Spotlight Series: Dr. Sarah Gold

Over the first 18 weeks of the new year, we will be conducting one on one interviews with each of our veterinarians in an effort to help you get to know all of them better! In addition to the interview, they will be posting pictures on our facebook account during their week to share some behind the scenes images of their day to day. We hope you enjoy following along!

Photo credit: Ann Marie Daley

Up this week is Sarah Gold, DVM. Dr. Gold, like many of our associates, splits time between Wellington and Oldwick. When Dr. Gold is in New Jersey, she manages Equine MRI of NJ and Furlong’s Soundness Center. During the winter season she lives in Wellington, where she manages Advanced Equine Imaging of Wellington.

Q: Do you remember a specific moment when you decided you wanted to be an equine vet?
A: When I was young I went to the vet with our family dog, Hansi.  I thought it was pretty neat that I could become a doctor for animals! I asked the veterinarian how he became one, his answer stuck with me. He told me I would have to do very well in school, and that he went to Cornell. Well, that became my plan.  When I found out I could become a doctor for horses that was that!

Q: What colleges/universities did you attend? When someone asks “where did you go to school?” what do you tell them?
A: Cornell University. I did both undergrad and veterinary school there.

Q: Tell me about the animals you own now.
A: My cat, Sebastian, who was supposed to be a Maine Coon. I owner this breed previously and they are the best!  When I decided I wanted to get another cat I talked with some breeders and was told a pet quality kitten was $1200! Instead, I immediately found a Maine Coon rescue organization and adopted through them. Sebastian looks like a Maine Coon, but he’s only 10 pounds.

Q: If you weren’t a vet, what would you do for a living?
A: Rock Star!

Q: What’s a good book you’ve recently read and enjoyed?
A: Lilac Girls.  I still can’t believe that was based on a true story.

Q: Favorite adult beverage?
A: I enjoy Grey Goose or a good Tequila!

Q: Favorite sports team?
A: Lets go Rangers!!

Q: I am obsessed with..
A: Currently I have been obsessed with the Winter Olympics!

Spotlight Series: Dr. Lisa Casinella

Over the first 18 weeks of the new year, we will be conducting one on one interviews with each of our veterinarians in an effort to help you get to know all of them better! In addition to the interview, they will be posting pictures on our facebook account during their week to share some behind the scenes images of their day to day. We hope you enjoy following along!

Up this week is Lisa Casinella, DVM. Dr. Casinella has been with the Peak Performance team since 2010, helping to build an Ocala presence. She and her husband, Randy, live in Ocala year round with their dog, Dottie.

Q: Tell me about your first meaningful memory with an animal.
A: I had a couple Breyer horses when I was about 4 years old. Back then they did not have any fancy accessories to buy along with them. When I thought they needed some grass, I “turned them out” in the yard. I felt they needed the same care as a real horse!

Q: Do you remember a specific moment when you decided you wanted to be an equine vet?
A: My father played a big role in this. He sat me down at the kitchen table and told me to fill out my vet school applications because “I was going!!”. I think in his mind, I would make a great vet but also be able to have my own horses instead of riding other people’s horses.

Q:What colleges/universities did you attend? When someone asks “where did you go to school?” what do you tell them?
A: I attended the Atlantic Veterinary College at the University of Prince Edward Island Canada. I tell people I am a token Canadian!

Q:Tell me about the animals you own now.
A: I have Dottie and Louie. Dottie is my 8 year old Australian Shepherd and Louie is my 10 year old Thoroughbred.

Q: If you weren’t a vet, what would you do for a living?
A: I would be a teacher of some sort. I would like to try and make a difference and change lives for the better. I also think I’d enjoy being a CSI detective! It would be rewarding sending evil people to jail so they could no longer hurt the innocent.

Q: What’s a good book you’ve recently read and enjoyed?
A: Hillbilly Elegy. This book was a great reality check. The author is a survivor, like so many Americans who are not as fortunate as we are. Make Your Bed is also a great read.

Q: What is the hardest thing you’ve ever accomplished?
A: Marriage! You have to be okay with not being in complete control of something. You have to respect the institution; you have to adapt and care for this life long process. Nothing truly prepares you for it.

Q: Favorite place you’ve ever traveled to?
A: Salzburg, Austria. The whole country of Austria is beautiful. I highly recommend visiting.

Q: Dream vacation?
A: Being home in Charlottesville, VA!

