Health

Sweating The Small Stuff

This vet keeps equine athletes sound and healthy by addressing minor horse-health problems before they become major.

From AQHA Corporate Partner Adequan

Journal Photo

As the United States Equestrian Federation Reining Team veterinarian since the 2002 World Equestrian Games, it is the responsibility of Dr. John Newcomb to keep these equine athletes at the top of their game. And for all the horses under his care, Dr. Newcomb, of Equine Veterinary Services in San Diego, California, works to catch issues before they escalate into problems. He does this by getting to know the horses.

“Our biggest focus is staying ahead of, or anticipating when a problem will occur,” says Dr. Newcomb, who spends more than 90 percent of his time diagnosing and treating musculoskeletal or lameness issues. “My goal is not to see the horse lame; it is to look at the horse when things are going well. I want to notice when he has a small issue before it becomes a major problem. This will minimize the potential for career-ending injuries.”

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Dr. Newcomb doesn’t just look at one area when examining his equine patients. Even though reiners often have issues in their hocks, Dr. Newcomb wants to look over the whole animal.

“They may have a weak link, but you have to be concerned about how the horse may be compensating for that weakness. It’s better to fix a little soreness, which is easier to control before it becomes a lameness issue. I constantly prescribe proven treatments like Adequan® i.m. (polysulfated glycosaminoglycan) because it helps get horses back in balance.”

Dr. Newcomb cautions horse owners not to cut corners on treatments. There is no generic Adequan® i.m., and he and his partner at Equine Veterinary Services have made it a standard only to use FDA-approved drugs and treatments.

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“There have been Adequan® “look-alikes” for years, says Dr. Newcomb. “One of the products claims to be a generic, but it’s labeled for a completely different use. It’s not even labeled as an intramuscular, and who knows if it’s even close to the same chemical makeup as Adequan® i.m. You have to question everything when someone doesn’t spend the time and money to do their research and validate it through the FDA.”

For the intramuscular treatment of non-infectious degenerative and/or traumatic joint dysfunction and associated lameness of the carpal and hock joints in horses. There are no known contraindications to the use of intramuscular Adequan® i.m. brand Polysulfated Glycosaminoglycan in horses. Studies have not been conducted to establish safety in breeding horses. Each 5 mL contains 500 mg Polysulfated Glycosaminoglycan. WARNING: Do not use in horses intended for human consumption. Not for use in humans. Keep this and all medications out of the reach of children. Caution: Federal law restricts this drug to use by or on the order of a licensed veterinarian. Adequan® is a registered trademark of Luitpold Pharmaceuticals Inc.