Blood work and your pet

Understanding Your Pet’s Diagnostic Testing

Understanding your pet’s test results Blood testing can frequently detect illness in your pet before we see any outward signs of disease. Testing gives us immediate insights that we might not otherwise discover. And, treating your pet early can lead to a better outcome and possibly lower treatment costs.

Pets can’t say how they’re feeling—it’s usually how they look or act that tells you something is wrong. You play a key role in helping your pet combat illness and stay as healthy as possible. Awareness of the warning signs and regular preventive health screens, including a physical exam and blood work, are the best ways to ensure that your pet lives a long, healthy and happy life.

When is blood work necessary?
Sick and emergency situations- Blood work provides you with a valuable picture of your pet’s health and is often the first step
when pets are brought in to a clinic because they are sick or in an emergency situation. It helps the veterinary staff make immediate
decisions, so they can quickly help your pet.
Preanesthetic testing- Blood work is routinely done prior to your pet’s surgery, dentistry or other procedures that require anesthesia.
It lets the veterinary staff know if anesthesia is safe for your pet and allows them to make adjustments if they see anything abnormal.
This blood work is often performed the same day as anesthesia is scheduled, making it easy for you and your pet because it eliminates
the need to have your pet fast more than once and reduces the number of trips you need to make to the hospital.
Preventive care screening- Because the signs that your pet is sick are not always obvious, preventive care testing is often recommended
as part of your pet’s annual exam. Preventive care screening not only uncovers disease before it’s too late, but can also help you avoid
significant medical expenses and risks to your pet’s health.
Medication monitoring- Some medications have side effects.
Periodic blood work while your pet is being treated can find these
problems early and allow your veterinarian to make necessary
changes. With other medications, blood tests are needed to ensure
that the dosage is appropriate.

What tests might my veterinarian run?
There are tests that are routinely performed when blood work is recommended.
They include:
A complete blood count (CBC) tells you if your pet has an infection,
if inflammation is present or if your pet is anemic.
A complete blood chemistry panel including electrolytes provides
information about your pet’s liver, kidneys and pancreas; as well as
other functions of the body, such as blood sugar and hydration.
A urinalysis identifies an infection or inflammation in the urinary tract.
A thyroid function test detects whether or not your pet’s thyroid
gland is functioning properly. Thyroid disease is very common in
older cats and dogs.

When can I expect results?
Many of the tests routinely recommended can be performed in-clinic, providing results quickly and allowing for immediate treatment of your pet. In-clinic blood testing also lets you be more involved in your pet’s care, since you can discuss test results with your veterinarian while you’re still at the clinic. Normal results can rule out certain diseases immediately, so you can worry less. If results are abnormal, your veterinarian can make fast decisions about next steps, including treatment and additional tests. This saves you time as well as trips back and forth to your veterinarian, and gives you answers that will help your pet right away.

Understanding your pet’s test results
Blood testing can frequently detect illness in your pet before we see any outward signs of disease. Testing gives us immediate insights that
we might not otherwise discover. And, treating your pet early can lead to a better outcome and possibly lower treatment costs.

Complete Blood Count (CBC)
Red blood cells (RBCs) are the most numerous and longest-living of the different types of blood cells; they typically make
up almost half of the blood’s volume. RBCs contain a special protein called hemoglobin (HGB) that binds to the oxygen in the lungs and
enables the RBCs to transport oxygen as it travels through the rest of the body.
CBC is used to screen for:
• Anemia (low red blood cell count)
• Inflammation
• Infection
• Stress
• Leukemia
• Bleeding problem
• Inability to fight infection
• Hydration status

Reticulocytes: These are immature RBCs increased during times of increased red cell production, such as blood loss or immune-mediated
anemia.
White blood cells: White blood cells are primarily responsible for fighting infections. There are five different types of white blood
cells and each one performs specific functions to keep the body healthy.
Platelets: Platelets play a critical role in preventing bleeding.

