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News – Foothills Mobile Veterinary Service PLLC

Posts in category News

2017 Equine Rebates

2017 Equine Rebates

We strive to keep your costs as affordable as possible. One way we can do that is to make you aware of generous manufacturer rebates that allow you to get money back on your purchases from our practice.

Merial’s 2017 EQUINE rebates are below. Get your rebate quickly ONLINE, or you can print the form and submit with your receipt.


Avian Influenza Update

Avian Influenza Update

The United States Department of Agriculture has confirmed several findings of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in the Pacific flyway since mid-December 2014 and confirmed the first finding in the Mississippi flyway in March 2015. USDA Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service Veterinary Services is preparing for HPAI in the Atlantic flyway and is asking veterinarians to prepare as well.

The first detection of HPAI in commercial poultry was in a turkey flock in California on January 23, 2015. Surveillance for avian influenza is ongoing in commercial poultry operations, live bird markets, and in migratory wild bird populations. USDA considers this finding to be part of the ongoing avian influenza disease incident. There is no immediate public health concern as a result of these detections.

The H5N8 virus originated in Asia and spread rapidly along wild bird migratory pathways during 2014, including the Pacific flyway. In the Pacific flyway, the H5N8 virus has mixed with North American avian influenza viruses, creating new mixed-origin viruses. This is not unexpected. These mixed-origin viruses contain the Asian-origin H5 part of the virus, which is highly pathogenic to poultry. The N parts of these viruses came from North American low pathogenic avian influenza viruses. As migratory bird flyways overlap, future findings of HPAI in the Atlantic flyway are possible. The North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, the West Virginia Department of Agriculture, and USDA APHIS VS conduct surveillance on commercial operations, on backyard and hobby flocks, and in the live bird marketing system. As of press date, HPAI has not been detected in NC or WV.

USDA has identified two additional HPAI mixed-origin viruses in the Pacific Flyway: the H5N2 virus and new H5N1 virus. The new H5N1 virus is not the same virus as the H5N1 virus found in Asia that has caused some human illness. The new H5N1 virus is not expected to be a human-health risk, but rather to have the same or a lower risk than H5N8.  CDC currently states the human health risk from these viruses is low.

Signs of HPAI include sudden unexpected death losses at higher than normal levels (sometimes with no clinical signs), edema/swelling around the eyes, blue/dark colored wattles and combs, decreased egg production, soft shelled and misshapen eggs, nasal discharge, coughing, sneezing, and neurologic signs.

Bird owners are encouraged to step up their biosecurity, preventing contact between their birds and wild birds, and report sick birds or unusual bird deaths to State/Federal officials, through the State Department of Agricultures: 

North Carolina (919) 707-3000 or to USDA APHIS Veterinary Services at (919) 855-7700.  For small flocks, this can include deaths of one bird per day for 2 days in a row. Additional information on biosecurity for backyard flocks can be found at healthybirds.aphis.usda.gov

For more information on HPAI in the U.S. visit www.aphis.usda.gov Click on “Animal Health”, then on “Animal Disease Information”, then under “By Disease” click on “Avian Influenza”.

McDowell News Article Regarding Horse Neglect Allegations

McDowell News Article Regarding Horse Neglect Allegations

On January 20, 2015, The McDowell News ran an article regarding an animal welfare evaluation performed by Dr. Justin Jornigan with Foothills Mobile Veterinary Service in Marion, NC.  In the original article, there were multiple inaccuracies and misguided quotations included in this news article that were unclear and required clarification.  The McDowell News has honorably corrected the issues and published those statements on their website.  They also have released the full veterinary report Dr. Jornigan authored on 1/17/2015.

View the full veterinary report here

  • “The 21 horses are fed one bag of sweet feed daily and three square bales of hay daily, but that needs to be increased. The horses need about 10.5 pounds of hay per day and 10.5 pounds of grain per day,” Jornigan says in his conclusion.

—A 700 lb pony/small horse should receive 10.5 pounds of hay per day and 3.5 pounds of grain per day. This is based on a commonly used equine nutrition estimate that a horse should eat at least 1.5% of the ideal body weight in hay, and 0.5% of the ideal body weight in grain.  The news article incorrectly quoted the report and does not indicate whether the feeding recommendation is for each horse or the entire herd.  Dr. Jornigan’s report provided feeding recommendations for the entire herd, and for an individual horse of any weight.

