Polo Players Edition

JUL 2018

Polo Players' Edition is the official publication of the U.S. Polo Association. Dedicated to the sport of polo, it features player profiles, game strategy, horse care, playing tips, polo club news and tournament results.

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16 POLO P L A Y E R S E D I T I O N E Q U I N E A T H L E T E BY STEPHANIE MASSEY COLBURN EQUINE 911 G oing through my polo career, especially going through the interscholastic and intercollegiate programs, I can remember appreciating the importance of keeping our horses happy and healthy so that we would have more horses to play more chukkers on! We always wanted to take the best possible care of our horses, but unfortunately, we did have to work within a budget. Not spending money fruitlessly and trying to save as much money as possible were our goals so we would take care of as many problems as we could on our own to help save money. One of our main struggles was determining when to call the vet or rather how bad was it or was it something we could handle? I cringe a bit on the inside as a veterinarian now reading my own words, so I would like to turn this point into an article of discussion. Veterinarians appreciate those clients that can recognize a true emergency situation at their barn and those able to recognize a potential problem in which immediate medical attention is needed and granted. Otherwise, an initially minor problem with a simple solution snowballs out of control into a problem that can have both a detrimental outcome for your equine counterpart and your pocketbook. Unfortunately, I do not have the time or space to cover the scope of every emergency scenario, but have included some of the more common emergencies. At the first signs of something not right, check your horse's vital signs. Always keep a thermometer handy, so if you dont' have one, get one. In order to truly be able to recognize things out of the ordinary with each of your horses, it is helpful to know normal vital parameters, as each horse could be slightly different. If you have questions about any of the vital parameters or how to obtain them, clarify with your veterinarian. Educating your horses' caretakers will allow potential problems to be recognized in the acute stages. Colic Colic is the first emergency situation to be on the look-out for with your horses. Colic is a term used to describe abdominal discomfort and can be used when you see your equid displaying any of the following signs; flank watching, the Flehmen response (quivering upper lip), laying down for long periods, inappetence, restlessness, pacing the stall, kicking at their abdomen with their hind feet, getting up and down or rolling. The first step in diagnosing a colicing horse is noticing any one or all of these abnormal symptoms. When you notice these signs, pull all feed from your horse's stall and notify your veterinarian. As horse owners we want to know why our horses colic and what we can do to prevent this from happening. In order to When to call the vet: recognizing emergencies with your horses Normal Vita Parameters Heart Rate (HR): Between 28-48 beats per minutes (bpm) Respiratory Rate (RR): Between 12-24 breaths per minute (brpm) Temperature: 99.0-101.5 F Mucus Membranes: Pink, moist; Capillary Refill Time (CRT) <2 seconds Gastrointestinal Borborygmic (the noises of the GI system) should be present in all abdominal quadrants Digital pulses should be mild in all four limbs Continued rolling can be a sign of abdominal discomfort

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