Chemistry
Kidneys: Kidneys are responsible for filtering metabolic waste products, excess sodium and water from the blood stream, which are
then transferred to the bladder for excretion.
Blood and urine tests can indicate:
• Early renal disease
• Renal failure
• Infection
• Stones
• Cancer
• Abnormalities resulting from longterm medications

Liver: The liver is a large organ with many different functions.
It processes the blood by removing both bacteria and toxins as well
as further breaking down many of the complex nutrients absorbed
during the digestion of food into much smaller components for use
by the rest of the body.
Biochemistry tests can indicate:
• Liver disease
• Cushing’s syndrome
• Certain cancers
• Dehydration
• Obstruction of the bile ducts
• Abnormalities resulting from long-term medications

Pancreas: The pancreas is a small organ located near the small intestines and is responsible for producing several digestive enzymes
and hormones that help regulate metabolism.
Biochemistry tests can indicate:
• Pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas)
• Diabetes mellitus
• Abnormalities resulting from long-term medications
• Cancer

Glucose: Glucose is the basic nutrient for the body. It is highly regulated in the bloodstream, but does fluctuate for a few hours after
eating. Glucose changes may be seen with a variety of metabolic diseases, such as diabetes, and various organ system abnormalities.
Electrolytes: Electrolytes (Na, K, Cl, tCO2, Anion Gap) are critical to body  function and must be maintained in very narrow limits.
Dehydration is a common cause of electrolyte imbalance, despite how effective the body is at regulating the concentration levels.

Urine
Urinalysis: Although not a blood test, a urinalysis is essential for a
comprehensive evaluation of kidney function. A urinalysis includes
physical, chemical and microscopic evaluation of urine. This evaluation
provides additional information about the kidney and liver, as well as
the general well-being of your pet.

Thyroid
Thyroid: Thyroxine (T4), a hormone produced by the thyroid gland,
is essential for growth and metabolism. As your pet ages, thyroid
function can become abnormal and cause signs of illness.
Endocrine tests can indicate:
• Hypothyroidism
• Hyperthyroidism


Understanding Your Pet’s Diagnostic Testing

Blood Chemistries
These common blood tests allow veterinarians to assess your pet’s overall health. Blood tests are often recommended in healthy pets, in pets about to undergo anesthesia and in sick pets. Interpretation of multiple tests in conjunction with one another (profiling) allows quick and noninvasive assessment of the major organ systems of the body.

Understanding your pet’s test results Blood testing can frequently detect illness in your pet before we see any outward signs of disease. Testing gives us immediate insights that we might not otherwise discover. And, treating your pet early can lead to a better outcome and possibly lower treatment costs.

Kidney

  • BUN (blood urea nitrogen)— increases may be seen with decreased kidney function,
    dehydration, heart disease, shock or urinary obstruction as well as following a high protein diet;
    decreases may be seen with overhydration
  • CREA (creatinine)—increases may be seen with decreased kidney function and other conditions
    as noted with BUN, but is not affected by a recent high protein diet; decreases may be seen with
    overhydration
  • PHOS (phosphorus)—elevations are seen with decreased kidney loss through conditions like
    kidney disease, increased intake through the gastrointestinal tract and increased release from
    injured tissues; increases in growing puppies and kittens can be normal; decreases may be seen
    with increased loss or decreased intake
  • Ca+ (calcium)—increases may be seen as a result of a variety of diseases including kidney
    disease, certain cancer types, certain toxicities and parathyroid disease; decreases may be seen with certain parathyroid diseases and with low albumin

Liver

  • ALT (alanine aminotransferase)—increases are a sensitive indicator of liver cell damage
  • ALKP (alkaline phosphatase)—increases may indicate a liver abnormality (cholestasis),
    Cushing’s disease, active bone growth in young pets, active bone remodeling after bone injury;
    may be induced by multiple drugs and nonspecific conditions
  • GGT (gamma glutamyl transferase)—increases may indicate a certain type of liver abnormality
    (cholestasis)
  • ALB (albumin)—increases may indicate dehydration; decreases may be seen with decreased
    liver function, blood loss, gastrointestinal disease or kidney disease
  • TBIL (total bilirubin)— increases may be seen with liver disease (cholestasis and insufficiency)
    and certain types of anemia
  • Bile acids—increases in this blood component may be an indication of decreased liver function,
    abnormalities in blood flow to the liver or possible bile duct obstruction