  • “The report states that the horses need to be de-wormed but they are not showing any illness or health conditions.”

—There is no statement in Dr. Jornigan’s evaluation regarding a lack of illness or health condition.  These animals require de-worming and are under-conditioned largely due to intestinal parasites and inadequate nutrition.

  • “The animals are untrained; they cannot be haltered or easily restrained. They are in moderate to good condition overall,” Jornigan said in his report.

—The veterinary report does not state that the horses are in moderate to good condition overall. There were two horses that were in the poorest condition that were recommended for immediate removal and the owner elected to relinquish a third animal due to an an eye injury.  Dr. Jornigan’s report listed body condition scores for groups of animals and read, “While many of the animals are under-conditioned, it does appear that the owners are making efforts to maintain these animals.” 

  • “Jornigan also stated that in any pasture, there should be one horse for every two acres.”

—The report reads, “In my professional opinion, this pasture should house 1 horse per 2 acres, unless year round hay supplementation is possible.”  This is a recommendation for this pasture and these animals, not a rule for just any pasture.

NC Has First Reported Case of West Nile Virus

NC Has First Reported Case of West Nile Virus

A 7-year old American Saddlebred gelding in Wake County has been confirmed by IHC at Rollins Diagnostic Lab as the first West Nile Virus positive case for 2014. Onset of clinical signs was around 9/10/14 and the horse was euthanized on 9/11/14; there was no history of WNV vaccination (the horse was negative for rabies and EEE).

What is West Nile encephalitis?

West Nile encephalitis describes an inflammation of the central nervous system, which is caused by infection with West Nile Virus. Prior to 1999 West Nile Virus was found only in Africa, Eastern Europe, and West Asia. In August of 1999 it was identified in the United States.

How do people or animals become infected with West Nile Virus?

People and animals can become infected from the bite of certain kinds of mosquitoes that are infected with the virus. Mosquitoes may pick up the virus when they bite, or take a blood meal, from wild birds that are infected with West Nile Virus. Those mosquitoes may then transmit the virus to people and other animals when biting to take a blood meal. Infection occurs primarily in the late summer or early fall in the northeast and Mid Atlantic regions.

Does infection always lead to illness?

Infection with West Nile Virus does not always lead to signs of illness in people or animals. Horses appear to be a species that is susceptible to infection with the virus. In horses that do become clinically ill, the virus infects the central nervous system and may cause symptoms of encephalitis. Clinical signs of encephalitis in horses may include a general loss of appetite and depression, in addition to any combination of the following signs:

weakness of hind limbs
paralysis of hind limbs
impaired vision
ataxia (weakness)
head pressing
aimless wandering
convulsions (seizures)
inability to swallow
walking in circles

Vaccination of horses is not a guarantee of protection against infection, and does not offer any protection for other animals or people. The best method of prevention of infection with West Nile Virus for people and animals is to reduce the risk of exposure to the mosquitoes that may carry the virus. Reducing the risk involves eliminating mosquito breeding sites to reduce the number of hatching mosquitoes, and to reduce exposure to adult mosquitoes. Mosquitoes breed in stagnant water, so reduction of breeding sites involves eliminating stagnant water sources. To reduce the number of mosquito breeding sites:

Dispose of tin cans, plastic containers, buckets, ceramic pots or other unwanted water-holding containers on your property.
Pay special attention to discarded tires. Tires are important mosquito breeding sites.
Drill holes in the bottom of recycling containers left outdoors. Containers with drainage holes located only on the sides collect enough water to act as mosquito breeding sites.
Clean clogged roof gutters every year. Millions of mosquitoes can breed in roof gutters each season.
Turn over plastic wading pools when not in use.
Turn over wheelbarrows and don’t let water stagnate in birdbaths.
Empty and refill outdoor water troughs or buckets every few days.
Aerate ornamental pools or stock them with fish. Water gardens can become major mosquito producers if they are allowed to stagnate.
Clean and chlorinate swimming pools when not in use. Mosquitoes may even breed in the water that collects on pool covers.
Use landscaping to eliminate standing water that collects on your property, especially near manure storage areas. Mosquitoes may breed in any puddle that lasts for more than four days.
Additional steps can be taken to reduce the likelihood of exposure of horses to adult mosquitoes:

