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Monday-Saturday, 8am to 6pm
For emergencies or to
schedule an appointment,
please call (916) 652-7645
2973 Penryn Road
Penryn, CA 95663
(916) 652-7645

The Latest Scoop

Dressage rider pulled out of Olympics to protect “My buddy, my friend, the horse that has given everything”

By Paul Jones

A heartbroken Adelinde Cornelissen stopped mid-routine, deciding not to risk her beloved horse Parzival even though he appeared to have recovered from the illness he had caught from an insect bite

On Tuesday, Dutch Olympic dressage rider Adelinde Cornelissen entered the arena on her horse Parzival, guided him through a few movements, then stopped, raised her hand in salute and rode off the field and out of the competition.




The heartbreaking decision was the culmination of a huge amount of soul-searching but in the end Cornelissen decided to put the welfare of her horse ahead of her own Olympic ambitions and those of her teammates.

Days earlier, Parzival had been bitten on the face by a poisonous insect and developed a fever. Cornelissen stayed by his side all that time, even sleeping in his stable with him.

She asked equestrian governing body the FEI if she could change places in the competition starting order to give him more time to recover but the request was denied.

Ahead of his scheduled performance, however, Parzival was given a clean bill of health, and knowing that her teammates were relying on her, Cornelissen decided to compete.

“The temperature was back to normal, he looked fit, was eating and drinking good,” she wrote in a Facebook Post.

“I also didn’t want to let the team down… In the back of my mind knowing we had no reserve combination here… Nobody to fill in my place if I would withdraw, letting the team down.

“The FEI vets came and checked up on him around 10am. All gave green light to compete. We decided I would give it a try.

After starting her routine, however, Cornelissen sensed something was not quite right with Parzival and decided she just didn’t want to risk injuring the horse she had thought of as a friend for 19 years.

“When I entered I already felt he was giving his utmost and being the fighter he is, he never gives up…

“In order to protect him, I gave up… My buddy, my friend, the horse that has given everything for me his whole life does not deserve this… So I saluted and left the arena…”

It seems not all inspirational Olympic stories are about competing and winning…

New Barn Coming Soon!

“We are excited to be constructing our new 12-stall barn to be used primarily for reproductive services to allow more room for our breeding and foaling mares. All stalls are 12′ x 16′ to accommodate mares and foals. The barn is set between large old oaks and beautiful granite outcroppings.” – Dr. Langdon Fielding






Tick Fever


by Liz Howard, DVM
Tick fever is a blood-borne bacterial infection caused by Anaplasma Phagocytophilum. Previously known as Ehrlichia equi, this disease is found in Northern California during the late fall, winter, and spring months. Tick fever was first discovered in the foothills of Northern California in the 1960’s and has since been reported in multiple states, countries, and continents.

As the name indicates, tick fever is carried by Ixodes tick species, specifically the Western Black-legged tick (Ixodes pacificus) and the Deer tick (Ixodes scapularis). The pathogenesis of tick fever begins with reservoir hosts such as mice, rats, squirrels, and deer who carry the bacteria, Anaplasma phagocytophilum. When Ixodes tick larvae feed on these animals they too become infected with A. phagocytophilum. Ixodes larvae then grow into the nymph stage followed by the adult stage. Both the nymph stage and adult stage of these ticks are capable of transmitting the bacteria to horses, dogs, small ruminants, and humans. The incubation period after exposure is 10-14 days. Tick fever is not contagious from horse to horse.

The clinical presentation of tick fever consists of multiple symptoms that are commonly recognized by horse owners. Clinical signs include a high fever (102.9-106.5° F ), lethargy, decreased appetite, jaundice, broken blood vessels (petechiation) on mucous membranes, lower limb swelling, and neurologic signs.

Diagnosis of tick fever is made by evaluation of clinical signs, general blood work, and then confirmed with PCR testing. There are common changes observed on blood work including leukopenia (decrease white blood cell count), thrombocytopenia (decreased platelet count), and anemia (low red cell count). The most sensitive and specific test for Anaplasma phagocytophilum is PCR testing which recognizes the DNA of bacteria. PCR testing can be run in-house at LBEMC for a rapid diagnosis of tick fever.

Treatment of tick fever is generally very successful and horses improve significantly 24-48 hours after treatment begins. Treatment consists of intravenous antibiotics (oxytetracycline) followed by oral antibiotics (minocycline or doxycycline). Additionally, your horse will receive an NSAID such as banamine, for fever reduction. Owners can help by providing supportive care by offering fresh water and a variety of feed options.

