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How does a veterinarian maintain the health and well-being of competition sporthorses?

I am a pre-vet college student that is interested in specializing in equine medicine. What preventative measures can be taken to minimize long term damage, and if a major accident were to occur what are the best possible treatment plans available?

#pre-veterinary-medicine #equine #veterinary #veterinary-medicine #specialization #competition #veterinarian

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Valerie’s Answer

The horse can have a longer career if started at an earlier age. Introduce the horse early to exercise to stretch his muscle fibers. Make sure the horse has all his/her vaccines to avoid any risk of disease at competitions. Give the horse vitamin E for muscle recovery and to prevent free radical damage. Make sure to warm up and cool down the horse after each training session and event. Give the horse good food for carbohydrates and excess water to replenish electrolytes.

There is a large benefit from icing the legs after a heavy exercise to decrease inflammation. This could be as simple as going into a cool creek nearby for 20-30 minutes.

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Elizabeth’s Answer

First, how awesome that you are interested in equine practice!
None of us involved in equine sport ever really want to see catastrophic injuries. We have learned a lot about the body’s response to training, and if we apply best practices, we hope to minimise those events.

If you have a competitive horse now, (or even If you don’t) you might see about shadowing a sports medicine veterinarian.
Also, depending on the programs available at your college now, you might be able to get involved in exercise physiology/sports medicine research at this point in your career, which you could continue in vet school.

Elizabeth recommends the following next steps:

Look into shadowing a sports medicine veterinarian.
Look into research programs at your current college.