Veresdale Equine Veterinary Services


  • 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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Ross River Virus in Horses with Dr Dave and Kelly



Question: What is the Ross River Virus?

Dr Dave: It’s a virus that’s carried by mosquitoes, of various species. It has to be transferred from mossie to horse, so it can’t go from horse to horse, horse to human etc. Therefore, if you have a horse in a herd that could be the only one who gets infected if it’s the only one to be bitten by the wrong mossie. Of course more than one horse or the whole herd could be infected if they’re all bitten.

Question: What are the symptoms?

Dr Dave: They can range from:

  • stiffness and soreness
  • sore joints with possible swelling
  • sore muscles with possible swelling
  • a cough
  • they could have just a temperature, and they usually have a temperature with Ross River Virus. They can get a high temperature that dramatically waxes and wanes for no particular reason. It could rise for an hour then go back to normal. It could then stay normal for half a day, then rise again and go back to normal after an hour (just as an example). During the episode of a high temperature the horse would be pretty unwell but when that episode was over the horse could appear completely normal. They could also display the normal signs associated with a high temperature, and a high temperature doesn't have to be that high, say in the high 39ºC to well up into the 40ºC range
  • respiratory signs
  • gut signs such as being off their feed, colicy, diarrhoea
  • lethargy
  • founder, or show signs of lameness (though this would be associated with the high temperature as it is a consequence and not a direct cause)
  • nervous signs, such as that the horse is so wobbly that it can’t take a step forwards, or alternatively takes a step forward but then takes 2 steps backwards, or staggers backwards and almost flips over then re-balances.

*Signs are really non-specific, they usually don’t specifically get pneumonia, a gut disease, or a liver problem for examples. But they can get any of the above, singly or in any combination.

Question: Because those signs are similar to Hendra, if we suspect Ross River should we also test a sample for Hendra?

Dr Dave: If the horse is not up to date with its Hendra virus vaccinations, yes we would test for Hendra virus.

Question: If someone suspects that their horse has Ross River what should they do?

Dr Dave: First of all, it probably needs to be checked by a vet to eliminate other ailments. Diagnosis requires a fairly close identification of the history, which is very important in making a diagnosis. It could be any number of diseases, viral or bacterial infections. For example, if the horse is showing respiratory signs, it could be Hendra, pneumonia, strangles, etc. You can’t just say, “Oh, it’s crook with these symptoms, it must have Ross River.” It’s one of the things on your list, but it wouldn’t be the first thing you’d go to unless the history and clinical exam suggested it likely.

Question: When you get a vet out, and if the horse is vaccinated for Hendra virus, will they treat the horse symptomatically?

Dr Dave: Yes, treatment is basically symptom-support. A vet would probably administer an antibiotic, particularly if there’s respiratory signs present. In actuality, being a virus, there’s no specific drug that will help. Clinically speaking, colloidal silver has been reported to help in some cases, though there have been no clinical trials to prove its effectiveness in this regard. But it’s something that may help with the symptoms.

Question: What are the possible long-term effects?

Dr Dave: The first one is that it may reoccur with stress. Assuming that the horse makes a complete recovery from the virus, and there wasn't any ancillary diseases (pneumonia, brain or spinal lesions, etc) the recovery is usually uneventful. Racehorses I've seen whilst practicing in Victoria who had Ross River sometimes took up to 15 to 18 months to get back to normal.

Question: Is it one of those ailments where they have as many days off as they are sick?

Dr Dave: No, it's a long recovery. It has been recommended that they go for blood tests periodically, and when the blood dilution level drops low, say around 128, they could possibly start working again. The IgG (immunity level) also needs to be low.

Question: Are there any preventative measures we can take?

Dr Dave: Move away from the coast and live in Toowoomba? That was a joke, but the idea is to reduce your horses' mosquito contact.

Question: If you treat it a bit like repelling midges for Qld itch (through spraying), will that help?

Dr Dave: Yes, that would help in keeping mossies away from the horse, by spraying them with FlyAway or an equivalent. But there's no simple fool-proof method of prevention, other than keeping your horse in a mossie-proof enclosure, though this could be difficult. So, if you can prevent your horse from contact with mossies, it won't get Ross River, I guarantee it! And the same works for people of course.

Question: Is the strain that affects equines similar to the one that affects humans?

Dr Dave: It's the same strain. Once again, humans can't catch it from horses or other humans, and horses can't catch it from other horses. In humans there's similar symptoms, all areas of the body can be affected.

Question: What about testing, anything we should know?

Dr Dave: The tests can determine if it's a recent infection the horse is recovering from or if they were exposed to it a while ago.

Question: If someone's horse had a virus that they weren't fully recovering from, should they consider getting it tested for Ross River?

Dr Dave: Yes, but the problem is that you can't guarantee that the reason the horse is unwell is due to the Ross River. You can say that it has been previously exposed, but you can't say it was that exposure which is making the horse sick now.

If you suspect your horse has Ross River please phone VEVS on (07)5543 1213.

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Saturday, 24 February 2018