Prevention can be difficult, especially for those who live in areas with heavy tick infestation. There is currently no vaccine for Anaplasma phagocytophilum. Tick control with topical products is the most effective way to protect your horse from infection.

Shock Wave Therapy

shockwave therapyTo read the full article about Shock Wave Therapy, Click Here.

USEF new vaccination requirements – read more
PLUS see Latest Scoops for the 2016 Breeding Package

“USEF(United States Equestrian Federation) requires competitors be vaccinated within 6 months against Equine Influenza and Equine Herpes Virus(Rhinopneumonitis.)”


Editor’s Note:
​While this rule will only apply to USEF competitions, semi-annual flu/rhino vaccinations are advisable for any equine attending competitions, stabled with unrelated equines, trail riding where outside contact is unavoidable, or pastured with fence line contact with neighboring equines.

Protect Your Horse Against Summer Nuisances

(Vaccines can help)

Drought conditions and summer heat conspire to bring humans and domestic animals into closer contact with nuisances and disease vectors such as mosquitoes, skunks, and rattlesnakes. These pests are seeking the same limited water sources, such as a decorative fountain, a leaking outdoor faucet or a pond in a horse pasture. An article by Debbie Arrington in The Sacramento Bee – Home and Garden section 6/26/2015 makes this point and provides other interesting details.

Horse owners recognize that their animals are exposed to mosquitoes, skunks, and rattlers and that there are several steps than can be taken to mitigate the risk. Vaccination is one of these steps.


mosquitoThis pest is responsible for spreading West Nile Virus and both Eastern and Western Equine Encephalomyelitis (Sleeping Sickness). Humans can also acquire these diseases from a mosquito bite but they do not acquire them from a horse, nor will a horse spread them to another horse. Mosquito control officials in California have seen an uptick in trapped mosquitoes testing positive for West Nile in 2015 to date over the same period in 2014.

In 2014 in California, there were 801 human cases of West Nile Virus disease with 31 deaths. There were only 15 cases of the same disease reported in horses. The high point in horse cases was 2005 with approximately 500 affected equines. At least one of the factors in the diminishing number of horse cases versus the human cases is the availability of an equine vaccine. This vaccine is best given to horses in the spring so that peak immunity will be on board during the West Nile “season” (June-September). The initial vaccine for a horse should be boostered in 3-4 weeks, but in subsequent years, it can be given annually if given in the spring.

You can see the complete set of the clinic’s vaccination recommendations on the Equine Health page of the website.


skunkThese odiferous, strikingly colored mammals are closely related to the European polecat. This smelly character and the bat are the two primary reservoirs for rabies in California. Our region of California is considered “endemic” for rabies because the virus is kept alive and constantly present in these two reservoirs. When drought conditions persist, domestic animals and wildlife find themselves sharing smaller and smaller areas where water is plentiful and the rabies virus is more likely to be transmitted into domestic animals.

Like tetanus, sleeping sickness, and West Nile virus vaccines, the rabies vaccine is considered a core vaccine for horses in our region. Although rabies is not as common as West Nile disease, it is transmissible from a rabid wild or domestic animal to other animals or to humans. The bite of a rabid animal is fatal unless the victim is either a rabies vaccinate or medical treatment is instituted promptly. The vaccine is given annually and must be given by a veterinarian. Another advantage of vaccinating against rabies is that a horse presenting with signs of a neurological disease (who is a rabies vaccinate) will be considered much less likely to be rabid. This allows veterinarians to move more rapidly to consider other diagnoses.


rattlesnakeThe Pacific rattlesnake is the most common rattlesnake found in our area. All snakes, including rattlesnakes, follow their food source, primarily rodents, and these animals are seeking ever decreasing sources of water. Standing water will draw rodents and the snakes won’t be far behind. On warm days, watch for snakes in shady spots such as wood piles, under horse trailers, or near stacked hay bales. Barn cats and chickens can also help deter snakes. The cats will take down the rodent population and chickens eat insects which can also be snake food.

A rattlesnake vaccine is available for horses. It is used frequently by horse owners in areas with a high rattlesnake population. A vaccinated horse should be still be treated if bitten by a rattler, but the vaccine manufacturer claims the severity of the signs will be reduced in a vaccinated horse.

2016 Breeding Package

Click for Flyer

2013 breeding package


$360 PER CYCLE* COOLED SEMEN (ultrasound exams, 1 dose pro-ovulatory agent, artificial insemination and one pregnancy check) – mare goes home between breeding and 14 day pregnancy check.