Reduce the number of birds in and around the stable area. Eliminate roosting areas in the rafters of the stable. Certain species of wild birds are thought to be the main reservoir for the virus. (Although pigeons have been shown to become infected with West Nile Virus, they do not appear to act as reservoirs and therefore don’t transmit the virus to mosquitoes).
Periodically look around the property for dead birds, such as crows. Dead birds may be reported to the DEP online at anytime of the year. However, suitable birds will only be picked up or tested for WNV between May 1 and September 30. Use gloves to handle dead birds and place the birds in plastic bags.
Topical preparations containing mosquito repellents are available for horses. Read the product label before using.
For help in assessing mosquito exposure risks on your property and for suggested control practices, please contact your county extension office, county Department of Environmental Protection, county Department of Health, or mosquito and pest control company.

Can a horse infected with West Nile Virus infect other horses?

There is no evidence that infected horses can transmit the virus to other animals, people, or mosquitoes. Only a wild bird-mosquito transmission cycle has been proven as a means of transmitting West Nile Virus.

From NC Veterinary Medical Association

Horse owners urged to vaccinate animals against mosquito-borne diseases

Horse owners urged to vaccinate animals against mosquito-borne diseases

CONTACT: Dr. Tom Ray, director
Veterinary Division Livestock Health Programs
Horse owners urged to vaccinate animals against mosquito-borne diseases

RALEIGH – It’s the beginning of mosquito season in North Carolina, which means it’s also time for equine owners to talk to their veterinarians about vaccinating animals against mosquito-borne diseases.

West Nile Virus and Eastern Equine Encephalomyelitis are endemic across North Carolina and can cause illness or death in equine, but can be prevented with a sequence of two vaccines. Last year, there were two reported cases of WNV and 13 cases of EEE, but veterinarians expect that the actual number is higher.

“Now is the time to vaccinate against West Nile Virus and EEE,” State Veterinarian David Marshall said. “Mosquito breeding peaks in August, so starting the vaccination protocol now gives it time to take effect.”

The EEE and WNV vaccinations initially require two shots, three to four weeks apart, for horses, mules and donkeys that have no prior vaccination history. Neither vaccination fully protects the animal until several weeks after the second shot, so it is best to vaccinate as early in the mosquito season as possible. Marshall encourages horse owners to talk to their veterinarians about maintaining the vaccination year-round in North Carolina, since the mosquito season is long.

“In addition to getting animals vaccinated, everyone needs to be extra vigilant now to reduce the breeding grounds for mosquitoes,” Marshall said. “Take the time now to rid your yard and pasture of any standing water to reduce the risk.”

Symptoms of EEE in equine include impaired vision, aimless wandering, head pressing, circling, inability to swallow, irregular staggering gait, paralysis, convulsions and death.

Symptoms of WNV in horses can include loss of appetite and depression, fever, weakness or paralysis of hind limbs, convulsions, impaired vision or hyperexcitability.

People, horses and birds can become infected from a mosquito carrying the diseases, but there is no evidence that horses can transmit the virus to other horses, birds or people through direct contact.

NC Cattlemen’s Association Annual Conference Feb 14-15, 2014 in Hickory, NC


The N. C. Cattlemen’s Association’s Annual Conference and the N. C. Dairymen’s Annual Conference will take place on February 13-15, 2014, at the Hickory Metro Center in Hickory, NC.

2014 WNC Grazing Clinics

2014 WNC Grazing Clinics

2014 Western North Carolina Grazing Clinics
Posted from: USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service

The North Carolina Grassland and Forage Council and the North Carolina Cattlemen’s Association will host 4-session grazing clinics in four locations in North Carolina.

