Press Release: ABVP Certifies Diplomate in Equine Practice

NASHVILLE, TN – Mark T. Reilly, DVM, of Plympton, MA has been certified as a Diplomate by the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners (ABVP) specializing in Equine Practice.

ABVP Diplomate status is granted under the approval of the American Board of Veterinary Specialties, an official committee of the American Veterinary Medical Association. While other veterinary specialties focus on specific disciplines or organ systems (e.g. ophthalmology, cardiology, etc.), ABVP diplomates demonstrate excellence in all areas of specialty care of the total patient. Currently there are 85 veterinarians that are certified Equine ABVP diplomates in the United States, including Dr. Mark Reilly. He is the only ABVP certified equine private practitioner in New England.

Dr. Reilly mastered a rigorous and demanding application process and certification examination in order to obtain Diplomate status.  To qualify to sit for the extensive, two-day examination, a veterinarian must complete either a residency program or six years of clinical veterinary practice.  In addition, two case reports, references, descriptions of practice procedures, and professional education records must be submitted and pass review.  This year’s examination was given on Nov. 2-4, 2007 in Chicago, IL.

Dr. Reilly is a graduate of Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine, and has a special interest in performance horses and imaging diagnostics.  Dr. Reilly practices at South Shore Equine Clinic & Diagnostic Center located at 151 Palmer Road (Route 58) in Plympton.  He is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association, Massachusetts Veterinary Medical Association, and the American Association of Equine Practitioners.

The American Board of Veterinary Practitioners was established in 1978 and is accredited by a special committee of the American Veterinary Medical Association to recognize excellence in clinical practice through the certification of species-oriented specialists.  Over 800 veterinarians worldwide are certified in one of ABVP’s eight practice categories: Canine and Feline, Food Animal, Equine, Dairy, Swine Health Management, Feline, Avian, and Beef Cattle.  For more information on ABVP visit

Pre-purchase Exams at SSEC

Buying a horse can be a nerve-racking process.  It can also be a big investment in time, money, and emotion.  That’s why it is so important to investigate all aspects of the horse before you buy.  Knowing the health and condition of a horse before completing a purchase is one of the most significant factors in deciding whether that animal is going to be a wise investment.

Purchase examinations may vary a bit depending on what the intended use of the horse (family pet, pleasure horse, broodmare, or high performance athlete).  Typically, purchase exams include a comprehensive physical exam that includes a battery of lameness tests.  Variables include the number of sites to be radiographed, airway endoscopy, drug screening, and any specialized tests per the buyer’s request. Your responsibilities include explaining your expectations and primary use for the horse; being present for the exam; establishing costs for the examination; and asking questions and discussing any and all findings in private. Our job is not to “pass” or “fail” the horse.  Rather, it is provide you with information regarding any existing medical condition and to discuss those problems with you so that you can make an informed purchase decision.  It can be compared to that of a house inspection prior to your purchase. No horse is perfect in every respect.  Some medical conditions and faults are manageable or may never seriously affect the horse’s performance.  Whether or not the problems are practical for your needs or budget is for you to decide.

Equine Gastric Ulcer Syndrome (EGUS)

The incidence of equine gastric ulcer syndrome (EGUS) is steadily increasing and is recognized as a major problem in horses and foals.  Over 90% of racehorses and 60% of show horses have gastric ulcers.  Approximately 50% of horses with gastric ulcers show no outward signs, despite significant ulceration of their stomach. Typical clinical signs of stomach ulcers in adult horses include attitude change, dullness, poor performance, poor appetite, poor condition, colic, and behavioral changes.  Foals with stomach ulcers can show diarrhea, poor growth, rough hair coat, pot belly appearance, teeth grinding, colic, lying on their back, excessive salivation, or interrupted nursing. There are several factors that increase your horse’s risk for developing gastric ulcers.  Infrequent grazing or reduced hay intake will cause excessive acid accumulation in a horse’s stomach, leading to ulcers.  Intense exercise and training can increase acid production in the stomach.  Physical stress that horses and foals experience when sick, hospitalized, or in pain can also cause ulcers.  Shipping, spending extended amounts of time in stalls and competing can all predispose horses to developing ulcers. The only definitive way to diagnose gastric ulcers is through use of a 3 meter video endoscope, a service that we can provide for your horse.  Often it is clear only in hindsight, after treatment, how ulcers have negatively affected your horse’s performance.  Fortunately, gastric ulcers are treatable with anti-ulcer medication, dietary changes and environmental management.  With so much invested into your horse, why let gastric ulcers get in the way of success?

Streptococcus Equi Infections In Your Barn

As many of you have heard there have been confirmed cases of Strep. equi infections, otherwise known as Strangles,  in the area.  Simply stated, Strangles is a bacterial infection of the upper respiratory tract of horses with particular affinity for the guttural pouches, which are extensions of the auditory canal from the pharynx, or throat.  It can cause signs of depression, fever, anorexia, swelling of the lymph nodes, edema or swelling of the legs and ventral abdomen, snotty nose and draining abscesses, most commonly from the submandibular area.  Strangles is usually introduced to a farm by a horse who appears totally healthy, but is harboring the bacteria in his or her guttural pouches. These are known as “carriers”.  The disease is then spread to other horses through shared water sources in a paddock, nose to nose contact, shared bits and tack, or through other fomites, such as hands and hoses. Check out the following links for more information about preventing Strangles and managing disease control on your farm: