to be given in the spring to protect against the mosquito-borne viruses (EEE, WEE, WNV). The EIV/EHV vaccines should be administered every 6 months for horses that travel frequently throughout the year. Your veterinarian can help decide which vaccines are best for your horse and lifestyle.
The Coggins Test is an annual blood test for detection of Equine Infectious Anemia, a highly contagious viral disease that is transmitted by blood-feeding insects (mosquitos) for which there is no treatment.
The Coggins test is required by law for any horse that travels for any purpose within the state of Michigan or outside. Through Global Vet Link, we can provide a digital copy or the traditional paper copy of the Coggins test for you to carry when travelling. The digital copy is available to you anywhere you have internet access and can be saved or printed for the occasions that you don’t. They contain photographs of your horse for better identification. The test is valid for one calendar year from the date of the blood draw.
Although not an annual requirement, a health certificate is a legal document that is required for any travel outside the State of Michigan. This requires that a veterinarian examine the horse within 30 days prior to movement to ensure there is no disease present. The goal of the health certificate is to reduce the transmission of disease and make sure that your horse is healthy enough to travel. In order to complete the paperwork in a timely manner, we ask for some information from you ahead of time:
Over the past five years, we have been encouraging our clients to change from a rotational deworming system to a ‘Strategic Deworming’ Plan. The reason for this is the development of parasite resistance to our dewormers, making them less effective. We must learn to use our dewormers in a more strategic way to reduce the parasite numbers and prevent further resistance from occurring.
The basis for your horse’s strategic plan is the fecal sample, in which we determine what kind of parasite load each horse has. Based on the number and type of parasites found in your horse’s manure, we can develop a deworming plan that will be effective and likely decrease the frequency of that you need to deworm.
It may seem simpler just to follow our recommended deworming schedule and forget about the fecal sample, BUT the fecal sample gives us the most important piece of information! How much of a parasite load does your horse have? Each horse has their own innate resistance/immune response to parasites and so every horse has a different amount of parasites. Research has demonstrated that only 20% of horses carry 80% of the parasite load in a herd. This means that the majority of horses have a low parasite load and require less frequent deworming. However, the opposite is also true – if your horse has a high load of parasites, we want to be sure to find that out so that we can treat him appropriately and avoid problems caused by parasites. Deworming recommendations also differ for foals and young horses, so please consult with your veterinarian to develop a program that is right for your horse.
Dental care is an essential aspect of your horse’s health. BLVC recommends that an oral examination is performed at least once yearly to check for sharp enamel points and malocclusions that may cause discomfort or difficulty chewing. For more information, please see our Equine Dentistry page.
Whether you have a weekend warrior trail horse or an three-day event horse, our veterinarians can help you evaluate and monitor your horse’s weight, body condition score, and other health factors that may influence your horse’s nutritional needs. From there, we can design a nutrition plan that is right for you and your horse. In addition, we offer consultation/referral with an equine nutritionist.
Common Performance/Health Problems Impacted by Nutrition:
Beadle Lake Veterinary Clinic
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