Pancreas

  • AMYL (amylase)—increases may be seen with pancreatitis, kidney disease, gastrointestinal
    disease or certain drug treatments; degree of change and other laboratory data may help identify
    pancreatitis specifically
  • LIPA (lipase)—increases may be seen with pancreatitis, kidney disease, gastrointestinal disease
    and certain drug treatments; degree of change and other laboratory data may help identify pancreatitis specifically

Protein Profile

  • TP (total protein)— increases may indicate dehydration or an inflammatory condition; decreases
    may be seen in decreased liver function, blood loss, gastrointestinal loss and kidney loss
  • ALB (albumin)— increases may indicate dehydration; decreases may be seen with decreased
    liver function, blood loss, gastrointestinal disease and kidney disease
  • GLOB(globulin)—increases may be seen with inflammation and potential chronic infection;
    decreases may be seen with blood loss, gastrointestinal loss and immune deficiencies

Electrolytes

  • Na+ (sodium)—increases may indicate dehydration; decreases may be seen with loss during
    diarrhea and vomiting or with Addison’s and kidney disease
  • K+ (potassium)—increases may indicate kidney disease due to decreased excretion, with
    Addison’s disease, dehydration and kidney obstruction; decreases may be seen with loss during diarrhea or vomiting
  • Cl(chloride)—increases may indicate dehydration; decreases may be seen with loss during
    diarrhea or vomiting

Miscellaneous Chemistries

  • GLU (glucose)—increases may indicate diabetes mellitus; decreases may be due to liver
    disease, pancreatic disease and other conditions and could lead to collapse, seizure or coma
  • AST (aspartate aminotransferase)— increases are associated with liver or muscle damage
  • CK (creatine kinase)—increases are associated with muscle damage
  • CHOL (cholesterol)— increases may be seen with a variety of metabolic disturbances including
    diabetes mellitus, hypothyroidism, Cushing’s disease, pancreatitis and some types of kidney
    disease; decreases may be seen with liver insufficiency and intestinal disease
  • TRIG (triglycerides)— increases may be seen in a variety of conditions including non-fasted
    samples, in miniature schnauzers, and in patient’s with pancreatitis, diabetes, Cushing’s disease
    or hypothyroidism
  • Cortisol—increases may be seen with Cushing’s disease (measured in different protocols
    including ACTH stimulation and Dexamethasone suppression tests); decreases may be seen with Addison’s disease
  • T4 (thyroxine)—increases may indicate hyperthyroidism (primarily cats); decreases may indicate hypothyroidism (primarily dogs)
  • LACTATE—increases indicate either local or general decreased blood perfusion and can
    potentially serve as a prognostic indicator for the critical patient

Complete Blood Count (CBC)This is a common test performed on pets to provide objective information about the general health
status of an animal. The objective data obtained from a CBC can be helpful in monitoring ill patients
undergoing therapy; therefore, serial CBC requests are common.

Red Blood Cell (RBC) Parameters

  • RBC (red blood cell count), HCT (hematocrit) and HGB (hemoglobin)—increases in these
    parameters may support dehydration or a disease of increased production of RBCs; decreases
    indicate anemia and decreased oxygen-carrying capability of the blood
  • MCV (mean cell volume)—increases indicate the presence of larger than normal cells, which
    may be related to young cells during response to an anemia; decreases indicate the presence of
    smaller than normal cells, which may be associated with chronic blood loss/iron deficiency
  • MCH (mean cell hemoglobin) and MCHC (mean cell hemoglobin concentration)—increases
    suggest the presence of hemolysis or an interference in hemoglobin measurement; decreases
    suggest decreased hemoglobin concentration, which can be seen during response to anemia
    and chronic blood loss/iron deficiency
  • RDW (red cell distribution width)—increases in this objective measure of variability of RBC size
    indicates increased variability in size that can aid the veterinarian in identifying the cause of an RBC problem
  • RETIC (reticulocytes)—increases indicate growing numbers of immature RBCs, indicating a
    response to a peripheral demand for RBCs; decreases indicate few or no immature RBCs,
    indicating the body is unable to respond to a demand for RBCs (nonregenerative anemia)