Q: Favorite food?
A: My homemade Italian gravy and meatballs. It is the only thing I can cook well!

Q: Favorite adult beverage?
A: Chiante! I have a glass while I make my gravy and meatballs, some goes in the gravy, some goes in my glass. It is a nice process on a cold Sunday afternoon.

Q: What is an unusual habit or an absurd thing that you love?
A: I can make my horse rear on command!

Spotlight Series: Dr. Petrisor Baia

Over the first 18 weeks of the new year, we will be conducting one on one interviews with each of our veterinarians in an effort to help you get to know all of them better! In addition to the interview, they will be posting pictures on our facebook account during their week to share some behind the scenes images of their day to day. We hope you enjoy following along!

Up this week is Petrisor Baia, Dr. Med Vet, MS, DACVS. Dr. Baia has recently joined our practice to run our surgery department. He and his family moved from Louisiana and are settling into New Jersey. We are very excited for all of our clients to get to know him; he will be speaking at our Seminars this month, so be sure to register today!

Q: Tell me about your first meaningful memory with an animal?
A: My grandfather’s old bay mare, Stela, was the first horse I ever rode. I was riding her when I was about 7 years old when I fell off at the trot. She calmly turned around and stood still and waited for me to get up again. I have fallen off horses many times since then, but that experience gave me courage to not be afraid and get to know horses better.

Q: Do you remember a specific moment when you decided you wanted to be an equine vet?
A: I was fascinated by, and wanted to learn about horses ever since I can remember but it was mid-high school when I decided to become a vet.

Q: What colleges/universities did you attend? When someone asks “where did you go to school?” what do you tell them?
A: I got my veterinary degree from Banat’s University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine in Timisoara, Romania; Masters degree in biomedical sciences and large animal surgery residency training from Louisiana State University.

Q: Tell me about the animals you own now.
A: I currently have 4 rescued animals: a blue heeler mix, Molda; and 3 cats: Chloe, Georgel and Magdalene. My wife and I are “foster fails”. Molda and her litter were on the side of the road in Louisiana and we decided to take her in and try to find her a home, well, she still lives with us! The cats are also foster fails and we wouldn’t have it any other way.

Q: What do you do for fun, outside of work and spend time with your animals?
A: I try to spend as much time as possible outside, playing with my children, running with the dog, riding my bike, playing tennis, hiking, and fishing.

Q: If you weren’t a vet, what would you do for a living?
A: I am not sure to be honest. It would be something outdoors, maybe a mountain ranger.

Q: Favorite place you’ve ever traveled to?
A: Big Bear Lake in California. I have been there several times, it is beautiful in every season. The best part about it is, it is never crowded and I have many good memories there.

Q: Favorite food?
A: Mediterranean.

Q: Favorite adult beverage?
A: I like a good old beer. Nothing fancy, a nice European beer is perfect. The Czech Republic and Denmark never fail in producing an excellent beer.  

Spotlight Series: Dr. Elizabeth Odyniec

Over the first 18 weeks of the new year, we will be conducting one on one interviews with each of our veterinarians in an effort to help you get to know all of them better! In addition to the interview, they will be posting pictures on our facebook account during their week to share some behind the scenes images of their day to day. We hope you enjoy following along!

Up this week is Elizabeth Odyniec, DVM. Upon completing her internship with B.W. Furlong & Associates in the summer of 2017, Dr. Odyniec stayed on for a second year to practice under the tutelage of Dr. Brendan Furlong. She can be found at Dr. Furlong’s side; as such she is currently spending the winter in Wellington at the WEF.

Q: What colleges/universities did you attend? When someone asks “where did you go to school?” what do you tell them?
A: I went to the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis-St. Paul for my bachelor’s degree and then went to the University of Illinois for vet school. Despite Illinois being my home state, I will always be a Golden Gopher at heart.

Q: Tell me about the animals you own now.
A: I have two pets right now – Stanley and Odie. Stan is my 6 year old gelding who I’ve owned for just over a year, he was a Christmas present to myself during my internship after I saw him on an emergency call and fell in love. Odie was also a gift to myself, this time when I got into vet school – he came from a Native American reservation and his full name is Odakota, meaning “friend” in Sioux. In hindsight it probably wasn’t the best idea to get a puppy my first week of veterinary school, or an injured horse during my internship…. both of them are the best impulse decisions I’ve ever made though.

