Sunday, August 29, 2010

Vesicular Stomatitis

There's an equine disease called Vesicular Stomatitis (VS) that occurs from time to time in the USA. It is also called "False Hoof and Mouth Disease", as the symptoms mimic Hoof and Mouth Disease.

Some importing countries require testing for VS for six months after a case of VS has been reported in the USA. Others require the test for every shipment, irregardless of how long it has been since the USA had a case of the disease.

At the current time, all horses being exported from the USA to or through the European Union must be tested for VS, as there were some cases of the disease that were reported at a ranch on the Arizona/Mexico border in the Spring of 2010.

The testing medium that is used for VS for horses being exported is, unfortunately, not a very reliable test and it is fairly common to get "inconclusive" results. Another term for this type of result is "toxic". On rare occasions there will even be a false positive result. Usually the animal in question will test negative with a new blood draw.

However, there are times when the toxic or false positive results come back again and again for the same animal. When that happens, the animal cannot be shipped to a country requiring VS testing.

We've asked a number of veterinarians what could cause the toxic or false positive results and, while no one knows for sure, there are several theories. The most commonly held observation that veterinarians have shared with us is that there may be a correlation between certain vaccinations and toxic or false positive VS results.

In particular, Rabies vaccinations may play a role. VS is a "rabido virus", as is Rabies, so the testing medium may pick up the Rabies vaccine in the blood and mistake it for VS.

If you plan to ship an equine from the USA, it is probably wise to postpone giving any vaccinations before sending the animal to quarantine. Any and all vaccinations that are required by the importing country will be given after the horse or donkey arrives at our facility.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Update from Luxembourg

It is a beautiful sunny day in Luxembourg. I'm here for the weekend, wsiting for my "ride" back home. I had the pleasure of delivering a group of mini donkeys and horses to Prestwick, Scotland on Thursday. It was a great flight on CargoLux and a smooth landing in Prestwick. Sometimes those cross wind landings can be challenging ... but this one was really nice.

Our groom, Annet, delivered horses to Amsterdam on Friday and everything went very well on that trip, as well. She is enjoying some time visiting family and friends in Germany before she returns to the USA.

Thank you to Sarah, Lisa, Peter and Danielle for sharing your equines with us.

Terry stayed at the ranch to oversee everything there this weekend. We are apart for our birthdays, but we'll celebrate them a little late this year. I turn 60 today and Terry will be 62 tomorrow.

We're starting a new quarantine group for Saudi Arabia on Monday and will start our next EU quarantine group on August 30th.

Terry and I look forward to delivering horses to Luxembourg and then on to Johannesburg, South Africa in early September.

In case you haven't heard, there will be a rate increase effective September 1st. For the EU, mares and geldings will be $4650.00 each. Stallions will be $4700.00. Please contact us at for the rates for other destinations.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Welcoming New Staff

We are delighted to welcome Megan Moos to the EZ 2 Spot Ranch staff. Megan comes to us with a B.S. in Equine Sciences and a number of years of experience as a trainer and manager at high-quality equine facilities. We look forward to Megan becoming an integral part of our program and we know that she is going to be a valuable asset as we continue to grow.

Another new member of our staff is Nancy Harrop. Nancy helps us out part-time. Her cheerful, upbeat attitude keeps everyone smiling.

It is our goal to provide the highest quality care possible for our clients' horses. We believe that the key to accomplishing that goal does not lie in high-dollar, fancy barns. The key to success is having a competent, professional staff who care about each and every animal and who share a common bond of commitment to excellence.