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Racing Vet Puts Heart and Soul into Caring for Horses

08 January 2016
Australian Veterinary Association

AUSTRALIA - Equine vets make essential contributions to the racing industry through the care and rehabilitation services they provide to Thoroughbred horses.

Equine Veterinarians Australia (EVA) member, Dr Rachel Salz, a senior associate veterinarian at Randwick Equine Centre, says equine vets are vital to the health and welfare of racehorses.

“Looking after performance horses is similar to looking after elite athletes.

“The priority is keeping these animals at absolute peak health and fitness, both physically and mentally. Horses are examined daily after gallop work for evidence of musculoskeletal pain or inflammation so that any injuries are detected early and are treated and rehabilitated appropriately before becoming a welfare or performance limiting issue,” she said.

“The equine industry has come a long way with technological advancements. We now have high quality, portable x-ray and ultrasound equipment, so that rapid and accurate diagnoses can be made at the stables.

“Exercising endoscopy has also become commonplace and has advanced our understanding and treatment of performance limiting upper airway conditions. This involves passing an endoscope up the horse’s nose to examine the upper airway while the horse gallops, so that conditions that occur during intense exercise can be identified.

“Treatment options available to horses aren’t far behind what’s available to humans. Regenerative therapies such as stem cells and platelet rich plasma are now used regularly for the treatment of tendon and ligament injuries with promising results.”

Dr Salz said she’s extremely passionate about what she does.

“I’m incredibly lucky to get up every day and work with such amazing animals and athletes. I work with great trainers and similarly minded people. The absolute priority is the health and wellbeing of the horses.”

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