Q: What’s a good book you’ve recently read and enjoyed?
A: The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. It’s a fictional story about a teenage girl dealing with race, family, relationships, and community. I listened to the audiobook version during my drive to Wellington; not only is it timely but it’s extremely engaging and well-written, and is able to be as engrossing as a good fiction while touching on many very real, very worthy socio-political issues.

Q: Dream vacation?
A: The Swiss Alps. I read a book when I was maybe 12 years old about a girl who moved to Switzerland and lived in a chalet in the Alps – ever since then I’ve dreamed of similarly staying in a mountainside chalet, skiing and hiking every day. I think that started my obsession with being in the mountains, as it was such a far cry from the incredibly flat Midwest where I grew up.

Q: Favorite adult beverage?
A: I’m one of those hipster craft beer lovers – especially a good stout or sour beer.

Q: Favorite sports team?
A: Chicago Blackhawks, as anyone who knows me probably already knows. I’m obsessed with my Hawks hockey! I even named my horse Lord Stanley, after the Stanley Cup’s namesake.

Q: Something most people don’t know about me…
A: I love rock climbing. My whole family is really into it and we have even gone on some family climbing trips; my favorite was climbing the red rocks in Arizona. Nowadays I don’t climb nearly as often as I’d like, but I try to hit the rock gym near my house when I get a weekend off.

Spotlight Series: Dr. Jan Henriksen

Over the first 18 weeks of the new year, we will be conducting one on one interviews with each of our veterinarians in an effort to help you get to know all of them better! In addition to the interview, they will be posting pictures on our facebook account during their week to share some behind the scenes images of their day to day. We hope you enjoy following along!

Up this week is Jan Henriksen, DVM. Dr. Henriksen is one of our ambulatory practitioners, and has been with the practice since 2013. He is splitting his winter between Wellington and NJ, so you might see him at either location, or in the airport!

Q: Tell me about your first meaningful memory with an animal.
A: The large majority of my childhood memories involve animals. Growing up the son of a standarbred horse trainer, I was around horses before I could walk. But, my first real significant memory involves my first dog, a yellow Labrador retriever named Toppy, that my parents had before I was born. I distinctly remember when we went to find her in JFK airport when we moved to the US from Norway and being very happy she made the trip safely with us.

Q: Do you remember a specific moment when you decided you wanted to be an equine vet?
A: I don’t think there was a specific moment but while working with/for my father in his training stable, I had the opportunity to watch and learn from numerous different vets. I always enjoyed watching them work and helping getting the horses back on the racetrack. Watching them help those horses is what made me want to do the same.

Q: What colleges/universities did you attend? When someone asks “where did you go to school?” what do you tell them?
A: I did my undergraduate studies at West Virginia University. I went to veterinary School at Ross University in St Kitts and did my clinical year at the University of Pennsylvania.

Q: Tell me about the animals you own now.
A: We have 3 Labrador retrievers: Raven (8), Ottis (4), and Heidi (1). We also have 2 cats: Tuck (9) and Osi (7). Most of them are named after New York Giants Players. There also a rabbit and a few chickens.

Q: What do you do for fun, outside of work and spend time with your animals?
A: Spend time with my girlfriend, Neva, and the animals, play golf, go to Crossfit, and wood working. I also enjoy doing various projects around the house.

Q: What’s a good book you’ve recently read and enjoyed?
A: Currently reading ‘The Firm’ by John Grisham. I saw the movie but so far the book is better. Basically anything James Patterson or John Grisham writes, I read. Also Jo Nesbo the Norwegian author.

Q: Favorite place you’ve ever traveled to?
A: I always enjoy returning to Norway and hope to someday spend some time there seeing the parts of the country I have not yet seen.

Q: Dream vacation?
A: Alaskan cruise or African Safari

Q: Favorite sports team?
A: New York Giants, despite the 2017 season

Q: What are you currently watching on Netflix?
A: Blue Bloods

Q: Something most people don’t know about me…
A: I lost my hair when I was 10 years old due to an autoimmune condition known as Alopecia Areata.

 

Spotlight Series: Dr. Jill Copenhagen

Over the first 18 weeks of the new year, we will be conducting one on one interviews with each of our veterinarians in an effort to help you get to know all of them better! In addition to the interview, they will be posting pictures on our facebook account during their week to share some behind the scenes images of their day to day. We hope you enjoy following along!