Attend a 4-session clinic and receive:

-hands-on and personalized development of a comprehensive grazing plan for your operation
-techniques for sustainable pasture management
-how-to forage selection & management
-Pesticide Applicator CEUs
-Animal Waste Management System Operator CEUs
-full meals + refreshments
-grazing stick to take home to your farm

Clinics will be Held in Four Locations:

Alexander County NC Cooperative Extension Learning Center, 374 1st Ave SW, Taylorsville, NC
Tuesdays 2 pm-7 pm
Feb 25th, Mar 11th, Mar 25th, Apr 8th

NCDA&CS Upper Mountain Research Station 8004 NC 88, Laurel Springs, NC
Wednesdays 12 noon—5 pm
Feb 26th, Mar 12th, Mar 26th, Apr 9th

Western NC Regional Livestock Center 474 Stock Drive, Canton, NC
Thursdays 2 pm-7 pm
Feb 27th, Mar 13th, Mar 27th, Apr 10th

Rutherford County NC Cooperative Extension Center, 193 Calahan-Koon Road, Spindale, NC
Fridays 12 noon—5 pm
Feb 28th, Mar 14th, Mar 28th, Apr 11th

Registration is $50 (checks made to NCFGC).

Fill out a registration form and email to Amanda Schaller at amanda.schaller@nc.usda.gov by February 15th to register.

Space is limited! Registration is first-come-first-serve.

Questions? Call Amanda Schaller at 919-873-2132.

Breaking News: Horses Diagnosed with EHV-1 at Boarding Facility in Raleigh, NC



EHV-1 (Equine herpes virus type 1) has been diagnosed at a horse boarding facility in Raleigh, NC. The information we have is in a statement from the State Veterinarian’s office that was released this morning. If you have further questions regarding these cases please feel free to contact their office directly at 919-733-7601.

“Horses at a boarding facility in central North Carolina have been confirmed to have the neurologic form of EHV-1. This facility has had little movement of horses on or off the farm. Our veterinarians are working closely with the practicing veterinarian and the farm owner. The premises has been quarantined and strict biosecurity measures have been in place since Dec. 23. All animals are having temperatures monitored twice a day, and no horses have had fevers or other clinical signs since Friday, Dec. 27, 2013, the first day there were confirmed lab results from the National Veterinary Services Laboratory. The quarantine will be held for 28 days after the last fever is recorded.


Additional investigation found that five horses were moved from the stable in the last four weeks and have been tracked to four locations in North Carolina where their health status is being monitored. All known exposed horses have been accounted for, are not showing clinical signs and have not been moved. No additional horses have been moved from any of the known sites.


At this point, we believe this is an isolated incident with low-risk to other horses. However, we do encourage horse owners to practice good biosecurity measures as a precaution. EHV-1 is not a reportable disease to the Office of the State Veterinarian under state law, however the office appreciates being made aware of suspicious cases and will offer help in controlling the disease. The last known case in North Carolina was in January 2012.”

EHV-1 is a common Herpes virus of horses, most often showing up in a respiratory form and usually covered as part of routine vaccination protocols. The respiratory form is often compared to the “common cold” in humans (however, there is no transmission of this virus to humans or other animal [species]). On very rare occasions the virus will mutate into a neuropathogenic form which can result in fever, severe incoordination, and even death. The vaccination against the common respiratory form does not protect against the neurological form. There is no specific treatment or cure, but strict biosecurity measures are effective in preventing transmission to other horses until the virus runs its course. Biosecurity measures would include preventing direct contact between animals, no sharing of tack, food or water buckets, and daily monitoring of temperatures.

More information about this disease is available here.

Cattle Anaplasma Alert


ALERT: A cow in a Burke County herd has been diagnosed with Anaplasmosis. A total of 3 adult cattle in the herd have died suddenly over the past 3 weeks. Samples from only one animal were submitted to the NC Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory System in Raleigh, NC. Anaplasmosis is an infectious disease of cattle/bison, sheep, and goats spread by ticks, biting flies, and blood-contaminated equipment. This disease can cause significant economic losses in a herd. Anaplasmosis is not transmissible to humans.

Please read this fact sheet about the disease and contact us if you have any questions or concerns about your herd.

Anaplasmosis in NC


A follow-up message regarding Anaplasmosis in cattle. Between October 18 and October 24 the NC Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory has diagnosed Anaplasmosis in 2 herds and there is a presumed diagnosis in a 3rd herd. In 2 herds, multiple cattle have recently died. These herds are located in Granville, Duplin, and Person counties. Please view the link below for signs of the disease in cattle. Please let us know if you have questions or concerns about your herd.


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