$525 PER CYCLE* FROZEN SEMEN (ultrasound exams, 1 dose pro-ovulatory agent, two artificial inseminations and one pregnancy check) – mare goes home between breeding and 14 day pregnancy check.


$360 PER CYCLE*  COOLED SEMEN (ultrasound exams, 1 dose pro-ovulatory agent, artificial insemination and one pregnancy check– mare goes home between breeding and 14 day pregnancy check. 

$525 PER CYCLE* FROZEN SEMEN (ultrasound exams, 1 dose pro-ovulatory agent, two artificial inseminations and one pregnancy check) – mare goes home between breeding and 14 day pregnancy check.

These prices include all of the above diagnostics, treatments, medications and insemination. The fees are per estrus cycle. Boarding is usually an average 5 day stay for breeding package.  If additional cycles are needed to obtain a pregnancy, additional fees will apply.


2016 Foaling Services


Fetal Ultrasound – $260

Evaluates fetal heartbeat, foal size, placental
thickness, and placental fluids

Fetal ECG – $38

Evaluates fetal heart rate and rhythm

Predict a Foal-$30

Helps time the foaling using the mare’s milk

Fetal Ultrasound

Fetal ultrasound


Routine Doctor-Assisted Foaling – $360

Boarding is $30.00 per day

Doctor-assisted delivery
Foal IgG the following day
Post partum exam of mare & foal the following day


new foal

Additional fees apply for treatment of sick mares and foals
and additional days of board.

Please book early as space is limited!!

Sand colic doesn’t happen at the beach

Or Surf, sand, and colic??
By Diane Rhodes, DVM

If you have owned horses long enough, you have likely had to deal with an episode of colic.  Colic is a general term used to describe a horse with gastrointestinal up-set.  There are many potential causes of colic, but for the purpose of this discussion we will focus on sand colic.

Intestinal sand accumulation is a common cause of colic in this region in the late summer and early fall when the majority of pastures are dry and lacking vegetation.  Horses that are fed directly on the ground are likely to ingest significant amounts of sand as are horses that graze the remaining vegetation.

Many of the clinical signs of sand colic are similar to other potential causes of colic, including pawing, rolling, inappetance, lethargy, and flank watching.  In addition, horses with sand colic may have an unthrifty appearance, a low-grade fever, a history of chronic colic, and a history of soft to cow pie manure.  When listening to your horses gut sounds, the veterinarian may be able to auscult sand in the ventral part of the abdomen. This can sound like “waves on the beach”.  Not hearing sand, however, does not rule this out as a cause of colic.

Diagnosing a horse with sand colic starts with a thorough physical exam.  A sample of feces may be collected and floated in water to check for sand in the manure.  In some cases, ultrasound of the GI tract may show some evidence of colon wall thickening as the sand is physically irritating to the intestine.  The best test for confirming the presence of sand is abdominal radiographs.  Sand appears bright white on the x-ray and can usually be seen in the ventral part of the abdomen. These bright deposits are seen in the following radiographs:

Treatment of a horse with sand colic depends on the severity of the clinical signs and the amount of sand present within the large intestine.  A typical treatment plan includes, but is not limited to, an anti-inflammatory drug for pain control and passing a stomach tube multiple times to administer oil and water to assist with the passage of sand. Careful monitoring of the patient’s comfort level and fecal output is important as some horses will obstruct with sand, or their colon may become displaced due to gas accumulation.  In some cases, surgery may be required to remove the sand from the large intestine.  Sand colic surgery generally carries a good prognosis for recovery.

The best way to prevent sand colic is to completely eliminate sand from the diet.  This may require feeding horses in stalls on floor mats. Horses fed in feeders outside may still knock the hay out of the feeder onto the ground where they can pick up sand.  Rubber mats can be placed around the feeders, but these need to be swept daily to prevent the accumulation of sand on the mats.  For horses that tend to graze and “vacuum” the ground  (regardless if food is present), a grazing muzzle may be applied to prevent sand accumulation.  There are products on the market that contain psyllium seeds or husks that are meant to be fed monthly to help remove sand from the GI tract.  Pysllium seed is mostly soluble fiber which forms a gel and helps to physically remove sand.

Colic is a frustrating and scary condition for horse owners, but with the right prevention strategies, sand colic can be avoided.  Unfortunately, the key to prevention is eliminating access to sand, which is often easier said than done.

Doc… Does It Need To Come Out?

