Tony in the equine pharmacy

What better to do on a dreary Monday than help Beth with inventory?  After spending late last week bugging Dr. Vurgason with “Is she here yet? Is she here yet?” (the answer is no) and supervising Dr. Lacher while she performed lameness evaluations at the clinic, I was looking for something a little more low-key to start my week off.


Beth is in charge of making sure we have all the stuff the Docs need to do their jobs, and boy is she serious about it! I’m going to warn you not to nap in a box she hasn’t unpacked yet.  She gets a little angry about it.  My supervision on Monday did lead me to a greater understanding of all the stuff we have.  Generally I limit my time in the pharmacy to finding the best sleeping spot.  It is in the VetWrap box, in case you were interested.


Let’s start with things that put stuff in horses.  We have 10 different kinds of syringes and another 8 different kinds of needles.  On top of that, we have 4 different sizes and kinds of catheters.  Beth said the Docs have to be able to give different quantities of medications and give them in different way.  For instance, injecting a joint uses a smaller needle than an IV injection, and some horses get so many IV injections we put a catheter in them.   Foals need smaller catheters than big horses, and if the catheter is going to be in longer than 7 days, we use a different kind.  Several different kinds of suture for all those cuts horses get were over in this area as well.  It got very complicated very quickly!


Near the sharp stuff we had plastic tubes, which had me baffled.  Turns out that was the breeding equipment area.  Being neutered, this isn’t my area of expertise, but I learned we use different things for frozen semen vs. shipped, cooled semen, vs. live cover.  We also have longer tubes to put fluid and treatments in to the mare’s uterus.  There was also an AV (artificial vagina) for collecting stallions for breeding.  Beth told me some treatments we keep for use in the mares includes antibiotics, treatments for mucous and something rather gross sounding called biofilm, and just plain fluids.


Next we moved on to lots of lotions, potions, pills, and pastes.  From this I learned that horses have delicate stomachs, they like pain medication, and their skin gets very funky in this lovely Florida heat and humidity (see my earlier post about why I live indoors).  Oh, and they like to poke their eyes on stuff.  Heck, we keep 4 different kinds of eye ointment in stock, and there are times we can’t order it fast enough! Beth told me horses really, really like to poke their eyes and with all that eye stuff I don’t think I could argue.


Last but not least, on the shelves we had all the injectable products.  This covers an array of equine ailments.  Beth told me some of the stuff was also sedation.  Sedation sounded nice…  especially with a catnip chaser!


Our pharmacy also has bandaging stuff, hoof stuff, vaccines, more antibiotics, emergency drugs, stuff to make horses sleep, stuff to wake horses up, and drugs that make mares come in heat.  Personally I find the bandaging stuff to be the best part, since napping is great in that area.  Moral of my day with Beth is that we have a lot of things in that room.  Our Docs have to be prepared for just about anything to happen, anytime.  We have foaling, surgery, bandaging, antibioticing, anti-inflamming, bellyache treating, life-saving and more so that our Docs are ready.  And Beth has my admiration for keeping it all in-stock and ready to go!