Due to slow internet connections, the team is having trouble attaching photographs to e-mails. Instead, photos from their work is being posted to Facebook:

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August 21, 2012

We were prepared to see many horses at this location today, and the town of Mollepata did not disappoint. An almost steady flow of horses throughout the day brought us to a total of about 120 horses. Like days prior, many owners came with 10 horses and only a few halters or ropes.

Another problem we noticed with high numbers of horses per owner is that it is often hard to recommend that one of the horses travels to the dentistry or farrier station while the owner continues to hold the rest of the horses for physical exams. Most participants felt that today our triage station was better systematized, with one or two veterinarians always present to examine the teeth while others took health history, vaccinated,

and dewormed – one horse at a time. It was also helpful to have a representative from YANAPANA available to check-in horses, take payments, and keep track of the order of arrivals.

At this location we have historically capped the maximum number of horses at 10 per owner (and of course more if there are time afterwards), and each owner is asked to pay 3 soles , calculated as 1/3 the daily wage of the lowest-paid worker in the economy. The reason for this nominal charge is to counter the development of “learned dependency” and give the owner a more dignified role in the transaction, to underline that the animals have value, and to set the precedent for local vets eventually to earn a living providing services. The money is used to subsidize the participation of Peruvian veterinary students.

Many vampire bat wounds were observed today, and we recommended they be cleaned and that eucalyptus oil be applied to repel the bats. When asked about specific health concerns of the horses they had brought, an overwhelming number of owners requested vitamins to be administered. An appropriate response given by Carlos and other vets was that the vitamins are found in pasture and the other things the horse eats, not one-time injections. We did notice, however, that many owners requested dewormer and vaccines, due likely in part to well-versed explanations and teachable moments on past trips here.

Additionally, three cases of strangles were carefully treated. The first presented with nasal discharge and evident labored breathing, and even began open-mouth breathing when it became stressed. The animal had a very low heart rate and temperature; pleuropneumonia was suspected. It was emphasized that the caretaker of the horse watch while we administered anti-inflammatory meds and antibiotics so that the owner can continue to treat the horse, although we asked the horse to return tomorrow so that we can treat again before leaving Mollepata. The other cases were less sick but still dehydrated. Antibiotics and anti-inflammatory meds were given and a salt mash was recommended to encourage drinking.

Multiple sarcoid cases were observed and treated. One especially severe case was multiple sarcoids of 2 and 3 inches in diameter in the flank area, a 1 inch diameter on the prepuce and 20 more small sarcoids surrounding the thighs, abdomen, and penis. It was decided that removal of these sarcoids, as well as some around the eyes, would cause more damage to the animal and healing was not probable. We saw a large variety of body condition scores today, ranging from 2 to 5 – including a showy Arabian stallion and some curly-haired mules and horses, supposedly with Persian? heritage. However, several cases of saddle sores warranted a careful explanation of how to properly pad under a saddle and how to cut away parts of the pad to allow room for high withers. Of course, we also recommended to the majority of these owners that their horses need to gain weight in order to absolve this problem. Thankfully, Maria Teresa and Dave both

agree that the number of saddle sore incidences is down about 80% from four years ago, when this annual trip began.

It was also evident that the horses were more well socialized and calm this year than in years past, although it is still frustrating to see that many owners make their horses more agitated than they need to be. We discussed the need to emphasize proper “breaking” or gentling techniques. A somewhat humorous “old wives´ tale” that was brought up was when one owner presented his horse with severely deformed feet with serious flares to one side. He insisted that we not trim his horse´s hooves because the horse lives on a hillside and needs his hooves to be shaped this way.

After school let out in town, kids crowded around the castration and farrier stations. Jennie and Angie put them to work reading and coloring in their coloring books, and the kids really seemed to remember the reasons for castration, proper nutrition, trimming hooves, etc. when asked about it at each station.

At six o’clock Dave Turoff led a “charla” (informal talk) at the municipality about the basics of equine dentistry. The half dozen attendants seemed to appreciate the talk but had questions about some other health aspects, especially concerns about strangles (“gurma”). There was an outbreak of strangles recently and owners are very concerned about how to control this disease, and so had questions about treatment (penicillin was recommended). Owners also had questions about pasture and vampire bat bites.


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