White Blood Cell (WBC) Parameters

  • WBC (white blood cells)—increases may be due to inflammation, stress, excitement and
    leukemia; decreases may be due to overwhelming inflammation and bone marrow failure
  • Leukocyte Differential—Various patterns of change in numbers of NEU (neutrophils), LYM
    (lymphocytes), MONO (monocytes), EOS (eosinophils), and BASO (basophils) may be seen with
    different types of inflammation, stress, excitement and leukemia
  • NEU—inflammatory cell associated with infectious and noninfectious disease processes
  • LYM—immune cell highly responsive to “stress” and potentially increased during chronic
    infection
  • MONO—inflammatory cell associated with repair of tissue injury
  • EOS—inflammatory cell associated with parasitic disease, hypersensitivity and allergy
  • BASO—inflammatory cell associated with parasitic disease, hypersensitivity and allergy

Platelet (PLT) Parameters

  • PLT (platelet) and PCT (platelet crit)—increases in these parameters of overall platelet mass
    are potentially associated with hypercoagulable state; decreases may be seen with decreased
    production (bone marrow failure), increased consumption (coagulation, inflammation, etc.) and
    destruction in the blood (infectious, immune-mediated, etc.)
  • MPV (mean platelet volume)—increases indicate presence of larger than normal platelets
    commonly associated with response to need for platelets (not significant in the cat)
  • PDW (platelet distribution width)—increases in this objective measure of variability of platelet
    size indicates increased variability in size which may be an indicator of response to a need
    for platelets (not significant in the cat); decreases may be seen with immune-mediated thrombocytopenia

Urinalysis 

A urinalysis is performed on a urine sample and provides insight into kidney functions as well as the hydration status of the animal. This valuable test may also be helpful in diagnosing and monitoring various diseases and metabolic disturbances throughout the body.

  • Specific Gravity—determined by the kidney’s ability to concentrate urine in response to the hydration status
    pH—reflect the acid-base status if the animal is well-hydrated
  • PRO (protein)—small amounts of protein may be normally found in urine, but larger amounts
    may indicate kidney disease
  • GLU (glucose)—high levels are usually associated with an elevated blood glucose concentration
  • KET (ketones)—elevated levels may indicate an increase in breakdown of lipids within the body
  • UBG (urobilinogen)—abnormally high levels may indicate liver or hemolytic disease
  • BIL (bilirubin)—abnormally high levels may indicate liver or hemolytic disease; in dogs (especially
    male dogs) bilirubinuria is common even under normal conditions; bilirubinuria in cats is significant
  • RBCs and Hemoglobin—the test may be positive due to hematuria, hemoglobinuria or
    myoglobinuria; blood in the urine is often a sign of inflammation, infection and/or trauma
  • WBCs—excessive numbers of WBC indicate inflammation somewhere in the urinary tract
  • UPC—(urine protein:creatinine ratio)—an important screening test for early kidney disease and
    to help monitor treatment of renal disease; increases may indicate significant protein loss through the kidney

Other Possible Tests

  • Canine/Feline Giardia—test for a protozoan parasite that may inhabit the small intestine of
    dogs, cats, humans and most domesticated animals often causing diarrhea
    Canine/Feline Heartworm—test for deadly parasites that can live in the heart, major blood
    vessels and the lungs
  • Canine Tick-Borne Diseases—tests for commonly seen and serious diseases transmitted by
    ticks including Lyme disease, ehrlichiosis and anaplasmosis
  • Canine Parvovirus—test for one of the most common and severe gastrointestinal diseases in
    young dogs
  • Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) and Feline Leukemia Viruses (FeLV)— tests for two of
    the major causes of illness and death in cats
    One IDEXX Drive, Westbrook, Maine 04092 USA • idexx.com
    © 2007 IDEXX Laboratories, Inc. All rights reserved. • 09-64954-01 (3)