Up this week is Jill Copenhagen, DVM. Dr. Copenhagen is part of our Peak Performance team and currently in Ocala, FL for the season, where she has been since the end of December. Traditionally she splits her time between Ocala and Middleburg, VA.

Q: What colleges/universities did you attend? When someone asks “where did you go to school?” what do you tell them?
A: I did my undergrad at UC San Diego and vet school at UC Davis. I loved both experiences so I’d cheat and tell someone both schools 🙂

Q: Tell me about the animals you own now.
A: With as much as I travel, I have stuck to having cats. I adopted Grace, a 15 yr old DSH, when I was in vet school. My husband and adopted a second cat, Daisy, a 6 yr old calico, about a year and half ago.

Q: What do you do for fun, outside of work and spend time with your animals?
A: I love being outside. I started playing beach volleyball a few years ago and absolutely love it. I enjoy hiking, kayaking, and exploring the area around where I live.  

Q: Favorite place you’ve ever traveled to?
A: It is very hard to pick just one. I think its a tie between Copenhagen, Denmark, and Florence, Italy. Copenhagen is a very friendly, welcoming city. I spent almost a month there during vet school. Florence is an amazing combination of art, history, culture, and amazing wine.  

Q: Dream vacation?
A: My dream vacation is to go to Australia and New Zealand. It is a goal to go scuba diving at the Great Barrier Reef as well as explore the many activities that New Zealand has to offer.  

Q: What are you currently watching on Netflix?
A: I have recently become hooked on “The Crown.” I often find myself with a British accent after watching an episode or two.

Q: Something most people don’t know about me…
A: I spent one summer during college working as a cold caller for an ad agency. It was terrible!

Q: What is an unusual habit or an absurd thing that you love?
A: I have developed a few bad habits being on the road. One of my guilty pleasures is an addiction to sour patch kids.  

What’s That Sound? Common Upper Airway Abnormalities That Affect Performance

If a horse is unable to properly move air in and out of its lungs, it is no surprise that it is is unable to perform to the best of its athletic abilities.  There are a variety of conditions that can affect the upper airway of our equine athletes.

The upper airway consists of the nostrils, nasal passages, nasopharynx and larynx.  It is possible to have conditions that affect one or more structures within this portion of the airway which can affect the movement of air in or out.  

Endoscopic examination of the upper airway involves passing a scope up one or both nostrils to visualize the entire nasal passage, nasopharynx and larynx.  These structures can be assessed for anatomic and functional defects.  For horses that are suspected to have an upper airway abnormality but have a normal resting airway exam, a dynamic airway exam may be necessary.  This involves the same principle as the resting exam with a scope passed up the nose to visualize the nasopharynx and larynx, but instead, this special scope is secured in place and the horse is asked to perform its usual activity.  Horses can do dressage, jump and even gallop at full speed with the scope in place.  This allows the veterinarian to assess the function of the airway during the horse’s most intense activity.  

Perhaps the most commonly seen upper airway condition in performance horses is laryngeal hemiplegia, more commonly known as roaring.  This condition occurs due to paralysis of one side of the larynx.  Most commonly, the left side is affected due to the longer route in which that nerve takes to innervate it’s laryngeal structures.  This paralysis allows a portion of the laryngeal cartilage to protrude into the airway.  When exercising, the airway is under increased negative pressure and this cartilage, as well as the vocal cord, are pulled into the airway, creating a dynamic obstruction to airflow.  The vocal cord fluttering in the wind creates the characteristic roaring sound.  This condition is most frequently corrected via a surgical procedure, known as a tie back.  Here, a suture is placed through the paralyzed cartilage and tied back to hold that structure out of the airway.  Most commonly, this procedure is combined with a resection of the vocal cord to further prevent any future obstruction.  

Another important condition to consider is known as dorsal displacement of the soft palate.  The soft palate is a soft flap of tissue that extends off the back edge of the hard palate towards the larynx.  In horses, this structure usually sits underneath the epiglottis and is thus out of the way of normal air flow into the trachea. In some horses, the back edge of the soft palate displaces upwards and the epiglottis becomes trapped underneath it.  The free edge of the soft palate then creates an obstruction to airflow as the horse breathes out.  When they are unable to expel the entire breath of air, they are subsequently unable to take a full breath back in.  This results in the horse having to take smaller breaths when its oxygen demands are highest.  They are unable to meet their needs and their performance suffers.  This condition is characterized by a gurgling sound on expiration as the free edge of the soft palate flutters as the expired air passes over it.   This is of high suspicion in horses that are performing appropriately but suddenly begin having trouble and may even stop on course.  It is extremely common for these horses to have normal resting endoscopic examinations and thus, a dynamic examination should be considered when the level of suspicion is high.  Surgical correction is achieved via a tie forward procedure in which the entire larynx is pulled forward and secured in place to prevent the epiglottis from being pulled backwards allowing it to slip under the edge of the soft palate.  

If you hear an abnormal sound while your horse is exercising or you find that your horse is unable to perform at the level that it was previously able, consider having a complete airway examination performed by your veterinarian.  This may include an under saddle evaluation, resting endoscopy and, potentially, dynamic endoscopy.  Identifying the cause of the problem will help you and your horse breathe easier.

Disaster Preparedness

With the recent uptick in natural disasters, it has never been more important for horse owners to have an emergency plan in place.  Uncontrolled wildfires, flooding as a result of mega-storms and massive destruction due to hurricane-force winds are all conditions that may force the evacuation of horses from their homes.   In cases such as these, having a detailed action plan can aid in saving the lives of both humans and horses.  Having important documents for each horse in a safe and organized place can save time if a last-minute evacuation is required.  Coggins paperwork, vaccine records and microchip information are invaluable for identification of lost horses as well as necessary should you have to evacuate to a temporary shelter or boarding facility.  Understanding local and regional emergency protocols and resources should also be part of a well-designed emergency plan.  The NJ Office of Emergency Management has a wealth of online resources (link below) that are specific to the state and can help you in creating a unique plan for your personal situation.

Some of the important considerations that must be addressed by an emergency plan include transportation, feed and water rations, and potential relocation.  The transport of horses during an emergency situation may not be feasible in some cases and the focus of a disaster plan then becomes how to make the property and facilities safest during extreme weather conditions.  Having enough food and water on-hand to last for an extended period of time is another crucial consideration when preparing for natural disasters.  If the potential for loss of power exists, stockpiling water may be necessary.  A good rule of thumb is to assume that each horse on the property will need between 30 and 40 liters of water daily.  The use of heavy-duty water troughs can then serve as reservoirs for water should the water supply be cut off during a storm.  Having enough good-quality forage on-hand to sustain horses through an extended period of time is another consideration that must be thought out ahead of a weather-related event.  Minimum intake for a horse is approximately 1.5% of its body weight daily in forage.  Based on this, a 1000-pound horse would need 15 pounds of forage daily.

Several excellent online resources have been produced with veterinary collaboration by TheHorse.com and include articles and checklists that can be used as a guide to building your own disaster plan.  UC Davis has also created a comprehensive library of disaster management resources for horse owners.  Links to these resources and others discussed above can be found below.

Resources:

20 Disaster Planning Questions:
http://www.thehorse.com/articles/29417/20-disaster-planning-questions

FEMA Fact Sheets:
https://www.fema.gov/fact-sheets  

New Jersey Office of Emergency Management
http://www.ready.nj.gov

Equine Emergency Checklist
http://www.thehorse.com/free-reports/35917/equine-emergency-evacuation-kit-checklist

UC Davis Disaster Preparedness
http://www.vetmed.ucdavis.edu/ceh/disaster_preparedness/index.cfm                         

 

Splints – Another “Bump” In the Road

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The splint bones, or second and third metacarpal/tarsal bones, are small, thin, vestigial bones located on either side of the cannon bone. Each splint bone is attached to the cannon bone by an interosseous ligament; effectively “splinting” the cannon bone. This ligament ossifies, or turns to bone, as the horse enters adulthood by age 3-4 years. The splint bones start at the carpus or hock and extend approximately three-fourths of the length of the cannon bone, getting thinner as it extends down the leg. These bones, although small in size, can cause lameness issues for the horse.

Have you ever run your hand down your horses leg and noticed a new hard bump near the cannon bone? Chances are, you’ve felt a “splint.” This term is given to a phenomenon called interosseous desmitis…inflammation of the interosseous ligament, to put it simply. This inflammation is most commonly caused by a tearing of the interosseous ligament or external trauma, even fracture, to the splint bone. As a result of the inflammation, the affected portion of the ligament ossifies to a bony callus during the healing process. Splints commonly occur in young horses aged 2-3 years old undergoing strenuous work. Medial (inside of leg) splints are more common in forelimbs, as there is more weight-bearing load on the inner aspect of the distal limb and more chance for interference from the opposite limb. Poor conformation or shoeing that places more weight on the inside of the limb can also predispose the horse to splints. In the hind limbs, splints are more common on the outside of the limb (laterally) and are most commonly due to trauma, such as a kick from another horse.

