Equine Emergency Clinic – a review!


This past Sunday hubby and I attended a wonderful clinic on Equine Emergencies over at Reata Equine Hospital in Weatherford, Texas. Some of you may recall that this is the clinic that did Millie’s surgery a few months ago. Millie is the smaller of our two rescued Molly mules. She developed a growth that turned out to be a Mast Cell Tumor that needed to be removed. Our local vet offered to do the surgery, but I also contacted three other vets that specialize in equine care. In the end, I am VERY pleased that we chose Reata! You can read Millie’s End of August Update HERE.

I first learned about this clinic via a Facebook post on Reata’s FB page. Social Media is a TOOL and for things like this I find it to be a most useful tool, at that!  With their permission, here is the flyer that they had posted announcing the clinic. Weatherford is over an hour’s drive east of us, so we were hard pressed to make it there on time! When we arrived the room was already quite full and they were just giving one of the horses a dose of Dormosedan Gel, which is a mild sedative for horses that is administered orally and is simple enough to be given by the owner! I now have TWO tubes on hand and plan to keep at least one tube in my emergency kit at all times!!!goodies

Zoetis and Midwest Veterinary Supply
co-sponsored the clinic and brought along a table full of products that were given away! Everyone got a sample of Dormosedan Gel as well as a goody bag full of little happy things like brushes and a hoof pick. We were each also given a red ticket as we arrived which were then used to give out the additional door prizes which included thermometers, stethoscopes, hats and two equine emergency kits! Hubby won one of the Reata hats, that is NOT pictured here.

These door prizes were really nice, but more importantly is that after the Powerpoint presentation we all gathered for the hands-on portion of the clinic where we had the opportunity to learn how to properly use the stethoscopes! While we enjoyed Dr. Sutherland’s Powerpoint presentation inside the Podiatry Center, the Dormosedan Gel was making it’s way into the horse’s system and taking affect. By the time we moved out to do the hands-on portion, the equine was quite sedated – to the point that she was doing well to stay awake by the looks of her droopy eyelids and hanging bottom lip! In addition to learning to use the stethoscopes the hand-on portion of the clinic was where we also learned to properly apply leg bandages! This is important because if not done correctly, the bandaging could possibly do more harm than good, especially over the course of several days!

leg wrapping

Photo used by permission of Reata Equine Hospital. Dr. Sutherland is in the red shirt, explaining something important to us. Hubby and I are in the center foreground with our backs to the camera, naturally! To my right is a fellow mule owner, Robin Thomas. She and I have been Facebook “friends” for a while, and this clinic allowed us to finally meet in person! Robin is one of several friends who recommended Reata when we first knew that Millie’s tumor would need to be removed.

Dr. Sutherland’s Powerpoint presentation, which she later E-mailed to each of us, was full of information that all owners need to have on hand. When an emergency happens, we are the first ones there and need to asses if the emergency is something we can handle ourselves or if we need to call the vet immediately! Additionally, when calling the vet we need to be able to answer their questions to help them evaluate what is the best course of action for our animals. For me, this is where the benefit of the Dormosedan Gel really comes into play! Dancer, the larger of our two rescued mules, is still quite spooky. She halters and leads fairly well, and we have started working on standing-while-tied, but that is under the BEST of circumstances. If she were to experience an emergency, I’d need to sedate her just to be able to fully evaluate her condition and answer the vet’s questions!


July 17, 2011 Went out to feed the mules early and discovered Millie had a HUGE gash… if she were a person I’d say she was split open from “elbow to arm pit”! It’s wicked deep, too, with the muscles all exposed!!!

In the short time that we have had Millie and Dancer we’ve already had a small number of equine emergencies! Most of them have been the kind that we could handle ourselves: Dancer now has a split in her right here – possibly from a tussle with a bobcat. She constantly has a nose full of thorns from the Prickly Pear Cactus, too. She once had a swollen eye, but luckily I think it was from a bug bite. Then there is her locking stifles, which about gave me a heart attack the first time it happened because I thought she had broken her leg or something! Lastly, and most seriously, was Millie’s deep wound a couple of years ago where she had practically impaled herself on a section of fencing.

THIS is the kind of wound that required calling the vet immediately! If it had happened to Dancer instead of Millie I don’t know what we would have done because at the time Dancer could not even be haltered. Millie, of course, was a staunch trouper! Our local vet came out and sedated her. Because of the location of the wound it could not be sutured. Instead, she was given an antibiotic injection and I treated it myself for the next eight weeks or so. I’d clean it with the water hose and apply a topical ointment. Millie has a small scar that is only noticeable in summer, when her hair is not so fluffy. My experience with keeping this type of large wound clean while it slowly healed was important because I used that knowledge with her recent tumor removal site. An equine’s natural ability to heal is profoundly amazing!

I’m looking forward to future clinics at Reata and wish our local small animal vet would have them, too! On the feed-back sheet, where they asked us for input on what types of clinics we’d like to see in the future, I wrote Chiropractic care/massage and treating locked stifles NON-surgically!

Categories: Mules, Out and About | Leave a comment

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