Ward Animal Hospital’s position on online pharmacies

Because of the advertisements for mail order medication pharmacies such as PetMeds. We want to clarify our position on these products.
We have an online pharmacy that has competitive pricing with other online pharmacies.
A very important concern is the quality of the product.
All of our products are shipped directly from the manufacturer and stored appropriately.

The manufacturers do not sell products directly to online pharmacies like PetMeds. Because of this, the products are obtained through unregulated means. Some illegal foreign versions have turned up in the United States. Counterfeit and expired products are being repackaged and sold with fake lot numbers.

Most importantly, the manufacturers guarantee their products only if purchased from a licensed Veterinarian. Since no prevention provides 100% protection, this is very important. The manufacturer will pay for heartworm treatment if the pet has ben getting prevention at the recommended intervals. They will not pay for treatment of the product is not purchased from a  licensed Veterinarian.

 

A breakdown of the benefits of ordering with an online pharmacy associated with a veterinarian.

  • Products are sent directly from the manufacturer, no 3rd party involvement
  • Unlike with other online pharmacies, product lot numbers are tracked automatically and quality is guaranteed by the manufacturer
  • Purchases are linked to your pets record in our office
  • Manufacturer rebates are applied automatically and deducted from the price
  • Additional discounts (coupons) will be available through the clinic and promotional e-mails
  • Free shipping (3-5 business days) is applied on all products without minimum purchase, flat rate second and next day shipping is available
  • Additional discounts are applied for autoship setup (customizable free delivery schedule)
  • Veterinary recommendations can be emailed to you for easy ordering and re-ordering
  • A wide variety of preventative, therapeutic products and food are available for cats, dogs and horses

 

Our office will be happy to assist with ordering, or any questions or concerns you might have.

 

 


Equine Infectious Anemia

By Tim Cordes, DVM and Charles Issel, DVM, PhD

Equine infectious anemia (EIA) is a potentially fatal blood-borne infectious viral disease that produces a persistent infection among equids nearly worldwide. Although the disease has been recognized for centuries, its prevalence began to rise in the 1930s and reached its destructive peak in the United States between the ’60s and ’70s. In 1975, 10,371 cases of EIA infection were detected in the United States; many of these cases exhibited severe clinical signs, and some resulted in death.

The most common vectors for spreading EIA are biting flies, or tabanids, particularly horseflies. These large blood feeders can carry virus-bearing blood on their mouth-parts from an infected horse to others.

If a horse becomes infected, the clinical signs of disease can vary dramatically, from an acute infection with slight to high fever for a few days and perhaps small hemorrhages, to progressive weakness, weight loss, depression, and disorientation. Some cases are characterized by rapid death, but EIA fatalities are not commonly encountered in the U.S. horse population today. There is no vaccine or treatment for the disease, and it is often difficult to differentiate EIA from other fever-producing diseases, including anthrax, influenza, and equine encephalitis.

The most commonly diagnosed form of the disease is the chronic form, in which the individual has repeated fever episodes and develops other clinical signs including edema (swelling), weight loss, and severe anemia. EIA also has an inapparent form; affected horses might only show a slight fever for a day.

In horses with the chronic form of the disease, the virus takes up permanent residence in a horse’s tissues, and he is always infectious to others, although the virus concentration in blood is much higher in horses with clinical disease.

