Veresdale Equine Veterinary Services

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  • You guys are awesome, thank you so much for looking after Taruni. - Sue from Greenbank

  • Amazing staff & services!- Susan from Beaudesert

  • Thank you so much for coming out to stitch my poor horse up this morning! It is the second time that I have had to call and get someone out and the service has been wonderful...and my horse is looking and feeling a lot better. - Jennie from Cedar Grove

  • Dr David Barthomomuez is brilliant. Yes I am totally biased but it is based on my experience over the last 6 wks with my mare Rivver. Treatment is still on going and I get the pleasure of picking David's brain for lots of horsey info when he does his weekly visit! I am very impressed with the way David handles and treats my mare, he genuinely cares. The girls in the office have also been wonderful to deal with. Keep up the great work team Vevs! - Cindi from Tamborine Village

  • "Thank you for your after-care service, I am very very impressed to say the least. The phone call from you today following up on my horses progress has won my business."

    - Sue from Gardenvale Stud

  • "Thanks to Dr David for helping my old man feel better... I would recommend this veterinary clinic to anyone, and I wouldn't use any other vet."

    -Nelly from Munruben

  • "I cannot fault their willingness to assist you as soon as possible, their capacity to prioritise so the most urgent animals are attended to quickly, their gentle way with horses, their knowledge and their reasonable prices..." - Sharon from Cedar Grove

  • "Thanks so much to Dr Dave and the team for all your hard work with getting Karrie in foal!!! We are very grateful and couldn't have done it without you guys!" - Lynette from Logan Village
  • "Your patience and gentle nature were greatly appreciated by both of us. Thank you." - Karen from Jimboomba

  • "Our family would like to give a big thank you and hug to Dr David, Kelly & all the team at Veresdale Equine Veterinary Services for saving our dog sid from a brown snake bite. Without their caring services I dont think sid would of made it, thanks guys. " - Hurchalla Family

  • "David and his team treat their client’s animals as if they were their own and have helped me and my horses in some very stressful situations over the years, thankfully, always with a excellent outcome!" - Toni from Jimboomba
  • "Thank you so much for the extra good care you took of Lilly ... I’ve always been extremely happy with Dave as our vet, I think he truly does a wonderful job, and you can really see how much he cares.” - Tania Banek

  • "The fact that Dave has been my vet for many years speaks volumes.  Dave has a very nice manner and deals with the horses in a calm and kind way.  He always takes time to explain options and procedures and to advise on what he considers to be the best course of treatment." - Gillian Coote
  • "Although we may have moved, we would not consider using any other veterinarian other than David to care for our horses." – Brett and Danielle from Wonglepong

  • "David has been my vet now for several years. Over that time with the highs and lows of my veterinary needs, David has always been compassionate, caring and friendly." - Marnie Wilmott

  • "We really appreciate David's practical, no-nonsense approach to everything, his vast knowledge and his abilities."

    – Marty & Danielle at North Maclean

  • "We feel that the care David shows our horses is the same as if they were his own."

    Weownna Warmbloods

  • "We have been using Dr "Bart" since we bought our first two ponies for our girls 6 years ago. He has always given us great advice and service over the years." – B & G Russell

  • "At VEVS, I always get the right advice, which means I’ve always gotten the right result"

    – Peter @ Acton Classical Equitation

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Snake Bite

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Snake bite in horses is often fatal because more often than not they will get bitten on the face and because of this area's very high blood supply they tend to absorb a lot of poison and therefore tend to not to do very well.

Secondly, usually by the time people notice something's wrong the damage is already done. As a consequence quite a large number of snake bitten horses that I have seen have died. I think that it is related to how long it takes for the reaction to occur before you realize that the horse is sick.

The other problem is getting enough anti-venom of the correct type into them. There are several types of specific antivenoms (black snake, brown snake, tiger snake etc), and there is polyvalent antivenom which is to multiple species and correspondingly expensive.

Generally speaking with anti-venoms, the time to get them in is before the horse displays major clinical signs. Once you have got major clinical signs, the damage has already been done. Then the anti-venom can stop any more damage, but the damage that has already been done may not be reversible. That kind of damage takes time to sort itself out and the question is whether the damage is so severe that it will get beyond the ability for the body to repair, and whether the horse's system can be supported until the repair occurs.

The signs of snakebite are usually weakness and collapse. The weakness tends to be progressive. That is, it starts in the back and then works forward. It gradually gets worse. They then tend to spend more time lying down. It then progresses further to paralysis of the diaphragm and chest muscles and subsequently death.

Snakebite can cause extensive muscle damage which means you can get quite a lot of myoglobin (which is the red part of the muscle) which leaks out and gets into the bloodstream, runs around it and jams up all the kidneys. Once the kidneys are clogged up with myoglobin, there isn't any easy way to unclog them and the horse can therefore die of kidney failure. Sometimes you get them past the collapsed stage and they still die of kidney failure. 

You can also get damage to the various homeostatic systems of the body such as clotting mechanisms, so one symptom sometimes seen is bleeding, either from the nose or mouth, or into mucous membranes such as the gums.

The other thing that often happens – also in dogs particularly – is that they get a bad bite from a snake and collapse within ½ an hour but then they will get up again in a while and they wander around fine for a couple of hours and then they collapse again. It's the second-time-collapse that they tend to die in. We are not really sure what happens at times but, for example, I remember many, many years ago, getting called by a client who lived 5 minutes from the surgery and he said: "I have just seen my horse getting bitten by a big brown snake!" I jumped in the car and raced straight up there and literally it wouldn't have been more than 10 minutes before I got there and the horse was dead. It was bitten on the face. There was a big possibility that it was a King Brown snake, but that is an example of how fast it can happen.

Regardless of how big the horse is, it is a question of how much venom is injected. If you see your horse has been bitten by a snake, or suspect it has been bitten, you would do exactly as you would do for a human. Get your vet ASAP or sooner. The problem is 99.9% of the time you don't actually see it happen. 

What you often find is a horse that is looking weak or collapsed and you've got to deal with that. Could it be a snake bite? Could it have been kicked by another hose? Could it have an injury to its back? Is it a 'wobbler'? Has it got into some other form of poison? ( have you sprayed any poisons around?, have you been spraying insecticide?) There are so many things it could be. 

The most common snakebites are browns; you get an occasional tiger and occasional red-bellied blacks. Red-Bellied Black snakes don't usually cause death, but they can cause a lot of pain & muscle damage & some blood changes.

The snakes that definitely cause death are the various brown snakes, King Browns, Taipans and Death Adders: there are a few of these in some areas, and there are a few Tigers around the creeks. 

The take-home message is : IF YOU SEE YOUR HORSE GET BITTEN BY A SNAKE CALL THE VET NOW!

 

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