Veterinarians can diagnose splints by palpation of the limb and radiography. Palpation may yield a warm, firm swelling on the side of the cannon bone. The horse may be sensitive to palpation of the area, but may or may not be lame! If a fracture is detected on radiographs, surgery may be necessary. Using these diagnostics, along with the location, size, and severity of the splint, as well as degree of associated lameness, your veterinarian will prescribe an appropriate treatment plan to get your horse back in action quickly. Treatments are often aimed at athletic rest, cryotherapy, anti-inflammatory medications, and bandaging. Chronic splints may require injection of corticosteroids to the area surrounding the splint in order to quiet the inflammation. If you suspect your horse has a new splint, please consult your veterinarian.

Common Causes of Weight Loss and How to Fix Them

From full-bodied Drafts to stream-lined Thoroughbreds, horses vary greatly in size and appearance.  However, it is important to maintain all horses at an ideal body weight.  When horses lose weight, it is easy to jump to the conclusion that a very serious problem is causing the weight loss.  Fortunately, there are many simple, common causes that can explain a drop in body condition.  A horse will lose weight when the calories that they are burning exceed the calories that they are eating.  

There are many common causes of weight loss in horses.  One is abnormal dentition.  If a horse is unable to chew and grind its food due to a dental problem, the horse will not meet its caloric needs which will result in weight loss.  Another common cause is parasitism by gastrointestinal parasites.  If the horse is not dewormed using an appropriate deworming protocol, weight loss can result from an increased parasite burden.  Other common causes include an inadequate diet, lack of fresh water, and competition for food or water with other horses.  An inadequate diet includes situations where the diet lacks sufficient calories for the energy requirements of the horse or the type of diet is not appropriate for the particular horse.  Competition for resources among a group of horses can be very subtle.  Even minor changes in herd dynamics can lead to a horse not getting the food and water it requires to maintain its weight.  

In addition to the common causes discussed previously, there are uncommon causes of weight loss in horses.  These causes should only be considered after the common causes have been ruled out as the cause of the weight loss.  These include an underlying chronic disease (for example recurrent airway obstruction or “heaves”), cancer, inflammatory disease of the gastrointestinal tract, infectious disease of the gastrointestinal tract especially in younger horses, and malabsorptive disorders.

If a horse seems to be losing weight, it should be examined by a veterinarian.  The veterinarian will begin with a detailed history focusing on the common causes of weight loss for horses.  This will include details such as what the horse eats, how often it is fed, where it is fed, whether it is housed in a group or alone, dental history, and deworming history.  The veterinarian will then perform a thorough physical exam on the horse.  The horse’s teeth should be examined and a fecal sample should be checked for internal parasites.  These tests are focused on the common causes of weight loss in horses.  If the cause of the weight loss cannot be determined through this information, additional tests can be pursued.  These include bloodwork, a rectal exam, abdominal ultrasound, abdominocentesis (taking a sample of abdominal fluid), and glucose absorption tests.  These tests will provide further information about the horse’s overall health, organ function, and abnormalities of the gastrointestinal tract.  These tests will diagnose more uncommon causes of weight loss.  

Initial treatments for weight loss usually begin with simple management changes for the horse to encourage weight gain.  These include an appropriate diet for the horse.  Factors to consider include age, intensity of exercise, pregnancy, lactation, and climate.  This might include changing the type of feed, how much is fed, and how often feed is offered.  If competition seems to be deterring the horse from eating or drinking, a change in housing might be necessary.  The horse might need to be separated from the herd at feeding times or stalled individually to decrease competition and stress.  A reduction in workload might be necessary for a short amount of time until the horse returns to an appropriate body condition.  Routine dentistry and deworming protocols are recommended.  A specific test (fecal egg count reduction test) can be used to determine if parasite resistance has developed to specific dewormers.  This can aid in developing an appropriate deworming protocol for the horse.  Body condition and weight should be monitored closely after these changes have been made.  By instituting these treatments, the balance between calorie intake and expenditure will be balanced leading to a healthy, happy horse!