Doug Byars, DVM, Dipl. ACVIM

  • Checking the Vitals: Is My Horse Sick? How Sick?

    Being familiar with your horse's normal resting temperature, pulse, and respiration rates (TPR) help you recognize when things are abnormal. The TPR vitals help you determine "how abnormal." Remember, vitals taken after the horse has been worked will be elevated and a 20-30 minute recovery time is recommended for a return to normal values an...

  • Checking the Vitals: Heart Function and Sound

    You are at a concert when suddenly the orchestra stops playing their instruments with the exception of the kettledrums. The kettle drummer hits two beats with a pause. This is repeated over and over as you realize the drumbeats are the heart and rhythm for the orchestra. In your head you can mimic your own heartbeat with valvular doors that slam with...

  • Checking the Vitals: Abdominal Sounds

    Unlike heart and respiratory rates, abdominal sounds do not punch a specific time clock for generating "gut sounds." The rhythmic peristaltic churning of food mixed with fluids within the gut varies in slower waves depending on meal time, the meal itself, and the level of activity. You don't actually "time" bowel sounds, but you do...

  • Rabies Danger, Exposure Cost Reinforce Equine Vaccination Need

    <P>Rabies is a rhabdovirus that has been a human threat since antiquity. The virus is capable of infecting all warm-blooded animals with some variation in susceptibility. Rabies is considered 100% fatal to the infected host. However, in order for any disease to perpetuate itself, 100% is not in the realm of "mother nature," or the disease would kill itsel...