By Eduardo De La Cruz, DVM

Full Skull View





Missing Tooth

Equine dentistry has evolved over the years, and it has become an integral part of the yearly wellness exam. Without dental care, horses in captivity can develop tooth abnormalities, such as points, hooks, and fractures. The horse’s dental arcades can also develop waves, steps, shear mouths, or any combination thereof. Proper dental care can diminish the likelihood of developing oral ulcers, choke, colic, weight loss, and general poor doing. Many of these problems can be addressed with routine teeth floating, but some cases require tooth extraction. We will briefly discuss why a veterinarian would recommend extracting a tooth, some extraction techniques, and the aftercare required.

A veterinarian may elect to extract a tooth for multiple reasons. One example would be, retained deciduous teeth, aka caps, which do not fall on their own and can affect alignment of the upcoming permanent teeth. The first premolars, aka wolf teeth, may potentially cause bitting problems and head tossing as the bit contacts the tooth. Premolars and molars, aka cheek teeth, that are fractured, infected, loose, malpositioned / malaligned, etc. can predispose the horse to sinusitis, oral pain, and other dental abnormalities such as waves and steps. Sinusitis is a common problem that is caused by the infection of the tooth root, the surrounding bone, or both. The clinical signs of sinusitis in horses typically include mucus nasal discharge with foul odor.

There are different techniques used by veterinarians to remove unhealthy teeth. In most cases, the tooth is removed by sedating the horse, anesthetizing (numbing) the gum and tooth, freeing the tooth from the gum line, and finally rocking the tooth until it becomes free. If the aforementioned approach is not possible, the veterinarian may opt to make a hole into the sinus of the horse and punch out the tooth with surgical instruments in a retrograde fashion. Another approach is to fully anesthetize the horse, cut the bone over the sinus in a square to create a window, and then remove the tooth with surgical instruments. Root canals in horses are also possible, but not performed regularly.

After extracting a tooth, the cavity left behind is usually filled and covered temporarily with dental impression material. This impression material needs to be checked periodically by the veterinarian to ensure proper placement. Furthermore, oral examinations need to be performed more frequently in these horses due to the likelihood of the teeth shifting. Overgrowth of the opposing tooth is common and needs to be addressed with regular floating. The use of antibiotics and anti-inflammatory drugs will depend on the reason for the tooth extraction. Diet changes such as switching to pellets may also be part of the aftercare.

In summary, a minimum of a yearly oral examination is recommended for the average horse. Horses with teeth abnormalities may require more aggressive treatment and an increased frequency in examinations. There are many reasons that horses’ teeth may need to be extracted, but the goal of the veterinarian is to detect the problems early to prevent tooth extraction. In the end, proper maintenance of the horses’ mouth will lead to a better overall health and comfort for your horse.

Loomis Basin Equine Medical Center is Seeing Camelids!

Loomis Basin Equine Medical Center is seeing alpaca and llama patients in our practice. While we are primarily an equine practice, several of our doctors see camelid patients as well. We enjoy working with alpacas and llamas and are always willing to learn more about them. Dr. Jill Higgins, Dr. Langdon Fielding, and Dr. Dominic Dawson will
see routine in-house appointments,and will also see the more critically ill hospitalized patients. Our surgeon, Dr. Jason Errico, will also offer surgical services for our camelid patients. We are excited to be offering this service, as there is a great demand in our area for veterinarians that will work on camelids. Please call and schedule an appointment with us today! See examples of fees for commom services from the Camelid pricing article under the Health button on this website.

Camelid Pricing

Travel Fees

Area 1 – Loomis Basin $52
Area 2 – Lincoln, Ophir, Auburn, Roseville $60
Area 3 – Christian Valley, Meadow Vista $66
Area 4 – North Highlands, Fair Oaks, Pleasant Grove, Sheridan, Applegate, Cool $74
Area 5 – Weimer, Rio Linda, Carmichael $81
Area 6 – Pilot Hill, Rescue, Elverta $89
Area 6a – Marysville, Yuba City, Live Oak ($60 Tuesdays) $89-$110
Area 7 – Greenwood, Colfax, Upper Salmon Falls Rd. $99
Area 8 – Foresthill $108
Area 9 – Garden Valley, Georgetown, Grass Valley $117

Vaccinations: (recommended vaccines listed)

CD/T $15
West Nile Virus (Ft Dodge) $30
Rabies $20


Ivermectin (injectable) $15
Corid $12

Teeth: (prices do not include sedation; sedation only used if necessary)

Incisor reduction $40
Fighting teeth $50

Foot Trim: $35

Castration: $190 (includes anesthesia)

Routine Examination Fee: $68

Fecal: (Modified Stolls – sent to UC Davis Parasitology) $74

Fecal Float: (in-house) $32