EIA was difficult to diagnose and identify until 1970, when the agar-gel immunodiffusion test, commonly known as the “Coggins test,” was developed. More recently, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA tests) reduced the time for a lab result from at least 24 hours to less than one hour. Accurate tests allow us to identify and remove positive reactors from herds and effectively block the spread of EIA among tested populations. Categories of horses that require testing include:

  • Equids being entered into exhibitions or competitive events;
  • Equids being moved interstate;
  • Equids entering the United States;
  • Equids changing ownership; and
  • Equids entering horse auctions or sales.

Today the wide availability of the EIA tests, laws, and regulations that control movement of equids, and universal precautions taken to avoid spreading contaminated blood to other horses have reduced EIA disease incidence to a manageable level. Horse population losses in the United States dropped from thousands a year in 1975 to negligible losses in 2010.

EIA, though, is still a threat. The virus is categorized as a retrovirus: It contains RNA genetic material, which is used to produce DNA. This DNA is then incorporated into the genetic makeup of infected cells. A dangerous characteristic of the EIA virus is mutation: The virus genome mutates relatively rapidly, allowing the virus to escape immune surveillance because of its new antigen identity.

This identity change makes EIA virus particularly difficult to control, both in individual equids and in populations, for two reasons. First, an effective vaccine would require a relatively stable antigen pattern to confer immunity. Second, a virus mutation inside an individual equid could cause an inapparent disease carrier to quickly become very ill and significantly more infectious. In addition, the virus appears to become more virulent as it is passed from horse to the next.

Furthermore, not all equid populations are tested regularly. This increases the chances that the virus could be lurking in reservoirs in an unknown number of inapparent carriers that have not yet been identified through testing.

Finding these “hidden cases” and separating them by 200 yards from other animals at least allows us to make headway against the spread of the EIA virus. Also, it can reduce costs for dedicated owners who have tested their horses on a regular basis.

Courtesy of The Horse magazine April 2011.


Equine Infectious Anemia (EIA) or Coggins

Equine infectious anemia is a viral disease that affects the horses’ immune system.

It is transmitted via blood-sucking insects; flys and mosquitos.

The virus actually reproduces bad blood cells and circulates them throughout the body.  The horse’s immune system attacks the blood cells and destroys them, causing anemia.  This can cause inflammation and damage to vital organs.  With the immune system in a weakened state, the threat of secondary infections occurring is another great concern.

There is no known cure for EIA, so it is crucial that you test your horse for this viral disease.

You should have your horse tested every year for Coggins.

We offer Coggins testing ranging from $44.00 – $112.00 (subject to change).

Texas was the number one state reporting EIA in 1993.


Heartworm Guidelines

The Companion Animal Parasite Council (CAPC) has altered guidelines after evidence of preventive-resistant Diofilaria immitis strains was presented at the American Association of Veterinary Parasitologists Conference at the end of July in Chicago.

Researchers have now identified heartworm isolates from the Mississippi Delta region that develop in adult dogs receiving routine monthly heartworm preventives.

  1. This means treatment of heartworm positive dogs should be immediate and aggressive, as noted in the newly revised CAPC guidelines (for details, see capcvet.org).
  2. The “slow kill” therapy sometimes prescribed by veterinarians is no longer appropriate, as researchers have demonstrated that using this modality –repeated macrocyclic lactone administration over a period of time — increases the proportion of circulating microfilariae that possess resistance markers.
  3. Dogs should be tested for heartworms once a year. Existing infections should be aggressively treated with an approved adulticide and microfilariae should be eliminated.
  4. CAPC recommendations for year-round prevention with a broad-spectrum parasiticide should be followed.
  5. Pet owners should be encouraged to reduce exposure to mosquitoes as much as possible.

Specialists emphasize that evidence of resistance does not mean abandoning current protocols but that they be followed even more rigorously. The new evidence confirming heartworm resistance underscores the importance of protecting pets year-round without gaps in prevention.

Preventions are still the best protection we have and consistently administering them is key to maintaining pet health.


Fecals on Horses

We do intestinal parasite screens (fecal) here at the clinic.

We do parasite and sand test to see if the horse needs to be dewormed.

