March 2020 Equine Newsletter

Equine Newsletter

Bear Paw Veterinary Service

March, 2022



  • Dental Balancing & Maintenance
  • Coggins Test
  • Parasitic fecal evaluation
  • Vaccinations for infectious disease
    • Flu/Rhino vaccine
    • Strangles vaccine





Is your horse throwing his head? Tipping barrels by anticipating bit pressure?  Sorting and wasting her feed?  Is his manure becoming more coarse or soft?  What do studies show for longevity and dental care?  The result of dental care in horses is impressive.  Horse’s teeth grow continuously and require periodic care to remain in proper occlusion.  The value in dental balancing to horses is from; improved feed utilization (20% less waste of feeds), improved performance (bit comfort) and increased longevity (they last 5 years longer in production).

God didn’t create geldings, we did.  This means that periodically the sheath (prepuce) of a gelding benefits from cleaning the smegma from the prepuce and distal penis (beans).  To properly and comfortably accomplish this, a sedative/tranquilizer is needed.  An opportune time is after a dental because the sedative used for dental work relaxes the retractor penile muscle.


Coggins (EIA) testing applies to horses that will be traveling inter-state, international (Canada) or to events in state (that require it) or to many breeding facilities.  This blood test is valid for 12 months to most states and 6 months to Canada.  If your travel plans involve such situations, this is a good time to update your horse(s) coggins test.  If your horse has a current coggins test health certificates can be issued the same day as inspection.


Fecal evaluations monitor the effectiveness of your deworming program.  The worms that horses get are developing resistance to deworming products.  Fecal floatation identify the presence or absence of worm eggs which is critical to proper deworming programs.



Winter Vaccines:

Most people wait to vaccinate their horse(s) in the spring…

  • This will be too late if the horses are out and exposed to other horses.
  • It takes about 2 weeks for immunity to form from vaccines.
  • Exposure at barns and events will transpire prior to spring.
  • Some horses carry the Rhino (herpes) virus for a lifetime.
  • Some horses and facilities harbor the strangles bacteria.
  • Your horse needs to be 20 ft. from a shedding horse (cough) to be out of range of aerosol exposure.
  • One day of fever needs 1 week of healing… this can take a horse out of use for a month.



Vetera 2XP is a 2-way vaccine that applies to our horses that are exposed to non-resident horses; e.g. horses that are used in events, attend brandings, trailer or board with other horses.  This vaccine contains Flu & Rhino.  The time to give it is 2 weeks prior to exposure to other horses… now.

Pinnacle vaccine (strep/strangles) is an important vaccine for exposed horses.  This bacteria can be persistent in some horses and facilities.  I suggest the initial 2 dose series in all naïve horses then thereafter boost only if they are going to places that have a history of this infection or if they are exposed to this problem.



Call the clinic for an appointment (406-265-8901), we have stalls for you to drop off your horse(s) if your schedule doesn’t allow you to attend the appointment.


                                                                                      It is our pleasure to serve you,


                                                                                      The Bear Paw Veterinary Team

Bear Paw Veterinary Service

5051 U.S. Highway 2 NW

Havre, MT 59501

Request Appointment

For general information, questions, appointment requests, call us at:

(406) 265-8901
Email Us:
Fax: (406) 265-2309

For after-hour support, call us at:

(406) 808-8901

Telephone Hours
8am - 5pm

Clinic Hours

Monday 7:30am - 5:30pm

Tuesday 7:30am - 5:30pm

Wednesday 7:30am - 5:30pm

Thursday 7:30am - 5:30pm

Friday 7:30am - 5:30pm

Saturday Closed

Sunday Closed