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New Bolton Center: Patient Stories


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Setting up Foals for Success: Ten Things to Do

From December to August, breeding and foaling season, Dr. Michelle Abraham has her hands full with pregnant mares and foals.      

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A Pain in the Paddock

Stephanie Rzeplinski grew up around horses in rural Pennsylvania. Since age 4, she’s ridden and cared for the animals daily—so when her 13-year-old gelding, Robbie, fell ill, she immediately noticed something was wrong.

Surviving the Storms

Since Hurricane Katrina, displaced pets and their families have captured the attention of animal lovers everywhere. Some of the most heart-wrenching stories are of people separated from their four-legged family members. Penn Vet’s Dr. Sue McDonnell and Dr. Carlo Siracusa talked to Knowledge@Wharton SiriusXM Business Radio about how animals respond to weather emergencies and what owners, caretakers, and concerned citizens can do to keep them safe.

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Solving Sports Medicine's Trickiest Mysteries

Penn Vet’s Dr. Elizabeth Davidson loves a good horse mystery. She and her team of equine Sports Medicine experts at New Bolton Center have solved many cases of ‘just not right’ horses, athletic animals who aren’t performing well but don’t have any obvious clinical complaints.

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Equine Field Service on the Beat for Clydesdale Cops

Clydesdale cops Spartan and Julio help keep the peace in northern Delaware, so the horses’ massive bodies must always be up to the task. With their human riders, the equine officers police parks, neighborhoods, and community events as members of the New Castle County (NCC) Mounted Patrol Unit.  When recent eye issues bothered both horses, their sergeant called New Bolton Center’s Equine Field Service.

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Big-hearted Quarter Horse Fights through EPM to Finish Strong

“Allie Kat is the friendliest, sweetest horse. She loves everyone,” said Tracy Barbeito about her six-year-old Quarter Horse. But the mare’s big-hearted nature isn’t always a good thing. Because the performance horse “loves to please,” her charming personality can make it hard to know when she’s not okay. It took an alarming head tilt a little more than a year ago to alert Allie’s caretakers that something was amiss with the horse’s health.

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What's Age Got to Do with It? Caring for Geriatric Horses

The idea that age is but a number is as true for animals as it is for humans. Horses, especially ponies, are routinely living to the mid-twenties and even thirties. Often, the equines still enjoy life, work, or performing into their third decade.

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Senior Senator's Triumphant Return

Senior Senator has been called “one of the craziest horses that ever looked through a bridle.” But a serious accident in May 2017 temporarily dampened some of the eight-year-old gelding’s fiery, unique personality, nearly ending his racing career. While defending his 2016 Maryland Hunt Cup title at the 2017 race, the Thoroughbred and jockey Eric Poretz tumbled at the third fence in the notoriously challenging four-mile timber course.

Dr. David Levine Answers Ten: Surgery, Disease Prevention, Gardening, and More

Assistant professor of clinical large animal surgery Dr. David Levine is a world class surgeon, clinician, and teacher. Holding Diplomate status in Large Animal Surgery from the American College of Veterinary Surgeons and in Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation from the American College of Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation, Levine is well-respected among his peers, clients, and students.      

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Surprise! It's Twins!

Excitement over a first pregnancy turned to concern for owner Adel Dukes Melson when her pregnant Holsteiner began showing signs of premature foaling. Weeks before the mare’s March 13 due date, her mammary gland started to develop and secrete milk, a typical indication that her body was preparing to soon give birth.

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Innovating Diagnostics for Equine Arthritis

Arthritis can sideline a sport horse. Catching and treating the joint disease early is key to keeping an athletic equine comfortable and active. But when arthritis affects a horse’s elegant and powerful neck, with its complex map of muscles and vertebrae, it’s hard to pinpoint.

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Squeezed Heart

The bright Thoroughbred filly with the intriguing name Five Smooth Stones is ready to start her gate work at Fair Hill. With a broad muscular chest, standing just over 15 hands at two years old, this beauty with a wide blaze is perfectly suited for a career on the racetrack.

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Turtle Secrets

The precise moment of death, 65 million years ago, is captured in stone. The head and the legs are tucked under the shell, just as a threatened turtle would do today. Nearly intact, the fossil is exceedingly rare.

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Spirited Chevy Keeps Her Sight

Thoroughbred mare Set Chivalry, known to all who love her as Chevy, is a large personality. “She’s so smart and has such a spicy attitude,” said owner Susan Lax of the 21-year-old retired dressage horse. “She’s just really the apple of my eye and so exhilarating to ride. I have had her since she was four, and she is a member of our family. I would do whatever is necessary to keep her healthy.”

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Foal Meets World – Tackling a True Equine Emergency

It’s been 11 months in the making. Your mare has been carefully bred, appropriately vaccinated, and closely monitored. As her due date approaches, anticipation of the new arrival begins to soar, with a twinge of anxiousness closing in.

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Tough Girl Genes

Dr. Mike Chovanes’s phone rang, piercing through the quiet morning. It was 6:15 am. The 1980 Penn Vet alumnus answered, his stomach twisting at the news trickling from the other end of the line. His homebred two-year-old Thoroughbred filly, Bucks Some, was down and unable to rise, trapped in her stall.

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An Affair of the Heart

It had been several weeks since Tiffany, a seven-year-old Percheron draft horse mare, had been able to go back to work. A wheel horse for a six-horse-hitch driving team, Tiffany helps to move a three-and-a-half-ton hitch wagon in tandem with her teammates – a job that takes a lot of strength and stamina. But a previous surgery from January had left the mare on stall rest until she was able to be returned to work.

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New Bolton Center Pigs Star in International Competition

The giant sows came up close, curious, some poking their snouts through the railings, as the eight elementary school students walked down the aisle, making their way through the enclosed barn.

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A Legacy Continues

Last February, Lisa Gaudio and her husband Jim Kazanjian had to say goodbye to their beloved half-Arabian, Kyrie Eleison. The dark bay mare had fought a long battle with laminitis, spending many weeks at Penn Vet’s New Bolton Center under the care of a dedicated team that included Dr. James Orsini, Associate Professor of Surgery, and Patrick Reilly, Chief of Farrier Services.

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The Mystery of the Barrel Racer

The barrel-racer’s bone scan showed a hot spot right where the spine attaches to the base of the skull, indicating an injury. But the radiographs were inconclusive.