The sand test is to see how much sand has been consumed by the horse and if there is an overwhelming amount it would need to be treated with . If he has too much sand it can cause your horse to colic, because it cannot pass through their system. So, we give them a psyllium product that helps remove it through their feces.

The parasite test is to check to see if your horse has worms. This will reflect that the wormer being used works for your horse. If you use only one kind of wormer for several dewormings in a row then it can cause some parasite resistance in your horse. So, we recommend to do a fecal on your horse regularly to see if it needs to be dewormed.

They are classified as high, medium and low shedders.
High shedders have 15+ eggs per slide
Medium shedders have 4-15 eggs per slide
Low shedders have less than 3 eggs per slide.

If you deworm with Moxidectin we recommend doing a fecal about 16-18 weeks after deworming him.

Ivermectin about 12 weeks after deworming
Fenbendazole or Pyrantel we do about 9 weeks after deworming.
We carry some wormers here at the clinic such as:

  • Eqvalan(ivermectin)
  • Quest Pluss(moxidectin/praziquantel)
  • Panacur(fenbendazole)

 


Equine Nutritional Consultation

Monday afternoons from 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Jim Ward, D.V.M. will be available at Ward Animal Hospital for equine nutritional consultations.
Come by and talk to him, give him a call or schedule an appointment to bring your horse in for him to examine.

Jim Ward, D.V.M. is a 1965 graduate of Texas A & M University School of Veterinary Medicine. He practiced equine veterinary medicine for forty years, emphasizing equine reproduction. He has been extensively involved in the equine industry, owning and managing several breeding farms. He is a Life Member, former board member and a past president the Texas Thoroughbred Association. He was also a board member of the Breeders Cup Ltd and Texas Racing Agri-Industry Council. Jim is currently the Equine Management Consultant for Cargill, Inc., a position he has held since 2000. He is a member of the Cargill Production Development Team and the Cargill Equine Enterprise Team. His passion has been to develop feeds that would provide solutions for veterinarians and horse owners for diseases such as Colic, Laminitis, Tying-up, Developmental Orthopedic Disease, Cushing’s Disease and Equine Metabolic Syndrome. In 2004 he received the Cargill Innovation award for his role in the development of the feed, SafeChoice. He received the Trailblazer award from Cargill in 2015.

Ward is the owner/ manager of the Center Veterinary & Reproductive Services and serves in a consultative role at Center Ranch and Ward Animal Hospital. He does nutrition consulting at major ranches including 6666 Ranch, EE Ranches, Time McQuay Stables and Hartman Equine Reproduction Center. Ward does nutrition consultative work with equine veterinary practices including Texas A & M University Large Animal Hospital, Lone Star Park Equine Hospital, Brazos Valley Equine Hospital, Elgin Veterinary Hospital, Premier Equine Veterinary Services, Hill Country Veterinary Hospital and Retama Equine Hospital.

He serves on the Texas A & M University College of Veterinary Medicine Development Council. He is an Adjunct Professor at the College of Veterinary Medicine where he presents lectures on equine nutrition to veterinarians, veterinary students and equine industry members. He received the Distinguished Alumnus award from Texas A & M University College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. Ward has recently developed a series of online learning lessons on Equine Nutrition that have been approved by the Texas Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners for C.E. credit. He is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association, American Association of Equine Practitioners, Texas Veterinary Medical Association, and the Texas Equine Veterinary Association.


Internal Equine Parasites

Internal parasites, or worms, may cause extensive damage to the gastrointestinal tract of your horse.  Effects of parasites may appear externally as; dull hair coat, depression, loss of body condition, diarrhea, swollen abdomen (typically in younger horses). Parasites can compromise the horse’s immune system and may even cause colic. In rare cases, death.

To find out your horse’s situation involving parasites, bring in samples for routine fecals. We recommend worming on an “as needed” basis and rotating your wormer brands. Remember not all horses need to be wormed all the time. Unnecessary worming leads to the parasite resistance problem.

Did you know there are over 150 internal parasites that can affect horses?